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Crosshairs and Consequences

The 2012 Presidential Campaign Officially Begins

Crosshairs and Consequences

Just surveyor's marks.

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Dan Savage And Aaron Huffman

An insane young man goes on a shooting rampage. With his legally purchased semiautomatic, he fires a bullet point-blank into the head of a popular young Democratic congresswoman—the wife of an astronaut—and then fires into the crowd surrounding her. His victims include a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, born on 9/11, who had just been elected to her school's student council. Thanks in part to the quick thinking of a 20-year-old gay Hispanic intern, the congresswoman survives the assassination attempt. The nation's first black president leads the nation in a moment of silence.

No author could get away with putting that sequence of events into a novel or movie; the symbolism is too heavy-handed, the drama too hackneyed. It's too unrealistic for anything but real life. But it really happened: On Saturday, Jared Lee Loughner allegedly shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, fatally wounding six, including federal judge John McCarthy Roll and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.

Also unrealistic: the reactions to the shooting. In an editorial published at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning, conservative magazine National Review quickly moved to apoliticize the shooter: "Jared Loughner is clearly deranged, his fevered mind drawn to irrational extremes, whether those of Adolf Hitler or Karl Marx." Not our fault, they're saying, and how dare you even try to make it political by implying it was political? By Tuesday morning, "thoughtful" right-wing hack David Brooks was saying in the New York Times that "the evidence before us suggests that Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it" and that charges that Loughner's actions were political "were made despite the fact that the link between political rhetoric and actual violence is extremely murky."

But an attempted assassination of a member of the United States House of Representatives is by definition a political act. Though the murder of Judge Roll appears to have been a terrible misfortune—he just happened to be in the shopping center parking lot and wandered over to say hello—the assault on Giffords was premeditated.

Loughner kept a three-year-old form letter from Giffords in a locked safe in his room; he had complained to friends that she didn't live up to his expectations; he didn't find her smart or authentic enough, and she was presumably not willing to listen to his incoherent ideas about currency and mind control. In that safe, he also had documents referring to "my assassination," along with the phrase "I planned ahead" scrawled on an envelope. On some level, Loughner knew the attack was a political choice, even if his twisted ideas didn't align with any reasonable person's idea of a consistent ideology.

Do you know what else is a political act? Sarah Palin publishing a map with Democratic congressional districts in crosshairs. Palin ordering her followers "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" on Twitter in March of 2010. Giffords's opponent in the 2010 election, Jesse Kelly, publishing an ad promoting an M16 shooting party at a firing range to "Get on Target for Victory" in order to "remove Gabrielle Giffords from office." One man was arrested after he dropped a gun on the ground at a Giffords rally in 2009; another coward smashed her Tucson office's window on March 21, 2010—the night the health care reform bill was passed.

More political acts: thousands of teabagger signs at rallies across the country in the last two years promoting armed insurrection against Democrats who dared to pass legislation—health care reform—that they had campaigned and won on.

When writing political copy or giving a political speech—or tweeting a political tweet—you are speaking not just to "real Americans" but to crazy Americans. Any elected official who has ever sat through a town hall meeting knows this. Crazy people gravitate toward politics. Politics is the discourse of the people, and it's the one public sphere where all have to be heard, even the nuts. Attend any town hall meeting or call for public comment on even the most mundane public policy issues—a new park, an addition to a children's hospital—and you will see at least one clearly crazy person step up to the microphone to say crazy shit (the barbecues at the new park give off carcinogens that will render the whole neighborhood barren, say, or the children's hospital is funded by the Freemasons). The elected official politely thanks the crazy person for his question and changes the subject. Even brand-new elected officials understand this: Don't confront the crazy. Don't affirm or deny anything they say. Don't feed the crazy. And most importantly, don't be crazy yourself.

And here's why: because when politics goes crazy—when politicians go crazy—the crazies go crazier.

Palin's advisers tried to claim this week that those were "surveyor marks" on her now-infamous map, not crosshairs. But no matter how many aides Palin fires, no matter how furiously she backpedals, this shooting is her legacy. Sarah Palin did not put a gun into Jared Lee Loughner's hands—though Republicans did make sure he could legally purchase a semiautomatic handgun, another political act—but Sarah Palin and her cronies have spent the past two years cranking crazies like Loughner up.

Palin is the monstrous love child of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and she long ago crossed the line between hateful rhetoric and incitement to violence. Palin was warned again and again that her violent imagery was getting dangerous, that she was stoking the flames of the fringes with language that insinuated a coup d'état was necessary. Pundits, politicians, and even the intended target of this weekend's attack all tried to warn her. When Palin's crosshairs map debuted in March of 2010, Giffords told MSNBC, "The way that [Palin] has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action."

When faced with the criticisms of Giffords and many others—way too many to list here—Palin rolled her eyes, shrugged it off, and ratcheted up her violent rhetoric.

If Republicans want to recover from this catastrophe, if they want to make amends for this tragedy, it's going to take more than blame-shifting, responsibility-dodging opinion pieces. They have to do more than merely disassociate themselves from Palin and the violent language Palin has employed to "excite the base"—and crank up the crazies—for the last two years. They have to make Palin a pariah.

The general public is already disassociating from Palin: The day of the shooting, her 2012 stock at Intrade collapsed, predicting an even larger decline in Palin's already-weak showing with moderates and independents. Palin's stock will fall farther should she decide to run for president. Candidate Palin will have to come out of hiding—where the hell is she?—and she will be forced to answer for Loughner outside of the Fox News bubble.

Last weekend was spectacularly bad for Sarah Palin, but it was good for Mitt Romney. (Was that a dig against Palin in Romney's one statement on the incident? It read, "Today's horrifying shooting in Tucson shocks the conscience of decent Americans everywhere." Any mention of "decent Americans" in the wake of the shooting feels directed at Palin.) The Mormon from Massachusetts is practically the only seeming moderate in the Republican Party, and his 2012 campaign, which has been endorsed by party elders like George H. W. Bush, will surely receive a bump when the last few "decent Americans" who support Palin slink away.

While Romney is just as guilty as every other Republican of engaging in the idolatry of Reagan-worship, he's the only one in the current crop who has a chance to woo moderates with his small-government shtick. He's Senator John Kerry to Sarah Palin's Governor Howard Dean—he's "electable," she's "hotheaded." Nobody on earth has ever felt strongly about anything Mitt Romney has ever said, and that might be his greatest strength going into the Republican presidential race after last weekend.

But just because Sarah Palin should go away, that doesn't mean she will go away. And begging for civility out of teabaggers is like trying to convince a treeful of chimpanzees to stop masturbating. In many ways, it's up to the media to stop swooning over everything the extreme right wing says or does—we have to stop helping the people who are cranking up the crazy—which, ultimately, means it's up to all of us to stop needlessly amplifying their hateful, violent rhetoric.

