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Barbara Walters: ‘Unfair’ to Blame Sarah Palin

Posted on Jan 10, 2011

This is the map that Sarah Palin originally posted on her Facebook page. (Here, names are blacked out except for that of Rep. Giffords.)

You may recall that Sarah Palin placed cross hairs on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district and tweeted “Don’t Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!” about 10 months before someone shot the congresswoman and 19 others. Well, Barbara Walters says “to blame Sarah Palin as some are doing, I think it’s very unfair to her.”

Click here to see a clip from “The View” when the map was first released. Even Elizabeth Hasselbeck was bothered by the potential for violence.


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By BigIslandDave, January 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course it’s fair. And who cares what this lisping has-been has to say on the
matter? She’s always been an apologist for the rich and powerful. Remember,
Charles Manson didn’t wield the guns and the knives—but he was no less
culpable. Caribou Barbie and her ilk are guilty of fomenting a climate of fear, hate,
violence, separateness and division—period.

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By Demeter, January 12, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ Miko:  What “consipiracy theory” are you referring to, exactly?  Palin was specifically requested to remove the targeting imagery when it was first posted back in March 2010 and she refused.  Giffords said at that time that surely Palin should understand “there would be consequences.”  It is specious and disingenious to suggest that that anyone is connocting a conspiracy theory when the fact is that Palin was fully aware of the implications of her actions and made the moral choice to ignore the possible negative consequences.  Yes, the shooter was a nutter, but as a political player and media manipulator, Palin needs to make responsible choices or suffer the fallout….she can’t make egregious errors like this and then disappear while her media minions frantically spin things to blame the liberals.

And BTW I have no problems whatsoever getting myself dressed in the morning.

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By Maani, January 12, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment


Thank you for your response.  Forgive me if I came across as unduly harsh or chastising.  The “coldness” of the written word in cyberspace can often be misread.

That said, I actually agree with you: I, too, was very quick to jump on the “blame-Palin-Beck-etal” bandwagon.  And although, as I noted, there is good reason to ride that bandwagon, I do it to a (slightly) lesser, more “indirect” degree.

AnnaCatherine & RayLan:

You both make excellent points, ones which I am surprised has not been discussed more: Palin’s very deliberate personal association with guns - and how THAT plays into the whole picture here - and the role of technology (Twitter etc.) in spreading the incendiary right-wing poison.


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By diamond, January 12, 2011 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

Barbara Walters is (a) senile and (b) a conservative stooge. Why would anyone take anything she said seriously? Of course she will defend Palin but that only confirms (a) and (b).

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By lstorrey, January 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment


I am in full agreement with you: this didn’t happen
in a vaccuum, and the culture of hostility and
agression (and easy gun access) that Beck, Palin and
others promote almost guarantees that this kind of
violence is going to happen. And I agree that the
right wing punditry produces the majority of the
violent rhetoric that’s floating around, waiting to
be seized on by the unstable. 

All I meant to say with my earlier post is that I was
too quick to swallow the first explanation of the
situation that came my way, rather than making the
effort to try and understand the more complex and
difficult reality.  I was expressing dismay at my own
“knee-jerk” reaction.  That make sense?

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skimohawk's avatar

By skimohawk, January 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

It’s actually kind of comical to watch the whacko right circling the wagons.
The discussion will devolve into one about Second Ammendment rights and ( worse ) First Ammendment rights.
Sure, you have a right to own a gun, and say whatever you want.
But nothing in the Constitution absolves you from the responsibility of your own actions or words.

Barbara’s right. Sarah Palin is not to blame in this instance. That does not make Sarah Palin any less a fool, or any less one who aspires to attain high office by preying on the fears of the electorate, something which the Republican Party has made an art form.

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By jltnol, January 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hmmm and what exactly makes Ms. Walters an expert in this field?  She’s just a
pretty face with a big microphone stating her opinion as if it were fact.

It’s not.

Just because you can’t prove that there IS a connection between these events,
doesn’t mean that there is not one.

I can’t prove that God exists, but yet a lot of people still believe that he does.

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By knute, January 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do agree that it is unfair and too simplistic to blame Sara Palin or any other of the talking heads for what happened in Arizona. They are no doubt on the wrong side of this argument I’m sure, but there is a very active and large lobbying branch that successfully intimidates our legislatures to allow assault weapons, and arms like the Glock pistol used by this lunatic that held 19-20 bullets, the National Rifle Assoc. The heat should be turned on the NRA, not the hapless Palin or Beck. They are simply stooges saying what makes them rich, they aren’t speaking from conviction, just self centered greed.

