That’s the consensus, from MSNBC to the Charlotte Observer. Palin should just shut up, and leave their ridiculous narrative unchallenged. Her response has either jeopardized or ended her career. On Monday, the Charlotte Observer wrote,
Maybe this [the Arizona shooting] will make Sarah Palin think twice before inciting voters by putting rifle crosshairs on the congressional districts she targets.
Now, nearly a week later, they want to talk about how “both sides” need to tone down the rhetoric. They wonder why the national conversation spiraled into the mud after the tragedy. A hint for the editorial board: accusing Palin of inciting murder didn’t help. Scarborough is even more ridiculous. Palin didn’t make this tragedy about herself. Her video response was prompted by your network’s indecency. It was appropriate, and necessary after you and your colleagues dragged her into the narrative. We would have all preferred to leave her out of this and focus on the victims. Chris Matthews, Paul Krugman, Markos, Keith Olbermann, Sheriff Dupnik, Michael Moore, and just about every other liberal in the media are the reason we cannot. They couldn’t resist the temptation; they tried to destroy Palin and the Tea Party even as families mourned actual destruction of life.
Their call to civility might be acceptable if they would quit constructing straw-man arguments and condemn their own opportunism. Instead, the closest thing to an apology that we get from the Observer is,
Some commentators, including this editorial board, too closely linked the shootings with today’s political rhetoric initially. But that doesn’t mean America shouldn’t strive for more responsible political debate.
To those who still don’t get it: there is no connection. The Observer didn’t just link “today’s political rhetoric” and Loughner’s shooting “too closely;” they fabricated the connection entirely. Further, their initial articles didn’t just talk about “today’s political rhetoric” in general. Such a claim might have plausibly included statements from Alan Grayson, who claimed Republicans wanted you to “die quickly” and labeled his opponent, “Taliban Dan.” Instead, the Charlotte Observer specifically targeted Palin, and claimed she was inciting violence. Let’s make a deal. We can start discussing “civility” as soon as the Observer apologizes for calling Palin an accessory to murder. (Hint: the above statement doesn’t count). There’s nothing inherently wrong about a “return to civility”—except, of course, that our political rhetoric has never been civil—but it’s ironic that the desperate calls are coming from media outlets which have been entirely uncivil towards Sarah Palin and the right in general in the wake of the Tuscon shooting. I ask the Observer:
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
And Scarborough, I’m saving the tape.