Is Tea Party Hate Speech Responsible For the Massacre In Arizona ?
A few questions I am struggling with.
Twitter is abuzz with declarations that this is an act of right-wing terrorism. Tweets are posting a map attributed to Sarah Palin's site sarahpac.com, where the former Alaska governor lists "20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 who voted for the healthcare bill." The list is intended as a call to action, yes, but are we sure the 18-year-old male who is reported to have shot 18 people was inspired by that?
While social media can be invaluable sources of information during breaking news events such as the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford and 17 others in Tuscon this morning, are we priming each other to hate? Are we leading our traditional media to quicken their own responses to our breathlessness over bad news? We know that television news quickly tells us what Twitter and Facebook are putting out there. Should we, with all the strength of our social media, pause before we prime the news?
I haven't seen the Sarah Palin/ Tea Party/ right wing connection discussed on television yet, but I expect to see it any minute now.
Our gut feelings may be true and our supercharged searchlights on the worldwide web may turn out to be accurate after all. But, despite all my desire for the facts to emerge with speed when it comes to breaking news, let's exercise our power with some responsibility. Unless, of course, that responsibility rests in urging our mainstream media to ask the right questions and alerting them to investigate the obvious tracks.
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