The Corner

A Point of Clarification

Any soundbite, article,  lecture or editorial that begins with some variation of “Sarah Palin [or Rush Limbaugh, or the Tea Parties etc] “didn’t pull the trigger but…” is either rank intellectual laziness or, more likely,  a slimy or irresponsible attempt to exploit this crime for a political agenda.

Unlike, say, the issues of mental illness or gun control, there is no fair-minded reason to turn this into a debate about Palin. There is simply no known basis in fact that Loughner was inspired by Palin’s map or any of the other alleged incitements.

Feeling that it should be otherwise is not a legitimate reason to say it is otherwise. And every journalistic outfit who thinks they’re being fair by covering the “debate” evenhandedly misses this basic point. You can’t cover a debate that shouldn’t exist in the first place “fairly.”  What we have here is a variant of the “when did you stop beating your wife” question. There is no evidence of any kind of wife-beating, but we still get stories that read something like this: “…some say X does beat his wife, while others point out there is zero direct evidence of wife-beating. Still, the controversy does raise larger questions about the climate of wife-beating and X’s responsibility for it.”

It’s like covering the “debate” over whether the Jews secretly launched the 9/11 attacks. Once you’ve engaged a yes-v-no argument that takes both “sides” seriously, you’ve done more harm than good.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More