Last night Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity’s show for her first interview since the Arizona shootings. During the exchange she quoted Martin Luther King Jr. who said “A lie cannot live.” If only it were so. But as Allapundit pointed out last night, a new poll shows that this particular lie–that Sarah Palin’s Facebook map played a role in the mind of Jared Loughner–has been embraced by 56% of Democrats and 34% of Independents.
It’s pointless to blame partisans like Kos and Krugman for being partisans, but the mainstream media–the networks and major dailies–are responsible for allowing this lie to propagate unchecked. It was their job to do more than serve as a conduit for left-wing agitprop and in this instance they failed. The recent spate of death threats directed toward the targets of this media circus shows just how miserably they failed.
Since the lie persists let’s look at the truth. Here are three significant facts which–had they not been intentionally ignored or downplayed by the media–would have gone a long way toward changing those poll results.
One – Sarah Palin’s map was nothing out of the ordinary:
When this controversy first broke out last March, I identified two similar maps produced by Democrats, one from the DLC in 2004 and one from the DCCC in 2009. Both maps used bullseyes to target Republicans. Neither map raised any eyebrows at the time on the left or the right.
To date, Fox News (and Sarah Palin herself) have mentioned the existence of these maps, but the MSM has refused to do so. Reports from CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Washington Post, the NY Times–all presented stories focused on Palin’s map and failed to place it in context by reporting on the Democratic maps. By doing so (to this moment), the media unfairly singled out Palin and the Tea Party for abuse.
Two – Jared Loughner’s fixation on Rep. Giffords pre-dated the Tea Party and Sarah Palin
By Sunday afternoon it was known via a court filing that Loughner’s fixation on Giffords dated back to 2007. This is well before the Tea Party existed and before anyone in the lower 48 had heard of Sarah Palin. Whatever excuse the press may have had for mentioning Palin and the Tea Party initially, it was no longer justifiable by Sunday afternoon.
And yet the media didn’t let a little thing like metaphysical impossibility stop them from associating Palin with the killings. After all, why should the half-dimensional arrow of time spoil a good controversy? I saw lots of conservative blogs making this point Sunday. Perhaps it was noted by the networks, but if so it was only in passing.
Three – Jared Loughner’s verifiable ideological commitments are on the left
Even as the media began to speculate about which right wing talk show host deserved the most blame, evidence was trickling out that Loughner was coming from (which is definitely not to say motivated by) the left. His list of favorite books included The Communist Manifesto. A friend from high school, Catie Parker, described him as “left wing, quite liberal” (though she admitted she hadn’t seen him in three years). There was a video on Loughner’s You Tube account of him (or someone) burning a flag, not something Tea Partiers are known to do. This all came out Saturday evening, but no one in the major media seemed interested in following those leads.
The final shred of plausibility for the left’s attempts to link Loughner to the right fell away on Wednesday. That’s when a TV interview with one of Loughner’s last friends quoted him saying that Loughner was not a fan of talk radio or TV news. But he said something else that was just as significant. He said he believed that Loughner had become fixated on a film series called Zeitgeist.
For those not familiar with it (I wasn’t) Zeitgeist offers viewers a conspiracy-laden techno-Marxism. It envisions an end to systems of capitalist oppression through technological innovation. The first film is in three major parts: atheism, trutherism, and anti-Capitalism. In the sequel, capitalism and communism are lumped together and contrasted with an ideal, monetary-less society:
Communist China is no less capitalistic than the United States. The only difference is the degree by which the state intervenes in enterprise. The reality is that “monetary-ism”, so to speak, is the true mechanism that guides the interests of all the countries on the planet. The most aggressive and hence dominant variation of this monetary-ism is the free enterprise system.
If conservativism is defined as standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” Zeitgeist is looking the other way yelling “Go!” Have you seen any major media reports on Zeitgeist? Why is that?
With the omission of the Democratic maps, minimizing of the timeline, and scant attention to Loughner’s actual ideology the MSM has helped the cause of left-wing ideologues. Whether this was intentional is open to debate, but the fact that a sizable cross-section of America now believes Saturday’s shootings can be partly (if not largely) laid at the feat of Sarah Palin and the right is hard evidence of their collective failure. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight responsible media outlets will now make a concerted effort to set the record straight.