PICKET: Media finds way to blame tea party for another violent tragedy

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Once again, the media managed to blame the tea party for a horrific violent tragedy. This time the tragedy was in Aurora, Colorado at midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people were killed by a shooter who went on a rampage, fifty other individuals needed to be treated for injuries. Below are examples of past tragedies that the tea party was unfairly blamed for immediately after the event occurred: 

September 2009 – Man found hanged with “Fed”scrawled across chest

 “The death of a U.S. Census Bureau worker in Clay County, Ky., who was found hanging from a tree, reportedly with the word Fed scrawled on his chest, rippled through the national consciousness more than other crimes from rural, tucked-away corners might have. The discovery of the body of Bill Sparkman, 51, a substitute teacher and a field worker for the bureau, comes at a time when talk media, tea parties and white-hot town-hall meetings have fanned antigovernment sentiment. Speculation has run rampant that the Sparkman case may be related to the vitriol. Kentucky, like many other Southern states, voted overwhelmingly for Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential election.” Sparkman hanged himself.

February 2010 — Man flies plane into IRS office in Texas

 “Second, given the apparent momentum of the Tea Party movement, it would be nice to know if Stack’s kamikaze mission was a not-all-that-shocking emanation from it — whether, as some claim, more than a few Tea Partiers are unhinged.” Stack posted a “manifesto” on the Internet that compared communism favorably to capitalism.

May 2010 – Times Square Bomber

“It may be that the Pakistan-based Taliban, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has quietly established a Connecticut franchise while we weren’t looking. That’s possible. But it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right. Which actually exists in Connecticut, where, it seems, the car’s license plates were stolen.” Shahzad was a Pakistan-born American citizen who tried to flee to Dubai following the failed attack.

January 2011 – Congresswoman Gabby Giffords shooting

 “Even before the name of the shooter was known, a fierce debate spilled out across blogs and social media, with liberal commentators blaming the attack on the violent imagery evoked by some “tea party” candidates and conservatives during the recent midterm elections.” Loughner, who acted alone, is crazy and had no political motive.

July 2012 – Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting 

 ABC’s Brian Ross: “There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.” - Wrong guy.

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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