The Giffords Shooting: Both Sides Now

January 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

In general, balanced journalism is second-rate stuff. Balance, after all, is neither truth nor fairness. And it imposes an either-or straitjacket on messy reality. Today’s Albuquerque Journal Op Ed page, however, deserves applause for attempting to be even-handed.

The page provides contrasting perspectives on the Gabby Giffords story. In a soft but determined voice, E.J. Dionne Jr. deplores violent rhetoric on the political right.

Below, George F. Will loudly complains of the rush to blame, scoring what he calls “McCarthyism of the left.”

Given the Journal’s passionate, habitual one-sidedness, this unusual presentation of two sides in proximity is laudable.

I don’t find the headline on Dionne’s essay ideal, but the Journal borrowed it from the Post. And it doesn’t contradict him, isn’t inaccurate or inane.

That’s improvement.

Finally, the Journal editorializes against violence. While failing to address Dionne’s concerns, that, too, deserves praise.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas Baca

    Yes, I agree with you Arthur. But what will the Journal do tomorrow?

  • Roland

    George Will and the Republican party in general stood by mutely while Tea-Party fanatics spewed inflammatory rhetoric about “defending our freedom from Socialist Democrat dictators,” “taking back America,” and so on. No one on the political Left has said that these people don’t have first-amendment rights, but the Republican party leaders do have a moral responsibility to condemn irresponsible hyperbole that encourages an ultra right-wing militia mentality. Now that the rhetoric has played out to its logical conclusion of violence, the Republicans and George Will are hiding behind the facade of being victims of “McCarthyism of the Left.” Sarah Palin today was berating the Left for “blood libel.” Again, she doesn’t see the point — by engaging in such rhetoric, she continues to encourage fanatics to take up arms against our democratically elected government. Meanwhile, we may assume that the ABQ Journal, the official mouth-piece for the Republican party in New Mexico, will continue to publish regular columns by George Will.

  • Laura Sanchez

    In 2009, the far right fell all over itself blaming Islamic extremist rhetoric for the shooting at Fort Hood, TX. It was all the fault of “leftists” being soft on terror. Cooler heads pronounced Nidal Malik Hassan mentally unbalanced. Seems like if the right blamed their political opponents for that shooting, they should blame themselves for the Tucson tragedy. Or chalk both events up to mental problems.

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