Coincidence? A day before the Dark Knight Rises massacre in Colorado, Rush Limbaugh was living it up in his Batman conspiracy theory glory.
Let’s put something to bed before it ever gets started. I am absolutely not blaming Rush Limbaugh for the tragedy in Colorado.
However, when I found out about the shooting this morning, I had two thoughts. The Joker, and Limbaugh’s conspiracy theory that he had been pushing all week.
I thought about The Joker because only a true sociopath, especially the way he was played by Heath Ledger, could go into a dark theater and shoot people, and I thought about Rush Limbaugh because of his Batman conspiracy theory.
During his radio program on Wednesday, Limbaugh said,
It has been quite instructive. This has been very, very illustrative, ladies and gentlemen. Yesterday on this program I uttered some words about the new Batman movie, and the evil villain named Bane. I made some comments about it. Doesn’t matter what. I have had more reaction to that than anything, including the Fluke thing. I’ve had my brother telling me that Twitter is going nuts. I’ve been getting hateful e-mail, supportive e-mail. More people are concerned about whatever I might have said or didn’t say about a Batman villain than they are about their own jobs. It’s incredible. But, as I say, it’s quite instructive, and it’s quite illustrative.
I have no idea whether James Holmes ever heard Rush Limbaugh’s comments. It is unknown whether or not Holmes was even political, but there is something unnerving about the idea that days after Fox News described Dark Knight Rises fans as, “ugly and threatening,” 71 people who were watching the movie’s premiere got shot.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that the use of the character Bane and the movie’s release date were all a part of an Obama plot to sink Mitt Romney. The right’s reaction has been the same as it always is when mass shooting occur. First, they scream about the Second Amendment, and then they try to explain to us how their words don’t matter.
The problem is that their words do matter. They are the pollution in the cesspool that our national dialogue has become. The right managed to take an innocent event like a summer blockbuster and politicize it to such a degree that when a horrible tragedy occurred, the question in the back of many minds was I wonder if the shooter listened to Limbaugh?
If people like Limbaugh didn’t spend their days preaching hate and division this question would never be thought of, but many conservatives seem to have taken the lead of their media and forgotten that they can be conservative, without being filled with rage and hate for those who disagree with them.
When hate and anger are their movement’s fuel, they shouldn’t be surprised that a psychological connection is made between their behavior and the hate filled act of the shooter in Colorado. This thought may not be fair, but it has been earned.
Words matter and if the right wants people to stop suspecting them every time there is a mass shooting, they should try toning down the hate.
I would love to hear what Rush has to say about the shooting, but I can’t. Rush Limbaugh took the day off.