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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-08-2012 02:11 AM
Lee
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

I am glad that Jared Loughner plea guilty to all his charges. The victims' families are spared of the probably long drawn court battle and are able to put a closure to that tragic part of their lives.
01-10-2011 09:41 PM
ibreak4coffee
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
So what if there's heated rhetoric in Arizona? This guy chose to attack the victims. The blame lies squarely with him. I don't blame Al Gore for the attack on the Discovery Channel's office, either. People have the right to say whatever they want. They do not have the right to shoot whomever they want.

Free speech, including heated rhetoric, plays an extremely important part in a democracy. This type of rhetoric gets people fired up and involved. Yes, oftentimes it's hyperbole, but even hyperbole serves a purpose, as any literary critic will tell you. It makes the point abundantly clear. In a democracy, change can only happen when the people are involved in the political process. Free speech is how this happens. The civil rights movement and even the American revolution itself are perfect examples of this, and there are plenty more.
I agree with your main point - free speech is a cornerstone of democracy, and there's nothing wrong with hyperbole. But there is a problem with lying, smearing, and basically saying anything to promote your own narrow interest and pander to increasingly segregated sub-groups of the population who never need to think, debate, or question anything because they've already figured everything out and the world is always black and white, never shades of gray. This is a far faster growing demographic of the American electorate than the Latino population.

The major problem for me goes back to the old saying "you have the right to your own opinion but not your own facts." Much of the "free speech" these days in politics are simply lies, and those saying them know that. But there are no consequences to acting this way - only rewards. Since the average voter spends far less time discussing and/or following politics than watching American Idol, the politicians know that the more a lie is told, the more people will believe them, and the louder and more controversial you are, the more likely they are to hear your message. Helping this along - take your pick of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Keith Olbermann, or blogs such as restate.com and dailykos.com - everything they say has to fit into a narrow worldview they are promoting and which has turned them all into millionaires. Facts and real debate are the least of their worries - they barely know the basics about 75% of what they are talking about. To me, this is not a recipe for effective and healthy long-term political debate. Sure it isn't solely responsible for the decision of one lunatic to shoot a public servant. But it doesn't help the situation either.

And just to mention something else - the more central money continues to become to politics and campaigning (in the age of the endless, $1 billion campaign), the more necessary it becomes to continually "fire everyone up." This is of course not done through informed discussion, but through statements and actions that ensure that there is constant conflict and that keeps people angry. And this is far more prevalent in the Republican party today than the Democratic party. The moderate Republican is virtually extinct - how Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are still Republicans is beyond me. And moving to Arizona itself, take a look at the transformation of John McCain over the last 5 years. He's gone from elder statesmen to irrelevant demagogue. This is due of course to the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, and their continued "free speech" will only continue this trend. And frankly in my opinion they will never be nearly as effective at governing than at being a protest movement, because they are much better designed to be latter than the former. If I were a Republican, this would worry me - Newt Gingrich didn't work out the first time.
01-10-2011 05:32 PM
Guy Haines
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

I don't care if the shooter's favorite book is Horton Hears a Who (his book list seems like a young person's idea of impressive more than a real list). Palin is not unconnected, because her casually violent rhetoric permeates the entire political atmosphere, in forsaken Arizona more than most places in the US.
01-10-2011 04:34 PM
tangerine_dream
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

This incident is a clear example why I distrust the media so much. That means everybody from Fox on up to CNN and the NYT. They're all pushing a political agenda; they are the ones who have charged up the incendiary political rhetoric. The fact that so-called trustworthy news sources have actually tried to blame Palin or the Tea Party for this Communist Manifesto-reading nutjob's behavior is one reason why this country has lost its collective mind. For them to have instantly politicized this incident, without any proof as to what his motive was, was irresponsible journalism. We need more of Jon Stewart's Rally for Sanity talk.

