Manhattan Tea Party leader David Webb said that left-leaning media organizations and politicians have been “irresponsible and despicable” in attempting to connect the Arizona shooter to the Tea Party even though they have no evidence.
“[The shooting] had absolutely nothing to do with the Tea Parties or Sarah Palin’s map,” Webb said, referring to the well publicized map of ‘target’ districts released by Sarah Palin’s political action fund during last year’s midterm elections. Contrary to initial reports, it seems that alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner is not actually a Tea Partier.
“That’s just a false charge from the far left who are just looking for a boogey man,” he said.
Webb is the founder of TeaParty365, one of Manhattan’s largest Tea Party groups, and hosts a radio show on Sirius Radio. One of the arguments that Webb thinks is the most outlandish is the accusation that former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin is the only person to use target signs on political graphics.
“[Left-leaning media outlets] use a charge that the [SarahPAC] target map may have made him do it–except in 2004, Will Marshall from the Democratic Leadership Council, made a similar map for the Democrats–and he had no ill intent in it and neither did Sarah Palin. This is irresponsible by the far left,” Webb said.
One of the problems that has only served to stoke the fires, Webb said, is the fact that public figures are coming out and making accusations before gathering evidence about the event. Webb cited Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik as some of those who made statements suggesting that the reported shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, had ties to the Tea Party. “They’re just trying to paint a broad stroke and say ‘He’s a Tea Partier and went out and killed people.”
“The political discourse will always have some element of hyperbole on both sides. American political discourse is pretty evenly split, and most of it is responsible,” Webb said.