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The Role of Rhetoric in the Giffords Shooting

Monday, January 10, 2011

James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, looks at the uses and possible consequence of inflammatory political demagoguery.

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Comments [6]

anna from new york

All those who like Krugman compare Maddow to Beck, etc. are dishonest and/or ignorant.
The media which are notorious for antisemitism (such as Pacifica, part of late Air America - Mike Malloy, for example, Janeane Garofalo, etc.; Al Jazeera, BBC and yes .. (I am leaving for your imagination) + of course countless blogs are different from that of the TV mainstream, and possibly have a different audience - more motivated, more prone to act, etc.
It's a dogma to say that when left wing radio hosts incite they don't incite, but when right wing incite they incite. Au contraire, history teaches that small motivated aggressive groups can be very dangerous. The known examples - Lenin and his group, small initially fascist groups, etc.
The fact is that left leaning media have been teaching antisemitism for many, many, many years.
We have a Jewish target/victim and left leaning assailant and .... we're talking about Palin ..
How many times did I hear: "Get the Jews out of government" from the "left. Representative Giffords is now "out of government." Shouldn't we look into the obvious direction.

Jan. 11 2011 11:54 AM
John Lobell from NYC

Again -- it is highly offensive that a pro - Obama segment be disguised as a balanced inquiry into violent rhetoric.

Jan. 11 2011 10:50 AM
John Lobell from NYC

This is really offensive. Notice that the guest is not putting this in the context of the retoric against Bush for 8 years.

Jan. 11 2011 10:46 AM
Immigrant American from NYC

I do think that Jared Loughner was influenced by the loose speaking of politicians. As for his parents what did they know? Some individuals are waiting to get a gentle push in the wrong direction to embolden them Jared may have been angry and not capable of being rational in what to do with his differences in thinking, non violently. BUT if he is not co-operating now he is very coherent and smart.. Getting answers from him should be on top of the FBI agenda.

Jan. 10 2011 07:30 PM
Fredarica Friedman from Centerport, LI,NY

Leaders such as Palin set the atmosphere in a country. Politicians can get angry at each other, can argue, can criticize and can even lie about each other. BUT to engage in violent rhetoric and even suggest shooting one another is to hit a nerve with people with mental illnesses such as Loughner. These leaders, such as Palin, should have enough sense to refrain from that kind of rhetoric. As Giffords said herself, it's not the what it's the how that causes concern and will have its "consequences" and it did!
Sarah Palin is definitely partly responsible.

Jan. 10 2011 12:08 PM
Prof Pat Palmieri from Fresh Meadows NY

As a community college professor, I can empathize with the concerns that led to this shooter being ejected from his classes. It is too bad that he could buy his gun even after brushes
with the police. While some call his thinking incoherent, it seems that he is well within the spectrum of ultra right wing ideology. But he also
appears to be a failure who wanted his five minutes of fame. Hence the note in the safe that was found by the FBI. We all need to ponder how we can remain an open society but also prevent such tragedies.

Jan. 10 2011 12:03 PM

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