Instapundit's Reynolds in WSJ: 

It appears many corners of the mainstream media are in full-attack mode seeking to present the Tuscon tragedy as the fault of the Tea Party movement and anybody else who has dared in recent years to criticize Democrats, Big Government, Barack Obama, or Obamacare.

It's a familiar theme, one with roots that go back to the early 1960s when liberal journalists tried to connect conservative maverick Barry Goldwater as a mentally unstable extremist with ties to German ne0-nazis. The infamous "Daisy" commercial and a campaign slogan that said "In your heart, you know he's a nut" were only a couple of many such campaign smears of Goldwater by liberal Democrats.

In the decades since, every time acts of political violence, real or imagined, liberals trot out their argument that conservative criticism of government is proof of racism, rebellion, or terrorism and creates an "atmosphere of hate" that encourages whack jobs to kill innocents. It's as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning and going down in the evening.

Examiner Sunday Reflections contributor Glenn Reynolds has a superb essay in Monday's Wall Street Journal that dissects this phenomenom. Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law school professor who also happens to be the moving spirit behind Instapundit, described it this way:

"With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's words, a 'climate of hate.'

"The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors— 'lock and load' — and talked about 'targeting' opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics.

"Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's district on a list of congressional districts 'bullseyed' for primary challenges.

"When Democrats use language like this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obama's famous remark, in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign - 'If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun' - it's just evidence of high spirits, apparently. But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate."

You can read all of the Reynolds piece here. And don't miss The Examiner's own Byron York with his masterful comparison of how cautious were members of the mainstream media now egerly pointing accusatory fingers at the Tea Party and Sarah Palin in the Tuscon shootings about calling Fort Hood mass-murderer Maj. Nidal Hasan a Muslim or terrorist despite witness descriptions of him shouting "Allah Akbar" just before he started firing in an attack that left 13 people dead.

Incidentally, I think Reynold is exactly right to use the term "Blood Libel" to describe the attempt to discredit political opponents by associating them with murderous acts of violence.  

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