In an open letter published yesterday, the Broward-Palm Beach New Times‘ Bob Norman attacks right-wing radio host Joyce Kaufman for her incendiary rhetoric, connecting Kaufman statements like “If ballots don’t work, bullets will” to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
“Dear Joyce,” the letters begins:
How does it feel when you hear about the horrific shootings in Tucson yesterday? How does it feel to see that someone actually employed your idea of using bullets over ballots?
I wonder if deep down you’re mortified, because you should be. You should finally be getting a terrifying glimpse of how your your callous and ignorant words might actually affect South Florida and our nation.
“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Giffords said on MSNBC on March 25. “But the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action.”
That’s a key word, Joyce — consequences. Try to think of the consequences of your terrible words and the climate that you and your fellow Tea Partiers create when you equate gun violence with political action. When you tell people that bullets are a viable political alternative, some of them might just listen. When Palin tells her follows to ”reload,” some might take her literally. We already got a taste here in Broward how some might react to your own loaded words when the threats were relayed to you and your radio station that led to a lockdown of all of our public schools.
And it’s not just the gun imagery I’m talking about. When you advocated the hangings of illegal immigrants who committed a crime, did you consider what effect such a suggestion might have on the Jared Lee Loughners of the world? Do you even have a clue what the hell it is you are saying? [Emphasis added.]
As I noted earlier, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Pembroke Pines, also called out Kaufman — and the congressman who hired her as his chief of staff, Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale — for her past statements.
Kaufman’s show hits the airwaves for the first time since the Giffords shooting at noon today. We’ll post any reactions she might have.