The news media's response to the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is to blame it on a "lack of civility on both ends of the political spectrum." However, it is Republican Party leaders and Fox News that have crossed the line into explicit, implied appeals to violence.
Glenn Beck told 70 million Fox News viewers that he’d like to “kill Michael Moore.” Sarah Palin still has a “target list” on her website with a gun sight crosshairs on Democratic house districts – including Giffords’ district in Arizona. Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle endorsed “Second Amendment remedies” in her campaign in Nevada – a clear incitement to gun violence.
Mainstream Republicans like Attorney General Rob McKenna and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Buetler are culpable because they decry the killing but won’t disavow or criticize the members of their own party who instigate the violence.
The Democrats share some responsibility as well. President Obama needs to man up and confront the instigators and accommodators of violence directly. His administration fired Shirley Sherrod based on a fake news story without checking the details because they were running scared of Fox News. It is time to step up, Mr. President.