(Crossposted from Renaissance Post.)
Yesterday afternoon, at a press conference to discuss the Tucson, Arizona shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others — a political hit that has so far resulted in six deaths, a nine-year-old girl’s among them — Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was quite clear on who he thought was to blame in egging on a mentally imbalanced suspect with ties to the right-wing racist hate group American Renaissance. From FDL’s Jane Hamsher’s liveblogging of Sheriff Dupnik’s news conference:
Says Giffords was the target, and that there were 2 incidents occurred in a “very vitriolic” campaign. Someone in an “angry audience” dropped a weapon out of their pants. Another incident where windows were broken out of her office. At her office at Swan and Pima right now, suspicious package being investigated.
The 22 year old suspect does have a criminal past. Says this is how “unbalanced people respond to vitriol coming out about ripping down the government. Arizona has become the capital. We have become the mecca of prejudice and bigotry.” Believes people who are unbalanced especially, like the suspect, are extremely susceptible to vitriol.
Interestingly enough, there has been an effort by the media organs that have served as enablers of the peddlers of vitriol to minimize, if not outright conceal, their roles in spreading it. One method is to simply pretend that Sheriff Dupnik — a man who, as an Arizona law enforcement officer, has been a first-hand witness to the effects of this media-promoted vitriol — didn’t say what he said. This method is the one used by Carl Hulse and Kate Zernike of the New York Times, who in this story on the shootings scrubs out Sheriff Dupnik’s comments on media-enabled vitriol helping to make Arizona the capital and Mecca of prejudice and bigotry as assiduously as various right-wingers such as Sarah Palin and Giffords’ Republican opponent Jesse Kelly have been scrubbing their websites of crosshairs and other implied threats directed at Representative Giffords. Meanwhile, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is ordering the press to stop talking about Palin and the Stalinesque “Commissar Vanishes” removal of this inflammatory material from right-wing websites; knowing how the corporate media usually leaps to fulfill the requests of their GOP allies, I suspect this will happen very shortly.