Patterico's Pontifications

1/13/2011

People Falsely Accused of Wishing for Sarah Palin’s Death; UPDATE: Jovan Featured in Fox News Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:52 pm



In that video of disgusting death threats against Sarah Palin (Aaron posted screenshots of them here), there were a couple that I think were included by mistake.

Notably, this one:

To me, this is clearly a repudiation of those who blamed Palin. If there were any doubt, the author of the message explains:

Anybody who knows me, has read my books, has read my blog, has read my Tweets, has breathed the same internet air I breathe knows I’m a Reagan-conservative-moving-swiftly-to-libertarian Mormon with a side of objectivism to spice things up.

Thus, it didn’t occur to me that my tweet, made in conversation with someone else, in response to my utter disgust with the immediate blaming of Sarah Palin for Saturday’s shooting of a Congresswoman would be taken as a threat against Palin and/or a wish for her death.

In comments to Aaron’s previous post, some commenters blame the author for allegedly not making her point clear. In fact, I had a hard time seeing it as anything but an attack on those who wished death for Palin. But this could illustrate the power of reading words through a prism. Many people saw her words through the prism of a video that listed numerous death threats. I hadn’t bothered to watch that whole video, and her message came to my attention when I read a post defending her — meaning that the first time I read her message, I knew what she meant. It was very difficult for me even to understand the alternate interpretation, but when commenter Dustin patiently explained it (it appeared to him that she was telling Tea Partiers “you reap what you sow”) I finally got it.

In any event, any ambiguity from the face of the message is certainly cleared up by her explanation, which I wholly accept. I apologize to the author of the message for whatever role this blog had in adding to the negative reaction, although it seems that most people who wrote her to criticize her now understand what she meant.

By the way, the Twitterer and her defender both got pretty angry at people for misinterpreting her message, and issued some broad statements about conservatives or Palin defenders in general. I’d like to think those comments were made in righteous anger and that they would reconsider them. Both of them are utterly contemptuous of the left’s smears of Palin. In other words, their heads are generally in the right place. Give them some space, and I bet they’ll come around.

I haven’t examined every message to see if there are others that aren’t really threats, but there is one that leapt out at me as being questionable:

If you follow that link, you’ll find it goes to a ridiculous post that is exactly what the Twitterer described. I have seen him explaining it as such in subsequent messages and I am inclined to believe him.

Aaron pointed both of these out, but I thought it was worth a new post. I think what happened to these two Twitterers is, in micro form, similar to what happened to Palin and Michele Bachmann: perfectly legitimate sentiments were taken out of context and made into something they weren’t. They deserve to have this pointed out prominently — to be defended, in vigorous fashion, against a smear (albeit an unintentional one) . . . just as we would defend (and have defended) Bachmann and Palin against smears made against them.

The irony is that this illustrates that, like the makers of the video, some on the left might have actually believed Palin and Bachmann were calling for violence. Having viewed the awful Tea Partiers’ rhetoric through the prism of their certainty that Tea Partiers are violent bigots, they may not (all) have been cynically exploiting rhetoric they knew was innocent. This is a point I heard Rush Limbaugh make today: there are people who actually believe he and Palin incited this shooting (which bizarrely makes the death wishes for Palin more understandable).

I don’t credit the Krugmans and Boehlerts of the world with being honest suckers, by the way. They are simply exploiting those who are.

As for the other people who said those awful things about Palin: I don’t necessarily think they should be hounded and have their bosses notified and that sort of thing . . . but I don’t really have a problem with figuring out who they are, publicizing that, and contacting them to ask if they stand by their statements. When you make statements on the Internet, you own them, and need to stand by them.

UPDATE: Via Twitter, Jovan tells me that she was mentioned in a Fox News article. Luckily, the article was accurate and quoted her defense, so she was not further smeared.

35 Responses to “People Falsely Accused of Wishing for Sarah Palin’s Death; UPDATE: Jovan Featured in Fox News Story”

  1. By the way, I think Ms. Jovan is correct. Palin did not endanger Giffords — but the Koses, Krugmans, and Boehlerts of the world are, in my view, endangering Palin.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. Is there a reason everyone went silent for an hour? That’s weird.

    Patterico (0ad8cb)

  3. Thanks for recognizing her actual argument, Patterico.

    You’re right. She is right to be worried that the left’s hysterics could get Palin or one of her kids murdered.

    I think John Book’s is blatantly obvious. He’s just quoting a psycho. I think both of them deserved the corrections, and no hard feelings.

