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Death Panels, Palin's Targets, and Political Assassination

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Michael Collins

The attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords raises the bar for political lies and hate to a new level.  Previously, incendiary political lies stopped just short violent imagery.  Sarah Palin's Take Back 20 campaign presented a violent threat in the form of rifle site crosshairs placed over the congressional districts of 20 Democratic supporters of health care reform.

Ironically, Giffords sent Palin a clear message to end the violent allusion in the ads.  In this brief video, she warns:

" we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list but the thing is that the way she's had it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun site over our district.  When people do that, they've got to realize that there [are] consequences to that action." Rep. Giffords

The appeal had no effect.  It took the events of Saturday, January 8 at a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona to finally get Palin to pull down her crosshairs studded map marking 20 Democrats for defeat as punishment for support of health care reform.

Political Assassinations and Assaults

Months before the JFK assassination, right wing zealots in Dallas  demonstrated against the dangers posed by the Kennedy administration.  The pseudo mug shot (image) accused Kennedy of treason.  It appeared on the streets of Dallas, Texas prior to the assassination.  The soon to be murdered president was accused of turning the Constitution over to a Communist United Nations; failing to register Communists; invading a "sovereign state" with U.S. troops (e.g., supporting court orders for the racial integration of schools); appointing "Anti-Christians" to government positions; and lying about his "previous marriage and divorce."


The charge of "treason" plus the inflammatory content of the specific lies tarred Kennedy as a criminal and a danger to the country.  The net outcome was to dehumanize the president.  The mainstream media of the 1960's did not run these inflammatory charges.

The level of personal attacks on President Obama echoes the extreme hatred directed at Kennedy.  There are reasons that warrant a vigorous challenge to the current president on issues, tactics, and strategies.  When the challenges come in the form of hate filled lies  that the president is secretly a Muslim or that he's part of a new world order based on Marxism, the lies have the effect of inflaming the uninformed and bigoted.

In the 1960's, the charges against JFK were published in extremist newsletters and offered at meetings by fringe political groups.  Today, the inflammatory charges against President Obama and other Democrats are a part of the mainstream media via Fox Broadcasting and Fox News.

Fox Broadcasting has been the number one or two in network over the past few years.  The Fox News cable operation, which feeds some local Fox affiliates, is a consistent ratings leader among the cable networks.  Lies viewed in print by a few hundred thousand in the 1960's are dwarfed by nonstop lies told on the Fox network to tens of millions every single day.

Fox News hired former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as commentator in January 2010.  She made her debut on the O'Reilly show and is a frequent guest of other talking heads on Fox News.  While at Fox, Palin began a campaign to get rid of 20 Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Sarah Palin's Targets


From Sara Palin's Take Back 20 web site.Via Townhall.com (Screenshot)

The Palin site is no longer operating.

Sara Palin's web site featured the image above for the Take Back 20 campaign.  The crosshairs are those that Rep. Giffords referenced in the video above.  USA Today covered the campaign roll out on September 27, 2010.

"In a website launched on Thursday, the six-month anniversary of the health care law, Palin puts a bull's-eye on 20 House districts under a headline that reads, "We've diagnosed the problem"Help us prescribe the solution."

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Sarah Palin to be one of the most dangerous influe... by Allen Oliver on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 7:17:21 AM
it is speech from both sides that fuel these type ... by Laura Roberts on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 9:28:40 AM
Quantitatively, there is much more hate speech bro... by Michael Collins on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:31:10 PM
This could explain why he began to be seen as unst... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:59:07 PM
We don't know the full story on Loughner but we do... by Michael Collins on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:47:19 PM
In a ten year period, police were called to his ho... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 11:05:18 PM
Aiming at Fox news is to aim at the nine ring in a... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:00:51 AM
Youu're right. I should have mentioned Murdoch, t... by Michael Collins on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:36:23 PM
his bottom line is the money it makes for him. He... by Allen Oliver on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:02:49 PM
is that you disagree. In the court of opinions the... by Allen Oliver on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 3:54:26 PM
Then, when something happens, they cry like babies... by Michael Collins on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:25:06 PM
we all are to blame, it is our culture that has be... by msedano on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:17:41 AM
We're in a new era of acceptability and we are to ... by Michael Collins on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:34:38 PM
... by William Chappell on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 11:05:35 AM
.... except the nut who did it. We can't turn int... by Natalie Oberman on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:20:26 PM
to be the focus. We don't now for sure where this... by Michael Collins on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:38:52 PM
Your link to evidence that Loughner was a 911 trut... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 8:25:17 AM
Rob, no, I'm not a troll, I'm simply attempting to... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:37:14 AM
This link is much better, more authoritative and i... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:56:47 AM
Natalie is off her rocker, of course. Nonetheless,... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:23:02 AM
she should not be censored but she should know the... by Allen Oliver on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:45:15 PM
Thanks Ned. I'm used to much sharper elbows at ot... by Michael Collins on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:26:32 PM
The previous link I provided (that you deleted) wa... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:41:21 PM
was implicating her. I can't see where Michael all... by Allen Oliver on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:00:26 PM
No one is implicating her? Come on. I get scolde... by Natalie Oberman on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 4:01:13 AM
that this will become about politics and gun contr... by Laura Roberts on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:27:49 PM
You said again, "Both sides are just as guilty of ... by Michael Collins on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 12:06:39 AM
is where is all this foaming at the mouth anger co... by Allen Oliver on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 6:39:45 AM
Not only can you probably jump higher than me, All... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:39:59 AM
I never noticed, but hey you've been playing in th... by Allen Oliver on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:29:10 PM
I have to respectfully disagree with you. This ha... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:30:21 PM
Dare I say: TROLL?Rat-atat-tat.... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:32:04 AM
Remember, this is civil discourse. :>)... by Allen Oliver on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:31:55 PM
A touch subject to be sure. One thing that I have... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 9:33:57 PM
What do you think?What would China do with people ... by Debbie S on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 1:22:43 PM
Palin, Beck and O'Reilly would not be allowed to b... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 7:18:45 PM
I agree with you 100%.So what is the rational thou... by Debbie S on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:13:17 PM
So here we go with the freedom squelchers from the... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 12:23:39 AM
How willing we liberals are to attack speech we do... by Miriam Callaghan on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:44:17 PM
"I trust the vast majority out there who have wat... by Natalie Oberman on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 3:12:13 AM
My point on Palin's popularity was simple. She's ... by Michael Collins on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:22:39 PM
You're right. "We don't know", or at least we did... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 3:49:49 AM
I agree there's a fair amount of righty-hate out t... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 12:04:37 PM
Thank you J., for (most of) that. You're always a... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 1:45:40 PM
I think you're giving FAUX News way more credit th... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 3:58:28 PM
and the main reason is she quit her position as go... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:50:41 PM
I wouldn't necessarily either, in a primary at lea... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 2:30:16 PM
I just have a thing against crypto-secessionists :... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 2:15:49 PM