By Stephen Pollard
January 10, 2011
I'm not sure the phrase 'self-aware' could be applied to the Independent. Today's paper is, to be blunt, disgusting.
Bien pensant opinion has, it seems, already decided - without a shred of conclusive evidence one way or the other - that the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords and murdered the people next to her was driven to act by the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
Now it may be that that is indeed the case. But none of us know. Even the US police don't know yet. It might be that he is just a nutcase. So how a bunch of self-regarding media intellectuals can assert it with the certainty they now have is quite beyond me.
And where does this idea that the US uniquely uses martial language and imagery in politics come from? The phrase 'target', which is now being cited as an example of what's wrong with the Tea Party's tactical language, is about as central to our own political vocabulary as is possible to be: target seats. And does no one remember the so-called 'decapitation strategy'? Or is it ok when such imagery is used here but not when Americans hear it.
But there are few worse examples today of this smug - and entirely baseless - sense of superiority than the Indie today.
The front page article states as a fact that Republican rhetoric is to blame. Inside, Mary Anne Sieghart says - in less strident but no less knowing terms - that the discourse of US politics lies behind it all.
Above her piece, in full colour, is a cartoon of the Queen's head, blood dripping, being held aloft after being chopped off by her executioner.
Was there no one at the paper who could see the inconsistency in the argument?
I'm pretty sure I know what's behind it. It's fine to depict the executed head of our head of state, because readers of the Independent are sophisticated types who would never be driven to murder by such an image. Unlike, of course, those idiot Americans.