A Washington Times editorial defends Sarah Palin’s use of the phrase “blood libel” in the wake of the Tucson shootings, by calling media criticism of Palin “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.”
Palin had been criticized for using the term “blood libel” to characterize media attacks against her, because of associations between “blood libel” and persecution of Jews in Europe. The term has its roots in the false charge that Jews would murder children and use their blood in religious rituals.
The choice by the Times to describe media attacks as “pogroms” is even more unfortunate since the term usually refers to destructive riots that targeted Jews during the time of the Russian Empire, and often resulted in massacres.Palin had been criticized for posting a map of the U.S. last year with gunsights over 20 Dem districts that were targets for Republicans, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head on Saturday. Palin responded to the criticism in a video this week: “Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
In an editorial on Wednesday, the Washington Times wrote that “Mrs. Palin is well within her rights to feel persecuted.”
“Typical of blood libel,” it says, “the attack against Mrs. Palin is a false charge intended to generate anger made by people with a political agenda. They have made these claims boldly without evidence and without censure or consequence.”
The editorial continues:
This is simply the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers. The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment’s liberal orthodoxy.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: ‘We Will Heal’: The Memorial In Tucson]
h/t Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today.