First, Palin issued this statement on her fundraising website:
I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, 'What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today's event in Kansas?'
Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller's abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.
Palin then followed up with this:
The stories of two very different lives with similar fates crossed through the media's hands [Monday] - both equally important but one lacked the proper attention. The death of 67-year old George Tiller was unacceptable, but equally disgusting was another death that police believe was politically and religiously motivated as well.
William Long died yesterday. The 23-year old Army Recruiter was gunned down by a fanatic; another fellow soldier was wounded in the ambush. The soldiers had just completed their basic training and were talking to potential recruits, just as my son, Track, once did.
Whatever titles we give these murderers, both deserve our attention. Violence like that is no way to solve a political dispute nor a religious one. And the fanatics on all sides do great disservice when they confuse dissension with rage and death.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that, no matter how much I disagree with much of Mrs. Palin's politics, I have to agree with her on this one. We cannot say that one murder is more despicable than another. Both men believed in what they were doing, and both were gunned down for those beliefs.
The fact the media has spent so much time talking about Tiller but so little about Long is quite disturbing. Both had families. Both had to put up with ridicule, even threats, for what they were doing. And both were ambushed, murdered in cold blood.
Let's consider February 8, 2007. The day Anna Nicole Smith died, it was considered "breaking news." But what else happened that day? One group of scientists were beginning a trial of an AIDS vaccine in South Africa, another group of scientists were reporting that robins and mosquitoes were making appearances in the High Arctic and the Inuit had no words in their language to describe either, and someone was convicted of manslaughter for neglecting his mother who had Alzheimer's. Oh, and 13 "terrorists" were killed in an air raid in Iraq.
Maria Shriver, the Democratic wife of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), was so disgusted by how the media had overblown the Smith story that she told NBC News (from which she was on leave) that she was not coming back. Who can blame her?
Have we reached the point where war is so discredited, that an army recruiter is seen as less worthy of life than a doctor who performs one of the most controversial medical procedures there is? That celebrity is valued over genuine public service; or that one public service has more value than another?
If we're going to report on murders, unexplained deaths and the like, we should give equal time and treatment to everyone. Or we should go back to what we used to do and treat local murder stories as local murder stories. I still shudder at the Fox News pundit who said the Laci Peterson murder was a bigger story than 9/11. Sadly, it's not just Fox who has this lackadaisical attitude towards human life these days.
It makes me upset, indignant actually, to think I would agree with Sarah Palin on anything. She is the very antithesis of feminism, which I generally support. But when you're right about something, you're right regardless of your political orientation.
Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.