Sunday, January 09, 2011

Need a helping of false equivalence? Call Matt Bai!

There will be ninety-seven shiploads of stupid written in the next three days about the sad events of yesterday, but this lede from the Dean of Both Sides Are Just As Bad™ journalism will take a back seat to none of it:

Within minutes of the first reports Saturday that Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and a score of people with her had been shot in Tucson, pages began disappearing from the Web. One was Sarah Palin’s infamous “cross hairs” map from last year, which showed a series of contested Congressional districts, including Ms. Giffords’s, with gun targets trained on them. Another was from Daily Kos, the liberal blog, where one of the congresswoman’s apparently liberal constituents declared her “dead to me” after Ms. Giffords voted against Nancy Pelosi in House leadership elections last week.

Odds are pretty good that neither of these — nor any other isolated bit of imagery — had much to do with the shooting in Tucson.

Yes. Some random diary on "the liberal blog" (?) containing a phrase in common parlance, posted by … we'll say some unknown person since Matt Bai doesn't seem to know … is Just Like™ the most prominent figure in the Republican Party putting up a map with sniper crosshairs and names of her political enemies.

Nor would it be good for someone determined to maintain this Balanced Narrative to inform his readers that this dKos post* went up just this past Thursday, and so was understandably taken down in light of events, while Sarah Palin's target map was up for close to a year before being taken down. Nor do any readers need to know that Palin's target post was referred to by a Sarah Palin tweet, still up** as of this moment, saying in part:

"Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" Pls see my Facebook page.

I guess you're back in second place, Adam Liptak.

* Link to a Google cache of the post. Might not be around forever.

** Here's a screen shot if St. Sarah gets around to scrubbing her Twitter feed as she has her Facebook post.***

*** [Added] Just thought to check the original link to Palin's Facebook post, and unless something strange is going on with my browser cache, it looks like Palin has sneaked the target map back onto her post, due in all likelihood to (1) the millions of people who pointed out before Bai did that Palin had been trying to rewrite history again and (2) Willow or someone explaining to her mom the concept of screen shots.

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