The guy who shot Ms. Giffords was a plain old, garden-variety lunatic looking for his fifteen minutes of fame. Sometimes I wonder if people like him would exist if the media didn't give him the infamy he sought?
01-10-2011 04:27 PM
star
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
Where did I say that? I think the rhetoric is very heated and has been since the Iraq war began.



He absolutely has a right to his opinion. I don't even have a problem with him expressing it. I do, however, have a problem with him not disclosing it as an opinion when he's acting in his official capacity. Because of his involvement with the investigation, when he says that heated rhetoric or political ideology played a part in this tragedy it implies that he has evidence suggesting that this is the case. However, as he reluctantly admits in this interview, there is no evidence to support this claim. He is simply misleading the public. Then he goes ahead and blames Republicans. Of course that's going to inflame tensions, and he's doing so even though he knows full well there is no evidence to support his claim.



I tend to agree with you regarding controversy benefiting the cable networks. However, Megyn Kelley did a great job here. It's a journalist's job to distinguish between fact and opinion, so if Fox is going to report that the sheriff thinks heated rhetoric and ideology played a role then it's also their job to determine whether this is fact or just his opinion. Did she do this because she's a good journalist or because of conservative bias? We can only speculate.

So what if there's heated rhetoric in Arizona? This guy chose to attack the victims. The blame lies squarely with him. I don't blame Al Gore for the attack on the Discovery Channel's office, either. People have the right to say whatever they want. They do not have the right to shoot whomever they want.

Free speech, including heated rhetoric, plays an extremely important part in a democracy. This type of rhetoric gets people fired up and involved. Yes, oftentimes it's hyperbole, but even hyperbole serves a purpose, as any literary critic will tell you. It makes the point abundantly clear. In a democracy, change can only happen when the people are involved in the political process. Free speech is how this happens. The civil rights movement and even the American revolution itself are perfect examples of this, and there are plenty more.



Agreed.
Yes, I agree that free speech is important. I also believe responsiblity is important. Responsible free speech is what should be the goal.

Churchill certainly inspired the British with his speechs and I suppose that some of them contained some hyperbole.

I think the recent fashion of calling whole nations, religions, and peoples evil is more than just hyperbole. It is irresponsible. There is other language that can be even more descriptive and more to the point rather than fear mongering. I think fear mongering is irresponsible no matter who does it. I also think that propaganda and falsehoods (a different kind of hyperbole, if you will) are reprehensible. I also think that deliniating a certain segment of the population of this country as enemies is reprehensible. No matter how distasteful I find Sarah Palin, I don't want to put her in gunsights. I don't want to take aim at her, or if I miss to reload. There is leadership and there is pandering.
01-10-2011 04:21 PM
star
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
Well actually the PDF has stats on victims of gun violence and whites come in slightly lower than Asians (and American Indians). Info on perpetrators of gun violence doesn't include Asians in that file. You're right, though. I wasn't 100% politically correct. How dare me.
I thought Asians came in under european americans as victims. But I may have read it differently.

It wasn't that you weren't "politically correct." You simply weren't correct.
01-10-2011 04:19 PM
star
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_Vercetti View Post
Which leaves what? The major network news that most people see (CBS in particular) are far more biased than CNN or Fox. There is an unbreakable entrenchment of left-wing bias there. Couric in particular now. The report they did on the shooting, even when it was clear that he wasn't a tea party type, was entirely about Sarah Palin being responsible. The internet is sadly the only place to get the right information.
What people seem to be looking for in news is "opinion." You don't have to get news from television. I don't watch any television news at all. It's all very bad and getting worse. I think that news organizations have so much pressure to be "up to the second" with their reporting that they don't have enough time to do a good job and certainly not the staff they need to do a good job.