The bloodbath in Tucson opened the 2012 presidential campaign. If we don't find a way to elevate the discourse, it's all downhill from here. recommended

 

Comments (117) RSS

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1
Not liking the graphic at the top of the post.
Posted by pl on January 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM · Report this
2
@1 agreed, no need to stoop to their level. I think you can also take out the "allegedly" in paragraph 2.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on January 12, 2011 at 12:20 PM · Report this
3
i concur with #1. what's your motivation? don't be stupid!
Posted by ecaep on January 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM · Report this
4
Nice job waiting 4 days to get the story out with absolutely nothing new to add in the facts or analysis department.

Is this argument truly just holding together on the assumption that someone, somewhere, sometime will confirm Laughner was influenced by current partisan rhetoric? Or will it be enough to just confirm that he had heard the name Palin or Beck sometime in his life? And don't worry, it won't be difficult to elevate the level of discourse when we're already down here in the deepest fucking bullshit possible.
Posted by cliche on January 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM · Report this
TVDinner 5
I subscribe to the theory that Sarah Palin is a psychopath (no, really; I seriously think she is), and the thought that she defines the terms of so much of our public debate is horrifying.

Add mine to the voices objecting to her photo being in the crosshairs. Not funny right now.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
6
Boo, Stranger. Take that graphic down.
Posted by TSreader on January 12, 2011 at 1:11 PM · Report this
biffp 7
It's a great piece. I agree that truth is stranger than fiction in this case. I do think that decent Americans need to find a way to celebrate the lives of the victims while pledging that we're all going to work to marginalize the violent rhetoric that has slipped into the mainstream.

Even this week, Glenn Beck is saying that the death of Palin would bring down the Republic. Rush Limbaugh is accusing the Democrats of supporting the gunman. I know Fox News doesn't care what happens to the US, but there are millions of decent Americans who do. The death of that little girl feels to me like the death of hope for this country. It's just heartbreaking that Fox will take us over the edge for the sake of profits for the military industrial complex. Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of this country, but here it is meeting up with incitement to violence. Boycotts and whines lile Jon Stewart's are not going to fix this crisis.
Posted by biffp on January 12, 2011 at 1:14 PM · Report this
8
What's wrong with the image? Just surveyor's marks.
Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on January 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM · Report this
9
Politicizing the murderous rampage of a paranoid schizophrenic to score personal attention and partisan brownie points? Way to keep the high ground, there, Constant. You're no different from Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" bastards.

The Stranger editorial staff should be ashamed of themselves for putting this in print.
Posted by GW on January 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM · Report this
10
excellent piece!
Posted by Feral Man on January 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM · Report this
11
@8 Do you really want to parrot Palin, even if you think it's a joke? Is this supposed to be funny? Spend all that time criticizing the other side's imagery then using it yourself?
Posted by carnivorous chicken on January 12, 2011 at 1:34 PM · Report this
12
"begging for civility out of teabaggers is like trying to convince a treeful of chimpanzees to stop masturbating."

Awesome!
Posted by clint on January 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM · Report this
13
the image is pretty fitting as sarah palin herself has now become a target.

@ cliche: this is a once-a-week magazine.
and you seem to be missing the point. it isn't that anyone can prove he was influenced by palin or anyone else. it's that palin and tea party conservatives are defending their actions and seem unwilling to admit that anything they say or do is their responsibility. the point is that there is always someone listening, and always someone who is going to take it too far and there already has been, whether you include loughner in that or not.
instead of saying "how we framed our message in the past was wrong, so let's start a healthy discourse on politics and the upcoming elections" they have all just simply complained about being attacked, trying to pretend they are victims.
Posted by cuw on January 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
14
Funny, when you call for civility, you use the inflammatory "teabagger" and put the former governor in cross-hairs? You need to get out and meet the non-broadway crowd at least once/year!

Maybe you should read your own drivel once in awhile.

Or do some research. How about the Democrat Leadership Council that used bullseye targets?
http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid…
"The heartland strategy begins by choosing likely targets for Democratic gains"
"Behind enemy lines" ...etc.

Or the multitude of tweets calling for the death of Ms. Palin:
http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/12/dozens…

Or calling for the Republican governor in Florida to be put up against a wall and shot:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/belt…
"Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."

Posted by socialismSux on January 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM · Report this
15
As a resident of Massachusetts for the past decade, I have to disagree with "Nobody on earth has ever felt strongly about anything Mitt Romney has ever said," but otherwise, great piece.
Posted by StrangerFan on January 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 16
"we have to stop helping the people who are cranking up the crazy—which, ultimately, means it's up to all of us to stop needlessly amplifying their hateful, violent rhetoric."

"And by that I mean let's put an article about it on the front page of the ultra liberal Stranger. It's not like this won't be linked to the next round of fundraiser requests from Tea Party central, showing how they need to band together to fight against this liberal smear."
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on January 12, 2011 at 1:50 PM · Report this
17
@8 Is that supposed to be funny? Do you think anything about this is funny?
Posted by carnivorous chicken on January 12, 2011 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Hernandez 18
If you think the Stranger is taking an inappropriate stance on this incident, then stop reading.

If you think this piece drags down the discourse, then don't read it and don't comment on it.

If you want the political discourse in this country to be something other than what it is, then pay attention to what you think is appropriate and ignore the rest. That's your choice right there.

As for me, as much as I'm uncomfortable with the politicization, no one has proven that Loughner WASN'T motivated by violent right-wing rhetoric.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on January 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM · Report this
19
"In many ways, it's up to the media to stop swooning over everything the extreme right wing says or does—we have to stop helping the people who are cranking up the crazy—which, ultimately, means it's up to all of us to stop needlessly amplifying their hateful, violent rhetoric."

And how does Palin in the rifle crosshairs do this? I understand it's supposed to be "ironic", but right-wingers, especially the most crazy ones, do not understand irony. They can only see things in one way: everyone who attacks Palin is directly attacking them and that means it's time for all-out war. You shouldn't claim that it's our responsibility to try to ratchet down their psychoses and then simultaneously try to provoke them into a frothing rage with that pic.
Posted by just sayin stuff on January 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM · Report this
20
@13 - I'm not missing that point at all. That's exactly how I see the point. The difference is that you read through that argument and come away agreeing that the person falsely accused of inciting an assassination attempt should be the one apologizing and accepting some responsibility. That is only possible if you have a deep hatred towards that person in the way that Paul Constant has towards Sarah Palin.
Posted by cliche on January 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM · Report this
monet 21
@8, thank you. I know I shouldn't be smiling right now but I totally am.
Posted by monet on January 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM · Report this
22
You want to see hate-speech? Look to the left of the spectrum.

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the…

The left has been advocating (and practicing) political violence for a long, long time. And they're really good at inciting violence, and then pretending they didn't.

