As I write this, an Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition after being shot in the head by a mad man outside a Tucson, Arizona grocery store Saturday..an attack that killed six people including a nine year old girl, federal judge and a couple of elderly religious leaders.
Briefing reporters, the local sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, strayed away from simply releasing basic facts of the case to offering some personal commentary. Mr Dupnik blamed a climate of vitriol for helping create the circumstances in which the shooting took place. (I had to look up “vitriol.” I believe he means “caustic criticism.”) He said, “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” The sheriff called on politicians and certain members of the media to tone down the rhetoric.
It didn’t take long for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to get on the airwaves, acting like Edward R. Murrow reincarnated in voice and mannerisms, pointing a finger at the likes of Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party crowd for fueling the fires of anti government lunatics like 22 year old Jared Loughner. He called on everyone to put their guns down, literally and figuratively. To be fair, Olbermann apologized for any things he, himself, might have said on his program that could have provoked any of his left leaning followers into committing some act of violence. The truth is, Olbermann is just as adept at manufacturing rage as any of those right wing “nut jobs” he accuses. He closed his lecture with Murrow’s famous signoff, “Good night and good luck.”
I’m not a fan of any of the political pundits on the airwaves..left or right. In fact, I can’t understand why President Obama would give Bill O’Reilly the time of day..much less granting a Super Bowl Sunday interview. How long do you think that will go before the smarmy O’Reilly interrupts the president several times with his embarrassing and condescending interjections? But I digress.
Sarah Palin’s ad, targeting democrats who favor the Health Care bill using symbols that look like the crosshairs of a rifle scope, may have been stupid..but I doubt that’s what pushed young Loughner over the edge. It’s more likely he’s been a rejected loner all his life who is easily influenced by fellow crazies on the internet..violent video games..along with music and literature that promote hatred and vengeance. His cry for attention was to go after Representative Giffords and anyone around her with his recently purchased Glock semi automatic pistol blazing. We’ll know soon enough, I suppose, as this creature’s background is exposed in the light over the days and weeks ahead.
Odd that just a few days after my blog about former Keloland anchors who’ve gone on to success in big markets, two of them have been thrust right in the thick of this tragedy and one of the biggest stories of their careers. Lou Raguse’s station, KMSB Tucson, has provided excellent insightful coverage. Steve Irvin’s station, KNXV in Phoenix, has also done a stellar job with Steve himself on the front lines in Tucson reporting live