The same people who had blamed Sarah Palin for the massacre at the Tucson Safeway and then taunted her for her “silence” were enraged when she responded.
Last Tuesday, the night before Palin responded, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann mocked Palin’s silence throughout his show:
— “And why is the ever self-promoting Miss Palin so quiet?”
— “And it’s quiet, isn’t it?”
— “It’s too quiet.”
— “The silence is deafening from the great Northwest.”
It was deemed an admission of guilt that she hadn’t spoken about the Tucson shooting or denied the accusations that she had inspired the shooter.
The next day, Palin posted a video response, and Keith immediately attacked her for “the worst timed political statement ever.” It’s almost as if liberals would attack Palin whatever she did.
Olbermann sneered about Palin’s use of the phrase “blood libel,” scoffing, “This, to Sarah Palin, is analogous to what is happening to her.” No, not only happening to her, but to all right-wingers, tea partiers, Republican politicians, and conservative radio and TV hosts — all of whom have been accused of complicity in murder.
On the day of the Arizona massacre, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva blamed the “Palin express.” The father of Gabrielle Giffords, one of the victims, blamed “the whole Tea Party.” The sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, who had failed to lock Loughner up despite repeated arrests and other contacts, blamed “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” (Dumbnik also said: “We’re not convinced that he acted alone.”)
A comment on Gawker the day of the attack said: “Palin … you now have more than just elk blood on your hands.”
The next day, New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly wrote, with stunning originality: “Palin may have the blood of more than some poor caribou on her hands.” (See — he changed “elk” to “caribou.”)
In an especially prissy “Special Comment” the night of the shooting, Olbermann said that if Sarah Palin “does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics.” Ditto for Rep. Allen West, ex-candidate Sharron Angle, Rep. Giffords’ opponent Jesse Kelly and “the Tea Party leaders.”
In response to the Arizona shooting, the governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, banned state employees from going on talk radio, telling reporters he had been a victim of rhetorical violence himself, citing the title of one of my columns from four years ago: “They Shot the Wrong Lincoln.”