Palin's cross-hairs on a map are NOTHING compared to leftist thugs and goons. Lenin didn't get to power by giving out rainbows and unicorns.
Posted by nuh_uh on January 12, 2011 at 2:49 PM · Report this
23
While Sara Palin may not have put the gun directly in this man's hand. Putting out a map with names and crosshairs is incredibly irresponsible. I think it is safe to say that a political figure is under a certain amount of obligation to show diplomacy. Speak out about what you believe in, absolutely, but declaring war on your fellow politicians who presumably have the same ultimate goal of making America a better place is simply childish. There are so many implications at stake in this piece as well as in this tragedy. One could go on for hours about gun control, the Tea Party, the health care bill and how this country has gone to shit. But at the heart of the matter, Sara Palin used violent rhetoric to attack elected officials for upholding their beliefs and the beliefs of the citizens who entrusted them in this position. Sara Palin should simply fade off into the distance like a bad dream which over time becomes more and more difficult to recollect.
Posted by LadyChaCha on January 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM · Report this
24
@8 I'm not sure how you expect to honestly dispute an argument by giving the identical argument. Ineffective laziness on one hand, or adolescent ridiculousness on the other. If this is the scope of your intellect you may as well exclaim NEENER-NEENER-NEENER!! and call that the best you have as a critique in the matter...
Posted by ecaep on January 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM · Report this
25
"When writing political copy or giving a political speech—or tweeting a political tweet—you are speaking not just to "real Americans" but to crazy Americans."

Spot on. Great article.
Posted by mycose on January 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM · Report this
26
@8 ...hehe. funny pic.
Posted by fag on January 12, 2011 at 3:23 PM · Report this
27
I agree that it is irresponsible for a politician to use violent imagery. However, a whole number of things can incite the mentally ill with an inclination to violence, whether violent politics or a particularly horrible hallucination. Palin should have admitted the obvious use of violence in her rhetoric and called for a more civil form of discourse as well as for neutralization of this politicized situation. That she did none of those says more about her candidacy than anything else.
Posted by arrgh politics on January 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM · Report this
kerfuffle 28
I loathe Sarah Palin, but that graphic is immature and sinking to a level that needs not be sunk to. Anybody with a brain knows that those are not just surveyor's marks and Sarah's "people" are grasping at bullshit straws by claiming they are. No need to drive the point home with the same violent imagery she used. You guys are smarter than that.
Posted by kerfuffle on January 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
29
@22: The difference is that Michelle Malkin had to sift through the deepest cesspools of the internet to find examples of people nobody's ever heard of (with a few exceptions like that rock singer what's-er-name) saying or posting or doing stupid stuff associated with leftist politics... whereas the current controversy is about right-wing thought leaders with huge name recognition and huge influence -- people like Palin, Limbaugh, Beck -- saying incredibly incendiary stuff and not being held responsible for it.

This blog post makes the case nicely: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2…

I'm no fan of Democrats, by the way. I'm disgusted by any political or media figure who acts irresponsibly or dangerously. The focus is all on the Right at the moment because the normally lock-step Republican Party is currently without a strong leader, so the nutcases have grabbed the microphone and there's nobody to put them back in line (which hopefully will be meaningfully resolved by the time they nominate their Prez candidate; it'd be nice to have a return to a moderately intelligent political conversation in this country).
Posted by okalokee on January 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
Anthropomorhpise Me 30
Pot Kettle Black
Posted by Anthropomorhpise Me on January 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
31
When are we as Americans going to stop blaming the other side? It sickens me to think that a person or group of individuals (wether it be republican, democrate, liberal, moderate, so on and so forth) can not hold themselves responsible for reactions to thier clearly adolecent rehtoric. I am ashamed to be an American when I see cross hairs placed on anyone as a symbol for change. To me as a father of three, fairly intelligent, grown man I feel that is sending to both me or what we deem as the crazies that we want that person eliminated by all cost death being one of them. It's this rehtoric that makes Americans look pathetic. It's this bickering that has our children lacking in the class room, its this rehtoric that has our economy in the dump. I am tired of people blaming the other side and not calling for change within themselves. Yes it wasn't Sarah Palin who killed those people in Tuscon but she did nothing to stop it with her graphic in March did she? And these are the people we want leading this country?
Posted by tired of stupid people on January 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM · Report this
32
It would have been much more clever to actually use surveyor's marks* instead of cross-hairs at the top of this piece.

*If there actually is such a thing, of course.
Posted by Felix Frankfurter on January 12, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
notfloats 33
Okay, this is silly. For the people who claim there's no proof that Loughner didn't have political motivations, I guess there's never enough proof for some people.

As the folks over at Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/…), Politico (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/011…), The Guardian, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan…), and the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/us/10s…) have reported with ample documentation, Loughner's seemingly incoherent ramblings are anything but for members of the far right conspiracy fringe (the very people to whom sister Sarah and the Beckster are cult heroes).

The thoroughly antigovernment Sovereign Citizens ideology (that the government has been seeking to control the minds of the people since the country's founding and have used instruments like the grammar and phraseology of the Constitution, the public education system, the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and the media at large to accomplish it) seems crazy to normal people, but isn't that far off in tone or substance from the whackier things that Beck and Palin say.

That Beck and Palin feed the crazy by, say, recommending that his viewers read the pamphlet of French anarchist would-be revolutionaries to be prepared, or using gun-related images and rhetoric is grossly irresponsible. The false-equivalency with anything that even the crazies on the left in this country have done or said is preposterous. Code pink doesn't threaten revolution and Dennis Kucinich doesn't support "Second Amendment Remedies" to the Republican Ohio legislature's decision to gerrymander him out of his district (though Republican Nevada Senate candidate - running to actually be a Senator... for real, no joke... - told her supporters that's what they should do if they lost).

Sarah Palin knows what she's done is wrong. And so do her supporters. If they didn't know it, why on earth would they backpedal from the gunsight thing in the first place. Those aren't surveyors marks, and if you want to use gunsights to target your political opponents, and you think that's the kind of thing that fosters healthy debate in this democracy, then have the fucking courage of your convictions. If not, then not only do you want to undermine our political discourse and public safety, but you also want to be free from the consequences of your actions. So much for personal responsibility.

If you still disagree with me, ask yourself one question: Why should we hold Jared Loughner to a higher standard than Sarah Palin?
More...
Posted by notfloats on January 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
34
theres been no politician in my lifetime that I dislike as much as palin , but your stance here is just plain embarrassing! I guess your all just feeling guilty for speaking up during the decade of bush. I cant wait for 2012, if palin actually gets elected and you make a point to "tone down the rhetoric". Did u see the best friend interview this morning on ABC? this shooter probably hates beck and limbaugh more than you do! I cant tell if your being dishonest or just making a contribution to the possible fight against palin in 12'. If its the latter than I guess I'll shut up and request that you scrub my comment for the cause.
Posted by porchedge on January 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM · Report this
35
@ 32. great suggestion
Posted by porchedge on January 12, 2011 at 6:26 PM · Report this
36
@32: Awesome suggestion. Kind of a no-brainer really. Surprised The Stranger didn't jump on it. Real surveyors marks are very distinguishable from crosshairs, and it would have made the point perfectly. Instead, the stranger jumped right into the mud with Palin on this one.
Posted by ClintF on January 12, 2011 at 7:03 PM · Report this
37
Hah! Isn't this just like how it always goes?

