Twitter is abuzz with declarations that this is an act of right-wing terrorism. There’s a map attributed to Sarah Palin’s site sarahpac.com, where Palin lists “20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 who voted for the healthcare bill.” Is it reasonable to assume a Palin connection? The list is intended as a call to action, yes, but are we sure the 22-year-old male who is reported to have shot 18 people was inspired by that? It’s been reported that the shooter is a left wing loner, Jared Lee Loughner.
While social media can be invaluable sources of information during breaking news events such as the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford, are we leading our traditional media to quicken their own responses to bad news?
We know that television news has made a point to quickly tell us what Twitter and Facebook are putting out there. Especially irrelevant comments by high-profile popular figures with high clickibilty factor.
The crosshairs that seemed to be significant to make a point on Palin’s site are all associated with names of public officials, someone on that list was coincidently shot. Should the others feel as if their lives are in danger? Regardless of the so-called intent to call to action as a positive directive, the crosshairs and targets symbolize a violent approach that in most cases begets violence! It appears there could be a viable reason to investigate the possibility of that imagery to inspire someone to do harm.
Has the Sarah Palin/ Tea Party/ right wing connection been discussed on television yet?
If the Palin connection is not talked about, that leads one to have even less confidence in the media. At the very least, points should be made to clarify or justify, that would be expected. If not, it would allow connections to be made just based on reports of Palin’s followers.
A very telling move that seems motivated by a possible recognition of guilt happened within moments of the shooting. Palin’s rhetoric and images of targets have been removed from her site. Could this be that Palin may also suspect there might be a connection? Just based on what we know, which is not much, the odds are, there is no connection. But, Palin’s words, symbolism and deeds associated with this tragedy should still be brought up and analyzed.
The gut feeling may be true and the collective mind of some on the worldwide web may turn out to be accurate after all. But, despite all the desire for the facts to emerge with speed when it comes to breaking news, a call to exercise our collective power with some responsibility. Unless, of course, that responsibility rests in urging our mainstream media to ask the right questions and alerting them to investigate the obvious tracks.
“Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”