January 12, 2011

SARAH PALIN RELEASES A statement on the Tucson Shootings.

UPDATE: More here. And here’s the text on her Facebook page.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Lame complaints about the term “blood libel.”

Typically, but not exclusively, blood libels have been accusations against Jews. But blood libels have also been made historically against Christians — including Catholics and the Knights Templar — witches and pagans, and, more modernly, Satanists.

Liberals need something to mumble about, so goshdarnitow sometime between yesterday and today the term came to apply only to the Jews. They’d like you to believe this is “another” example of Palin’s ignorance, even though, as I said, by their own definition her use of the term is appropriate. As with their response to the Arizona shooting, facts-be-damned they’ve got a story and they’re sticking to it. . . .

This is willful ignorance so liberal commentators can feel good about themselves. Their slander over the weekend didn’t stick, so now it’s on to a new one. Notice, they can’t claim not to have made the false accusation that the Tea Party caused the Arizona shooting. So instead of defending it, which they can’t, they’ll just quibble about the words Palin used.

That seems to be how it works. And here are a bunch of examples of “blood libel” used in various contexts, by people as diverse as Andrew Sullivan and Ann Coulter, as well as Alex Beam, Michael Barone, Andrew Cohen of CBS, and Les Payne. Nobody cared, because Sarah Palin wasn’t involved. Heck, I used the term myself in my WSJ column. I got a grouchy email or two, but nobody else — even among the lefties who criticized it — seemed to care about the use of the term. This is the silliest hissyfit yet, and is itself evidence that there’s no substantive response.

MORE: No, the headline on my piece — “The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel” — didn’t come from me. It was provided, as headlines usually are, by the WSJ. But I did use the term in the piece. My headline was “Have You No Decency?” Because what’s going on here — however much they’re trying to change the subject — is precisely the kind of McCarthyism the media left purports to disdain.

STILL MORE: Reader David Ringelman emails that Sarah Palin must have been reading Frank Rich, who wrote in 2006:

The moment Mr. Foley’s e-mails became known, we saw that brand of fearmongering and bigotry at full tilt: Bush administration allies exploited the former Congressman’s predatory history to spread the grotesque canard that homosexuality is a direct path to pedophilia. It’s the kind of blood libel that in another era was spread about Jews.

And yet, somehow, it slipped right by all those layers of culturally sensitive editors and fact-checkers at the New York Times. That’s because, once again, a made-up double-standard has been invented for a particular purpose. Really, is this all they’ve got? Yes.

FINALLY: Alan Dershowitz says “blood libel” is a perfectly acceptable metaphor, and many others weigh in.