Republicans hoot and holler and yell and scream nothing but hate speech, but the very SECOND somebody calls them on it they say, "Well, this one really obscure guy on your side said this one minor comment once 5 years ago, so YOU'RE THE BAD GUYS NOT US!!!!! HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ANYTHING WE EVER DOOOOO!??!!?!?"

Gimmie a break. There's never been such a clear line drawn between the sane and the crazy in politics, and I hate to break it to you, Rep's, but you're not on the sane side of the line.
Posted by Wake up and smell the Coffee on January 12, 2011 at 7:23 PM · Report this
38
I'm not convinced that heated rhetoric has anything to do with this shooting. But I am convinced that you are a wonderful writer Paul. I really enjoy your style, keep doing what you do!
Posted by scratchmaster joe on January 12, 2011 at 7:32 PM · Report this
javaboy7962 39
"When writing political copy or giving a political speech—or tweeting a political tweet—you are speaking not just to "real Americans" but to crazy Americans."

This is true. I think people are always looking for a fight, but they should be looking for sincere debates. The problem is reasoned, researched debates with logical arguments and rebuttals are not compelling to the masses.

My wish is for the politicians in this nation to slow down and listen to each other's views. And everyone needs to use an inside voice.
Posted by javaboy7962 on January 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM · Report this
40
I don't understand the problem some people have with the graphic at the top of the page. Sarah Palin herself doesn't have a problem with it. How do I know? Because she had her own crosshairs map up for over a year. Because she only took it down under party pressure. Because she has clearly stated that it had nothing to do with the attack in Arizona, influenced no one and incited nothing. So where's the harm of the Stranger using it on her? If it's no big deal and this sort of thing doesn't hurt anyone, as every Republican out there has been maintaining, then where's the problem? Palin herself would have to defend this, or else undermine everything she's said about what happened in Arizona.
Posted by FLgirl on January 12, 2011 at 7:56 PM · Report this
Coggie 41
Oh come on. Violent-sounding rhetoric is the fault of all kinds of people, left and right. Should we censor books next for fear the crazies amongst us go crazy and start shooting? The only thing Sarah Palin is guilty of is utter self-centered stupidity.

PS. Stop blanketing all Tea Party supporters with the L cross-hairs, btw. They're not all Aryan Nazis.
Posted by Coggie http://milkineggs.blogspot.com/ on January 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM · Report this
42
Palin wants us to believe her when she says those were "surveyor's sights" on her anti-Democrat map. Because so many Americans have used surveyor's equipment and know what their symbols look like. She is lying and thinks we're too stupid to know it.

I remember the republican's going ape-shit because Clinton lied about the bj from Lewinsky. But they are only much too happy to swallow the lies from Palin. But the one's who are not stupid fall in to lock step with the party talking points because they simply can't admit that what they are supporting is wrong at best and evil to the core.
Posted by montex on January 12, 2011 at 9:36 PM · Report this
43
Guys, I'm totally as left as they come.

This picture of Palin that you're publishing is wrong. I really really hope that this isn't the cover of next issue, because you're pushing the boundaries of taste, decency and political speech.

You in the media have the same responsibility that Palin does not to publish stuff like this. It's the same reason people don't tend to publish suicides except in very exceptional circumstances - because people on the edge see it as a message.

You're better than this. I hope.
Posted by Simon Cooke on January 12, 2011 at 9:48 PM · Report this
44
"Crazy people gravitate toward politics."

"And begging for civility out of teabaggers is like trying to convince a treeful of chimpanzees to stop masturbating. "

Two of my favorite lines from this magnificent article.
Posted by MacGruber on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM · Report this
45
If you want to promote civility, you could stop labeling your political opponents with vulgar slurs like "teabaggers". If I didn't know better, I'd say your rhetoric was promoting a climate of hatred and intolerance.
Posted by Typical on January 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM · Report this
46
Palin, that slut bitch cunt whore skank, I'd have a lot more respect-ok I'd have respect for her if she'd say "In light of what happened in Arizona I'll chose less violent imagery to get my message across" but NO, she or her handlers try to WEASEL out by saying that they're SURVEYER MARKS-yeah people who are desperate to believe will believe it.

PALIN, you fucking yeasty used tampon of a person, KEEP TALKING,,, so everyone knows what a fucking EMPTY HEADED cum-dumpster you are.
Posted by xxxSTEVExxx on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM · Report this
Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall 47
There is an on line petition at
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/IndictSP/p… which calls for the Dept of Justice to indict Palin for incitement to violence. It has over 4,300 signatures.
Posted by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall http://www.stuartbramhall.com on January 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM · Report this
48
@14, I hope the map in that first link doesn't incite some wacko to throw a dart at the state of Nevada!
Posted by aiff on January 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM · Report this
49
@45: The term "teabagger" wasn't coined by the left, but by the tea party's own people. They used it first, because like you, they are apparently unable to Google. It took me five seconds to find this: http://theweek.com/article/index/202620/…