    It’s such a damn shame that the atmosphere is such that it’s totally believable that someone said they want to murder Palin. In fact, most of people saying something like that actually meant it.

    Anyway, Patterico runs an honest blog. Just the way he reacts when someone disagrees with him really shows it. I’m glad this issue was clarified.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  4. For those who tweeted the worst about Palin, I will only say this – you’ve been tagged, and will now carry that rusty tin can dragging behind your leg for the rest of your pathetic lives. Every job interview, every potential date, it’s always going to be there, and you won’t be able to explain it away, not ever. My sincerest congratulations on destroying yourselves – you’ve earned it.

    Dmac (498ece)

  5. >>>Give them some space, and I bet they’ll come around.

    I don’t know what you mean by that. I’ve voted for Nader every time he’s run. I’d vote for him again. Maybe it’s me waiting for the rest of you to come around.

    Mike Cane (df76b7)

  6. Just leave people alone, that’s a good poiicy

    Drew Miller (c7b3f3)

  7. I don’t know what you mean by that.

    He’s referring to those with an open mind. No one is suggesting that someone like you can be reached by reason.

    However, please accept my thanks for Bush in 2000. Your vote for Nader helped this country, and was an answer to my prayers.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. And also… Mike’s a lovable curmudgeon.

    Moriah Jovan (b3be8e)

  9. Mr. Cane,

    I believe he is saying that “given some space”, you would recognize that not all people who misunderstood Ms. Jovan’s tweet are “rabid” people who “aren’t interested in the facts”, or however it was that you put it, not about what political persuasion you might prefer.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  10. Ms Jovan’s reaction to this is extremely classy. I’m really impressed. I would not succeed nearly as well if I were in her shoes.

    And, in the long run, it just makes her come across like a graceful adult. My first impression was really wrong.

    Cane, I do understand your Nadar vote, but try to have an open mind. There are some really urgent issues in our finances that I think should outweigh most other priorities in the short and long term. I think even a very liberal person, concerned for the environment, can share a lot of common ground with a Tea Partier.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  11. I do think that Ace’s point about the 3rd category of people, the ones who are influenced by vitriol because they are of the pay-attention crazies rather than the don’t-pay-attention crazies, is right. I think the crap about Palin all over the internet really is going to get her or one of the kids murdered. It is a matter of time.

    Vivian Louise (62ee05)

  12. Mr. Cane:

    I was referring to this passage from your post:

    Which now goes to show that all of those who are defending Palin today are as rabid and narrow-minded and as dismissive of facts as the original people who were condemning Palin.

    As I said in a post at your site that still appears to reside in moderation, that is obviously painting with a very broad brush. I assumed that it was said out of anger at the way certain Palin supporters (like that tool serr8d) reacted. I figured that, when you calmed down, you would see you had overstated things.

    I like plenty of leftists. If you voted for Nader that’s fine with me. I’m not trying to bring you around from that. Just from your view of “all” Palin supporters.

    You have a lot going for you on first impression. Ms. Jovan, a class act, likes you. You, a leftist, reacted to the left’s crap about Palin appropriately. You wrote a blog post that defended a conservative, which showed class and a regard for the facts. To me, this speaks well of you.

    You have angered a few people here because of your broad brush conclusions about Palin supporters. I am asking them to reserve judgment, as your commentary was understandable in light of the smear your friend was facing.

    That’s what I meant.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  13. Patterico

    I always say that the correction should be at least as prominent as the mistake. Making it more so is equally okay by me.

    > I am asking them to reserve judgment, as your commentary was understandable in light of the smear your friend was facing.

    i wonder if any of the people getting mad at palin for calling it a blood libel would be similarly circumspect.

    no, wait, we all know the answer to that question.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  14. I’m coming in late to this whole discussion, but it was immediately obvious to me when I saw the video that some of the entries didn’t belong, particularly Ms Joven’s. In fact I’ve been saying much the same thing she has, though on Facebook rather than Twitter; had I done so on Twitter I might easily have ended up in the video too. I’ve been shouting my lungs out on Facebook that sooner or later something is very likely to happen to Mrs Palin or one of her family, and when it does it will be the fault of everyone who’s participated in the blood libel.

    Milhouse (f17dec)

  15. I am seriously concerned that this “15 minutes of hate” that has been directed to Palin endangers her life and those of her family. I have a post about the similarity to the Pim Fortuyn story.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  16. Patterico:

    also i will quibble here.

