In a January 18 Politico column, Joe Scarborough criticized right-wing media figures, including Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, for their "heated rhetoric," stating: "Despite what we eventually learned about the shooter in Tucson, should the right have really been so shocked that many feared a political connection between the heated rhetoric of 2010 and the shooting of [Rep. Gabrielle] Giffords?"
From Scarborough's column:
We get it, Sarah Palin. You're not morally culpable for the tragic shooting in Tucson, Ariz. All of us around the "Morning Joe" table agree, even if we were stunned that you would whine about yourself on Facebook as a shattered family prepared to bury their 9-year-old girl.
The same goes for you, Glenn Beck. You've attacked your political opponents with words designed to inspire hatred and mind-bending conspiracy theories from fans. Calling the president a racist, Marxist and fascist may be reprehensible, but it did not lead a mentally disturbed man to take a Glock to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's "Congress on Your Corner" event.
Good on ya, buddy. You weren't personally responsible for the slaughter at the Safeway. Maybe you can put it on a poster at the next "Talkers" convention.
But before you and the pack of right-wing polemicists who make big bucks spewing rage on a daily basis congratulate yourselves for not being responsible for Jared Lee Loughner's rampage, I recommend taking a deep breath. Just because the dots between violent rhetoric and violent actions don't connect in this case doesn't mean you can afford to ignore the possibility -- or, as many fear, the inevitability -- that someone else will soon draw the line between them.
Actually, someone already has. When you get a minute, Google "Byron Williams" and "Tides Foundation" to see just how thin a layer of ice Beck skates on every day.