Unnamed, Unlabeled 'Critics' Suggest Palin Helped Create 'Climate for Political Violence'

While trying to induce her to respond to the shootings in Tuscon, the Times cited unnamed critics of Sarah Palin in Tuesday's edition for somehow inspiring the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat. Jim Rutenberg and Kate Zernike's report "Amid Criticism, Palin Lobs Electronic Defense."

They even reprinted the "Take Back the 20" campaign map from Palin's Facebook page, quickly made notorious by leftists and the liberal media, that showed 20 congressional districts held by Democrats in the crosshairs, including Rep. Giffords in Arizona.

Note that the criticism of Palin is coming from plain old "critics," not left-wing or liberal voices like The Daily Kos web log.

Under criticism that her political rhetoric had helped create a climate for political violence, Sarah Palin addressed the issue in trademark fashion: via e-mail to the conservative commentator Glenn Beck.....

By managing her image almost exclusively through Twitter, Facebook, a reality television show and appearances on Fox News, Ms. Palin has managed to become both ubiquitous and insulated, and to emerge as one of the most formidable Republicans considering a presidential run next year.

But on Monday, she and her aides were facing questions about whether the strategy that had served her so well since she resigned as Alaska's governor 18 months ago was the right one to counter the criticism that she had helped encourage a potentially dangerous strain of antigovernment sentiment.....

Though there is no evidence that the person charged in the shootings, Jared L. Loughner, was a fan or a follower of Ms. Palin, critics immediately noted that she had released a fund-raising appeal in March using rifle cross hairs to mark the districts where she hoped to defeat a Democrat. One of them represented the district of Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

The Times did point out an Obama statement from the presidential campaign:

Other supporters argued that Ms. Palin was hardly the first person to use violent metaphors in speaking about politics, pointing to Barack Obama's statement during the 2008 presidential campaign that said, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." None of Ms. Palin's top aides responded to requests for comment.

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