Fox News contributor Mara Liasson said Sunday that while defending use of gun imagery, Fox News employee Sarah Palin actually admitted that political discourse can cause violence.
Following a shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the hospital, Sarah Palin attacked critics who said that her political advertisement that put gun sights over Giffords’ district had had created a dangerous environment for the congresswoman.
Palin defended herself by saying, “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
The term “blood libel” was historically used as an excuse to persecute Jews.
“Here she is saying, when you talk about blood libel, that is the definition political discourse, a manufactured lie causing violence,” noted Liasson. “In this case she paints herself as the potential victim.”
“Here she is agreeing with the left that political discourse can cause violence.”
Fox News pundit Brit Hume attempted to disagree but Liasson stood her ground.
“Yes, that’s exactly what blood libel is. You make up a lie about someone, you make a false accusation that causes violence against Jews, for instance,” she said. “All I’m saying is that it struck the wrong tone on a whole lot of levels.”
Fox News pundit and notorious neoconservative Bill Kristol also thought Palin made a mistake with her video but he employed his own violent metaphor while making his point.
“If you want to be a presidential candidate then you should let other people answer your critics and you should deal with things a sort of a presidential level and it wasn’t necessary for her to defend herself,” he said. “Probably one of the things you should do — either when you are governor or running for president — is that you should pick your fights a little more carefully and what is the expression?”
“You don’t shoot down. She shouldn’t be fighting with Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann or Paul Krugman.”
“I hope I didn’t incite anyone to shoot down,” he added.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Jan. 10, 2010.
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Fox News poll spells doom for GOP in Arizona
The GOP's chances in Arizona have not looked this bad in years.
This article first appeared in Salon.
A new Fox News poll of registered voters in the Grand Canyon State shows Democrat Mark Kelly miles ahead of Republican Sen. Martha McSally — 50% to 37% — with 8% undecided.
Further, McSally's problems appear to come from within her own party. While Kelly enjoys the support of nearly 90% of Democrats, only 73% of Arizona Republicans back McSally.