The Associated Press gave voice to a Repuiblican Congressman today to bemoan what he sees as "poisonous 'demagoguery'" from the usual suspects, including, by the AP's own account, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., who lost in a primary for the GOP nomination last month, went so far as to claim that heated political rhetoric is "dividing the country into partisan camps that really look a lot like Shia and Sunni." The AP did not feel the need to qualify this absurd statement (and it is absurd, given that a few years ago Sunni and Shia tribes in Iraq were "systematically trying to assassinate moderates").
And while the AP now feels the need to unquestionably parrot claims that conservatives are dividing the nation into potentially murderous political sects, just last year it ran an article headlined "Obama spokesman says sharp tone is justified." By the AP's unquestioning accounts, heated conservative rhetoric is dangerous, but heated liberal rhetoric is necceary for the health of the nation.
Wrote the AP in Febrauary of last year:
President Barack Obama's spokesman is defending the sharper tone Obama is taking to push his economic stimulus plan through Congress.
Obama sharpened his rhetoric while addressing House Democrats in Virginia on Thursday. He appeared to be sending a message to Republicans as he warned against turning back to the policies of the last eight years and insisted that voters chose a new course in November.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama is simply "fighting on behalf of" the 3.6 million Americans who've lost jobs since the start of the recession.
Contrast that tone -- understanding of, even laudatory towards the President's claims -- with the mood of its piece on Inglis:
While not naming names, 12-year incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis suggested in interviews with The Associated Press that tea party favorites such as former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts like Glenn Beck are the culprits...
Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away...
Inglis said the rhetoric also distracts from the real problems that politicians should be trying to resolve, such as budget deficits and energy security.
"It's a real concern, because I think what we're doing is dividing the country into partisan camps that really look a lot like Shia and Sunni," he said, referring to the two predominant Islamic denominations that have feuded for centuries. "It's very difficult to come together to find solutions."
So conservatives using harsh language is "preying" on the fears of Americans, distracts from the issues, and has the potential to turn political foes into something resembling warring religious clans.
Meanwhile, President Obama's use of harsh language is "fighting on behalf" of the unemployed and channeling the will of the public and anyone who says otherwise is trying to "[turn] back to the policies of the" Bush administration.
Got it. Thanks, AP.