So Sarah Palin finally responded to the criticisms of her “cross-hairs map.” But I find her response really odd for two reasons.
First, according to the New York Times she said:
“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” Ms. Palin said in a video posted to her Facebook page. “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
So when she says something it cannot be interpreted as an incitement to violence, because acts of violence “stand on their own” and should be considered the “acts of a single evil man” (in video about 0:59 ETA: She made the video password-protected but it is now on YouTube here). But when journalists and pundits accuse her of saying those things then those accusations have the ability to incite violence. When someone other than Palin speaks, suddenly any ensuing acts of violence no longer “begin and end with the criminals who commit them” (video about 2:05 the video is now on YouTube here), but can be at least partly attributed to the journalists who incite violence.
Second, the accusations against her amount to “blood libel,” which might sound good but could be read as anti-Semitic (if it makes any sense at all):
By using the term “blood libel” to describe the criticism about political rhetoric after the shootings, Ms. Palin was inventing a new definition for an emotionally laden phrase. Blood libel is typically used to describe the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. The term has been used for centuries as the pretext for anti-Semitism and violent pogroms against Jews.
A full transcript of the video is available at Shakesville.
A description of why the use of the term “blood libel” is anti-Semitic at Religion Dispatches Magazine.