Philip Martin: Message might have got through to Arizona Shooter

Series:    Is Rightwing Rhetoric encouraging Violence? Part 4

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his panel discuss the finger pointing and deliberate misinformation among politicians.

Probably the most common quote concerning the Arizona tragedy was Paul Krugman’s words spoken just 2 hours after the shooting:

A Democratic Congresswoman  has been shot in the head; another dozen were also shot.

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. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.

Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.

It seems that liberals backed off this type of accusation when the facts that disproved it came out later. In fact, Paul Krugman took down his own comments. Now we have liberals writing articles filled with double talk that still attempt to imply that the tea party types still may have had something to do with this.

Philip Martin in his article “You can’t talk to Crazy, but sometimes it hears,” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Jan 16, 2011), implies that possibly a message about the political fights got through to Jared Loughner.

And the perpetually angry will buy what the demagogues sell, no matter how preposterous their claims, because, after a while, they need to be angry to feel normal. This is why you say there is a war against Christmas, that the white middle class is being persecuted or that the president is an illegitimate foreigner with links to al-Qaida, and people will believe it. A claim’s outrageousness is no impediment for those who love to feel outraged.

There’s nothing to be learned from what happened in Tucson other than another pure product of America went crazy (crazier) and hurt some people who had nothing against him, who meant him no harm. You can’t blame anybody in particular for what Jared Loughner did—except maybe Jared Loughner.
But on the other hand, you can’t pretend that these things happen in a vacuum. I said Crazy doesn’t listen but sometimes Crazy hears—Crazy picks up a signal in its tin-foil beanie. Crazy feels licensed by the sort of vitriol we fling around to make ourselves feel better.
You can pretend it’s nothing to do with you if you want, but we create the world together. Our portion of whatever blame there is may be small, but it is not negligible.

Let’s take Martin’s view that maybe a message got through to Loughner. According to Good Morning America’s interview with Loughner’s best friend Zach Osler, Loughner did not listen to the news or to talk radio. So where did he get a message from? Here is a transcript of Rush Limbaugh reacting to the  Good Morning America interview.

BANFIELD:  Instead he points to this online documentary series called Zeitgeist as the gas on Loughner’s fire.  It’s a documentary movement that rails on currency-based economics.

OSLER:  I really think that this is Zeitgeist documentary had a profound impact upon Jared Loughner’s mind-set and how he viewed the world that he lives in.

RUSH:  It wasn’t just Zeitgeist. ” According to reports, Loughner’s favorites included little-known conspiracy theory documentaries such as ‘Zeitgeist’ and ‘Loose Change’ as well as … ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘A Scanner Darkly.'” Now, Zeitgeist is “a 2007 documentary that asserts Jesus Christ is a myth, that 9/11 was orchestrated by the government, and that bankers manipulate the international monetary system and the media in order to consolidate power.”  So a conspiracy movie (put together by deranged leftists, it turns out) appears to be, according to his best friend, the most influential media of this young man’s life.  “‘Loose Change’ is a series of films released between 2005 and 2009 which argue that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the United States government…”


Let me make my view clear. There will always be a percentage of people out there that are mental cases. I personally think that there is no evidence at all to say that most of them are right or left leaning. To try and paint a broad picture like that is not fair.

33rd ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE:Little Rock Sun 2pm begins at Capital and Louisiana Streets


Today I have a profile of St lawmaker Kelley Linck.

Executive Director, Ozark Mtn
buttonRegion Tourism Association

buttonNRA Member & Supporter – Has an “A” Rating with the NRA

button Owned and operated a small business in the
button area for 15 years

buttonPresident 3 terms, Bull Shoals Lake-
buttonWhite River Chamber of Commerce

button President, Rotary International Club,
buttonBull Shoals/Lakeview

button President 3 terms, White &
buttonNorth Fork Rivers Outfitters Assoc.

In the photo above, is the Linck home that was built in Flippin, Arkansas in 1910. Starting from the left is Kelley, his dad Ike Linck, his brother John Linck and his newphew Edwin Linck.
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