Democratic congresswoman shot at point-blank range in Arizona

January 8, 2011

SECOND UPDATE: Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued the following statement Saturday afternoon in response to the Arizona shootings:

“The attacks on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others are absolutely appalling. This event is horrific and acts of such violence cannot be tolerated in our society. Judy and I will be praying for Gabrielle, her family, her staff, those who were injured and their families.”

Meanwhile, Arizona authorities are searching for “a person of interest” who might have been at the shopping center with alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner.

UPDATE: The shooter of  U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson.

Loughner was tackled by one of Giffords’ aides as he tried to flee the scene after the shooting.

Another one of Giffords’ aides is confirmed to be dead along with four others. The gunman shot 18 people.

A surgeon has been quoted as being “very optimistic” about Giffords’ chance for surviving.

ORIGINAL POST: Multiple media reports confirm that a Democratic congresswoman was shot in the head at point blank range Saturday morning while hosting a meet-the-public event in Tucson. [LA Times]

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), 40, a three-term congresswoman, was airlifted to a local hospital shortly after the shooting at a Safeway market.

“She is currently in surgery. She’s alive,” University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten said. Slaten added that nine other shooting victims were being treated at the hospital.

Fox News reported that between 12 and 15 people were shot.

Giffords was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event — public gatherings to give her constituents a chance to talk directly with her — when attacked from about four feet  away, NPR said.

NPR initially reported that Giffords had died, but quickly retracted that information.

The report said the suspect tried to run away but was tackled by a bystander and was in police custody.

Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly

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It sure would be great if all the businesses that spend their advertising dollars supporting hate radio programming would instead advertise on constructive, well-meaning LOCAL media outlets such as CalCoastNews.

Sure Wiseguy, because businesses certainly want to support a forum for anti-business loons…

Who is “anti-business”? Where do you come up with this absurd crap, LIberandos?

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

Ronald Reagan

Yeah, like when he was involved in trading guns for drugs and subverting democracy in Central America. Like when he made a deal to delay the release of the hostages in Teheran to assist his election. Like his ‘trickle down’ theory of lies that wrecked the middle class. Yeah, like reagan….

JackL, would you like to give us some more quotes from other mass murderers?

How about individuals start taking responsibility for the state of our world, instead of being lazy and cynical and selfish?

Ronald Reagan, perhaps more than any President in the 20th Century, was responsible for ramping up the division and hatred in our society, making speeches promoting animosity between liberals and conservatives. How about YOU take responsibility for helping elect that deluded purveyor of hate and violence known as Ronald Reagan, or as, he was known at the time “Ronald Ray-Gun”, one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, who set our nation on a course for economic disaster that we are living with today.

You left off these classic Reagan quotes:

“Facts are stupid things.”

“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.”

“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.”

“Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, you coast for awhile, you have a hell of a closing.”

“My name is Ronald Reagan. What’s yours?” -introducing himself after delivering a prep school commencement address. The individual responded, “I’m your son, Mike,” to which Reagan replied, “Oh, I didn’t recognize you.”

Wiseguy, why are you so angry!!!!!

Not long ago, when Rush Limbaugh’s producers or staff suggested the idea of having golf with President Obama, he shun the idea. If it were me, I would have taken the offer in a heartbeat to get acquainted with Rush on a personal basis, he is brilliant in his own way. Publicly it would have shown true non-partisan and both images would be drastically different today.

As for the shooter Jared Lee Loughner, I don’t see the shows as a true nexus. Most of the nut jobs that call into their shows are handled very well by them for what they are!

But again, the fact that any of you can explain any of the shooter’s Jared Lee Loughner’s behavior does not excuse it!

Yeah, right Willie. And while he’s at it, President Obama should play a round of golf with Osama Bin Ladin also, right? Just to show the public he doesn’t hold grudges, right?

Willie, with all your expert political “strategerizing”, you seem a perfect candidate for Sarah Palin’s brilliant political team. You might suggest to Mrs. Palin that he invite President Obama on a “non-partisan” moose hunt while they discuss this latest tragedy in Arizona. Hey, maybe Dick Cheney wold like to come along too. It’s been a while since he’s gotten drunk and shot someone.

