Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin released a video Wednesday in response to the recent accusations by some members of the press for her alleged involvement in the Arizona massacre that took place over the weekend. Palin, who used heated images and aggressive rhetoric in the last elections towards her opponents, is singled out in news reports from the New York Times, Ketih Olbermann and Paul Krugman for fostering the violence that spilled out of 22-year-old Jared Loughner, the man charged with killing six individuals and wounding fifteen last Saturday in Tucson.
”Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the TEA Party movement began,” said Palin in her eight minute long Facebook video. The former governor then goes on to remind her readers that heated and intense arguments have always been part of politics since the days of the nation’s founders and that, “Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own.”
Charles Krauthammer, columnist for the Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize winner, agrees with Palin that the blame for the Arizona shooting rests on the shooter. In an article for the Washington Post, Krauthammer gathers statements and observations made by individuals who knew Loughner in order to illustrate that the man was insane and did not follow orders from right-winged politicians and commentators. Regarding the argument that government figures need to be more cautious with their rhetoric, Krauthammer explains why this aggressive language is part of our society in the first place and why it should not be misinterpreted as causing violence,
“Because fighting and warfare are the most routine of political metaphors. And for obvious reasons. Historically speaking, all democratic politics is a sublimation of the ancient route to power – military conquest. That’s why the language persists. That’s why we say without any self-consciousness such things as “battleground states” or “targeting” opponents. Indeed, the very word for an electoral contest – “campaign” – is an appropriation from warfare.”
MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann could not disagree more with Krauthammer and Palin. The former sportscaster issued a direct statement to cameras this week explaining the danger that aggressive “gun show” rhetoric has within politics. Olbermann singles out Fox News regulars such as Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck as guilty contributors to the, “borderline-ecstatic invocation of violence in fact or in fantasy in our political discourse.” Olbermann apologizes in his speech for any slip-ups he may have made in his own previously used vocabulary but distinguishes himself from right winged thinkers when he stated that, “us considered to be ‘on the left’” also need to be just as vigilante and cautious when using such potentially harmful language.