News Release

Arizona Shooting

Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for ComfortCHIP BERLET
Berlet is senior analyst at Political Research Associates and co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. He has written a series of pieces about the Arizona shooting spree: “Possible Racist and Anti-Immigrant Tie to Alleged Arizona Assassin,” “The Becking of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords” and “Alleged Giffords Shooter Shares Currency Plot Obsession with Anti-Abortion Killer.”

FREDERICK CLARKSON
Author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and DemocracyDemocracy, Clarkson is editor of the book Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America. He is founder of the interactive blog “Talk to Action” about the religious right. He said today: “Jared Loughner may be many things. If police and news reports are accurate, he may be mentally ill. He may have harbored far right-wing conspiracy theories and held hateful views towards government. This volatile mix may have led to his decision to plan to buy a gun and attempt to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It would be tempting to dismiss the young man with a plan as a lone nut. But Loughner is much more than that. He is the canary in the coal mine of our times. We ignore the warning of his ideas and his actions at our peril.”

Clarkson recently wrote the piece “Hate, Violence, and the Religious Right.”

SARA ROBINSON
Senior fellow at Campaign for America’s Future, Robinson said today: “The facts are still coming in, but there’s no question we need to address the climate that’s been created by the right-wing media. Some suggest that the left and right are no different in their rhetoric, but they are radically different: there are no major figures on the left calling for the deaths of conservatives, no shootings of right-wing leaders. This is the result of 20 years of conservative media propagating violent rhetoric against liberal Americans. Gifford got caught in the crossfire. Her district covers Cochise County, which has been the center of Minuteman and other anti-immigrant activity for years. Things are strained down there, but not vastly more strained than they are in much of the rest of America. This is what domestic terrorism looks like, and we’d be much faster to call it that if only the shooter had been Muslim.”

Robinson wrote the piece “Tragedy at the Holocaust Museum: Stand Up To Terrorism.”

See video of Giffords discussing political rhetoric and violence at 2:00 mark.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167