‘Climate of Hate’ and the NYPD Murders

John Hayward, Breitbart, December 22, 2014

Let’s cut to the chase: we all remember how the entire left and its vast media apparatus rose up as one to blame the Tucson shootings on conservatives in 2011. The process began during breaking-news coverage of Jared Loughner’s rampage, as media airheads began speculating that Sarah Palin’s use of crosshair symbols on an electoral map had somehow inspired the killer.

This was not a one-off comment by some loon on MSNBC. It became a major media narrative–indeed, one of the strongest, most quickly-organized Narrative drives the mainstream media has ever mounted. Every big network and left-wing media outlet published lengthy chin-stroking pieces about Palin’s murder map. A contemporaneous example from CBS News can be read here; another from the Atlantic’s “The Wire” blog is here. Examples are ubiquitous. One need only do a Google search for Sarah Palin’s name in early 2011 to find more.

The driving force of this despicable, slanderous Narrative was a presumed-guilty attitude toward Palin, and through her the rest of the conservative movement, for creating a nebulous “Climate of Hate” that made Loughner trigger-happy. No connection between any individual conservative and Loughner was necessary to sustain this narrative. The idea was that even the mildest criticism of big government and the left’s agenda was part of an ideological continuum that led inexorably to militias and lone-wolf madmen opening fire on politicians and officials.

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After weeks of this garbage, we finally learned that Loughner had no connection whatsoever to any branch of the conservative movement, never saw Sarah Palin’s electoral map, and probably never listened to a Limbaugh broadcast. That didn’t really matter to the “Climate of Hate” narrative, which was always about using a very loose system of ideological guilt-by-association to make even the most kind, gentle, salt-of-the-earth conservative feel like an accessory to murder. {snip}

Of course, every last one of these miserable, cowardly hypocrites is currently shaking in their boots, scared to death that people will begin digging up their old “Climate of Hate” rhetoric and plugging their names into the slots formerly reserved for Palin and Limbaugh, linking the left’s irresponsible rhetoric to this weekend’s murders of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Like other angry cowards, they’re pre-emptively lashing out in blogs and social media, thundering “how DARE you!” at anyone who dares to measure them with their old Tucson yardstick. Phalanxes of shrieking liberal ninnies have formed up online to defend politicians like President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio–who, until those shots rang out on Saturday afternoon, had been styling himself as a leader in the revolution against his own law-enforcement personnel.

I’ll be happy to lay down the same marker I did during the Tucson affair, when answering slander like Paul Krugman’s disgusting “Climate of Hate” post at the New York Times, which would have ended his career at any paper with a shred of editorial integrity. Liberal Americans, as a class, are not responsible for the deadly actions of New York City shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley. Neither are opinion writers who have advanced stern criticism of the use of force by police. Even when such criticism is misguided, it’s not beyond the bounds of civilized discourse. Misguided critics should be engaged and answered, not told to shut up because they’re encouraging lunatics to take up arms. The left has been working very hard to pull the bounds of civilized discourse in tight around their ideology. I won’t stop calling them out for that game, but I’m not going to play it.

However, there are people who have issued irresponsible statements that fed directly into the rage, paranoia, and rebellious sentiments of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protest movements. None of the insane guilt-by-association games played by liberals after Tucson are necessary to draw a straight line between those who promote the false “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” narrative, make broad accusations of systemic police racism (as Barack Obama has done), or indulged the worst excesses of the demonstrators (as Mayor de Blasio has done) and the rising tide of violence against police. The murders of Officers Liu and Ramos were not the first assaults on police by these mobs–far from it. Watching the people who instantly conjured up a link between Sarah Palin’s map and Jared Loughner’s gun do a little song-and-dance about how the violence of the Brown/Garner protesters is a stunning aberration, which has nothing to do with rhetoric that paints the police as racist thrill-killers, is sickening.

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There is a very real Climate of Hate surrounding the Brown and Garner protest movements. The old fires simmering for years are clear to see, as are the fresh gallons of gasoline thrown upon them. That’s not a blanket indictment of everyone who criticized the police, but it’s a fair charge to level against those who spread false narratives in search of political gain, or allow those narratives to grow because they’re afraid to speak up and alienate voters they prefer to take for granted. Be that as it may. liberals may rest assured that nothing they said after Tucson has been forgotten.

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