Or perhaps I should call this, "How journalistic partisanship has ruined journalism." By extension it has ruined us.
In recent weeks we have had a series of high profile, tragic, shootings. There was the Colorado movie theater shooting and now the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. I'm sure everyone knows the story. The thing that I find frustrating aside from the fact that these things happened anyway is the reporting.
If you've been paying attention, you've already heard it. If not, then I apologize for being late to the game. Within a couple of hours of the Aurora shooting, ABC's Brian Ross went on the air and said that James Holmes was a member of the TEA Party. Keep in mind that at that point we didn't even know the exact number of people murdered or injured, but Mr. Ross darn sure knew that the murderer was a TEA Party member. Of course this was false, and a backward pseudo-apology was issued.
This is not the only instance. Last year there was Jarrod Lee Loughner ran amok and shot several people, including Gabby Giffords. Shortly thereafter Politico ran this article all about how the DHS is investigating Loughner's "ties to a hate group" which turns out to be a website. They make sure to mention that:
"The feds are reportedly probing whether shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner has ties to what they describe as an anti-Semitic, anti-government hate group that has ads for tea party organizations on its website."
How ominous. The two are obviously in bed with each other. It's obvious. That is if you are a child or an idiot. I find it hard to believe that someone with the level of education to write for a major publication doesn't understand how Internet ads work. Here's a quick primer, the ads you see on the Internet are based on a) keywords embedded by the webmaster to get the most amount of traffic; and b) the cached data on the visitor's computer.
It is almost certain that the journalist who wrote the article saw TEA Party ads on the site BECAUSE THEY WERE BROWSING FOR THE TEA PARTY!!! I'm willing to bet they were browsing for the TEA Party to find the very link that their browsing habits produced in the form of a targeted ad. It's a lock that their Google search bar holds the phrase, "jarrod lee loughner tea party." Just as Brian Ross's obviously contained, "james holmes tea party."
This sort of thing happens all the time. Whenever some madman goes on a killing spree there is a race to see if this this nutjob a righty or a lefty?
Now I am getting to the important part.
If some nutjob shoots up a bunch of people, or blows up a building, it doesn't matter if they are liberal or conservative, TEA Party or communist, Republican or Democrat. Nutjobs and their political alignment, group affiliations aren't mutually exclusive.
Hitler was a dog lover, that's why.
When someone tries to make these ties between really bad people and their political affiliation they are actually trying to say that political ideology is to blame. Another famous example is that serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a Democrat. Here he is hanging out with Roslynn Carter:
That absolutely does not mean that Jimmy Carter has dead boys buried in the rose garden of the White House.
So again, Hitler was a dog lover. By the line of thinking we have been exploring, that would mean that all dog lovers were genocidal maniacs.
Here is the most important part of what I am saying. If someone is trying to make that connection we are talking about... They are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. They are attempting to manipulate you.
So remember, the next time someone tries to tell you that all Democrats are pervs because of Anthony Weiner; or because of Larry Craig, or some such. Be sure to tell them that Hitler was a dog lover.