When loon Jared Loughner shot Congresswoman Giffords and others, the left went into a tizzy trying to paint him as a right-wing “tea bagger.” It was clear the mainstream media focused initially on trying to pin the shooting on their sworn enemy, the right.
It turns out that the shooter was a drug-using, Goth lefty who owned Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Hitler’s Mein Kampf. What few friends he had redundantly described him as most killers seem to be, a “loner who kept to himself,” and not very popular. He was so much of a loner that he had a MySpace page, which should have been the first sign of his isolation. His politics seemed to lean more left than right, but mostly what he wrote were incoherent rants rife with twisted logic and paranoid delusions.
Taking a page from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals book, the media wished they could descend upon the kid’s room and find a Rush Limbaugh missive in his collection. Never mind that the last two shootings, the Fort Hood massacre and the environmental wacko who shot up the Discovery Channel, were the work of anti-right nut jobs. In the minds of the mainstream media, the left never does anything wrong.
Those two bastions of liberal nirvana, our education system and the current gun laws, were our first lines of defense against this kind of shooting. Loughner was identified in high school and then in community college as dangerous. One teacher even said she stood near her classroom door for fear he would come in with an automatic weapon.
After the shooting, Democrats called for more gun laws. Never mind that the myriad of current gun laws should have kept this mentally unstable kid from buying a gun. Let’s just dump yet another feel-good law, one that government cannot and will not enforce, on the books. Democrats even sought to make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening. “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”
After failing to make the case that the blame for the shooting should fall on the Tea Party or the Right, the media set about trying to pin it on the vitriolic rhetoric of today’s talk radio (code for “the right”). From the Democrat Sheriff of Pima County (who, in theory, should have had a bead on this kid — oh wait, I cannot use that metaphor — since there were all the warning signs) opining on the matter, to other liberals who rushed to be on TV to talk about “hate radio” and the right, we heard the same, wrong-headed, blame game.
In reality, most of the mean and one-sided hate comes from the left. I TIVO many of the late-night comics the same way I read the New York Times: to study the enemy’s playbook. Seldom do they make jokes about the left; in fact, 90% of their jokes are mean slaps at the Republicans. They still bash John McCain and Sarah Palin more than two years after they lost to Obama. And George Bush is still made out to be a dumb, hapless caricature of a president.
In the days before the shooting, here is what the left-wing writers of the late-night shows were saying:
“John McCain stands now less a paragon of straight talk and independence for new members to admire, and more like an object lesson of how f*#@ing mad someone gets when they don’t get their way.” – Jon Stewart, announcing a new initiative to annoy the hell out of John McCain
“The lights are too bright and it’s burning my skin! You’re going to make me look like a Mexican. Build the dang fence!” – angry puppet John McCain, making his debut on The Daily Show last week.
“Snooki is now a published author. I’m blaming Sarah Palin. She lowered the bar.” – David Letterman
“Imagining Donald Trump flying on Jet Blue is like trying to imagine Sarah Palin flying on Air Force One.” – David Letterman
“Sarah Palin, the part-time Governor of Alaska, is angry because Michelle Obama is encouraging kids to eat healthy. Sarah Palin believes the government shouldn’t tell us what to do. Sarah Palin believes she should tell us what to do.” – David Letterman
Who is really mean and vitriolic? Oh yes, only the opposition right.
The narrative the media encourage, that meanness and hate are solely the province of the right, is simply not true. They parrot “words matter,” but, in reality, actions matter.
Ron Hart is a libertarian op-ed humorist and author who can be reached at: Ron@RonaldHart.com.