But, unless we stop watching, they are going to keep doing the same thing. I haven't watched television news for 10 years at least. I stopped when I could no longer take people yelling and sneering at one another. This is not intelligent discourse, it is simply scoring points. Politics should not be a sporting event, and sadly that's how it's presented. It's not cute to talk about reloading and firing again. It's not cute to say you bring a club and we'll bring a gun. So, if they won't be adult, we must be.
01-10-2011 03:20 PM
Lee
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibreak4coffee View Post
And I'm sorry but Dupnik isn't completely wrong. There IS plenty of heated rhetoric and political activism in Arizona. My parents live in Phoenix and I spend a lot of time there. In fact, a lot of the unfortunate rhetoric (and actions) come from another sheriff in the state - Joe Arpaio - whose actions are far, far more divisive than anything Dupnik said yesterday, and the current governor. The fact Fox News is all over this and trying to get him to retract what he's saying is obvious - they would go out of business if politics ever moved back to civil debate (as would MSNBC).
I have the feeling that Dupnik was pointing to Joe Arpaio when he used the word 'bigotry'

@Chip_s_m: I believe we are not really differ in our opinions. It's just we have a slightly different view on how Dupnik conduct himself in the press conferences. But since you don't live in Phoenix and surrounding area under the power of Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpaio, and under the state representatives in Arizona, you will never understand why me and ibreak4coffee tend to overlook the unprofessionalism of sheriff Dupnik conduct himself. I have been under the very unprofessionalism of Joe Arpaio for the last 9 years and he gets to keep voting back to office anyway............ mainly by the main stream Republicans and Sarah Palin supporters.
01-10-2011 07:32 AM
Chip_s_m
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibreak4coffee View Post
So are you saying there is no heated political rhetoric right now in the United States? Man, I wish I had your sense of what balanced, political debate is... In the last year a guy flew a plane into an IRS building, a mentally deranged guy takes hostages at the Discovery Channel, and now a member of Congress is shot - threats against members of Congress and the President are at an all-time high (according to the Secret Service, and up 300% since the Bush years), and millions tune in to watch Glenn Beck on a daily basis.
Where did I say that? I think the rhetoric is very heated and has been since the Iraq war began.

Quote:
The sheriff has inflamed political tensions? Please - the only idiots who are turning his statement into another part of an ongoing political war are those who post at redstate.com and dailykos.com anyways, and who would find 1,000 ways of doing so with or without his statements. He has a right to his opinion, just like the Tea Party can issue a statement saying we should pray for Giffords even if she is a "liberal".
He absolutely has a right to his opinion. I don't even have a problem with him expressing it. I do, however, have a problem with him not disclosing it as an opinion when he's acting in his official capacity. Because of his involvement with the investigation, when he says that heated rhetoric or political ideology played a part in this tragedy it implies that he has evidence suggesting that this is the case. However, as he reluctantly admits in this interview, there is no evidence to support this claim. He is simply misleading the public. Then he goes ahead and blames Republicans. Of course that's going to inflame tensions, and he's doing so even though he knows full well there is no evidence to support his claim.

Quote:
And I'm sorry but Dupnik isn't completely wrong. There IS plenty of heated rhetoric and political activism in Arizona. My parents live in Phoenix and I spend a lot of time there. In fact, a lot of the unfortunate rhetoric (and actions) come from another sheriff in the state - Joe Arpaio - whose actions are far, far more divisive than anything Dupnik said yesterday, and the current governor. The fact Fox News is all over this and trying to get him to retract what he's saying is obvious - they would go out of business if politics ever moved back to civil debate (as would MSNBC).
I tend to agree with you regarding controversy benefiting the cable networks. However, Megyn Kelley did a great job here. It's a journalist's job to distinguish between fact and opinion, so if Fox is going to report that the sheriff thinks heated rhetoric and ideology played a role then it's also their job to determine whether this is fact or just his opinion. Did she do this because she's a good journalist or because of conservative bias? We can only speculate.

So what if there's heated rhetoric in Arizona? This guy chose to attack the victims. The blame lies squarely with him. I don't blame Al Gore for the attack on the Discovery Channel's office, either. People have the right to say whatever they want. They do not have the right to shoot whomever they want.