If they said it, why can't we?
Posted by FLgirl on January 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM · Report this
50
I think that graphic is the best part of this article. And Sarah insists that there is nothing wrong with this imagery. Really, she does. If it's OK with her, why are you ninnies so upsets? Take it down when Sarah personally calls and asks you to take it down, and make sure she gives you a quote about why it might offend her or upset her or scare her.
Posted by jussmbdy on January 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM · Report this
Descartes 51
A European view: The US has already been taken over by the far right -- Fascists, or whatever you want to call them doesn't matter. But there's so much nitpicking going on among the rest of those Americans who are "politically conscious" that you're making it easy for them to commit atrocities of all kinds, to your long-established constitutional system, your economic system, your deceitful foreign affairs, and invasions that result again and again in mass murder, and yet end always in failure. Fact: the Japanese killed around 250,000 people in the Philippines during WW2, while 50 years earlier during the US provoked Spanish-American War US troops fresh from massacring native Americans killed over one million Filipinos. Fact: Despite the most advanced hardware, technology, and trillions of paper dollars, name one war the US has won since 1945 -- Korea? Vietnam? Laos? Cambodia? Indonesia (under Ike's time at the helm)? Angola? Cuba? Your choice of the Balkans? Timor? Somalia (Mogadishu is smaller than Sacramento)? Grenada hardly counts since there were so few "enemies", and Panama was only a kidnapping with horrific collateral damage (restricted to the slums)? Guatemala was a coup by the CIA, like Allende's murder in Chile. Nicaragua was a proxy war ultimately lost by the US. Iraq? Afghanistan, plus the incidental destruction of Pakistan? Next North Korea? Failures. But US corporations have profited hugely from all of them, while the US killed millions -- and failed again and again. The US financial collapse was loudly predicted for 1999, and every year since, with warnings in great detail. Yet Americans are so negligent that shit happens and nobody seems to notice, except to belly-ache and bitch at each other. You blame Obama when he's "in irons" trying to deal with the piranha on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and their corporate lobbyists, whose masters keep their headquarters offshore so they pay no taxes. And those that don't go offshore are freed of taxes by legislation. You're going down the toilet while the rest of the world watches. The spirit of 1968 has gone out of you, and you're flaccid. What a pity! Can't get it up anymore?
More...
Posted by Descartes on January 13, 2011 at 12:22 AM · Report this
hugop007 52
This guy was not crazy he was a Republican. He was part of the Tea Party and I am glad this article was printed here. His actions are a direct consequence of the violence incited by Sarah Palin. They both need to be made to pay for their actions.
Posted by hugop007 on January 13, 2011 at 12:50 AM · Report this
hugop007 53
Jared Loughner is not crazy he is a Republican. He was part of the Tea Party and I am glad this article was printed here. His actions are a direct consequence of the violence incited by Sarah Palin. They both need to be made to pay for their actions.
Posted by hugop007 on January 13, 2011 at 12:52 AM · Report this
hugop007 54
@1 ad @2 I agree with both of you.
Posted by hugop007 on January 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM · Report this
Free Busch On Tuesday 55
I am surprised by the amount of conservative posts in here... The Stranger has apparently stirred enough of a nest to attract some conservative hornets. It is for the best. The only way one reaches compromise is when someone proposes an extreme position and then people settle for the middle.
Posted by Free Busch On Tuesday on January 13, 2011 at 4:24 AM · Report this
56
Love the picture.

I wouldn't feel bad if that dumb bitch got capped.
Posted by smitty on January 13, 2011 at 5:09 AM · Report this
TurboKitty 57
I was listening to Thom Hartmann yesterday and was given to understand that her own picture with the same "crosshairs" over-lay, made her feel scared and uncomfortable ... hmmm ... I was one of the many people on Facebook that held that as my profile picture for 24 hours in Facebook ... fight fire with fire when all else fails ...
Posted by TurboKitty http://www.grassrootsinternetradio.com/ on January 13, 2011 at 6:51 AM · Report this
58
So, why is the race of the congresswoman's intern relevant? The Stranger wouldn't be race baiting, would they? Not again!
Posted by Sausagefingers on January 13, 2011 at 7:23 AM · Report this
59
So I guess Paul subscribes to the philosophy that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Pathetic and embarrassing that this seems to be the best that The Stranger can do. One of our leading mouthpieces of progressivism in Seattle can't seem to rise above the level of discourse of a 12-year-old boy. It's no wonder we can't beat 'em...
Posted by Disappointed former Stranger reader on January 13, 2011 at 9:05 AM · Report this
60
If any of you really truely believe that a picture of crosshairs over an image is worthy of censorship, you should probably just wipe your ass with a piece of toiletpaper after writing "free speech" on it. This is the stranger, of course they've written a leftist opinion / news article complete with a matching graphic.
If you want to be pissed about something, how about a lack of mental health care in our culture. Maybe if being "crazy" was actually a condition we showed some compassion for and not one of the first social services to always be cut, there would be fewer incoherant violant people to be wary of.
Posted by Rainboibrite on January 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
61
I like Sarah Palin as much as most of the other Stranger readers and would love to see her fade into the woodwork and never hear her name mentioned again, ever. Her only saving grace is that she is totally unelectable.

That said, show me the direct link between Palin's cross-hairs, I mean survey markers, and this psycho opening fire. They found in his safe letters stating that he was upset because he wasn't being heard when he suggested that grammar and currency needed to be changed.

How is that relevant to the cross-hairs map discussing health care reform?

Then to add that image on the front of this article? It's been mentioned in previous comments, why are we, the left, lowering ourselves to Sarah Palin's level? I just assume be the bigger person in this situation.
Posted by kcharm on January 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM · Report this
michaelp 62
The idea that people like Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rush Limbaugh, etc., pushed Mr. Loughner over the edge I believe is incorrect.

I'm pretty sure it has already been stated, but the real troubling fact is that all of this violent rhetoric has desensitized us as a nation. Not in the way that folks blame video games and rap music. Rather, while ten years ago, hearing someone discuss killing a member of Congress would be so out of the norm, that any normal person, seeing a crazy make comments to that end, would act.

But it is to the point now where we are so used to hearing violent rhetoric, that it is hard to take anyone seriously when they make comments about actual violence.

And that is just sad.
Posted by michaelp on January 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM · Report this
63
"No author could get away with putting that sequence of events into a novel or movie . . ."
and yet, I'm reminded of "The World According to Garp", which (like the movie "Network") seems less and less scathing satire and more and more dead-on prophetic.
Posted by Reed B on January 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM · Report this
64
"I wouldn't feel bad if that dumb bitch got capped. "

Irony is lost on lefties, isn't it??

@51 to Descartes: Your ignorance of European history is as boundless as your apparent contempt for American history. Oceans of blood have been spilled in Europe -- past and present. Before you start in with your whining about America and its problems, perhaps you should pass a basic European history class.
Posted by nuh_uh on January 13, 2011 at 11:14 AM · Report this
hugop007 65
@51 you are right on I am with you bro!
Posted by hugop007 on January 13, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
66
i hate the image you have chose for this article. It is exactly the negative and violent rhetoric that causes problems. I understand it is free speech, but use power responsibly
Posted by bindera on January 13, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
wench 67
So, why is the race of the congresswoman's intern relevant? The Stranger wouldn't be race baiting, would they? Not again!

His race is important because it's Arizona and he's Hispanic. Arizona has a law that can reasonably be interpreted to mean if someone looks "illegal" (ie, Hispanic), police are required to stop them and ask for ID. It is actually important in the context of the Arizona political scene.
Posted by wench on January 13, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
68
What a hate-filled, inflammatory, child-minded, brainwashed-inspired piece of crap. And to top it off with that image. Yikes.
Posted by Cletus on January 13, 2011 at 3:44 PM · Report this
69
I forgot to mention intellectually dishonest and hypocritical. Hate speech has been flowing both ways for some time and I divorced myself from it long ago. You and many other liberal commenters here demonstrate that point from the loony left. I look at both you Democratic and Republic sheep with distain. Can't you see the real differences between the two parties are too miniscule to matter? You are doing their biding, you cretinous lemmings. Fight on as I smugly judge you, and your little right-wing dogs, too. I see you as equals and I have assumed the smugness you once claimed as your own.
Posted by Cletus on January 13, 2011 at 4:02 PM · Report this
70
@64- Check Smitty's comment history. He's not a leftist, just an asshole.

