If there's a news story that I've been keeping an eye on recently, it would probably be last week's shootings at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Strangely, the media coverage of the event has eclipsed the consequences of this hate-fueled murder. The supposedly left-leaning mainstream media has painted shooter James von Brunn as a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a right-wing extremist, though only the first two labels are accurate. In response, conservative news groups such as the non-profit organization American Values has pointed out that "Nazi" is an abbreviation for "National Socialist" and that the shootings are a harbinger for more "Islamofascism" to come.
In a way, both sides are wrong; hate doesn't have a political affiliation. Comparing the party of Hitler to 21st century socialism is like saying hippies are "hip," isn't it? This bigoted old coot acted on his own terms, with no agenda beyond his prejudiced and distorted view of the world. Yes, I am aware that his "manifesto" was vehemently anti-Obama, and he was convinced that the president was not born in the US and should be removed from office immediately, but his remarks were almost purely racially motivated. James von Brunn is an ignorant, deluded, anti-government, anti-American shell of a human being, and no matter where you stand on the political spectrum I hope you agree that his punishment will be swift and justified. Even a real conservative should know that their political opponents are just as above racism and anti-Semitism as they are.
Speaking of the conservative media, while I'm not condoning per se the various jokes that David Letterman made in regards to Sarah Palin and her daughter, I think the Alaskan governor did overreact in her response. When you're suddenly thrust in the media like Palin was last year, you have to realize that when it comes to satire and mockery, you're fair game. When President Bush's twin daughters were busted for underage drinking 8 1/2 years ago, the president-elect made a quick retort at the pundits and the story was forgotten about soon after. Letterman's jokes did not condone rape, nor was he saying anything new about the way Governor Palin presents herself; the two most-quoted jokes were aimed toward Alex Rodriguez and Eliot Spitzer, and I think Jay Leno first compared Palin to Tawny Kitaen almost a year ago. (Letterman apologized for real last night, admitting the joke just wasn't that funny.) If former President Bush can live with being the butt of jokes, why not the Governor of Alaska?