- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ANALYSIS:

Some Democrats are calling for a cease-fire in a heated liberal campaign to pin blame for the Tucson, Ariz., massacre on conservative speech and specifically on former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

No evidence has surfaced that the shooting suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, was motivated by any political speech, left or right. News reports tell of a deeply troubled man who thinks the government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, hates the Bible and was thrown out of college for fear he would become violent.

But that did not stop Democrats, and what conservatives call the liberal mainstream media, from launching an all-out attack on conservatives within hours of the Saturday slayings.

Bernard Goldberg, a former CBS reporter and best-selling author, said: “I can’t remember when libs in the [mainstream media] have been so corrupt and so cynical. The wounded are still bleeding, and they’re making political hay.”

**FILE** Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (Associated Press)
**FILE** Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (Associated Press) more >

He told Fox News, “In all my years as a working journalist, Ive never seen such shallow, thoughtless, agenda-driven drivel as I have in the past 36 hours — and its all masquerading as serious analysis and commentary.”

A mere few hours after the massacre, liberal pundits and news sites began assigning blame to a “climate of hate” they asserted was created by conservatives. They put blame on what they called “right-wing hate speech,” referencing Mrs. Palin’s use of cross hairs on maps of some Democratic districts for the 2010 election.

One cross-hair symbol was superimposed on the Arizona district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who lies in critical condition after being shot through the head Saturday.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, perhaps the Op-Ed page’s most anti-conservative writer, blogged shortly after the shooting spree that the political right was responsible.

Under a headline “Right Wing Is Responsible for a Climate of Hate,” Mr. Krugman labeled the killer a part of “right-wing extremism.”

“Wheres that toxic rhetoric coming from? Lets not make a false pretense of balance: its coming, overwhelmingly, from the right,” he wrote.

But after three days of liberals blaming conservatives, some Democrats are urging a different message.

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell said people should “cool it.”

“This is not the time for any [finger-pointing]. This is the time for us to come together,” Mr. Rendell said on Sean Hannity’s syndicated radio show, according to the conservative commentator’s website.

“I thought Speaker [John A. Boehner] was terrific in what he said. An attack on one congressman is an attack on everyone. Everyone should just cool it, try to support the families in every way we can.”

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