In Rhetoric Debate, Media Creates a False Equivalency Between Right and Left
Both sides are not equally to blame. When was the last time that a left winger went out and killed someone?The mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona has fortunately sparked a dialogue about political discourse. But the narrative that both sides are to blame is simply ridiculous. I will definitely admit the left can be sanctimonious at times and hurl their fair share of insults. i.e. Alan Grayson, Keith Olbermann. But the facts are the facts. And the fact is, lefties aren't running around shooting people. When was the last time a bleeding-heart liberal went out and killed someone? When is the last time someone on the right was targeted? In the words of the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction -- the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day -- and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies -- is calibrated not to inform but to incite. “Demagogues scream at people that their government is illegitimate, that their country has been "taken away," that their elected officials are "traitors" and that their freedom is at risk. They have a right to free speech, which I will always defend. But they shouldn't be surprised if some listeners take them literally.” This is one of the most annoying things about the supposed “objectivity” of the media, this tendency to create these false equivalencies. In an attempt to be fair to both sides, they end up painting this image that one side is no better or worse than the other. We saw it frequently in the climate change debate. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, the media would prop up some petroleum-industry-backed talking head as if his lone opinion was just as important as science.This is a disservice to their readers and viewers. The truth is, one side is worse, much worse and much more dangerous in the current political climate. Right-wing extremists in this country are teetering on the edge of being full-blown domestic terrorists in their rhetoric, in their vitriol and in their actions. The Republican party, trying to take advantage of the tea party momentum, has not only embraced the fringe elements of the party, but it appears to be taking its marching orders from that element of the base. In this climate, Saturday’s shooting was no surprise. It was just the most tragic of a trend of politically-motivated violence that has been plaguing this country for the last two years. Is it entirely coincidental that we have our first black president? Is it entirely coincidental that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’, the target of the Tucson shooting, office was also vandalized back during the passage of health care? Are we suppose to entirely ignore that she was a Democrat? What about the apparent ties between Jared Lee Loughner an American Renaissance? And, here's a really interesting point, the media continues to call amren, an anti-immigration and perhaps antisemitic group. Amren.com is a white supremacy website. Back during the health care debate, it featured a list of tea party rallies for its membership to attend. It's leader Jared Taylor is an "expert" on Eugenics. In my opinion, Amren is a terrorist organization.
To find evidence of left wing violence, the far right must reach back 40 years to the Weather Underground Organization. The only recent examples of left-wing violence the far right can muster is the Ft. Hood shooting. The only problem is the shooter in that case was not a lefty. He was a Muslim angry, imbalanced and waging his own persona jihad. It had nothing to do with folks on the left or the right. The other example, of course, is the alleged heckling from members of the New Black Panther party in the 2008 election. For that incident,the rightwants to investigate Eric Holder. Then, they bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Each one of these examples are so far stretched, they are absurd. How can you begin to equate the dozens of deaths we've seen in the last few years with the words of a few loud mouths? How can you compare the influence of someone like Rev. Wright with the most watched cable outlet in the U.S., Fox News? Here are just some of the incidents of violence the far right is responsible for -- within the last two years, not the last four decades.
- Wash. Examiner's Owens suggests right-wing violence will be necessary, hopes we ‘feel threatened’
- Right-wing blogs trivialize threats against Democrats
- CBS News confirms use of right-wing racial epithets
- Right-wing blogger urges violence against Democratic offices; scores vandalized nationwide
- The killing of Dr. George Tiller
- Jim Adkins and the Unitarian Church Shooting
- The white supremacist at the Holocaust shooting
- US 'Christian militants' charged after FBI raids
- Brick thrown through window in Slaughter's Falls office
- Tea party protester spits on Congressman
- Two white supremacists in Tenn. plan to assassinate Obama
- A white supremacist kills two immigrants in Mass., and rapes a third
- A white supremacist ambushes, kills police officers in Pittsburgh, after listening to Glenn Beck