In Arizona Aftermath, An Opportunity for Cable News to Reflect

Given the inflammatory language that has poisoned the airwaves and political discourse recently, almost everyone I know was expecting the rhetoric to eventually lead to some sort of violent and tragic end.   It did - in Arizona.

Reducing the violence in Arizona as the work of a single, mentally ill shooter  somehow divorced from the cultural context. Extremist language matters.

we can no longer white wash the situation in this country.  the rhetoric has gone too far and it’s time for Fox News to reflect on the consequences of invective and sheer propaganda.


She said that acts like the shootings in Arizona “begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state.”

This is rather shocking statement from Palin.  By that logic, Joseph Goebbels, the architect of Hitler’s propaganda machine, would never be considered the monster he is today.  And the International Criminal Tribunal  life sentence would never have been requested for the leaders of  propaganda radio that helped fuel the Rwandan genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s action against RTLM began on 23 October 2000 - along with the trial against Hassan Ngeze, director and editor of the Kangura magazine.

On 19 August 2003, at the tribunal in Arusha, life sentences were requested for RTLM leaders Ferdinand Nahimana, and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza. They were charged with genocide, incitement to genocide, and crimes against humanity, before and during the period of the genocides of 1994.

A number of pundit I greatly admire seems to want to sidestep the issue.  And even Jon Stewart had little to say.  some sort of invective denial, as if the shooting don’t exit in context, on another planet perhaps.

very slippery slope  strident

madness of crowds: it’s just not for financial bubbles.

Glenn Beck conspiracey theories about FEMA concentration camps and the Tides Foundation, and the linkages to the shootout in Oakland, carrying an AK47 and bulletproof vest and miracle that OPD office wasn’t killed in the line of duty.

Poisong Nancy Pelosi, Sharon Angle talking “second amendment remedies” providing a platform for the birthers etc. etc.

The climate of paranoia is risings and cable news is promulgating it.  While Fox News is not a monolith (Shep Smith is an reasoned voice and Bill O’Reilly has his moments in the sun), but there is a unhealthy strain of paranoia on Fox News that is damaging political discourse in this country.

and a discussion of veins of anti-semitism is unavoidable.

This is a convenient narrative for MSM, since cable news channels have played a role in the   magnifies the rhetoric with the 24/7 bullhorn cycle and constant need for drama.  it’s a state of high level excitation.

In the aftermath of the heartbreaking shooting in Arizona, reaction has been instantaneous, and the finger pointing - especially at Sarah Palin for her crosshairs imagery pointed right at Congresswoman Gifford’s District - is getting special attention.