So said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the United States Senator, UN Ambassador and Liberal Icon. This was his response to the accusation he defended US interests too aggressively in that ‘august’ body. The grand and gentlemanly ambassador rendered it in the original French, ‘cet animal est fort méchant’ – which, of course, sounds far more refined.
Within hours of the rampaging carnage in Tucson, Arizona the media was, without a fraction of evidence, speculating on the level of Sarah Palin’s culpability for employing rhetoric against liberal policy.
I’m not talking about the fringe-blogosphere here, but the New York Times (see here and here). The sheer gumption, hypocrisy and unfairness was breathtaking, as James Taranto documents here. The best take-down, however, is Charles Krauthammer’s – who as a Harvard trained psychiatrist, is probably the best placed pundit to comment.
Needless to say, our local media, which does not cover US Affairs at all well, got in on the act – the Dominion Post carried a wire piece reading an admission of guilt into her then silence.
What did Palin do? Why, she released a comment that included a few sentences defending herself against the media libel that she bore responsibility for the tragedy. I post said video without comment:
What is the new take? Aside for attacking her use of the phrase blood libel, the approved narrative is now, “Why must Sarah Palin insert herself into this story by defending herself against charges of inspiring murder?“
Addendum: It is probably useful to note that, without the new media of the internet, Palin probably would have been stuck with the blame as it hardened into conventional wisdom. Look at the persistence of the conventional wisdom that JFK was murdered amid a climate of right wing hate – by a communist. As it turns out, the media approved narrative has failed to take hold of the popular imagination.