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By Maani, January 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment


“I’m amazed at how eagerly I swallowed the invented “Palin / Laughner connection” and even passed it on to friends.  We need to be much more careful when accepting the thoughts that are created and fed to us.”

No direct connection need be established.  But these types of incidents don’t occur in a vacuum.  Even if it is found that Loughner had ZERO political motive (though it has in fact been established that he did), he lived in the state with the laxest gun laws in the country, and among the easiest to obtain a gun.  And Palin, Angle, Beck et al are all extremely pro-gun, includign being against even the slightest, most simple and sensible regulations.

In this regard, Loughner did not need to have a political motive.  When one is disturbed, can easily obtain and carry a gun, and is constantly bombarded in the media by words and images that validate his or her underlying beliefs and feelings - “Don’t retreat!  Reload,” “2nd amendment solutions,” etc. - then Palin et al are no less responsible for the incident than had Loughner been a TPer with a political ax to grind.

And before I hear one possible response, no, it is not the same that many Dems are in thrall to the NRA as well.  They may be so, and that is lamentable.  But they don’t add fuel to the fire by using words and images that are incendiary - and particularly not on a 24/7/365 basis as the right does.

No, this did not happen in a vacuum, even if Loughner was not specifically politically motivated.  But it was “enabled” by the right, and their constant demonizing and use of highly inflammatory rhetoric and images.


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By samosamo, January 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment


Good grief, it is tough trying to listen to 4 conversations flying
around at the same moment. Noticed that not one of those,
whoopie or the blonde didn’t recall their diatribe about the
crosshairs in an earlier episode from last year.

No, this assassin did not shoot all those people because he
thought he was told to by palin or anyone using the ‘crosshair’
map but his thinking and attitude surely had to have been
influenced by many things that only he will be able to say what

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By Blue Floridian, January 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So the fact that Sarah Palin had a money raising tool that placed target marks on three Arizona Congressional Districts, all held by Democrats, and the fact that all three of those Democrats received DEATH threats following being made a “target” and one of those Democrats lies in a hospital the victim of a gun shot wound the result of a plan to assasinate her is all a terrible coincidence totally unrelated to anything she prompted.  Words matter and she needs to be held accountable for her antidemocratic ideas and remarks.

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By lstorrey, January 11, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

I’m amazed at how eagerly I swallowed the invented “Palin / Laughner connection” and even passed it on to friends.  We need to be much more careful when accepting the thoughts that are created and fed to us.

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By AnnaCatherine, January 11, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sarah Palin has intentionally associated herself with guns and shooting things. That is her own doing. I’m sure this all comes as a shock to her. But it shouldn’t. This is the image she projects. No one is saying that she actually killed anyone. In that respect she’s being overly sensitive. The map with the targets on it may not be ‘wrong’ but it certainly is in poor taste. As The Congresswoman said, there are consequences. For a woman who thrives on being mean spirited she should have a tougher hide. She ceases to be cute and little girlish. Dead bodies have a way of changing the mood. But Palin is able to stay focused on herself. Unphased by the tragic events she soldiers on. It’s all about Sarah, no matter what it’s about.

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By altara, January 11, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

    Tea Partiers and those that support them should realize that depicting a person as a Hitler could be only a short step away from thinking that it’s OK to kill him.


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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 11, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Who’s blaming Palin? The flame of irrational violence has been fanned by the internet , Facebook, Twitter etc… Palin’s favorite forums, since she can’t hold her own in a one on one interview. Her language has been military and simplistic - and therefore inciteful.

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By SteveL, January 11, 2011 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

Name the politician on the American Left that is as stupid, nasty, and vindictive as
Silly Sarah

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By Andy Zadrozny, January 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Palin didn’t pull the trigger but she and others like Beck and Coulter are definitely guilty of inciting retards to violence.  In a civil society her (deniable) connection with this incident would rightfully put an end to Palin’s political aspirations for good.

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By Miko, January 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I normally don’t care much for the View, but that’s
definitely a rare moment of sanity.  Anyone who
seriously believes that Sarah Palin is in any way
responsible for that is either unbelievably biased by
their dislike of her or so completely unable to
understand symbolic language that I have to wonder
whether they need help dressing themselves in the

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike
Palin; making up crazy conspiracy theories like that
one really isn’t necessary.

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