In his oped in the NYTs about the tenor of the backlash against President ‘Where did ‘we’ Go’ Thomas L. Friedman writes that he believes it has cultural parallels that preceded the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Friedman had interviewed Rabin shortly before the murder, so he witnessed the political climate first hand.
Friedman- “They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.
And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.” –
Bill Clinton talks about the “virulence” of the right- wing conspiracy, poisonous tactics employed by ultra-conservatives in The Clinton Tapes.
Moderate conservatives have been dispatched to all outlets to say that this is just politics, that hate speech and hyperbole are used by both sides. Neocon meteor Bill Bennett chuckled at Friedman’s comparison yesterday on CNN, calling Friedman a ‘nut’ to make such an assertion.
So that is the Republican tactic to equate threats to the president’s life to a substantive commentary by a revered political journalist. It is not the same.
There is a whole new media arsenal of propograndizing for starters- online, on mobile and stealth at its source, that has come into play.