New York Times editorial selectively quotes Obama to score partisan points 

Today's New York Times editorial is a near perfect distillation of how some elements of liberal America are just not capable of putting aside any partisan differences while discussing the Arizona shooting. The editorial gets off to an okay start:

Mr. Obama called on ideological campaigners to stop vilifying their opponents. The only way to move forward after such a tragedy, he said, is to cast aside “point-scoring and pettiness.” He rightly focused primarily on the lives of those who died and the heroism of those who tried to stop the shooter and save the victims. He urged prayers for the 14 wounded, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the target of the rampage. Their stories needed to be told, their lives celebrated and mourned.

But of course we only get one more sensible paragraph before the Times editorial board starts to show their hand and engage in their own "point-scoring and pettiness":

This horrific event, he said, should be a turning point for everyone — “not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation.”

Well, sure that's all fine and dandy, but as Verum Serum notes, that quote isn't exactly what Obama said:

If, as has been discussed in recent days, their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy–it did not–but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation.

Emphasis added. Without the President's clear statement that a lack of civility did not contribute to Gifford's shooting, the Times plows ahead by indicting Sarah Palin:

The president’s words were an important contrast to the ugliness that continues to swirl in some parts of the country. The accusation by Sarah Palin that “journalists and pundits” had committed a “blood libel” when they raised questions about overheated rhetoric was especially disturbing, given the grave meaning of that phrase in the history of the Jewish people.

Really? Look perhaps Sarah Palin is open to some criticism and, to be honest, I would have avoided invoking the term "blood libel." But when Palin deployed it was in response to many, many important voices on the left accusing her of being complicit in the killings. That's a far greater transgression than Sarah Palin's arguably unfortunate phrasing, and yet the Times editorial doesn't bother saying anything about the left's overheated rhetoric at any point.

Not only that, one of the most liberal organs in the country is still taking one-sided pot shots at a time when, following the President's speech, where conservatives opinionmakers seem across the board supportive of the President and his remarks for perhaps the first time since Obama was sworn in.

Way to look like daft partisans, New York Times editorial board.

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Mark Hemingway

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