If there is a prime example of a lack of self-awareness, it was encapsulated by The New York Times this week. The publication ran an abysmal op-ed in the wake of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) that rehashed a long debunked theory that former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) in 2011. In fact, as CNN’s Jake Tapper noted, Jared Lee Loughner, who shot the congresswoman, had an obsession with Giffords that began three years prior to Palin’s PAC posting a controversial crosshairs map highlighting Democratic districts. Not even liberal publications could not tolerate the appalling dishonesty in this op-ed. Here’s the original portion that has since been revised by the Times [emphasis mine]:
even way back in Jan 2011 we knew that Loughlin's obsession began 3 years before the Palin map.https://t.co/9nJccuIQnb— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 15, 2017
Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. 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.
Conservatives and right-wing 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."
We got an important fact wrong, incorrectly linking political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Giffords. No link was ever established.— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) June 15, 2017
The correction reads: “An earlier version 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.” But the damage is already done. Yet, a day after this despicable op-ed was published, the publications had the temerity to run a fact check piece on distortions being made about the Scalise shooting. Granted, they did say that The Young Turks were wrong for characterizing Scalise as a white supremacist—he’s not—but here’s what they said about Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) [emphasis mine]:
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) June 15, 2017
Similarly, the insinuation that Mr. Kaine endorsed violence against Republicans hinges upon four words — “fight them in the streets” — takenout of context by activists from a lengthy explanation about how the party could recover from its electoral loss.
In an MSNBC appearance in January, Mr. Kaine said he was “excited” by the energy from the public. “Fight in the streets” referred to peaceful protests, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kaine said. And the full text of the statement backs her up.
During the televised segment, Mr. Kaine pointed to peaceful demonstrations against the Trump administration like the Women’s Marchbefore he said, “What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box, and now there’s the momentum to be able to do this.”
Oh, so Kaine, a Democrat, didn’t really want to “fight Republicans in the streets” a la Gangs of New York. He was referring to peaceful protests. They’ll get that right the first time with him, but Sarah Palin was—up until recently—totally responsible for getting Giffords shot. It’s absolutely shameless. And all of this a day after that atrocious op-ed was printed. Yet, this publication, that just falsely smeared Palin, wonders why members of both parties hate each other.