    > Koses, Krugmans, and Boehlerts of the world are, in my view, endangering Palin.

    i am not sure they are having any effect. but no good can come from that kind of hate.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  17. Aaron, I hope you’re right but I worry that Mike K. is.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  18. “I’ve voted for Nader every time he’s run. I’d vote for him again. Maybe it’s me waiting for the rest of you to come around.”

    O.k. by me. As long as you don’t mind waiting for all eternity.

    Dave Surls (e5fef2)

  19. a mistake a lot of people make with their hatred of Palin is they bottle it up. These people need to be encouraged to share their feelings in public forums like the internets and in line at Target and at church and when picking up kids from daycare.

    We need to let them know they’re not alone, that they’re not nutty or different, that they don’t have to be ashamed of these feelings, that we can deal with these feelings together, as Americans. Cause together we do indeed thrive.

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  20. “Thus, it didn’t occur to me that my tweet, made in conversation with someone else, in response to my utter disgust with the immediate blaming of Sarah Palin for Saturday’s shooting of a Congresswoman would be taken as a threat against Palin and/or a wish for her death.”

    I didn’t take it that way. I was wondering what it was doing in the YouTube let’s-wish-death-on palin-for-peace compilation in the first place.

    But, anyway, I’m glad it all got straightened out and everyone is friends now…except the Plain-haters. They can all drop dead.

    Dave Surls (e5fef2)

  21. Mike K’s post is worth a read. I wish I could say the same for happyfeet’s comments.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  22. a mistake a lot of people make with their hatred of Palin is they bottle it up.

    Yeah, that’s a real major problem in our country. (Rolls eyes.)

    Patterico (ae04b9)

  23. Whoops. I meant Palin-haters, not Plain-haters.

    If you want to hate praries, that’s your business.

    Dave Surls (e5fef2)

  24. Drj & Pat

    Speaking fluent Hapfet – allow me to interpret Hapyfeets’ latest missive

    a mistake a lot of people make with their hatred of Palin is they bottle it up

    What are these F*cktards thinking when they write this stuff!

    These people need to be encouraged to share their feelings in public forums like the internets and in line at Target and at church and when picking up kids from daycare.

    Jail pure and simple – lock these morons up and throw away the key

    We need to let them know they’re not alone, that they’re not nutty or different, that they don’t have to be ashamed of these feelings, that we can deal with these feelings together, as Americans. Cause together we do indeed thrive

    Time to get rid of the Democrats, the MSM, and That speech giving smirking Messiah

    I think he’s really pissed myself…

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  25. Either you are being sarcastic or you’ve completely missed happyfeet’s point, Eric.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  26. DRJ

    No I understood it perfectly

    Its the dry Chevy Chase understatement of massive events on the SNL fake news skits

    Classic deadpan straight man

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  27. @23

    Damn candy-coated chocolates with no nut or anything at the center. They should all be smushed or something.

    And don’t get me started on unflavored yoghurt.

    malclave (4f3ec1)

  28. Damn candy-coated chocolates with no nut or anything at the center.

    hah I hate Tim Pawlenty too

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  29. My best wishes to Moriah Jovan, she’s handled getting swept up in a typhoon with a great deal of grace.

    ** applause **

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. @#28: as usual, quite a bit of hate there. Ironic, given the name. Must be something else going on.

    I.P. Daley (11db5b)

  31. I can still have happyfeet and despise a homophobic pansy like Pawlenty it’s not even hard here’s Ellie she’s fetching and oddly hard not to watch Mr. bh linked her one day

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  32. Yuppers. Something else, absolutely.

    I.P. Daley (11db5b)

  33. The best revenge? Elect Sarah Palin as our next president and give her a conservative congress. That is total revolution.

    TotalRevolution2012 (d4485e)

  34. I saw the original death threats montage and wondered why MoriahJovan’s tweet, along with a few others, was included.

    SteveP (2ebe76)

  35. Listen up folks.Nothing has change one iota since the Tuscon killings.
    Things are the way they have always been with the left side of the road, both in rhetoric and actions now,as it was before.

    Seeing these stories on how they want so and so dead or hurt or maimed has not changed.The only thing that has changed is they are trying to hang normal people for crimes of mass murder that had nothing to do with so yes, they are dehumanizing their enemies and it is dangerous but it may be helpful to focus on “who” is “not” the predators here and keep hammering that fact home.
    Seeing more of the rabid,insane left does not need to be emphasized, it is a common everyday thing that we all see everyday anyhow.

    It would be helpful to keep the eye on the ball on who is not killing people before they make a law that bans icons and/or speech in ads and name it the “Sarah Palin law” to forever link people like us to people like them.

    justavoter (b003e1)


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