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SHOOTING: Media demagogues, Internet lies share blame

Letter by Jim Joy , University Place on Jan. 10, 2011 at 10:58 am | 23 Comments »
January 10, 2011 12:46 pm

What a horrible tragedy in Arizona. Like most Americans, I am shaken by this senseless act of violence. Among the dead is a 9-year-old child.

But an honest look into the motives of this cowardly killer cannot ignore the influence of media wags. The distorted thoughts he apparently held about our government (comments about government brainwashing; obsessive concern over political correctness) are topics frequently preached by radio and TV commentators.

These pompous and smug propagandists drop veiled hints about looming anti-governmental violence, inspiring unsophisticated villains to act out such deeds. Then they wash their hands, claim innocence and hide behind the flag.

But there is no hiding here. They have blood on their hands. This young killer was seduced by those who distort the truth and repeat the fabrications over and over.

But it is not only the media demagogues who are participants. Those who traffic in the political lies and fabrications that consume the Internet are equally to blame. While they might claim to only read and forward these diatribes, they participate in the crime by repeating the lie and, “A lie told often enough becomes truth.”

One of our country’s fundamental tenets is open discourse. But this right comes with the obligation to educate ourselves with the facts and to vote accordingly. Our Constitution was designed for a citizenry educated with the truth. If we simply rely upon the demagogues, we increase the likelihood that our country will become just another violent Third World country.

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