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The news media, to some extent, is a vessel for popular opinion. What it carries is ultimately up to the audience that supports and sustains it. And maybe the media, at day’s end, is simply an echo chamber. So, what does it say about us, as a culture, when the media’s reaction to the horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others earlier this year was to blame the nation’s political culture? After all, at least one spokesperson for a national organization said that it is the “building levels of vitriol in our political discourse that have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired.” Many have voiced similar sentiments. Remember all the fracas over Sarah Palin’s provocative (pre-rampage) statements that Rep. Giffords was on her “target list” for supporting “Obamacare” and Palin’s tweet: “Don’t Retreat, Instead — RELOAD!

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