The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: Shame on the New York Times

Gun violence victim and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords during a visit to City Hall on her 2016 Vocal Majority Tour on October 17, 2016 in New York City.

Getty Images

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

There were a number of angry responses across conservative media to a New York Times editorial on the congressional baseball shooting that connected Sarah Palin’s infamous crosshair map to the 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. “Let’s be blunt,” National Review’s David French wrote. “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.”

Advertisement

The Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru took aim at the Times’ corrections to the editorial. “It seems to me that if you were coming to this text fresh, with no awareness of the previous version of the editorial, the controversy, or the correction, you’d come away thinking that Palin may have had something to do with Loughner’s shootings but the connection had not been rigorously proven,” he wrote. “If this version of the editorial had been the first one, conservatives (and genuinely fair-minded liberals) would have been justified in denouncing its repulsive and baseless insinuation.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Daily Signal’s Katrina Trinko took the Times to task for failing to mention the Public Theater’s staging of Julius Caesar or Kathy Griffin, while Heat Street’s Joe Simonson wrote that the Timeshas a twisted interest in our political debates getting bloodier.

Advertisement

The Daily Caller, Breitbart, and other sites reported on Sarah Palin’s musings about whether to file suit against the Times. On Facebook, Palin linked to a Breitbart article criticizing the Times by Joel Pollak. “The Times’ false equivalence between the two shootings provides a sick excuse for what Hodgkinson did by making it appear to be partially Republicans’ fault,” Pollak wrote. “That is worse than ‘fake news.’ It is an effort to exploit a horrific act of violence for the purpose of stoking political divisions, reinforcing the hysteria in which Hodgkinson was steeped.

In other news:

Conservative commentators had more to say about Wednesday’s congressional baseball shooting. National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote a piece titled “The Left Embraces Political Violence.” “It did not take very long,” he began, “to get from ‘Punch a Nazi!’ to ‘assassinate a congressman.’”

Advertisement

[O]n the one hand, we have the modern answer to the beer-hall brawlers of the 1930s, and on the other hand, we have powerful political figures working to criminalize dissent. The same people who have spent the past 30 years cooking up ever-battier campus speech codes want to do the same thing for society at large in the form of so-called hate-speech regulation.

Advertisement

They do this partly because they intend to win and to rule. They also do it because they have convinced themselves that we are in a state of national crisis, and that the dark shadow of fascism in descending on the United States. In reality, the only thing resembling a genuine totalitarian movement in American politics is the progressive camp from which emerged the man who shot Steve Scalise.

Advertisement

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro wrote about the importance of distinguishing harsh political speech from genuinely toxic speech. “Figurative language is common in politics, it’s not going anywhere, and virtually everyone in the United States knows that it isn’t permission to murder someone,” he wrote. “If we want to continue to play this idiotic game where a politically-driven nut kills someone and then we all browse his/her manifesto in order to blame Rachel Maddow/Sean Hannity/whomever, we can, but it’s not going to be productive—and in fact, it will lead to a climate of toxicity toward free speech.”

The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein scoffed at Ted Nugent’s call for more civil political rhetoric. “The 68-year-old rocker has called for the deaths of various Democratic leaders,” she noted. “In 2014, the NRA board member called for the assassination of then-President Obama. He called Obama a ‘subhuman mongrel.’”

Advertisement
Advertisement

On Twitter, conservative media figures shared news that Georgia special election candidate Karen Handel and her neighbors had received letters with threatening messages and suspicious powder.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Independent Journal Review and LifeZette informed readers that Hillary Clinton had compared herself to Wonder Woman (“[A] movie about a strong, powerful woman fighting to save the world from a massive international disaster is right up my alley”) in an appeareance via video at the Women in Film Los Angeles’ Crystal + Lucy Awards. “Clinton insinuated that she has a lot in common with the character, and in doing so, took a pot-shot at President Donald Trump,” IJR’s Josh Grega reported.

Advertisement