Trying to find some way to put conservatives in the white hot spotlight already shining on the left-wing after a Bernie Sanders-supporting, Donald Trump-hating, avowed Democrat tried to kill a dozen Republican members of Congress, the New York Times contended in an editorial Thursday that onetime GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin incited the mass shooting that seriously injured former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six people.
But there was no connection between Palin and the murderer, Jared Lee Loughner.
And that has Palin talking with lawyers about the potential damage to her reputation and the Times frantically backtracking, issuing a correction and adding a line to the editorial.
It turned out that Loughner was schizophrenic, and, as CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted in response to the editorial, “even way back in Jan 2011 we knew that Loughlin’s obsession began 3 years before the Palin map.” Tapper was referring to the map circulated by Palin’s PAC of 20 Congress members targeted for defeat in the 2010 election.
Following the attack by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson Wednesday morning in which Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and four others were wounded, the Times asked in its editorial if the attack was “evidence of how vicious American politics has become.”
“Probably,” the paper said. “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 cross hairs.”
The newspaper continued, accusing Palin of “incitement.”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 15, 2017
“Conservatives and right-win media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. 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.”
Later Thursday, however, the Times was forced to publish a correction and add a line to the editorial stating, “No connection [to the Palin camp] to that crime was ever established.”
The Washington Examiner reported Palin indicated Thursday that she might sue the New York Times over the editorial.
Palin tweeted Thursday: “Commonsense suggestion by a journalist, am talking to attorneys this AM and exploring options. [By the way], wonder WHY someone would no longer be in public eye? Think constant libel & slander have anything to do with it?”
The Times correction said: “An earlier various of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.”
Twitchy collected tweets showing the newspaper was taking a beating.
“Or, translated from NYT-speak: ‘The entire premise of this editorial is based on a lie, and we regret that you noticed,'” wrote Jim Treacher.
“If anything, the ‘correction’ makes the New York Times look even slimier,” Twitchy stated.
Explained “TheOnceandFutureKing,” “The article is still factually inaccurate. It’s not no link was established, it’s that the attack was proven specifically apolitical.”
“Claim that Giffords and others were ‘put … under stylized cross hairs’ is also false. Crosshairs were on districts, not faces,” added Ed Whelan.
National Review columnist David French pointed the Times “has made a substantial correction, but it’s not good enough. Loughner’s crime had NOTHING to do with conventional politics.”
The NYT’s has made a substantial correction, but it’s not good enough. Loughner’s crime had NOTHING to do with conventional politics. https://t.co/pAkB67lwRK
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 15, 2017
Attached to Palin’s Twitter comment was another comment: “Does Sarah Palin have a libel case? One might argue that the New York Times has fulfilled the two criteria for libeling a public figure. The newspaper has committed a reckless disregard for the truth in dredging up the link between the map and Giffords’ shooting. The presence of malice is also a given.”
It continued, “Palin has not been in the public eye recently. The irony would be all too delicious if she returned to the national stage by taking the New York Times to court and suing it for the attempted assassination of her character.”
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) June 15, 2017
French, at National Review, said the Times was “dishonest.”
“Let’s be blunt. In its zeal to create moral equivalencies and maintain a particular narrative about the past, the Times flat-out lied. There is simply no ‘link to political incitement’ in Loughner’s murderous acts. The man was a paranoid schizophrenic who first got angry at Gabby Giffords years before Palin published her map.”
He continued: “Let’s not forget, this is the same editorial board that, one year ago, laid blame on Republican Christian politicians for an Orlando terrorist attack by a confessed Islamic jihadist. Omar Mateen swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the Times editors believed (again, without any evidence) that he was inspired in part by Republican objections to granting men access to women’s restrooms.”
Hodgkinson’s attack clearly was political, according to witnesses. He injured Scalise and several others in a shooting at a ballfield where GOP members were practicing after asking whether his targets were Republicans or Democrats.
“We can make the assumption he was targeting Republicans based on what he did,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., who was one of the players on the field when Hodgkinson began shooting.
As WND reported, Hodgkinson was a Facebook fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which nearly five years ago was linked to a domestic terror attack at the Washington office of the Family Research Council.
Based on the posts he made on his Facebook page, Hodgkinson was an avid supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
And he hated the GOP and Trump.
Hodgkinson arrived at the Simpson Park ball field about 7 a.m. and asked Rep. Ron DeSantis if they were Republicans or Democrats on the field. DeSantis said “Republicans.”
It was minutes later that Hodgkinson re-appeared, armed with a rifle and a pistol and began blasting away.
The following are just some of Hodgkinson’s Facebook “likes”:
Hillary Clinton 2016
Bernie is My Homeboy
Liar, Liar Republican Campaign on Fire
Stop the Obstructionist Tea Party
Just Say No to Republicans
Bernie Sanders Truth Talkers – The Revolution Continues
Progressive Global Initiative
Bernie or Bust
Hate Liberals? Bite Me
Democrat Socialist Social Media Network
Progressive Communication Network
Bernie Sanders for President
Berniecrats United to Resist Trump
No More Republicans
Hey Republicans … Shut Up!
End the Corporate Dictatorship
Paul Ryan, the Grinch Who Stole Medicare
Hate All Republican Douches (HARD)
Michele Bachmann is Bats–t Crazy
Chuck Norris is a Douchebag
Don’t Let America Get Trumped Over
Ronald Reagan Was A Douche
Fire the Republican Government
Ronald Reagan was an evil supporter of death squads, NOT a hero
Arrest Both Koch Brothers for Treason
Ignoring Rush Limbaugh
Bernie Sanders for President 2020
F–k the Koch Brothers
The Amazing Atheist
Americans Against the Tea Party
Reclaim America from the Lunatic Fringe
Right Wing Watch
Progressive Democrats of America
Fox News Sucks
Rush Limbaugh Lying Lunacy
Dumb S–t Republicans Say
Stupid Things Republicans Say and Do
Republicans: The F–king NUTS Party
Republicans Are Stupid
Jesus Was Not a Republican
Americans Against the Republican Party
Americans Against Fox News and Republican Lies
Media Matters for America
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Rachel Maddow Show
Real Time with Bill Maher
To really understand the war zone America is becoming, read the June issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, “RAGE AND VIOLENCE: Why the Left has gone insane in the Age of Trump.”