The media misses a good opportunity to keep quiet

The Tucson shootings prove that the press has a clear bias against conservatives

Edward Morrissey

In February 2003, French President Jacques Chirac insulted Eastern European governments after they backed the imminent invasion of Iraq by the United States, accusing them of acting irresponsibly and "frivolously" by speaking up. "They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet," Chirac scolded. His comments created a backlash in the European Union and became a new standard of French arrogance. The criticism, however, is a fitting judgment of the media's performance in covering the Tucson shootings, which killed six people and wounded fourteen others, including Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat who had just won re-election to the House in a hard-fought midterm race.

Almost from the moment the story broke, the press attempted to fit it into a narrative about incendiary political rhetoric. Never mind that no evidence arose to connect the shooting to any particular political campaign, movement or organization in the first few hours after the massacre, nor has any come to light in the days since. Like most people behind these types of attacks, the suspect turns out to be a loner with a history of mental illness and scrapes with the law. This one has held a grudge against Giffords since 2007, when she failed to give him a satisfactory response to his questions about how the government uses grammar for mind control. Even after these facts came to light, the media and the commentariat decided that political rhetoric simply had to be the cause of the shooting, whether evidence for that theory existed or not.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.