Yep, President Obama is really missing the boat on this one. Golf with Rush Limbaugh. What could possibly be more worthwhile for the President of the United States to do, what with how splendidly George Bush fixed up our nation’s economy. And then, perhaps, off to a round of bowling with that other “brilliant” hate radio purveyor Glenn Beck?


How could you!

You ought to be ashame!

Sarah Palain is a foxy chick!

Sarah is hot and georgous!

Sarah fits the fits profile, yea.

How dare you!


Quite honestly I have never heard Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh , or Doyle instigate any bad speech about Arizona or its political officials.

To me it doesn’t matter much whether Loughner was “right wing” or “left wing” or whether he was or was not influenced by hate radio broadcasts or Sarah Palin’s propaganda encouraging citizens to “solve” their political problems by “targeting” certain politicians (and giving them a map and gun sight graphics to assist them in achieving their “solution”.)

What is more important right in the here and now is that we have a local radio station, KVEC, broadcasting lies and fueling hatred and violence on a daily basis in our community. Nothing illegal about that, of course. But there is also nothing illegal about speaking up against it and encouraging station employees, advertisers and listeners to contemplate the ramifications and alternatives to this troubling situation.

When there is a malignant cancer festering, we should be strident in doing what we can to eliminate it. As it is now, KVEC for several years now has been a host and transmitter of a malignant cancer known as hate radio. So, if citizens who care about the well-being of our community and nation can use discussion of this terrible shooting in Arizona as a way of leveraging the community to reject malignant hate radio programs, I don’t see any problem with that.

Radio airwaves are limited PUBLIC RESOURCE that are licensed to broadcasters. Radio broadcasting is not a universal right America. It is granted as a privilege Surely KVEC can do a better job of stewardship of those airwaves and honor that privilege that was designed to promote the common good. I believe KVEC has continually disrespected and dishonored that privilege by making hate radio programs the foundation of its business model.

If KVEC management insists on larding their airtime with “conservative” oriented political talk, surely they must be able to find some “conservative” pundit who can make a coherent argument or hold a rational discussion without resorting to lies and the most base hate and fear mongering.

We all know a tragedy like the Arizona shooting could have just as easily happened around here to one of our own hard-working and beloved local politicians. Getting rid of at least a few of the local hate radio programs might not eliminate that possibility, but it certainly wouldn’t increase the chances.

Nobody wants to see KVEC employees with blood on their hands anymore than we want to see KVEC employees grovel to defend the indefensible.

Well the truth of the matter is there are plenty of media outlets and internet sources providing both right and left nut opinions spouting all manner of vitriol. The first amendment assures their right to to publish what is on peoples minds, but it takes an intelligent level head to see through the rhetoric and decide for ones self what is truth and what is venom.

This attack by an unstable person on one of our elected legislators is horrible and wrong. No one made him do it, no one forced him to watch or listen to the lopsided media he got his info from. He admitted on his own blog sites his weaknesses and the many who jumped to all sorts of conclusions about who influenced him further speak to the rhetoric that pervades the airwaves.

I can post links to many sites that show extreme media bias and vitriol from both the right and the left, coming close to outright slander and lies that many take as “real news”.

KVEC and this web page seem to have an open mind and lenient moderators who allow us to speak our minds and hold a healthy debate. I thank them for that…

Here is some info for the folks who think Wiseguy has an excellent point, as I do. I remember when the bums with the big bucks came rushing in firing everyone in sigh at KVECt. I raised hell to save King Harris, and so did some others apparently. The out of town owner/liars (remember their endless breast beating, ‘proud to be locally owned and operated’ ?) are just corporate shills. They don’t give a damn for this town or anything but money-unless you call and bug them to death as I plan to do.

When we lost Clark Howard to the latest fascist ALL the callers to Dave’s show were lamenting that change. Let’s bring Clark back, someone who has the best interests of ALL americans at heart, someone who tells the truth, AND has interesting things to say that benefit us all!

