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CNN’s Blood Libel After Action Report

Standard media operating procedure involves “steering” a story for a few days, then taking a quick poll to find out if Americans are properly repeating the preferred media narrative.  In the case of the Tucson blood libel, the media rode that storyline like a little kid pumped full of Mountain Dew and set loose on his Big Wheel… and a new CNN poll becomes the latest evidence it didn’t impress anyone.

Despite saturation coverage and commentary, CNN could only come up with 48% of their very loose polling sample who blamed “the use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors” for the Tucson shooting.  That’s still far too high, but it’s definitely not the number the media was looking for, especially since the number will decline after they’re forced to give up spotlight coverage on their “Climate of Hate” narrative.

Even more depressing for the Left, only 35% were willing to blame Sarah Palin or her electoral map.  That’s pretty much the minimal level of support for any storyline liberals think will hurt a prominent conservative.  You could poll the same level of support for the assertion that Dick Cheney survives by consuming human flesh, or George Bush personally took out the World Trade Center with stealth missiles launched with a Nintendo Wii from the basement of the White House.

The poll included a question about whether the respondent felt anger, fear, shock, and/or sadness in response to the Tucson shootings.  There was lots of anger, shock, and sadness, but only 32% said they felt fear, which suggests they don’t see Jared Loughner as force recon for an army of gun-toting, teabagging assassins.  Thanks for hurting the media’s feelings, poll respondents.  You were supposed to be afraid.

96% of the poll respondents wanted Loughner to face either life in prison or the death penalty, neither of which seems very likely after Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s antics.  He’s probably going to spend some time in a mental institution.  I mean Loughner, not Dupnik, although now that you mention it…

70% of respondents said they expected politicians to respond to the Arizona shootings by “treating their opponents more civilly for a few weeks or months, but that change will not last very long.”  That’s not cynicism, it’s a rejection of the towering importance attached by the media to their Climate of Hate narrative.  Why is our entire political system supposed to bow before one screwed-up paranoid in Tucson, who decided to change it with a gun?

In related polling news, both Gallup and Rasmussen are out with new polls that show President Obama’s approval rating did not improve after his epochal Tucson memorial speech.  This is more evidence that the public never saw the Loughner atrocity as our media wanted them to see it.  To the extent they paid attention to the memorial service at all, they saw Obama giving a nice speech at a funereal, not a messiah descending from the clouds to heal our fractured American soul.

America remains a nation whose people can recoil in horror from a murderer, mourn his victims, and pray for the recovery of the good woman he shot in the face, without dismissing our serious concerns over matters of state, or allowing a political movement to feast on our grief and anger.  Good for us.

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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