Friday, January 14, 2011

Part 1: HuffPost's initial reports on the AZ shooting falsely point finger at Sarah Palin, Tea Party, conservatives

Continued from Introduction

(1) An overview of what HuffPost chose to publish in the critical 12 hours after the shooting

To be clear, HuffPost did not come out and explicitly allege that Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and conservatives were responsible for Jared Lee Loughner's shooting spree, and attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords.

However, if one's news were limited only to the information HuffPost chose to publish in the critical 12 hours following this tragedy, one would glean a very distinct perception: that Loughner was motivated to murder based on what conservatives said and did --- and that they were trying to deflect this responsibility.

The reality, as this article documents, was the exact opposite --- and that HuffPost, the "nonpartisan" "news" source --- had the means to know it.

The following was the top portion of HuffPost on the evening on Jan. 8 (click panels to enlarge).

The first thing to note is that all of the blog articles on the left column are from liberals --- including this moralistic rant by Gary Hart, published less than three hours after the shooting, which insinuated that conservatives were to blame for this tragedy:

. .

Also note that HuffPost decided to feature an article entitled
"Palin responds to Arizona shooting" in the sixth position down on the center column. Two immediate questions arise:
(1) What is this story relevant?
(2) Why would a "newspaper" so prominently report that a private citizen "responded" to a tragedy of this nature --- if he or she were not implicated in its perpetration?

Note further that whereas in the column directly at right, which mentions
"Peter Guber's best and worst" in two lines. So why would HuffPost only refer to Sarah Palin as "Palin," in one line, instead of showing the same respect as it does to a film critic? The answers to some of these questions are revealed below.

Each of the top five news items, and the Sarah Palin article, consisted of:
(a) A different introductory portion, based on what's contained in the picture, followed by...
The same chronology of minute-to-minute updates

Below is the PDF of the main story thread as it existed at 11:00pm on Jan. 8:

08Jan11 main thread 1055p -

08Jan11 main thread 1055p -

Note that these are the politically-related "updates" that HuffPost chose to publish (numbering by HUFF-WATCH)
(1) 2:30pm: Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's "target list."

(2) 3:03pm: Sarah Palin has issued a brief statement on the shooting: "My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

(3) 3:11pm: Giffords' Father: "'The Whole Tea Party' An Enemy Of Gifford"

(4) 4:41pm: HuffPost's Sam Stein:
"There will be, in the next few days, painstaking efforts to uncover and understand the background of Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. And right now reporters are generally going off of bits of information taken, primarily, from Google searches. The most illustrative window is Loughner’s YouTube account, which appears to be hub of anti-government zealotry, obsession over currency and language standards, and, to put it bluntly, outright paranoia [More]

(2) HuffPost served up Sarah Palin, and implied that her actions were complicit in this attack

Below is a composite JPG of the entire story portion of the "Palin Responds" page, beneath which was the same chronology of updates from above, which is confirmable via this PDF, taken at 10:55pm on Jan. 8.

The first part of this "story"
describes and contains Gov. Palin's condolence message to the family of Rep. Giffords. Immediately following this is one graphic: Gov. Palin's use of a map that "targeted" Rep. Giffords' district, and 19 others, in which she was campaigning for the Republicans, which Terkel described as follows:
There is no evidence at this time that the shooting of Giffords was politically motivated, but it's grimly ironic that the candidate appeared on a map of House Democrats "targeted" by Palin in 2010. The map controversially used actual target markers on locations these Democrats lived and listed their names. See the controversial target map below.

And here's the one graphic that the story featured:

(3) Preview of Part 2: All the vital facts that HuffPost willfully ignored

If one only received one's "news" from HuffPost, one might be concerned that Palin's actions, and the map she used, may indeed have motivated the shooter. Yet this would be another false perception that HuffPost deliberately inculcated, because as we show in Part 2:

By 4:00pm --- seven hours before we obtained the above PDFs --- a number of much smaller blogs, ranging from Democrat to conservative, had published physical documentation of the following facts:
  • Two days before the massacre, Daily Kos published an article by a radical leftist, entitled "She (Rep. Giffords) is DEAD to me!!!"
  • Top Democratic organizations (DLC, DCCC) used identical "target maps" in the recent past
  • Daily Kos had recently "targeted" Rep. Giffords in the same fashion
  • Two of Jared Lee Loughner's favorite books are The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf
  • His YouTube channel features him burning an American flag, and calling America a "terrorist state"
  • A friend of his described him as a radical leftist

Does that sound like the profile of a conservative, a Tea Partier, or a person who admires or would be influenced in any way by Sarah Palin?

If you say "No," then count yourself as more honest and astute than Arianna Huffington and her entire staff of reporters and editors. Because as you're about to see, they maliciously constructed a narrative that all but overtly claims that Sarah Palin and her conservative allies were responsible for everything but pulling the trigger on the shooter's gun.

Continue to Part 2: All the critical evidence that HuffPost ignored in the critical first 12 hours, to construct its false narrative

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