Robert Morrison

They’re at it again. Liberals are determined to make their size 10 foot fit into the glass slipper of their imaginings. It’s not a new attempt. It began on November 22, 1963.

James Piereson’s indispensable book, “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution,” details how liberals were aghast that Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of John F. Kennedy, was some “silly little Communist,” in the words of Jacqueline Kennedy.

It didn’t make sense in their worldview. After all, J.F.K. was a hero of civil rights. Civil rights for black Americans was probably the only issue about which Oswald, who had been a Communist from his teenage years, would have agreed with President Kennedy.

So, after briefly acknowledging that Oswald had worked for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro Communist front group, liberals of the day moved on to the ”atmosphere” in Dallas. They charged that while Oswald may have pulled the trigger, it was the hateful right-wingers of Dallas who created a political climate in which violence like Oswald’s could flourish.

The books that poured forth about the incident echoed the theme that Jackie Kennedy herself had sounded. Right wing hate groups were the real villains. Generally de-emphasized was the inconvenient truth that Oswald had taken a shot at retired Gen. Edwin Walker, the self-styled leader of resistance to racial integration. Had Oswald succeeded then, our whole national story would have been radically different.

The entire treatment of the Arizona story is a re-play of past media mistreatments. Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Tucson are all treated the same way. First, a hunt for the perpetrator. Then a hunt for motive. Finally, endless speculation about root causes.

Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett criticized NBC five years ago for airing the video rant of the Blacksburg shooter. But, liberals protested, we might have learned something important from that video. Really, Bennett asked. What did we learn from the video? That the killer was filled with violent rage? That he was angry at the world, at specific persons, or people in general, that he was an anonymous loser? Didn’t we know all that already?


Robert Morrison

Robert Morrison is a senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.