Jared Lee Loughner fits the profile of a schizophrenic rampage-killer who "was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," writes David Brooks in the New York Times. And yet the media quickly pounced on a political motive for the Arizona shooting, blaming Sarah Palin's political map in particular and inflamed rhetoric in general for setting him off. It's a sad result of today's news media, which is "psychologically ill informed but politically inflamed," he writes. Click for the full column.
After reading Brooks' column, Andrew Sullivan accuses of him of "dangerous piety." No political connection? Then why did Loughner go after a congresswoman instead of, say, the animal shelter that fired him? "We don't know precisely yet—but it sure is relevant to ask that question," Sullivan writes in his Daily Dish blog at the Atlantic. Considering that Giffords herself criticized Palin's map when it came out and worried about the consequences, it would be irresponsible not to raise the issue. "Airing the question of how public culture affects the disturbed mind is not just legitimate in this case, but vital, in ways that Brooks of all people should understand." Click for the full post.