From: Michael Cutler <firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: January 12, 2011 3:40:50 PM PSTTo: Michael Cutler <Mcutler007@aol.com>Subject: “Thoughts About Tucson: Gabby Giffords, Media Speculation and Civility” (My Blog Post for Californians for Population Stabilization)Hi Gang:As you probably know, I am involved with a number of organizations that are concerned about the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today and has greatly impacted ever so many aspects of our country.One of the organizations with which I am affiliated is CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) where I am a senior fellow.I am a regular contributor to that organization’s website and regularly post entries on the CAPS Blog.I have provided you, below, with my most recent posting that focuses on the horrific shootings in Tucson this past Saturday and the response by the media and those in the public realm.
Thoughts About Tucson: Gabby Giffords, Media Speculation and Civility
Among the wounded was a sitting member of Congress, Representative
Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords and among the dead was a federal judge,
Justice John Roll, which drew the media into this horrible crime.
The media initially focused on Giffords–in fact, they were so anxious
to get the “scoop” that they initially reported she had died when,
thankfully, she was still alive and in surgery. The original coverage
made it appear that the other victims were barely worth mentioning.
Imagine how the family members of the other victims must have felt. It
took several days before the names of the other victims were made public, and longer for other details.
Next came the media speculation. The shooting became something of a
Rorschach Test. There was speculation about the motivation behind Jared
Lee Loughner’s mass shooting. There were initial reports that Loughner
was a member of the military and had served in Afghanistan. Then the
truth surfaced that he had actually been rejected by the military.
Then came rank speculation from someone who absolutely should have
known better, the Pima County Sheriff who blamed the attack on the
bigotry of the citizens of his state. Consider an unbelievable sentence
that was part of an “analysis” offered by Jennifer Steinhauer in an
article that appeared in the New York Times on January 9th:
The moment was crystallized by
Clarence W. Dupnik, the Pima County sheriff, who, in a remarkable news
conference on Saturday after the shooting, called his state “the mecca
for prejudice and bigotry.”
True law enforcement professionals know that they must serve as role
models for the communities they serve, because the residents of their
community look to them to be the pillars of strength and fairness. Law
enforcement officers understand that jumping to conclusions can cause
irreparable harm to an investigation and may do irreparable harm to a
prosecution. Anyone conducting an investigation into a crime must bring
to the investigation an open mind and not pre-conceived notions that
may cloud the issue and may cause the law enforcement officer to
consciously or unconsciously attempt to find the evidence that
substantiates his (her) initial theories.
Public statements about the motivation a suspect may have had in
carrying out a crime may poison the jury pool to the point that a fair
trial becomes problematic. Our legal system demands that anyone who is
charged with a crime maintains a “presumption of innocence” until that
person either pleads guilty to the crime or is found guilty at trial.
That is why Mr. Loughner is said to have allegedly fired those shots into those victims this past Saturday even though there were so many witnesses to the crime.
The politicians and members of the news media have decided to make
use of the tragedy by declaring that “hate speech” is behind what
happened. Never mind that from all accounts Mr. Loughner suffers from
serious mental illness and it is likely that he was not motivated by
“hate speech.” That does not deter the political operatives, however
because the shooting provided the perfect opportunity to go after
Today anyone who possesses a contrary viewpoint is likely to be
vilified and accused of all sorts of things. Let me provide you with an
example of this that hits close to home for me and actually relates
back to the horrific crime that played out this past Saturday in
Tucson. Today, when anyone calls for securing our nation’s borders, the
label “anti-immigrant” is likely to be slapped on that person. Some of
the more vitriolic labels include bigot, racist, hate-monger, Nazi,
fascist or some other equally vile or repugnant adjective will be used
by those who seek to leave our borders open and provide amnesty to
illegal aliens. In fact, I have actually been told that the use of the
term “illegal alien” is a form of “hate speech.”
I have actually been told that the “A Word” is as despicable as the “N Word.”
How can our nation engage in an important discussion about one of the
most critically important challenges that confronts our nation today
when the folks on the other side will either attempt to drown out your
words with bull horns or with the intimidation of name calling?
It is time for the news media to go back and take a good hard look at
the First Amendment which is of particular importance to them. It is
time for the name calling to stop and for respect for opponents to
I am disgusted that when a politician dies and the political
colleagues deliver the eulogies that they stop referring to the deceased
politician as being a “Great Democrat” or a “Great Republican.” I
would prefer that they all aspire to be “Good Americans.”
The time has come for Americans to start talking, civilly, to one
another especially the ones they disagree with. Who knows, we may all
learn something by actually listening to each other.
Surf Ski Supremacy – Come Fly With Me ord; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; “>
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