Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Words to the Left and Words to the Right

It is claimed by the Left in scores of articles that Bill O'reilly is somehow responsible for the shooting death of the abortionist George Tiller. I suppose that the left expects that the religious right now do some soul-searching, take some responsibility, and tone down the rhetoric against doctors that provide abortions.

What they are actually doing is creating a climate in which anti-abortion rhetoric is equated with the murder of people who provide them.

But would the same people who have blamed Bill O'Reilly also start to blame the media and left wing intellectuals for the 9/11 attacks or this recent bit where a man killed two soldiers outside a shopping center in Arkansas? After all, the combined anti-military, anti-America, and anti-war rhetoric equating the Army with the greatest of evils are certainly greater and more widely known than anything Bill O'Reilly said. And how much left-wing anti-Israel rhetoric is blamed for the recent plot to blow up synagogues?

To my mind, murders by individuals should generally be blamed on the individual. So whence the double standard blaming people who kill soldiers on no one and when people kill abortion doctors blame the "right-wing media". I'll also bet that the shooting doesn't make it to the Daily Show, nor will the media make a big deal of it. (Bizarrely, this report from Iran refers to the soldiers "helping to recruit armed forces draftees", as if that were either true or possible. The US has no draftees, and if they did they would not need to be recruited.)

I think that we ought to be grateful that free speech is alive and well here and people can speak out against the US, against abortions, against doctors, against the military, against anyone they want. But to suddenly start blaming the exercise of freedom of speech for murders is disingenuous unless it is done by all, and I can't imagine the Angry Left is going to start examining its own speech too carefully in the near future.

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