Blam­ing the pres­i­dent’s crit­ics

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION - e saw it dur­ing

WBarack Obama’s pres­i­dency: In­cit­ing in­vec­tive on the right was im­ped­ing the work of the party in the White House and even caus­ing de­ranged men with guns to act vi­o­lently, ac­cord­ing to some Times let­ter writ­ers. When Rep. Gabrielle Gif­fords was shot in 2011, many read­ers were quick to blame rightwing pun­dits be­fore it be­came widely known that the gun­man was a deeply para­noid man whose con­spir­acy the­o­ries be­trayed no po­lit­i­cal bias.

Now, with Don­ald Trump in the White House and Repub­li­cans in con­trol of Congress, it’s the pres­i­dent’s con­ser­va­tive sup­port­ers writ­ing to con­demn the left — in­clud­ing what they con­sider the lib­eral me­dia — af­ter a man who ex­pressed vi­o­lently anti-GOP views shot House Ma­jor­ity Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and two oth­ers in Alexan­dria, Va., on Wednesday.

Here are some of the more ac­cusatory let­ters we’ve re­ceived this week. — Paul Thorn­ton, let­ters ed­i­tor

Don Ruh of Yu­caipa en- courages jour­nal­ists to be more re­spon­si­ble:

The at­tempted as­sas­sin who claimed Repub­li­cans were worse than ter­ror­ists and needed to be erad­i­cated, among other vile com­ments, then tried to kill Repub­li­can

mem­bers of Congress, was “a lit­tle off.” A lit­tle? Re­ally? You may not re­al­ize this, as your ide­ol­ogy and that of most of the me­dia is so in­grained as to be blind­ing, but you and other lib­eral news or­ga­ni­za­tions have been stok­ing ha­tred for this pres­i­dent and Repub­li­cans in gen­eral, feed­ing the de­ranged mind set of rad­i­cals like the slain Alexan­dria shooter James T. Hodgkin­son.

Take credit where credit is due. You are com­plicit in the spew­ing of such ha­tred for any­one who dis­agrees with your leftist views. Please be more re­spon­si­ble in the fu­ture; you owe it to your coun­try.

En­cino res­i­dent Mur­ray Levine says the me­dia have blood on their hands:

The me­dia keep pre­sent­ing Trump as a vile, ne­far­i­ous vil­lain. Co­me­dian Kathy Grif­fin lifts up a mock sev­ered head of our pres­i­dent. A New York the­atri­cal group por­trays Shake­speare’s Julius Cae­sar, who is bru­tally as­sas­si­nated, as Trump.

No won­der id­iots out there think lit­er­ally tak­ing pot shots at Repub­li­cans is fair game.

A sim­i­lar thing hap­pened when the New York Times re­ported that Pres­i­dent Ford was soft on en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns and in­flu­enced Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, be­liev­ing the coastal red­woods were in dan­ger be­cause of au­to­mo­bile ex­haust, to at­tempt an as­sas­si­na­tion of Ford in Sacra­mento.

Is there enough wa­ter in drought-stricken Cal­i­for­nia to wash the blood off your hands?

Santa Mon­ica res­i­dent Paul Gulino blames the other side’s rhetoric:

The hate­ful­ness that char­ac­ter­izes our po­lit­i­cal dis­course is re­gret­table, but the per­pet­u­a­tion of false equiv­a­lence will not help the sit­u­a­tion.

The Times’ June 15 re­port “‘It’s been build­ing and build­ing’ ” notes that, in the wake of Wednesday’s shoot­ing, words of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion were quickly drowned out by “par­ti­sans grasp­ing for tac­ti­cal ad­van­tage.” It goes on to cite ex­am­ples on the right, quot­ing a ra­dio host, a com­men­ta­tor and the pres­i­dent’s son.

It also says this: “On the Demo­cratic side, some more vir­u­lent par­ti­sans openly cel­e­brated the crit­i­cal wound­ing of Rep. Steve Scalise.” Who are these “vir­u­lent par­ti­sans”? What did they say?

I hope one day jour­nal­ists will be un­afraid to point out the sim­ple fact that the vi­o­lent rhetoric and in­cite­ment that char­ac­ter­ize po­lit­i­cal speech today are prod­ucts of the right, not both sides. We must first rec­og­nize the truth if we are to suc­cess­fully ad­dress this prob­lem.

Derik Holt­mann Belleville (Ill.) News-Demo­crat

ALEXAN­DRIA SHOOTER James T. Hodgkin­son is seen protest­ing in Belleville, Ill., in April 2012.

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