What does Europe's history of violence (five decades old, mostly) have to do with America's rapid slide towards authoritarianism?
Posted by dwight moody on January 13, 2011 at 4:05 PM · Report this
71
Just showed this article to my children who laughed and laughed at the hypocrisy of the piece. How can a 11 and 13 year old see it and not the author or his excrement slinging supporters.
Posted by paulhigley on January 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM · Report this
72
"What does Europe's history of violence (five decades old, mostly)"

Try 3000+ years. Ever open a book?
Posted by nuh_uh on January 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
73
Paul, if you're going to tit-for-tat with crazys, I suggest you school yourself with this website:

http://www.27bslash6.com/

cheers!
Posted by fotoeve on January 13, 2011 at 4:36 PM · Report this
pdonahue 74
Paul, give this plea for sanity speech to Chris Frizzelle and Dan Savage, two people who consistantly published articals supporting gulf war II on the basis that it would "modernize" the Islamic world. Apparently irony and controversy sell more ads than civility and carefuly thought out editorials. That's why Palin works for Fox news, she sells ad space. It's too late to ask for space to breathe.

Now we have a dead 9 year old to look at when we make this shit up and publish it as edgy, hip and post-colonial. Make it up to her and go to lobby Olympia on MLK day.
Posted by pdonahue on January 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM · Report this
75
I'm astounded at the shallow, fact free pseudo-analysis on display. "On some level, Loughner knew the attack was a political choice" Really Paul??

And just how do you know this 48 hours in exactly? Your vile, repellent article is devoid of any understanding that most likely (note, unlike you a supposed "journalist" I don't speak with absolution and certainty when I don't have it) most likely Lougner is a schizophrenic who has never been treated. Most of the facts that have come out support this.

I really don't give a shit about the fact-free disgusting spew from Palin, Beck and Limabaugh et. al because I expect it from them. But as I've always been a strong supporter of liberal causes, you and your ilk are why I no longer will as I see there isn't much difference in the shameless loose play with reality.

"Do you know what else is a political attack? Sarah Palin...." Yeah, fantastic debate there too asshole. Not much different then when Bush attacked Iraq after 9/11 right? They didn't attack on that day--Hussein was a real bad guy but come on, let's go to war with him! See where I'm coming from? Probably not because you already have figured out what happened. Not much different to me.

"he had complained to friends that she didn't live up to his expectations" that's pretty strong investigative work there. Can't wait for more fine work from you.
Posted by Disgusted with No Facts on January 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM · Report this
76
I'm astounded at the shallow, fact free pseudo-analysis on display. "On some level, Loughner knew the attack was a political choice" Really Paul??

And just how do you know this 48 hours in exactly? Your vile, repellent article is devoid of any understanding that most likely (note, unlike you a supposed "journalist" I don't speak with absolution and certainty when I don't have it) most likely Lougner is a schizophrenic who has never been treated. Most of the facts that have come out support this.

I really don't give a shit about the fact-free disgusting spew from Palin, Beck and Limabaugh et. al because I expect it from them. But as I've always been a strong supporter of liberal causes, you and your ilk are why I no longer will as I see there isn't much difference in the shameless loose play with reality.

"Do you know what else is a political attack? Sarah Palin...." Yeah, fantastic debate there too asshole. Not much different then when Bush attacked Iraq after 9/11 right? They didn't attack on that day--Hussein was a real bad guy but come on, let's go to war with him! See where I'm coming from? Probably not because you already have figured out what happened. Not much different to me.

"he had complained to friends that she didn't live up to his expectations" that's pretty strong investigative work there. Can't wait for more fine work from you.
Posted by Disgusted with No Facts on January 13, 2011 at 10:23 PM · Report this
77
No doubt media influences attitudes and events, and it certainly played a role in the actions of the distorted soul who shot a member of the House, so why don't we try distancing ourselves from the inflammatory left and right wing rhetoric and try thinking for ourselves for a change? Identify with issues rather than people and quit sucking up to people like Palin who play to the lowest common denominator. The scariest thing about this country is that we have so much power in the hands of so many who know so very little. Read, learn, make intelligent decisions, for a change.
Posted by closet_socialist on January 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM · Report this
78
i could not find a link to yr cover. that cover seals the deal. the constant piece is very good, but lacks an irrefutable chain of causality—which is what you need. the cover lists politicians killed, politicians shot, & party affiliations, & they are all verifiable facts. there is also historical record to show that the yawhoooooooos were ginned up before many of these assassinations. read thom hartmann's legacy of lies. google the term "stochastic terrorism"...
Posted by rv branham on January 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM · Report this
Knat 79
Personally, I'm with those that say the "surveyor's marks" are a poor choice. I understand the choice in the context, however it will still be used as justification for more GOP fund raising through scare tactics, as one commenter...er, commented. And changing it now would solve nothing, as Google caching will make sure it can still be found, and we all know what sticklers for accuracy Fox and right-wing talk radio are.

To those here in the comments (and elsewhere, I suppose) calling for Sarah Palin's murder, I would ask that they first really think about the repercussions of such an event. We don't want Sarah Palin murdered. Setting aside of course the fact that no decent person should say such and mean it, that would make her a martyr that people could rally behind. The conservatives in this country already venerate Reagan as the president who could do no wrong. Do you want Sarah Palin idolized in much the same way?

No, I think her living to a ripe old age and having to live with having been Sarah Palin is far crueler. When she's telling her great-great grandchildren (and it looks like she may actually live to see them, if the family trend continues), it will be that much sadder, coming from the bitter, wretched husk she will no doubt become. The tragic story of the most mocked and most hated beauty queen/college dropout/politician/hockey mom/pit bull/trend-setter/author/pundit/"reality" TV star/mama grizzly/has-been that you ever heard. And she would be more than happy to share the story with you any time you meet her at the old folks' home. She doesn't get any visitors anymore.
Posted by Knat on January 14, 2011 at 12:13 AM · Report this
80
That foreign rascal who pointed-out our violent history forgot to mention that we Americans are only continuing a long tradition we inherited from Europe. One can argue that Europe started to get tired of their violent ways after the spanking of WW2. We Americans are still going strong within our borders and without. We'll finally slow down when we get our own spanking. Who's going to do it and when? Where on earth can one go to lie low 'til it all blows over? Europe?
BTW, those are not crosshairs or surveyor's marks. They are badly done symbols of the BMW! Everyone knows that liberals drink chablis and drive beemers...right?
Posted by mareeOH! on January 14, 2011 at 5:20 AM · Report this
81
Fuck Palin. That graphic is just fine. She deserves it. If she and her supporters can't pull up their panties and take in the vitriol and hate that she dishes out, then they can go fuck themselves.
Posted by Smell on January 14, 2011 at 6:01 AM · Report this
82
"Fuck Palin. That graphic is just fine. She deserves it. If she and her supporters can't pull up their panties and take in the vitriol and hate that she dishes out, then they can go fuck themselves."

