Shortly after news broke of the attempted murder of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., the left-leaning blog Daily Kos was swift to scrub its post from a Tucson writer explaining how the congresswoman was now “dead to me.”
One of the blog’s diary writers, identifying himself as BoyBlue, had written a post only two days before the shooting titled “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!”
Partial screenshot of Daily Kos diary post before it was scrubbed
“I am from the Tucson area and live in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ district,” BoyBlue wrote. “Today, just a little while ago, I saw on Andrea Mitchell Reports that Giffords voted against Nancy Pelosi as our minority leader. … Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is dead to me now.”
Several news sources and commentators have sought to analyze yesterday’s mass shooting in Tucson that left six dead and Giffords in critical condition, while many blogs and columns have blamed the nation’s heated political “rhetoric” for inspiring people toward violence against their elected officials.
Sarah Palin in particular has been singled out for criticism by CBS News, the Guardian and others for publishing a “target map” on her website using images of gun sights to identify the districts of 20 House Democrats up for election in last year’s mid-terms, including Giffords.
Daily Kos joined in the criticism, and the blog’s founder, Markos Moulitsas, tweeted early yesterday, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin,” with a link to Palin’s map.
Moulitsas, however, had also posted what he called a “target list” identifying Giffords. In a 2008 Daily Kos post, Moulitsas listed Giffords as one of dozens of representatives with “a bull’s-eye on their district” for being a “bad apple” Democrat.
The “dead to me” diary has since been deleted from Daily Kos, while Moulitsas’ “target list” is still viewable.
Police have named and apprehended 22-year-old Tucson resident Jared L. Loughner as the perpetrator of yesterday’s massacre, making it highly unlikely that “BoyBlue” is also the shooter.
The Daily Kos diary writer identifies himself as a “gay” man whose wife left him last year and who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face. BoyBlue also appeared on the blog again today, issuing an apology to “this site, the victims and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.”
“Most of you know by now my diary bemoaning Rep. Giffords’ voting against Nancy Pelosi has been taken by the far right to preemptively protect themselves,” Boy Blue writes of his now-scrubbed, previous post.
“I made a VERY poor choice of words when I partially titled the diary, ‘now dead to me,'” he continues. “Of course I wished no harm to Gabby.”
He continues, “I fully apologize to all the victims in this shooting, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, for my poor choice of words in that diary. I fully and respectfully apologize to this blog and to Markos himself for the bad publicity amongst the right wing this has caused. … I apologize to the DailyKos membership and readership for being maligned by the far right blogs.
“However, I have to offer a heartfelt ‘f— you’ to the right-wing blogs,” he writes, “for even mentioning my username here in any connection to that unspeakable and unthinkable horror.”
In his “apology” post, BoyBlue twice states that he suspects the shooting is instead best blamed on supporters of Giffords’ opponent in the 2010 mid-terms, Republican Jesse Kelly.
“I would bet my house that it will come out that some disgruntled former Jesse Kelly right-wing supporters did this,” BoyBlue writes.
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