Monday, January 10, 2011

Never let a tragedy go to waste

By now, there's little I can say that would shed light or comfort on the ghastly events that took place last Saturday. As an average joe with a penchant for thinking the obvious, two words came to mind, regarding the shooter: "grudge," and "crazy." Nothing good comes from an equation in which those two variables are involved. And while these events are rare, it doesn't make them any less horrific.

So let me focus instead on the media's coverage, particularly the nonsense on the web, which seemed a stark contrast from the actual facts, as they unfolded. After all, it's the facts that matter, not the opinions of an editorialist with an axe to grind. What bothered me most – the drooling opinionating that sprinted from the gate, faster than the facts could keep up.

And this rush to judgment reveals the media's not-so-secret biases toward certain political personalities and movements. Among a few prominent leftist columnists, celebrities and talking heads, their responses barely concealed a morbid glee in getting their assumptions met - using incendiary rhetoric that they themselves pretend to condemn. The shooting was the best thing that ever happened to their own reservoir of anger. It was a leftwing Lalapalooza.

Actually, it was like watching an opening at Walmart, with sweaty hacks in a tug of war over a table of identical, knee jerk assumptions. All designed to control the narrative. To get there first, to fill a void. It was the world's worst cocktail party, without the cocktails - featuring Jane Fonda, KooKoo Krugman, Piers Morgan, the puppets at Daily Kos and Media Matters – and even WaPo columnist Courtland Milloy, who wanted "to spit on" the tea party, now blaming the right for the shootings. Capping it off, we have a Democrat who wants to ban symbols that may seem threatening to elected officials. I believe that's symptom one in the diagnosis, "God, You're Stupid."

It even reached the other side of the pond, as Morgan, the ruddy replacement for Larry King, leapt into the fray, with a tweet....

"This now deleted image from Sarah Palin website will be reason this terrible shooting has huge political ramifications."

This, from a man who ran- on the cover of his old newspaper- a faked image featuring a British soldier urinating on a prisoner. What "political ramifications" did that have for the British military? Thankfully, not much, compared to Piers - who was fired.

And so, on Saturday, Twitter was a feeding frenzy of amnesiacs, galloping to one singular conclusion, forgetting that doing so with the FT Hood shooter was mindless bigotry.

As a rightie, I wanted to go after the ghouls capitalizing on this tragedy to score political points. But you realize, as Congressman McCotter once said, quoting someone famous: wrestling with a skunk only leaves you smelly and the skunk happy.

There were a lot of skunks out there this weekend, and boy did they stink.