Susannah Fleetwood explains why the media botched its coverage of the shootings in Tuscon and says now is the time for them to apologize:
This whole Tuscon Tragedy was the big, red “Do Not Push” button for liberals.Although the author graciously offers the media left a way out of a bad situation which is entirely of their own making, we doubt that few, if any, will step up to the plate. That requires having a code of honor, a least a degree of intellectual honesty and some sense of journalistic ethics. These are three qualities seriously lacking in an industry which sold its collective soul decades ago.
What do I mean by the above statement? Simple. Somehow or another, liberals were able to drag Sarah Palin and the Tea Party into this story (even though they had absolutely NOTHING to do with it). Furthermore, they were able to use this tragedy to discuss gun control, as well as speech control (two ideas that are dear to their hearts). Palin, gun control and controlling conservative speech is the liberal trifecta; therefore, with regard to this story, they just couldn’t control themselves.
So, if you lefties are really serious about the whole “new tone” thingy that you all have been whining about this entire week, might I suggest that you do two things. First off, you all really need to apologize to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and conservatives in general for implying that we were all accessories to mass murder (as well as for all of the degrading insults that you’ve thrown our way for the last two years). I mean, that was really appalling behavior and was totally beyond the pale. To quote Charles Blow (who I never thought that I’d quote):
[...]But a wrong in the service of righteousness is no less wrong, no less corrosive, no less a menace to the very righteousness it’s meant to support.Second of all–and most importantly–you guys in the liberal MSM really owe the victims of the Tuscon shooting, their families and the American people an apology.
You can’t claim the higher ground in a pit of quicksand.
Concocting connections to advance an argument actually weakens it. The argument for tonal moderation has been done a tremendous disservice by those who sought to score political points in the absence of proof.
Furthermore, until several days after the incident, most Americans probably had no idea about Jared Lee Loughner’s obvious signs of mental illness. So therefore, the American people were denied the debate that our country deserves with regard to how to recognize the signs of mental illness, as well as what to do about it (as Benjamin Kerstein explained in his poignant column).
In other words, the media’s need to “get the witch” was so strong, that it overpowered even their need to report the basic facts of the case. Everyone was talking about Sarah Palin’s “target” map, but no one even knew the victims’ names. (And to make matters worse, Sarah Palin is now getting death threats.) Seriously, shame on you guys in the press. If you all want your “new tone”, then you need to man up, suck it up and apologize first–otherwise, all of your pleas to “end the divisive rhetoric’ will sound insincere. Like Mr. Blow said, you can’t claim the moral ground while standing in quick sand. Your “by any means necessary” approach has failed. If you call out for help and reach out an arm by offering a sincere apology, then we will help pull you up. Otherwise, you can all continue to sink in the muck together. The choice is yours.