“The NYT & WaPo are now doing performance art,” Hot Air.com contributor Karl tweeted earlier this week. “Which will get to run the column on healing by Fred Phelps?”
No sign of Fred Phelps yet, but for tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post, the paper commissioned someone along similar lines, former (hopefully former) Weatherman Mark Rudd. Evidently, the paper assumes there’s a marketplace amongst its readers hoping to get the viewpoint of, as the headline to his article puts it, “An ex-Weather Underground radical on the Tucson shootings and political violence.”
As Glenn Reynolds notes:
ACTUALLY, JARED LEE LOUGHNER IS LESS CULPABLE THAN the Weather Underground. He’s just crazy. They were evil, and treasonous. It’s a disgrace — and, ironically, a testimony to the class privilege they embodied but claimed to oppose — that some of them occupy positions of importance today.
And note this item from Rudd’s article:
I doubt that a man who seems so confused and desperate cares much about ideology. Sarah Palin and her cross-hairs map deserve nothing but ignominy, but the suspect probably didn’t worry that liberals would blame conservatives for the shooting or that conservatives would take umbrage at every media accusation. If he’s a political actor, he probably doesn’t know it.
As Charlie Martin writes in the comments at Ann Althouse’s blog:
Resolved: That anyone who writes about the Tucson shootings, including a line like “Sarah Palin and her cross-hairs map deserve nothing but ignominy,” without mentioning the nearly exactly similar maps of the DLC, is to be hit on the head with a rubber truncheon and sent to bed without supper.
Another commenter there adds:
Except the text on the Palin map does not begin:”BEHIND ENEMY LINES” as the DLC map does.
Which you can see here.
But Rudd’s essay doesn’t exist in a vacuum; at least one editor at the Washington Post had to sign off on it as well.
This caps off a week in which, on Tuesday, the New York Times printed a call for public civility from recently defeated Congressman Paul Kanjorski, the Democrat from Pennsylvania who in late October, called for the Republican candidate for governor of Florida to be shot:
“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him [sic] and shoot him.
Not to be outdone, the Washington Post printed a call for public civility that same day from the former Democratic candidate for the President of the United States…Al Sharpton(!), with a headline titled, “In MLK’s honor, let’s strive for dialogue that’s passionate but not poisonous.” Because Al’s entire career has been a triumph of understated discourse.
Performance art indeed.