… Sarah Palin opens her mouth!
We were wondering when she’d speak up. The woman who put herself in the “line of fire” by using gun imagery, murderous metaphors and violent rhetoric as her calling card and, by posting on her SarahPAC and facebook pages a map with gun crosshairs over 20 Congressional districts – including Gabby Giffords’, took a bad situation and made it worse with more incendiary words.
I was hoping that Sarah Palin would show that she has some sense in that thick mind of hers by, when emerging from her cocoon of silence, renouncing her bad choice of words and images. I’ll reiterate that Palin’s vitriol likely played no direct role in Saturday’s attack. But they can’t be discounted when commands of violence toward those with whom you have political differences are common and acceptable, as they are with Palin.
Instead, the former half-term governor of Alaska chose to produce a video — note no chance for question and answer or dialog… just a well-rehearsed statement that she read from a teleprompter (you can clearly see its reflection in her glasses!), in which she accuses journalists and pundints (sic) of “BLOOD LIBEL“!
Blood Libel – The blood libel is a false accusation that Jews sacrifice Christian children either to use the blood for various “medicinal” purposes or to prepare Passover Matzoth (unleavened bread) or for vengeance and mock crucifixions. It is one of the central fables of Anti-Semitism of the older (middle ages) type. The blood libel is a phenomenon of medieval and modern Christian anti-Semitism, but spread to the Middle East as early as 1775, when there was a blood libel in Hebron. A second blood libel occurred in Damascus in 1840 and one occurred in Cyprus in the same year. As the blood libel was the subject of folk ballads and literature, it was not simply a religious superstition in Europe, but a staple of popular culture, like most anti-Semitic prejudices.
We can always count on Sarah Palin to choose the most inappropriate words at precisely the wrong time. Both Gaby Giffords and her aide, Gabriel Zimmerman, who was shot and killed on Saturday are Jewish. And Palin uses a term synonymous with antisemitism. And though she sat silent for the past five days while criticism was heaped on her, including by me, she chose today – the day the President will speak at a memorial in Tucson – to make it all about her.
If nothing else, her handling of this situation proved that this woman has no place in national politics or serious discussion. To quote Keith Olbermann, “That woman is a moron!”
My friend Will Bunch, author of The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama, who also writes the Attytood blog at the Philadelphia Daily News and is a senior fellow at Media Matters, wrote a piece for Huffington Post yesterday. He joined me this morning to talk about it: “Arizona: Where the American Dream Went to Die”
In the second hour, I was joined by Sue Wilson, filmmaker of Broadcast Blues… all about what’s wrong with radio in the USA.
I ended the show today with another video I put together yesterday. I was inspired by Rachel Maddow who, on her show Monday night, opened with a list of mass murders committed by people with guns since Saturday’s shooter, Jared Loughner, was three years old. She pointed out that this is by no means a complete list… they edited it for time. The music is from singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler and called “If It Were Up to Me.” I hope you’ll share it.