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The McCarthyism of the Left

Tuesday, January 11, 2011  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

“This guy wasn’t a missed case.” That’s the assessment of Saturday’s killer by one expert in today’s New York Times. In other words, people around him knew he was unbalanced. The conclusions of two others:

It is also not clear, some doctors said, that today’s partisan climate had any bearing on the assault. “The psychosis picks up on the grand themes of the day, whether those are antigovernment or something else,” Dr. Stone said.

In the logic of delusion, a grievance may be conflated with some larger mission, whether religious, political or artistic. “It’s not political thinking,” Dr. Torrey said. “It’s psychotic thinking.”

The killer wasn’t driven by a political agenda or by political rhetoric any more than he was driven by the position of the moon or the fortunes of some random sports team. The psychosis of the killer has been clear since at least Sunday, and ever since the fact emerged that the killer’s obsession with Congresswoman Giffords began in 2007, all attempts to make connections to Governor Palin’s “map” or any other political event or rhetoric are at best ignorant and the worst of them are manipulations of terrible tragedy for personal gain, far worse than an ambulance chasing attorney looking for money –media and/or political attention addicts looking for anything to bring traffic or ratings their way. A handful of politicians have exploited the situation beyond any excuse, but the worst offenders of decency have been in the media, and it appears they will continue to dig their holes deeper and deeper.

Pete Wehner has summed up the actions of the manipulators and exploiters: “It is all quite sick, really.” Wehner also correctly assesses Sheriff Dupnik, though the proximity of the sheriff to the victims and their families makes him a repulsive character in his indifference to their suffering as he goes about his almost incoherent speculations.

George Will has done the great service of naming this attempt for what it is: “McCarthyism of the left – devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data – is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas.”

“It expresses limitless contempt for the American people,” Will continues, “who have reciprocated by reducing liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral weakness and bad sociology.”

No one can predict the consequences of this concerted effort to create and spread a blood libel. I would like to think that it will further devastate the credibility of everyone involved in the attempt, but who knows? This is the media’s worst moment in my memory because unlike errors of the past when at least there was for a brief moment a thin reason to believe what latter became obvious as a lie, there is no rationale –none– for promulgating the story line that Governor Palin or anyone else is responsible for the actions of the killer.

Some months ago the left was angry over a poll that showed that nearly 20% of Americans thought President Obama was a Muslim. Though they could not find anyone in the media, new or old, to blame for acceptance of this lie by a large number of people, the argument that conservatives were to blame didn’t need specifics. This Time “story” illustrates how the “argument” went.

Now we have the left pushing a Big Lie –that conservative political rhetoric was responsible for the murders of six and the woundings of many more– and no doubt this false and libelous narrative will stick in the minds of some, just as lies about the president took root in some people.

In this case, though, the lie is actually being pushed openly and repeatedly by the left. The brazenness of the lie is without precedent in our media, and the willingness of MSM “journalists” to let it pass without challenge is also astonishing. Megyn Kelly is almost alone in doing the job of a real journalist in pushing a person in authority, the sheriff, to defend his outrageous attacks on innocents. Real journalists don’t abet lies, but there are very few left in the MSM, so powerful is the pull of their own politics towards a false narrative that fits with their own, increasingly discredited world view.

I do not think that public opinion will be greatly affected by the Big Lie, and I hope that the public is not only noting the attempt by the liars to exploit the tragedy, but also that there will be no erasing that knowledge or reclaiming of lost credibility by the incredibly depraved individuals who tried to climb on the bodies of the dead and the wounded for political gain.


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