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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

The nation was horrified over the weekend with the shooting in Arizona of Congresswoman Giffords and nineteen others at a Congressional meet-and-greet. And already the entire nation is discussing whether the vitriolic and hateful speech emanating from our red-hot political divisions is to blame, namely the "lock and load" metaphors mentioned so often by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has already emerged as a hero to many for calling Arizona "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry" immediately after the shooting. And then, of course, Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly embarrassed herself by interviewing Dupnik and questioning whether or not he should have made those statements. You have to wonder whether the people at Fox News are really as stupid as they seem, or they know exactly what they're doing and their inartful comments are the product of a very calculated and cynical political strategy. Of course, Dupnik not only has the right to make the statements he made, but also the responsibility to make them. He's an elected official; it's his job to help us make decisions about the way we live. Maybe Fox News and the wild-eyed, blonde news reader Kelly is terrified that if they can no longer make inflated and histrionic statements meant to fire up their Republican base, then they'll no longer have a show, much less an audience.
Many on the Right, and especially at Fox News, are desperately trying to point out that the shooter was mentally unbalanced, and therefore Sarah Palin's crazy talk, especially her famous "crosshairs" graphic which specifically targeted Rep. Gifford's congressional district, shouldn't be blamed. But already many psychiatric experts are speaking out and saying that just because someone is mentally unstable doesn't mean that he doesn't watch t.v. and doesn't take signals from things he sees and hears on television. The crazy talk has definitely got to stop.

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