ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today."
Palin was also singled out for judgment from liberal reporters for the crime of having listed Giffords on a political map. CBS’s Bob Schieffer, on the January 9, 2011 Face the Nation charged: “When she [Giffords] showed up on Sarah Palin's political action committee Web site as one of those who had been targeted for defeat, it shows her in the crosshairs there. She warned herself that this kind of thing could have serious repercussions.” NBC’s Matt Lauer, on the January 10, Today show speculated: “While there is no evidence her [Palin’s] Web site featuring a target on Giffords' district had anything to do with this attack, some are asking if today's political rhetoric is inspiring the lunatic fringe?”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews got into the blame game on the January 11, 2011 Hardball when he pondered: “What's been the role of talk radio in fueling the heated language?...People like Mark Levin, Michael Savage, for example who every time you listen to them are furious, furious at the Left with anger that just builds and builds in their voice, and by the time they go to commercial, they're just in some rage, every night, with ugly talk...And they use that language, when they talk about the other side, isn't that part of the problem? And my question is doesn't that give the moral license to people who have crazy minds to start with?”
That wasn’t the first time, on Hardball, that a conservative was blamed in the immediate aftermath of a tragic shooting. Salon’s Joan Walsh, on the June 10, 2009 show, linked Rush Limbaugh to the Holocaust Museum shooter when she blurted: There is a very disturbing and disturbed element of political discourse. And I would, I would throw in Rush Limbaugh. Not blaming him, but when you say that our President is more dangerous than al-Qaeda you've gone off into crazy nut job land. You are off the charts crazy. And you are, you are whipping people up.”