Halperin: Hey, why did conservatives defend themselves from being smeared?

posted at 11:36 am on January 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Say, isn’t the phrase “war stations” a use of violent imagery?  I’m just sayin’ ….

“I think the media and the politicians have behaved pretty well so far”? The normally sensible Mark Halperin from Time runs off the rails in this segment from today’s Morning Joe, and that was hardly the worst of it. He blamed the “anger of the right-wing commentariat,” including George Will, for the controversy started when CNN and other media outlets began tying the shooting in Arizona to Sarah Palin and Tea Party activism.  Joe Scarborough points out that it was Palin and conservatives who got smeared, not the other way around, but Halperin says that conservatives should have just “turned the other cheek” and stopped defending themselves.

Mary Katharine Ham is aghast:

“I just want to single out one thing. I think the media and the politicians have behaved pretty well so far.I’m worried about the anger of the right-wing commentariat,” Halperin said. “Fox and George Will and other conservatives are in some cases justifiably upset at liberals, but they’re turning this back into the standard operating procedure of ‘all this is war and fodder for content’ rather than trying to bring the country together.”

“Wait a second,” Scarborough responded. “I think they would say that you have that backwards, that a shooting was turned into fodder to attack conservatives.”

Halperin: “And, I already made that criticism, as well. they’re right, but rather than seizing on it and turning the other cheek, they’re back at their war stations. that’s not going to help us.”

The conversation then pivoted from a discussion of the actual facts to yet another lecture on rhetoric, with Scarborough hoping conservatives see it as a “wake-up call” on rhetoric even though he had just established that there was no connection between rhetoric and the shooting.

You know what would help us?  The media actually doing its job rather than participating in the smear campaign.  What exactly did Halperin and his magazine do to report that conservatives were being smeared, as he acknowledges three days later?  If their Swampland blog is any indication, exactly zero.  The only pushback on the meme came from Joe Klein, who wanted to use the tragedy to talk about gun control and the mentally ill  rather than the “need to clean up the mess” in national political debate.

Why did conservatives feel the need to defend themselves?  Because of the extreme, heated, and ignorant rhetoric coming from many on the Left as they exploited the tragedy, and the silence and/or complicity of the media, including people like Mark Halperin.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Halperin Logic, writ large:

Halperin goes on to claim, regarding GZ Mosque:

… a national political fight conducted on the terms we have seen in the past few days will lead to a chain reaction at home and abroad that will have one winner — the very extreme and violent jihadists.”

So let me understand this, according to Halperin’s logic, if the GOP utilizes a wildly unpopular statement made by the President, on a highly sensitive topic about which almost all Americans have feelings, the terrorists win?

Hey, I don’t think Halperin wants the GOP to win. Send me my Nobel.

Shivas Irons on January 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM

LINK

Sorry.

Shivas Irons on January 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM

No, Ed. Mark Halperin is not “normally sensible.”

He referred to Barack Obama by the Homeric epithet “Land of Lincolner” throughout the 2008 general election on his The Page.

Attaching hagiographic terms to a candidate – and not backing down when called on his inappropriate worship – is not “normally sensible.”

hrh40 on January 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Halperin blames the victim for defending himself. Ass.

WannabeAnglican on January 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM

In the past, many leading conservatives would have said, “Yes, maybe we should all tone down our rhetoric.”

However, as we saw, not fighting back when liberals attack got a Marxist elected president.

Instead, we will now fight back hard with the truth and say, “How dare you leftists try to exploit this horrific massacre to silence those who speak out for liberty.”