You're a hypocrite and an idiot. The Left has engaged in as much *or more* violent imagery and actual physical violence as the right. Just take a scroll through this page: http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the…

And then repeat what you just said to yourself in a mirror.

"She deserves it." She deserves what? To be shot? Pot to Kettle: You Are Black.
Posted by nuh_uh on January 14, 2011 at 8:16 AM · Report this
83
I fully intend to keep masturbating. I also want point out that I am a gun owner and am an advocate for owning guns *and* I vote democrat at least part of the time.

Here's my issue. With both parties I catch shit for having views that aren't in lockstep with the entire platform, ergo I don't consider myself to be either Democrat or Republican. Initially I liked the idea of the Tea Party until it was apparently hijacked by the GOP and subsequently marginalized if not outright derided by the Democratic contingent.

But I digress. The issue here is with a psychopathic murderer. While we are trying to pigeonhole him into the Republican camp maybe we should also say that since hs is a white male, his actions represent the ideals of all white males, Or maybe all twenty year olds, or maybe everyone in Arizona. The fact is he acted apparently alone and of his own volition and *that* is what needs to stand before the court.
Posted by Liberally Conservative on January 14, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
84
It's 2011 and it's way past time for journalists to quit labeling people when it serves no purpose as in "quick thinking of a 20-year-old gay Hispanic intern". If he had been white you wouldn't have labeled a "straight male caucasian".
Posted by JimRix on January 14, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
85
You guys are massive hypocrites. Both sides of the phony left/right paradigm are shamelessly hijacking what ever random, dissociative issue they please to promote their own political agenda. Loungher did not go mad because of political rhetoric from our politicians. Loughner was not driven to kill because of Palin's flier. He was a maniac who admitting didn't watch televised news. Let's not blame society, or attack free of speech because of the actions of one nut job.
Posted by Spindles on January 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM · Report this
86
You guys are massive hypocrites. Both sides of the phony left/right paradigm are shamelessly hijacking what ever random, dissociative issue they please to promote their own political agenda. Loungher did not go mad because of mainstream political rhetoric. Loughner was not driven to kill because of Palin's flier. He was a maniac who admitting didn't watch televised news. Let's not blame society, or freedom of speech based on the actions of one nutjob.
Posted by Spindles on January 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM · Report this
87
And, by the way, can we stop talking about Sara fucking Palin? She is being deliberately, and routinely injected into media discussions. Have you ever heard the expression that 'their is no such thing as bad press'?
Posted by Spindles on January 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
88
@84--I think the point was more that such a scenario (a young, gay, Hispanic man in immigration-crazy Arizona saves the life of the congresswoman) would be another reason that the whole scene would seem unrealistic in a novel.
Posted by sfswe on January 14, 2011 at 12:34 PM · Report this
89
Oh lordy...TheStranger had DAYS to see the over (READ WRONG) reaction by the liberal media, but they STILL ran a story saying Palin is to blame.

Ignorant and clueless is not a great way to run a paper.

Good for me, because I know what a rag it is, but to your readers...a disservice.
Posted by osage2112 on January 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM · Report this
90
Hey 51, get the fuck out...have a great time in Europe.

Stupid mother fucker.
Osage
Posted by osage2112 on January 14, 2011 at 2:08 PM · Report this
91
I applaud the content of this piece. However, the accompanying illustration--which may or may not be the author's doing--is every bit as hateful and inflammatory as the right-wing rhetoric he condemns.
Posted by lild on January 14, 2011 at 2:33 PM · Report this
92
I agree! I applaud the content of this piece, but the illustration--which the author may or may not be responsible for--is every bit as hateful and incendiary as the right-wing rhetoric he condemns.
Posted by lild on January 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM · Report this
93
@78 -- Sorry the cover isn't easier to find on our website. If you scroll to the very bottom of any page on our site, the cover is in the far left corner. But just for you we've added the image to this article -- it's there on the right-hand side.
Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on January 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM · Report this
94
Holy SHIT, BATMAN!!!!WTF????

I DO NOT like Sarah Palin, Sam-I-Am, but I would neither shoot her nor vote for her (yeah, RIGHT!)

Has the entire universe gone nuts???
R.I.P. Common Sense.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 14, 2011 at 5:22 PM · Report this
95
@1 and @2: I agree with you, too.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 14, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Report this
96
Great summary of the situation.

The only thing to add is a shout out to all the gun toating monkeys out there. If packing armor makes the world safer then why didn't you shoot the MFB? Leave your guns at home boy. Don't take your guns to town. :(
Posted by Jace mon on January 14, 2011 at 5:54 PM · Report this
tomm 97
This type of thing violates the principle used to make yelling "Fire!" in a crowded public hall illegal. Public figures have obvious influence over a large segment of population, including the crazies of 1%-3% that will violate any law and really aren't part of "civil society".

To use speech which by allegory, metaphor or outright hateful bigoted words on the public media carries with it the responsibility of free speech to not yell "Fire", it's not there to exploit an agenda, the guy wanting to burn the Koran in public is another example of where to draw the line, "cross-hairs" is over the line, except to tyrants and totalitarians ... I have a new campaign slogan for sweetie Sarah: Prison for Paulin!
Posted by tomm http://www.mallard-design.com on January 14, 2011 at 6:51 PM · Report this
98
Hey 51, and Europe hasn't? The Euros days are numbered as much as the dollar, but the euro's going first. We have all been conquered by globalist bankers (Bank of England, Federal Reserve), and we will all feel the wrath together.
Posted by Spindles on January 14, 2011 at 8:12 PM · Report this
99
Ummmm...would all of you dumbshits whining about the illustration please go to Google Images and type in "surveyors mark" please. Did that help you calm down a bit? @8 states the simple truth and only 2 commenters out of the next 90 seem to understand that the image on Palin's face is actually a surveyors mark. Pull your heads out please.
Posted by IFHTP on January 15, 2011 at 12:04 AM · Report this
100
I will no longer read the Stranger. Been reading it since the first issue came out here in seattle.

The Palin pic is inexcusable. Period.

If she was shot today, would you run an apology for it? Maybe the media should take on more responsibility than Sarah.
Posted by Sportsvideo on January 15, 2011 at 9:23 AM · Report this
101
@IFHTP Maybe since the mass majority still translate the "surveyor marks" as gun scopes, it should be noted.

Maybe that is also how crazies see gun scopes on photos. They may not be intended to incite violence, but if that's how they are defined....

