Category Archives: Politics

How Social Media Got the Arizona Shooting Wrong

I was saddened and disappointed by events that unfolded Saturday. I was saddened by an act of violence in Tuscon, Ariz. that took the lives of six people, including federal judge John Roll, and injured 12 more, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. But I was disappointed by the reaction from the public, specifically reactions from various social media platforms.

It was the perfect storm of political tension, knee-jerk reactions and a 24-hour news cycle. After the initial reports, the story was misconstrued, misrepresented and initially caused a controversy when, really, there was none.

On Twitter, I saw statements proclaiming that Sarah Palin had blood on her hands. They were in reference to a chart she posted on Facebook for her political action committee, SarahPAC, last March. The chart used gun sights to “target” Democrats that needed to be ousted from office. Giffords was one of those Democrats.

Her choice of imagery for the chart was undoubtedly in poor taste, especially in a country with such significant gun violence each year. Certainly, the chart was also indicative of the heated bi-partisan political atmosphere in country. So, yes, it was irresponsible for an influential political figure (whether she actually deserves to be influential or not) to widely disseminate material with violent undertones to her followers. The only problem is that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, wasn’t one of her followers.

Sarah Palin's target chart.

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Less Than Ground Zero

Last week ,I linked an article by Wayne Gladstone from Cracked on Facebook and Twitter. It’s about the proposed “ground zero” mosque. I was amazed that the most poignant coverage I’ve seen on the matter has been from Cracked, a comedy website that specializes in dick jokes, and The Daily Show, a comedy show that specializes in snark and sarcasm…and dick jokes.

If you’ve read anything on this site you know it’s about pop culture. Stuff that, in the long run, isn’t really that important. I don’t intend to politicize this site, and I hope that this will be my only political post. But I felt compelled to write something after hearing ignorant rhetoric upon ignorant rhetoric. Reading that article gave me the push I needed to go through with writing this.

I completely agree with Gladstone and Jon Stewart. It’s un-American to oppose the building of this Islamic community center, which happens to include a mosque. It appears as if a majority of Americans oppose it, though. I can see the reasoning behind that. Three-thousand Americans died on American soil due to a terrorist act born out of hatred and cowardice. It was something that hadn’t been seen since Pearl Harbor.

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