Many Wellingtonians will now have heard that friends-of-this-blog Dave and Urs were at the Knoxville, Tennessee church that was attacked by a man with a gun a few days ago.
The man wrote a letter claiming that he was attacking the church because liberals and gays were destroying the country. While there is certainly more to the story, it is clear that the rhetoric of the right-wing media provided him with a structure and a rationale for his attack.
It seems to me that this is the inevitable result of a media environment in which it is okay to joke about assassinating a liberal candidate for the presidency, in which an extreme bigot is called kind and decent by the President and venerated in the media after his death, where a high-profile media figure explicitly identifies liberals as internal enemies, where countless slurs and attacks on left-wing views are broadcast and repeated daily.
There is a huge media machine working feverishly to create hatred towards liberals. How then can this violence really be any kind of surprise?
Dave, Urs, much love.

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