99.9 percent of the world would agree.... those are crosshairs. .01 are surveyors.

Posted by Sportsvideo on January 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM · Report this
102
Nice piece--except you're making the same mistake that Palin did...no need for the crosshairs over her image. Your point is strong enough without it.
Posted by justanotherguy on January 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
103
I was banned immediately on Seattle Times for posting a slogan that I feel fits, but threatens the NRA too much:

BIG GUN = little penis
Posted by piper98118 on January 15, 2011 at 12:51 PM · Report this
slade 104
Much like Seattle Police as they contradict them selfs in the murders they are involved in?

As for the kid who the police thought had a knife in front of the cinemas on 4Th ave the training was run at the kid with the knife and push him as hard as you can into a brick wall?

"no" wait police training means if you see a man with a knife it means walk up close to him and start shouting commands and if he does not comply with demands or "cant" for any reason its good old fashion Seattle Police training that dictates to shoot the individual with in a 4 second time frame?

Spin Doctors are every where these days it seems? Politics are just as gross as the police seem to be the end result of the formula
Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on January 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this
105
Why would you resort to the same tactics as Sarah Palin by putting her in the crosshairs? I get your need for sensationalism, but could you be anymore hypocritical? Don't get me wrong. Palin is a domestic terrorist, but you employed the same unoriginal visual maneuver she used. She is quite capable of digging her own political grave with out your blatant visual literalism. There are 'crazies' on both sides of the political fence.
Posted by MR. C. on January 15, 2011 at 8:00 PM · Report this
106
@103

you felt it important enough to post at two boards calling people you disagree with names ??

also you posted two times about dicks?? really?? and you are proud of your insults?? really???

@ the stranger.. you slip further and further away from sanity. maybe it's time for some old guard to be let go, their agenda is tarnishing a once respected name.
Posted by oy on January 15, 2011 at 8:21 PM · Report this
DavidC 107
"... is like trying to convince a treeful of chimpanzees to stop masturbating."

Is that a Paul Constant original or is it inspired by something you read elsewhere? Wonderful article - nice balance of seriousness and sarcasm.
Posted by DavidC http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/ on January 16, 2011 at 8:13 AM · Report this
108
@ #8 if you believed that, you wouldn't have put it there. Of course, no one believes that, and right now that is a tacky, classless thing to be doing. Like her or not (please, not) you're no better than she is when you display that.

You're being trashy and for the first time in my 5 years following you guys, I'm disappointed with you.
Posted by mjax on January 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM · Report this
TVDinner 109
Trolleriffic!
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
110
@108: "@ #8 if you believed that, you wouldn't have put it there. Of course, no one believes that, and right now that is a tacky, classless thing to be doing. Like her or not (please, not) you're no better than she is when you display that."

Nice false equivalency, it shows you're entirely too dense to understand context.
Posted by entirely pathetic on January 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM · Report this
111
I'm a surveyor and that is not a surveyor's mark. Any jackass can tell that's a gun sight.
Posted by paulus44 on January 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM · Report this
112
Spoken, or rather written, like a true, dyed=in-the-wool Liberal, Mr. Constant. People like Loughner are Fn NUTS. Plain and simple. No matter how many fingers you and your liberal brethren point at conservatives, tea-partiers and everyone else who differs with your OPINION of the hows, whats and whys of todays political landscape and the decline of civilization as a whole, try to remember that the same liberals you side with got us into the boat we're in today. You throw stones at those same whakcos and crazies you claim the conservatives are riling up. You should beware what you write lest you be accused of the same rhetoric and flame fanning you make accusations of. Really hypocritical of you Pot. From the Kettle.
Posted by Ricky Retardo on January 17, 2011 at 2:34 PM · Report this
113
Do you seriously want to blame republicans for this? Loughner wanted to overthrow all government, democrat and republican alike. He thought the government was using religion to control the minds of the people, which would seem to suggest an anti-republican rhetoric (as it is mostly conservatives who promote the permeation of religion into other aspects of life). Insinuating that Loughner was driven by republicans solely on the basis that the congresswoman happened to be a democrat and that she happened to represent a district featured on Palin's map is an absurd leap of false logic that smacks of political bias on the writer's part. Make sure you aren't crazy yourself before you start calling other people crazy.
Posted by Justin Moe on January 17, 2011 at 8:50 PM · Report this
114
It's amusing how even people here who were able to recognize the terrible wrongness of the image feel obligated to say how much they hate Palin before doing so.

Really, is it necessary to establish your liberal street cred before stating the obvious?

I don't care about Palin, alright? I don't feel threatened by Palin, OK? I don't see her as having any significance in my life, now or in the future. She's a failed vice presidential candidate, not unlike John Edwards.

Do you really need to hang on her every word, act as though she is some significant figure on the political landscape and all that. Jesus people, relax.
Posted by Cletus on January 19, 2011 at 9:33 AM · Report this
115
Read your Jan 13th cover story. Wow, what a stunning article! Ignoring Jared’s family and friends statements that he is an extreme Liberal? Ignoring a New Your Times article stating Jared “hated Bush”?

Yet coming to the conclusion that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have fault and no mention of any fault from the Left?

Face it, far-left Jared attempted to murder the Congressional Representative 3 days after she voted to replace Pelosi.

Facebook page details his favorite book is The Communist Manifesto; his second favorite book was written by the leader of the German Socialist Workers Party.

His Facebook page details that his favorite movie is the anti-capitalist Zelgist the movie.
With lots of evidence he is a hard Progressive and no evidence regarding any right wing interest, you still conclude that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have ANY fault? Only someone as insane as Jared would publish your story.

One—you need to have a Cover retraction of this story if you hope anyone will ever give any article or review in the Stranger any journalistic credence in the future. That’s right—Cover.

Two—anyone with gatekeeping ability to have prevented this journalistic embarrassment from being published as written needs to be terminated.

Three – using the word Teabagger is the same as using the word Nig@er. No other legitimate publication uses that hate word Nig@er and no non-hate based publication publishes the hate word Teabagger either when used in the political sense.

Your institutional HATRED is showing and every staff member and every advertiser in your publication should be Ashamed. Would your advertisers run in a KKK publication? They may as well.

I remember Obama stating “If they come with a knife, we come with a gun”. He also in a televised speech stated to Hispanics to “Punish your enemy’s”. You might want to look at hate words from the left before pointing fingers at the right when a left wing person commits a crime.

This libelous blame occurred before—remember the Times Square attempted bombing? The media focused on a innocent white guy in a camera frame and immediately laid all blame on the incident the Tea Party. This is the second time you in the media have been wrong in a year.

The intolerant Left actually is their own bad dream.

Brian O’Neill Los Angeles, CA
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Posted by 91764 on January 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
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@103: Ya got THAT right!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 19, 2011 at 9:11 PM · Report this

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