Early on Tuesday, David Brooks criticized a wide swath of pundits for linking Sarah Palin to the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. His chief targets were The Huffington Post, which published a column blaming the killings on "angry political rhetoric," Keith Olbermann, who demanded Palin explain her actions, and Markos Moulitsas, who tweeted "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin" after the shooting spree occurred. Brooks is of the view that Jared Loughner is deeply disturbed (probably schizophrenic) and politically ambiguous. He cites Loughner's favorite books, which include The Communist Manifesto, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Animal Farm and his YouTube entries that "suggest that he was struggling to control his own mind."
"In short, the evidence before us suggests that Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," Brooks writes. "Yet the early coverage and commentary of the Tucson massacre suppressed this evidence. The coverage and commentary shifted to an entirely different explanation: Loughner unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin."