As we approach the Days of Awe, our annual exercise in self scrutiny and stock-taking can be a daunting task. Rather than highlight a single ethical dilemma this week, I offer here some suggestions, some “ethics-ercises,” as it were, to assist you on this journey.
James Taranto, of The Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web" column, unearthed these usages of "Blood libel" from the some of the very same people who are shocked, shocked, that Sarah Palin used the term herself.
Palin's quote: "especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."
Let's count who has been blamed so far by the Moderate & Tolerant Ones: Sarah Palin, the entire state of Arizona, the Tea Party, and let's blame all of talk radio, too, while we're at it, because the killer in Tucson must have been listening to talk radio stations in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
As Jon Stewart pointed out, blaming talk radio for the Tucson killer is like blaming heavy metal rock radio for the Columbine killers.
Political seasons do not always bring out the best in our political system. The impulse to draw sharp distinctions to win elections exacerbates differences but fails to provide sufficient content to inform voters. When elections are combined with high unemployment, rising foreclosures, and increasing economic desperation, the voices of some become shrill and the voices of the vast majority are weary and often mute. But this year's posturing, acrimony, and ill will seems to have hit a new peak.