Media’s “blame game” re: political rhetoric

Ashley Johnson, AP Lit Set 7

Although political rhetoric is an aspect of America’s democracy that many have taken pride in expressing, many media shows have blamed the heated political rhetoric for the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, that has killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Gifford in a critical recovery process.

With the midterm elections just closing, the political rhetoric of America has heated amongst many politicians. According to a recent report in CBS news, heated rhetoric and gun- related metaphors have been heard from both the Democrats and Republican parties.

Media and political analysts have also gotten into heated debates about the rhetoric of political parties that had opposed Gabrielle Gifford’s views on many issues. Many media shows have even gone as far as stating that the Republican parties’ rhetoric is to blame for the Arizona shooting. According to Fox news, an analyst stated that Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, had further attacked the Republican policies after the Arizona shooting while indirectly suggesting that the Republican political rhetoric had hinted at a language that accepted violence.

Similarly, in a recent interview on CNN, Dana Milbank, Washington Post columnist, also attacked a certain talk show host and stated that the media needs to worry about the small percentage of viewers that might take the political rhetoric to an extreme.

Although Jared Lee Loughner opposed many of Gifford’s political views, many people doubt that the heated political rhetoric had driven him towards this shooting. According to a recent poll in CBS, about six out of ten Americans do not blame the heated political rhetoric for the shootings in Arizona.

The media’s blame game on whether the political rhetoric was responsible for the shootings in Arizona has diverted our attention away from the tragedy that has occurred and caused us to look at the political aspects of the shootings.

Marianna Sotomayor, political analyst of Achona, views the shooting in Arizona “as a wake- up call in America to respect other’s viewpoints.”

The heated political rhetoric may not have been the cause of the shooting. However, the media should tone down the rhetoric so that the hostile environment cannot be blamed for such a tragedy.

Before the shootings, Gifford had sent an email to the Kentucky Secretary of State, Trey Grayson, about the need to tone down the heated political rhetoric among the political parties.  Gifford, herself, wanted to take down the hostile political environment and work together.

In this country, the partisanship of the political parties has played a great role in creating this heated rhetoric, which instead of producing solutions has caused problems.

Mrs. Nazaretian, AHN history teacher, suggests that “instead of attacking each other, we should find a real solution.”

Shortly after the Arizona shooting, members of Congress and staff members were seen standing on the East steps of the Capitol to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Arizona shooting. If the members of Congress and staff can stand together to observe a moment of silence together, despite the heated political rhetoric and the partisanship, then the members of Congress should be able to come together and focus on the solution to these problems.

Instead of trying to find the easy answer, we should get rid of the attacks made on other political parties and be open to each other’s views.

Marianna Sotomayor states that “the petty little fights in the government has negatively affected the views of American society” causing partisanship amongst us and not unity.

In past years, the political rhetoric of the nation has been considered a necessary and good aspect of American politics. However, recently the vitriolic rhetoric has created a tense environment for the American society. Although this incident cannot be blamed on the heated political rhetoric of the media alone, this tragic incident does call us to begin a more civilized debate on the issues at hand.