Studio Line: (800) 549-KVEC or (805) 543-8830

Studio Fax: (805) 781-2568

Comment Line: (805) 597-1441

Business Line: (805) 545-0101

Business Fax: (805) 541-5303

Address: 51 Zaca Lane, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Mark Mitchell

Program Director

It really did seem to say a lot about the priorities of certain people who run KVEC when the popular and broadly appreciated and helpful, non-partisan Clark Howard show was cancelled and replaced by another hate-radio whore. In this market, Clark Howard could attract sufficient listenership and sponsorship if the station is being managed properly.

Maybe it’s no conspiracy, but simply a complete lack of creativity and laziness that compels management at KVEC to fall back on all these over-hyped hate radio blow-hards.

What a sad thought to imagine some KVEC radio employee on his deathbed realizing his greatest legacy after years in the radio business was helping keep Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck employed and spewing their inanity, propaganda and hatred on the Central Coast.

I really don’t think any radio station has to stoop THAT low. If it is really that bad, why the heck even stay in the radio business?

What offer is that, Dave? Maybe I missed it. I just scanned through this entire thread and I didn”t find any “offer” from you. Did I miss something?

I imagine you might be trying to lure me to ome onto your radio show, thereby tacitly supporting KVEC and being at the mercy of your mute button whenever I make a point that hits too close to home.

Whatever you need to say, why don’t you man-up and just say it here, Dave? Unlike radio where it’s so easy to pass off illogic and vacuous, unfounded assertions that are hard to pin down or analyze as they fade away into radio aether, I prefer the written word, where a very clear record of logic or illogic remains visible and apparent long after for all to view and reflect upon outside the heat of the moment.

Radio has long been a preferred forum for delivering propaganda. Nazis employed it heavily, Father Coughlin used it decades ago to foster hatred and bigotry in America, and now Rush Limbaugh and others employ KVEC and other stations for the same purpose.

Dave, you should have the confidence that your Dave Congalton show can stand on its own and convince your bosses that it can, rather than sheepishly depending on Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to prop you and your ratings up. Dave, you are better than that. And our community and your listeners deserve better than your lame and desperate apologetics and shilling for the purveyors of hate radio. Be courageous Dave. Stand up for LOCAL HOMETOWN radio, not hate-filled, blow-hard broadcasts that come from across the nation and can be picked up a thousand other places.

As you may have noticed Dave, I am NOT calling for a boycott of KVEC. Nor am I advocating citizens to shun local advertisers who allow their ads to be associated with KVEC’s hate radio programming. But I do think it is worthwhile for people to note which local businesses advertise on KVEC and suggest that they politely ask the managers of those businesses to consider spending their advertising dollars in ways that do not continue to bolster the hate and fear mongering and violent rhetoric that has become a keystone of the KVEC business model.

Dave, I find it disingenuous that you would come to this forum or speak on your show and actually have the guile to try to portray Rush Limbaugh and Clenn Beck as mere “entertainers”, when you have got to know, in your heart, how despicable and degrading those “entertainers” are, day in and day out.

Here’s MY offer to YOU, Dave. Come to THIS forum, write anything your want in your effort to defend your station’s hate radio agenda, and I will respond, right here, without mute buttons, without cutting out for a “word from our sponsors”, and where everyone on this forum can read our words, in the heat of the moment, and when things cool down, and decide for themselves who makes the better points.

I make the same offer to Limbaugh or Beck. But you know THEY wouldn’t dare debate a rational man on a neutral playing field where they don’t have a mute button handy. They are total phonies who continue to tear away at the fabric of democracy and spread hatred and anti-government sentiment in ways that Osama Bin Ladin is surely rejoicing about.

Dave, should Bin Ladin also count on YOU too as a supporter of civil war in America? Or is it mostly about keeping your job and kissing ass to your station’s management?

Dave, you’re doing a good job promoting local radio. You continual rationalizations in support of hate radio degrades that effort and is totally not necessary. Rush and Glenn could not care less about you or your show, I imagine and would probably lump you in with all their other brown nosing sycophants. But Dave, you are better than that. Be courageous!

Never got any email from you, Dave. You must have an incorrect email address. (I’ll check my spam filter.)

