My second instinct, I'm sorry to say, was to peruse Twitter to see how radical leftists were spinning this tragedy, a la the Tucson, AZ shootings 18 months ago. It didn't take long before I came across a tweet by CNN's Piers Morgan, who said the following:
Horrendous details from this Colorado cinema shooting. America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time.Yes, because strict gun laws have done wonders in a place like Chicago, where there have been a few hundred homicides in 2012 alone.
Granted, the kind of demagoguery offered up by Morgan and his ilk, while maddening, should be expected. But certainly the knee-jerk reactions can't quite live up to Tucson, right? I mean, no Democrat politicians were victimized in Aurora, so speculation that the shooter had any connection to, say, the Tea Party movement is sooooo far-fetched that not even the most radical of lefties can make that leap.
Turns out we didn't have to look quite that far left to hear speculation of a Tea Party connection.
An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.In the motif of Jay Carney, how many people named Jim Holmes does Brian Ross know?
Look, to a certain extent, it's almost inevitable that one of these news people is going to blurt out something idiotic. After all, it is a ratings driven business, so networks will work tirelessly to look for a scoop but occasionally be overcome with a Rather-esque myopic zeal. But I can't help but believe that when Mr. Ross learned there was a Jim Holmes in a Colorado Tea Party organization, he practically wet himself. While Ross didn't initially say with certitude it was that Jim Holmes who perpetrated this horrible act, he at least wanted to be the first on record to convey that someone with the same name as the shooter is indeed a Tea Party member. Never mind the fact it was a different person altogether and that Jim Holmes the Tea Partier endured a veritable hell upon Ross's "report." ABC needs a ratings spike, dammit. It's not personal, it's business.
Since mainstream media outlets and other leftist havens are in the speculation game, why don't we go concoct our own theory. The theater which Holmes shot up was playing The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in the wildly popular Batman series. There's no doubt that this film is going to make a gargantuan amount of money. As such, the film's lead actor, Christian Bale, will cement his status as a rich guy, i.e. the "one percent" loathed by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Who's to say that Holmes is not an OWS sympathizer and this was his way of protesting the "one percent?" Is there any doubt that Ross would not have been employed by ABC past Friday evening had he cooked up such a scenario? And for the record, yes, I would have been just as indignant over that asinine speculation as I am about any theory cooked up prior to law enforcement performing its due diligence.
Thankfully, there were some high profile figures who acted with a measure of decorum. President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney gave very kind, heartfelt statements in response to the shootings. In fact, both candidates also pulled political advertisements slated to run in Colorado on Friday. Sure, the temptation is to allow the cynic in me to believe that such gestures were put forth in the interest of political expediency. However, I'm choosing to believe that even politicians can occasionally put aside a gritty campaign battle to convey poignant sentiments in the wake of a tragedy.