At times of national tragedy there is sadness, mourning, and a search for someone to blame. In the case of Saturday’s shootings in Tucson that should be easy: 22-year-old Jared Loughner did it, with some help from whoever sold him a semi-automatic Glock 19 hand gun with extra large magazines.
But that’s not satisfying, to blame a crazy person for something so terrible. We want to pinpoint the cause of the evil, because if we have the cause we can prevent such things from happening in the future. Many on the left want to tag Sarah Palin and Fox News with at least contributory blame.
After all, didn’t Palin post a map showing Congresswoman Gifford as a target, complete with crosshairs? (see accompanying picture from her website and try to imagine whether seeing this might lead someone to murder.) And doesn’t Fox News regularly feature right wing rants by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck?
Palin and Fox News head Roger Ailes seemed to grant some plausibility to the connection because Palin’s PAC took down the offending map on Saturday, and on Monday Ailes announced that his network would try to cool the heated rhetoric. But their moves toward civility are reasons to honor them, not to take the actions an admission of guilt.