The New York Times editorial board published such a stunning description of the Virginia shooting that even some on the left had to admit it went beyond the pale.
The instantly controversial opinion piece titled, "America's lethal politics," landed Wednesday to intense criticism online.
Opinion: America’s lethal politics https://t.co/Fa6RKq1ZaM— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1497494765.0
Predictably, the piece advocated for more gun control, but it was a description of the motivation of the left-wing attacker that really stoked the anger against the storied news outlet.
"Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become?" the article asked. "Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs.
"Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals," it continued. "They’re right. Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should, of course, hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right."
But by nearly any standard, there's much more evidence that James Hodgkinson, the shooter in Virginia, was motivated by politics than the lack of an iota of evidence that the mentally deranged Jared Loughner was animated by any political motivation at all.
Conservatives were quick to seize upon what appeared to be a revisionist history in order to downplay the role of left-wing politics in a horrible attack on Republicans.
The @nytimes gets a lot of unfair criticism and cultural hate. But this editorial repeating the Palin lie is wholly false and contemptible.— FinlandOrMaybeRussiaHat (@FinlandOrMaybeRussiaHat) 1497494588.0
NY Times is kinda meh about tying political climate to today's mass shooting
Totally sure Sarah Palin incited Loughner back in 2011 though pic.twitter.com/pbqqoDxYpW
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) June 15, 2017
The New York Times is well aware that any link between Palin and the Giffords shooting were long debunked, but they're going for it anyway. pic.twitter.com/BgzaQFQMz6
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) June 15, 2017
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) June 15, 2017
An absolutely disgusting display by the New York Times today. They should be ashamed.— American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda (@American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda) 1497495819.0
Listen, like or dislike Sarah Palin for whatever reasons you prefer, but she provably had zero influence on Jared Loughner. This is a fact.— American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda (@American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda) 1497498728.0
Even MSNBC host Chris L. Hayes admitted it was "nuts" in response to Nation Review columnist David French:
And not just any paper. This wasn't some diarist on Daily Kos. This was the editorial board of the New York Times. https://t.co/NgoEacaLHZ— David French (@David French) 1497494261.0
Let me chime here to say: yeah, that's nuts.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 15, 2017
Hodgkinson left a long vitriolic pattern of insults and angry missives against President Donald Trump and Republicans before attacking members of Congress who were practicing for a charity baseball game Thursday.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is in critical condition from his injuries, while four others were wounded in the attack.