The first news of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and at least 18 others carried all the ingredients anyone might need to admit that this is where the wild, paranoid side of political discourse within America has inevitably led.
The authors continue:
And yet the American television talk shows Sunday refused to acknowledge the obvious, failed to press on with the fundamentally revised conversation so clearly needed. How to pull the nation back from this brink of a permanently poisoned civil society?
Instead, anyone who dared implicate in this tragedy Sarah Palin's "reload" mantra, or the cross-hairs imagery employed in Republican election ads, was swatted down on the air by conservatives assuring that we don't know why Jared Loughner did what he did. It "cheapens" the tragedy to want to contextualize it, they said. Loughner seemed to be mentally unbalanced, they noted, as if that was some sort of total explanation that granted absolution to what America's political culture has become.
Go read the whole thing, it's good. My emphasis.