this is a sobering reminder for those who think it's too tedious to reserve judgment about horrifying events rather than instantly turning them into talking points for pre-conceived views.But here's Fallows right after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, pushing the leftist smear that it had something to do with right-wing rhetoric in general, and Sarah Palin in particular.
"We don't know why the killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan, we'll never 'understand.' But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, including SarahPac's famous bulls-eye map of 20 Congressional targets to be removed -- including Rep. Giffords. It is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be.Apparently it was "legitimate" to pretend that the killer might have been influenced by a Sarah Palin campaign map which there's no evidence he ever saw, but not to jump to the obvious conclusion that radical Islamists might be behind a major terrorist attack. Fallows' credibility is sinking into the same territory of his fellow Atlantic writer Andrew Sullivan.