The New York Times repeats a vile lie about Sarah Palin
That didn't take long.
Our betters have long scolded us that the tone and temperament of those on the right was both threatening and would inevitably lead to violence. The terrible thing, though, is that the violence comes from those either affiliated with, or identifying as, the far left. Refusing to see the pattern, or pause for a moment's introspection, the left continues to press on. And none does so with more malicious glee than the New York Times.
In an editorial, the paper of liberal record repeated a vile, and long disproven smear against Sarah Palin:
Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.
Fortunately, commentators from the left and right immediately condemned the Times for printing this lie. Even the Washington Post's fact checker said of the incident it's "not a good sign that the debunked talking point was included as fact in the editorial of a major media outlet."
We could be uncharitable and say this serves as an admission that the Times is no better than a peddler of fake news. But the Times offered a correction, of sorts, that reads:
An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.
A handy Google search would have told them that long before they went to press. We are forced to wonder -- had there been no outcry, would any correction have been printed at all?
Has our political discourse gotten worse in recent years? Perhaps. We can still recall the days when Ronald Reagan was called the source of all evil (and much, much worse). And look -- he still haunts the left to this day. And political violence? Our history is rife with such episodes (and that doesn't even include the mass violence at events such as the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, the Kent State massacre, political duels, and assaults by and among members of Congress).
None of that history excuses what happened in Alexandria this week. And nothing at all excuses the New York Times from repeating out-and-out lies about violence to soothe its readers, and confirm its own ignorance.
The Times covered itself in shame. It likely has no idea it did so, and if it does, the paper's editorial board is guilty of actual malice. That is where our modern politcal discource varies from that of past eras. There is more preening, and more lying, than before. That is corrosive...and it must stop.