Free speech, including heated rhetoric, plays an extremely important part in a democracy. This type of rhetoric gets people fired up and involved. Yes, oftentimes it's hyperbole, but even hyperbole serves a purpose, as any literary critic will tell you. It makes the point abundantly clear. In a democracy, change can only happen when the people are involved in the political process. Free speech is how this happens. The civil rights movement and even the American revolution itself are perfect examples of this, and there are plenty more.

Quote:
And to anyone on these boards trying to fix a political label to the killer based on what one youtube video says or what one of his former classmates said - get real. He wasn't liberal, leftist, marxist, conversative, facist, or a right-winger - he was simply a nutcase with so many ramblings no political framework could ever claim him.
Agreed.
01-10-2011 07:05 AM
orangehat
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_Vercetti View Post
Which leaves what? The major network news that most people see (CBS in particular) are far more biased than CNN or Fox. There is an unbreakable entrenchment of left-wing bias there. Couric in particular now. The report they did on the shooting, even when it was clear that he wasn't a tea party type, was entirely about Sarah Palin being responsible. The internet is sadly the only place to get the right information.
unbreakable entrenchment of left-wing bias

basically fox news is so terrible the right just accuses any other news source of being left-wing biased
01-10-2011 06:47 AM
straitup
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Wow, definitely silly to debate politics or biases in a situation like this. Condolences go out to the families of the killed ones, including the 9(?) year-old girl (who had just made student council in her school class and wanted to be a politician one day), and I hope Giffords gets a warm reception if/when she returns to work.

Weird to see that the 9 year old girl was born on 9/11, BTW
01-10-2011 06:42 AM
Chip_s_m
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by star View Post
That site didn't reference Asian Americans. Do you really think gun violence is higher among Asian Americans than European Americans? Also nothing there to compare Pacific Islanders.

I think you mean lower gun violence rates than Hispanic or African Americans.
Well actually the PDF has stats on victims of gun violence and whites come in slightly lower than Asians (and American Indians). Info on perpetrators of gun violence doesn't include Asians in that file. You're right, though. I wasn't 100% politically correct. How dare me.
01-10-2011 06:06 AM
ibreak4coffee
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_Vercetti View Post
Which leaves what? The major network news that most people see (CBS in particular) are far more biased than CNN or Fox. There is an unbreakable entrenchment of left-wing bias there. Couric in particular now. The report they did on the shooting, even when it was clear that he wasn't a tea party type, was entirely about Sarah Palin being responsible. The internet is sadly the only place to get the right information.
So just to be clear, you consider CBS to be more biased than Fox News? The same network created solely to advance a point of view with almost every major presumptive Republican candidate for 2012 on their payroll?

I do agree with you that the focus in the last few days has been too heavy on Palin. But her whole relationship with the media is more complex than simply being a consistent victim of bias from the major networks. Objectively, the worst possible case scenario for Sarah Palin would be for the mainstream media to stop covering her every tweet, speech, and policy pronouncement. She feeds off it, and it fuels her popularity on the right. It also helps keep her celebrity going - which is as important to her as any political aspirations at the moment. And honestly, whether its right or wrong, the fact she openly mocks the profession of journalism and refers to everyone bar Fox News as the "lamestream" media - well, that might explain why she's not necessarily the most popular politician in the United States with the scribes.
01-10-2011 04:47 AM
Tommy_Vercetti
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

Which leaves what? The major network news that most people see (CBS in particular) are far more biased than CNN or Fox. There is an unbreakable entrenchment of left-wing bias there. Couric in particular now. The report they did on the shooting, even when it was clear that he wasn't a tea party type, was entirely about Sarah Palin being responsible. The internet is sadly the only place to get the right information.
01-10-2011 04:39 AM
star
Re: Dem Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in the head

We could all do a great deal to lower the temperature of political debate by simply refusing to watch outlets that engage in political baiting and polemics. I don't watch Fox or MSNBC. CNN has so trivialized itself that it is unwatchable. Too bad because once CNN was a great source of international news reporting.

Just say no.
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