Following the attack on Republican congressmen on Wednesday by a virulently anti-Republican, anti-Trump Bernie Sanders supporter, The New York Times published an editorial titled “America’s Lethal Politics” so egregiously dishonest that even many on the Left called foul. The Times has now issued a correction to the story.
In the regrettable editorial, after trying to use the shooting, which has left Republican Rep. Steve Scalise in critical condition, as a means of pushing yet again for more restrictions on Second Amendment rights, the Times made the following comparison between James T. Hodgkinson’s heinous actions on Wednesday and Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011. Loughner’s actions, the Times dishonestly suggested, had a “direct” connection to a “stylized cross hairs” symbol Sarah Palin’s PAC used on its website. Here’s the original passage:
Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.
Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They’re right. Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.
After a flood of criticism and mockery (including from Palin herself) for the flagrantly false claim that Loughner was inspired by Palin’s “targeting” of Giffords, for which there is not a shred of evidence, the Times revised the passage. Here’s how the passage now reads (deleted phrasing marked with a strike-through, significant phrasing additions in bold):