We swore off Palin, if I remember correctly, or at least I have a vague memory of one of us suggesting that we could end up fetishizing her, if we weren’t careful. And, judging by recent posts, it does seem that one post about her leads to another. Still, there are times when one has to consider what is going on. It seems now that she thinks that criticizing the violence in speech like hers is going to end up in more bloodshed. As she says, “But, 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.” (See link to video below.)
Now, I have to say that it was a slightly heady sensation to think of philosophers reading our blog and then going out to storm some streets. I mean, WOW! But not only are we not journalists or pundits, that’s far less likely to happen than getting feminist work published in top journals. And it isn’t very likely that those listening to Rachel Maddow, for example, are suddenly going to grab guns and go shoot something up.
Another interpretation is that when she imagines reacting to the words of blame in the media, she thinks of violence; despite her overt condemnation of illegal violence, it remains her idea of how to settle scores. Another possibility: Palin knows full well the power of her words and the results of her rhetoric; what she is issuing here is a threat. After all, there has been a huge rise in threats against members of congress and the President; it seems safe to say at least of threats against Obama that they are not principally from the left.
And then there’s her use of “blood libel” to characterize the criticism of her use of violent images. Really! It’s too close to her claiming that she’s having her own private holocaust. In fact, “blood libel” refers usually to false claims that the Jews kill Christian children to use their blood to make matzos.
So here’s a link to the video. I certainly didn’t waste time watching the whole thing; I think the reference to blood libel is shortly after 3:15, but there are comments about the media starting at 1:35 or so.