Accuracy in Media

In an interview with Mediabistro  MSNBC Ed Schultz veered off the left wing media reservation when he said that the shooting in Tucson wasn’t due to political rhetoric but mental illness.

This contrasts sharply with MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews who continues to pound on Sarah Palin and conservative talk radio by blaming them for what happened in Tucson on Saturday.

MATTHEWS: Let’s bring in Cynthia Tucker of ” The Atlanta Journal- Constitution” and MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. Lady and gentleman, both of you — this is an unusual juxtaposition, a politician who’s sort of done all this sort of targeting and somebody who gets show, and there is all happens and we watched it all. So we have a fairly vivid evidence of, if not causality — I wouldn’t argue causality — the language meaning and then the reality of the meaning.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, “ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION”: Indeed.

MATTHEWS: You use words that mean certain things, and then those certain things happen, and you wonder, Should I have used those words? I think most people would think like that. Governor Palin has yet to say she shouldn’t have talked like this.

TUCKER: And that’s the least that she has to do. She went much too far in her use of incendiary, violent imagery. Did she mean to incite anyone to violence? I’m sure she didn’t, and it’s not clear that she did. We don’t —

MATTHEWS: What did she mean to do when she had a target — put up these crosshairs? No matter what she says, that’s what they are — put these crosshairs– we’re looking at the map now of various congressional people she wanted taken out, if you will. And then she used the word “bulls eyes” that day and talked about reloading that day. It’s clear she was using this ballistic language. Why did she use that? Is this cowgirl? Is this Annie Oakley stuff? What is it?

TUCKER: Very much so. You know, she cherishes her image as the Alaska frontierswoman, tough, self-reliant. She’s tougher than any Democrat. She’s the mama grizzly.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TUCKER: And that’s the least that she has to do. She went much too far in her use of incendiary, violent imagery. Did she mean to incite anyone to violence? I’m sure she didn’t, and it’s not clear that she did. We don’t —

MATTHEWS: What did she mean to do when she had a target — put up these crosshairs? No matter what she says, that’s what they are — put these crosshairs– we’re looking at the map now of various congressional people she wanted taken out, if you will. And then she used the word “bulls eyes” that day and talked about reloading that day. It’s clear she was using this ballistic language. Why did she use that? Is this cowgirl? Is this Annie Oakley stuff? What is it?

TUCKER: Very much so. You know, she cherishes her image as the Alaska frontierswoman, tough, self-reliant. She’s tougher than any Democrat. She’s the mama grizzly.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TUCKER: But that language, that rhetoric, that imagery can certainly go too far. And all she had to do was say, I wish I hadn’t said that. I am so sorry that this happened. I shouldn’t have used that language, those images. And she hasn’t done that.

Matthews and Tucker seem to have an obsession with Palin and did their best last night to tie her to the tragic events in Tucson last weekend.  Chris put up the Palin map targeting districts for the 2010 election but it was just a map with crosshairs and names of Democrats but it wasn’t as if a bullseye was painted on the face of any of the candidate least of all Giffords.

Politicians on the right and left have used targets, crosshairs and associated words and symbols for decades in referring to the opposition, some even far more pointed than the Palin map but that doesn’t matter to Matthews and many of his liberal associates in the media.  It doesn’t matter that there is no evidence tying the shooter to Palin, just the fact that it was her map was proof enough of her guilt.

If Chris doesn’t understand that this doesn’t have anything to do with the political rhetoric teh media has been screaming about maybe he can have his buddy Ed on the show to explain it to him because so far none of his other guests has been able to do so.





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