Cara C on January 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Boy, I’m sure glad none of us would use something like a shooting massacre as a political weapon to hurt somebody, especially right after it happened. That’s pretty low. And can you imagine if we actually did rush to judgment on something like a massacre and then criticized the left for doing it to Palin? Such would be the epitome of hypocrisy. What did Jesus say about doing something like that, uh, or how did it He say it? Oh, yeah, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

apacalyps on January 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Ehh whole

wepeople on January 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Halperin’s comment is dirty and vile.

scotash on January 11, 2011 at 3:35 PM

It’s time for the RNC to produce an ad to run on national TV that chronicals all the acts of violence perpretrated by loony lefties and union thugs on conservatives. Since the MSM has never covered any of these stories it might come as quite a surprise to a lot of people just who the real perpetrators of violence are. Point out the lies and smears and the despicable attempt to make political gain from this tragedy. Then sit back and enjoy the sound of liberal heads exploding. Remember, silence is acquesience. We have a golden opportunity to kick their butts.

shmendrick on January 11, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Liberals just can’t believe it when the victims of their smear campaigns are so gauche as to protest their innocence. They can’t understand why anyone would not welcome the opportunity to have them, the moral and intellectual elite of our society, take the time to point out their responsibility for all bad things that happen.

And the fact that liberals entertain themselves by routinely making horribly incendiary statements is irrelevant, because liberals do so out of a conviction that they are improving society, not for their own benefit, God forbid.

Seriously, how long can our society remain a civil one when one quarter of it regards the rest as essentially subhuman, and their own right to control the speech and thoughts of them as unquestionable?

drunyan8315 on January 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Seriously, how long can our society remain a civil one when one quarter of it regards the rest as essentially subhuman, and their own right to control the speech and thoughts of them as unquestionable?

drunyan8315 on January 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

This not only applies to the looney left but unfortunately to the muslim extremists as well. Just look at how things are in England and Western Europe. People are on trial for simply reading from the Koran.

shmendrick on January 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

This is why it’s imperative for the right to go on a media offensive to counteract this nonsense and reveal it’s lack of a basis in fact. We need a full blown media counter attack and the only ones I can think of that can fund this would be the RNC.

shmendrick on January 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

There’s precedent for Halperin’s belief about what conservatives should have done. Did the political conservative class actively defend against the Bush/Hitler and Kill Bush assaults?No! They tried to ignore them and today many Americans, especially younger ones, do see Bush/Hitler as reasonable.If conservatives, and I’m still waiting for the office holders to responnd, had turned the other cheek Palin and Limbaugh would be mentioned in History books 30 years from now as accomplices to murder.

xkaydet65 on January 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM

The stinking hypocrisy of the left is legion. Nothing new in never letting a crisis go to waste. This is akin to accusing a holocaust survivor of crimes for not dying like they are supposed to.

Kuffar on January 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM

ATTN Mark Halperin:

Today’s vocabulary word is: SANCTIMONIOUS

txleadfoot00 on January 11, 2011 at 5:14 PM

All of this so reminds me of the way Israel gets treated (and usually by the same people):

Getting outraged at Israel for doing the same any other country does, blaming her even if she didn’t do it (which she didn’t 90% of the time) telling her to mea culpa for things they are pinning on her that she didn’t do, being outraged if she doesn’t, continuing to be outraged if she does. She can never apologize enough, because it is a delegitimization tactic, not an honest criticism.

Then holding her responsible for any violence by someone else (Sabra & Shatila?), all of this creating an atmosphere where it is assumed by all intelligent caring persons that Israel is Bad. And if you disagree, what kind of brainwashed in denial person are you to refuse to admit what is right in front of your eyes?

Oh and Israelis have guns and know how to use them, so that proves how violent they are, so they must tone it down (and only agreeing with their accusers will be toned down enough), and otherwise should shut up, because any attempt to defend herself just shows that she is evading responsibility for the violence she causes.

Oh and the people who lay this on Israel and on the American Right are usually the same people.

YehuditTX on January 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Way to go, Halperin. Another old media hack dives below pond slime.

n0doz on January 11, 2011 at 8:30 PM

YehuditTX on January 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Yes, this has been going on now since 100+ BC.
Would that we had a “Hammer” to rise up and purify things once again.

OkieDoc on January 11, 2011 at 10:31 PM

This not only applies to the looney left but unfortunately to the muslim extremists as well. Just look at how things are in England and Western Europe. People are on trial for simply reading from the Koran.

shmendrick on January 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

A statement like that, needs links.

Slowburn on January 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM

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