On Political Celebrity: Getting What You Asked For

The shooting in Tucson of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others by Jared Lee Loughner may be tragic, but it is producing some very entertaining theater. Scratch that. It is producing some very typical reality show drivel. No, that’s not correct either.

How DO you describe a turn of events that has an unjustly accused celebrity responding with her own unjust accusation, based on an obscure anti-semetic 12th century Urban Legend?

It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack (Four Jacks And A Jill – 1967).

A dysfunctional child of a dysfunctional family rants incoherently, buys a gun and kills people.

Assigning any portion of the blame for such an event to any one person other than the shooter (lacking any factual evidence to the contrary) is speculative and unfair. The “hijacking” of the event itself to make political points in the mass media, should not be surprising, and this behavior is not new. What is new is the viral nature of this new media environment, which makes such accusations and responses move faster, and seem larger or more important than they actually are.

So, you then have the unjustly accused Sarah Palin responding by perpetuating a 12th century “urban legend” called “Blood Libel”, which accused Jews of using the blood of murdered Christians for nefarious purposes, including religious rituals:

“The first such accusation—better known as a “blood libel”—was leveled in 1144 in Norwich, England…the most famous of all blood libel legends is that of the ritual murder of the child Hugh of Lincoln, England in 1255. The story was immortalized in a ballad so well-known in England and Scotland, that (it) is number 155 in the standard cannon of English and Scottish ballads compiled by Francis James Child in the 19th century. The best-know tale of ritual murder is the Prioress’s Tale, found in Chaucer’s 14th century classic work or early English fiction, Canterbury Tales.”


This new preposterous comparison has Palin accusing the “media” of making her a “victim”, by taking one of the most morbid and ghastly conspiracy theories nobody has ever heard of, and making it common currency again, 900 years later.

If she were actually Jewish, then she may be able to stretch back that far, and accuse the media of Blood Libel. The Jews have been known to hold a grudge for a very, very long time, and the end of the Dark Ages and beginning of the Crusades is very long indeed.

But, she is not Jewish (she’s Pentacostal), so she is merely a flaming hypocrite. You spend the last three years carefully crafting your image, and then you take umbrage when that same image is used in a literal fashion, in your arena of choice?

She should instead redouble her efforts to put more firearms in the hands of nutjobs and wingnuts, and lead us all by her shining example.

Sounds downright Pentacostal to me.

Blood Libel? She’s just a Meshugeneh!

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