After Batman Theater Shooting, Rightbloggers Rush to Defend What's Important: Guns, Themselves
Rightbloggers wanted to make sure no one said anything bad about them or assault weapons.
Pre-Aurora, rightbloggers were psyched to celebrate the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, as an important work of conservative philosophy -- like Atlas Shrugged, only less cartoonish. "TDKR MAGNIFICENT ... AND MOST CONSERVATIVE FILM EVER," gushed Ben Shapiro at Breitbart's Big Hollywood. At RedState, Matt Rooney, playing off President Obama's "you didn't build that" speech, declared "Obama Must Not Think Batman Deserves Credit for Wayne Enterprises." And that would be ridiculous!
Rooney also claimed that "it's been reported that President Obama's supporters plan to use the Batman villain 'Bane' from this summer's new movie, The Dark Knight Rises, to attack Governor Mitt Romney," though the chief promulgator of this peculiar idea about Bane has been Rush Limbaugh.
Eventually the movie came out, and rightbloggers enjoyed explaining, as they have with other Batman movies, how it proved Batman was rightwing like them ("Batman, One Percenter?"), and that Princess Leia would like them if she got to know them.
But regrettable events overtook them and they had to move to a new set of absurd generalizations.
At first their outrage was attracted by an on-air report by ABC News' Brian Ross on the shooter's identity after his name, but no details, had been revealed. Ross said this: "There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
A large number of people mocked Ross and even called for him to be fired -- including liberals like Gawker's John Cook and Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. But rightbloggers, convinced Ross' error was part of a conspiracy against them personally, enhanced their dudgeon with the sort of exquisite butthurt for which they have become universally known.
"We simply cannot stand by any longer and let them get away with passing off such brazen partisanship as 'news,'" foamed Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom. "These are propagandists in league with the Democrats and the 'progressives.' They are the disinformation arm of the democratic socialist coup happening in this country right now. The activist press needs to be beaten back just as aggressively as politicized justices and imperial Presidents. No more. No more. No more."
"[The media] know how to be exquisitely sensitive and non-prejudgey when it might be a Muslim or some other protected minority," fumed Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit -- hm, "protected minority," OK -- "so maybe," he continued, "the only way to encourage them to show better judgment the rest of the time is to cost some people their jobs." Reynolds also linked to a Dave Swindle item he called "a roundup of 'progressive' scapegoating, some of it racist" -- but the linked page just shows liberals making unremarkable statements like "America is a violent country"; there's nothing about race except Swindle's own reference to a book by a black guy who "chose to blame unemployment for inspiring inner city drug dealers to break the law." Presumably Reynolds just scanned it, noticed black people were quoted, and decided this meant racism against white people.
Media Research Center president Brent Bozell demanded Ross "apologize to Good Morning America's audience, the James Holmes he falsely implicated of mass murder, and, most of all, to each and every person in Colorado directly or indirectly affected by this horrific tragedy," which would require an awful lot of stationery.
"[Ross] didn't care if it was true or not," clairvoyanced Ridiculous Pseudonym at Wake Up America. "...He just wanted to make the connection in the viewer's minds. In the process, he tarnished every person who happens to be named James or Jim Holmes." Ridic Pseud also suggested the anchor had made the mistake deliberately in anticipation of "a congratulatory slap on the back from his bosses at ABC" for slurring the Tea Party. "If ABC was sincere they'd fire Ross," he continued. "The least they should do is a descent feature on tonight's news with a very penitent Brian Ross offering more than just a few mea culpas!"
Of course they are -- someone might propose a gun control bill that could get as far as an unsuccessful floor vote.
"I've documented the Blame Righty impulse extensively," bragged Michelle Malkin. "Sarah Palin is the most prominent conservative to encounter this tactic..."
Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart's Big Government also denounced the Ross error -- and then announced that the shooting suspect "could be a registered Democrat, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News." Much later, Pollak revealed "newly-released information... suggest[s] that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote." But by then, Drudge had picked it up, so now your grandmother believes it.
Meanwhile, Daily Pundit Bill Quick leaned, and leaned hard, on the theory the attack was the work of an Islamic terrorist.
"Here's the obligatory instantaneous 'no indications of terrorism' announcement from the authorities," he scoffed. "...And, of course, 'one gunman' couldn't be a terror attack. Just as, I suppose, one splodeydope suicide bomber couldn't be one, either - because that would be a 'one-off.' I suppose if you work hard enough at it, you can twist your definition of 'terror attack' to the point that it only defines the acts of white male Christian killers..."
Quick went on a good, long while like this. "Just as with Major Nidal Hasan," he thundered, "even overwhelming evidence of Islamic connections, beliefs, and violent intentions will not be enough to label the attack as Muslim terrorism - until several years afterwards." He also speculated that "the anti-American left" -- a rock band from Columbus, Ohio, we think -- "is probably teetering between joy and terror: joy at the possibility that this atrocity was carried out by another white, bitter, clinger, and fear that it will turn out to be motivated, as have so many other attacks all over the world, by the spirit of violent Islamic jihad."
Later, Quick complained that "the fellating tools of the media have finally moved to the obligatory three-name version of the whackjob's name," when clearly such people should be referred to as Presumed Muslim Terrorist.
But the Other Holmes Affair receded as a topic as rightbloggers noticed that some people were, in the wake of the mass murder, talking smack about one of their blessed sacraments.
"At APM," said All Patriots Media, "we abhor these disgusting attacks by news organizations and political leaders who have so little information, and consistently desire to eliminate citizen's rights under the guise of safety."
All Patriots Media was referring to the reasonable observation that, given the ease with which Holmes obtained an assault rifle and ammo, more safeguards on ownership of such weapons may be called for.
This is heresy among rightbloggers, and the assault on assault weapons became the real tragedy of Aurora.