In any case, would you care to state HERE, on a neutral forum, what I’ve written that you CLAIM is “not true.”? Make your point right HERE Dave, outside your “turf”, in the open, on neutral territory, with no mute button as a security blanket.

Why in the world should I feel compelled to come to your show and give KVEC more credibility and stature and listeners as you try to defend the daily hate radio broadcasting at KVEC?

What, exactly, is so “telling” about my postings? No, don’t try to tell us “just listen to my show” for the answer. Man up and make your point right HERE, in WRITING and let all of us READERS decide who is full of it or not.

Dave, you simply degrade yourself as you try, for some ungodly reason, to defend the rantings of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and all the other hate radio purveyors that form the core of the KVEC business model. You really needn’t do that, Dave. The Dave Congalton Show, by being an alternative to that hate crap, is a great argument AGAINST hate radio.

Dave, now is the perfect opportunity to STAND UP for LOCAL HOME TOWN RADIO, instead of being an apologist for these creeps from who knows where who stink up the local radio airwaves each and every day via KVEC. You’re a decent writer Dave. How about you use this Arizona tragedy as a springboard for an article on the community building, community uniting force of good LOCALLY GENERATED radio programming?

Turn this into something GOOD, Dave, rather than wasting your efforts in trying to defend the indefensible.

So feel free to tell us now, Dave, right HERE, what I’ve written HERE that is “silly”, “ridiculous” or “not true.”

Wow, what an exchange! Wiseguy perfectly points out the sentiment of many here. I have only one issue with him-do the show with Dave. Make your points there too. It is a good forum and even with its limitations Dave is not a beast there so Wisguy should be able to make his case.

This has come up many times before on Dave’s show. He has energetically defended the jerks, often calling them entertainers as though dismissing the damage they do. We should all take a second look now, and try to figure this out.

There have been a number of right wing talk show hosts who have defected and exposed the whole industry as a neo con tool to fool the nation and foment intellectual civil war (for starters).

Look at the obscene salaries these obese, ethically and mentally challenged people make! I think between the fat bastard, hannity and beck they pull done something like $100 million!

Wiseguy-do the show, We will all be listening in with support.


Do you or anyone else see the irony here?

Wiseguy doesn’t like the “nuts” having a forum on KVEC, so he isn’t going to do the show!

Where is the “irony”, Liberandos? Are you certain you know what “irony” means? In any case, your posting makes no sense as far as I can determine. By the way, I never said anything about any “nuts.” I think you are confused.

Certainly one of is confused; we are in agreement there… How Ironic!

Sorry, LIberandos, your original posting remains confused and absurd and, more importantly, misleadingand inaccurate.

Dave, I’m still waiting for you to point out what I’ve written that is “not true.” If I’ve lied, I will apologize.

As for using a pseudonym, I learned a while back that these days, with all the vitriol in our community, that I was putting my safety and the safety of my loved ones in jeopardy by being too open about my identity when making blog comments. I learned this the hard way–nothing tragic, just very disturbing. I’m sure many others who post here might appreciate why I use a pseudonym. I wish I hadn’t been forced by circumstances to do so.

Perhaps this expert on the scene knows more than our armchair righties around here:

After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and a number of others were wounded or killed in a shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said that the state has “become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Addressing the tragedy at a news conference, the sheriff said that law enforcement had reason to believe that Giffords was specifically targeted in the attack. He added that evidence suggests one suspect — 22-year-old Jared Loughner, who is already in custody — likely did not act alone.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” said the sheriff. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

If there ever was a good example of ‘hate speech’ many of the posts here to this story are it. Remember, when you point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing right back at you. Try it – see what I mean. Cool your jets folks or you are no better than the one you accuse of hate speech.

How about you cite some examples, dh? And, despite your cliche, because of the Bush-wars and all the amputee soldiers returning home, when someone points a finger they often DON’T have “three fingers pointing right back.”

Who and what are you defending, dhgscw?

I agree…

Once again too much speculation and innuendo. All media makes their living from sensationalizing “the news” and there are always going to be those who can not filter fact from fantasy. And just because one can then tweet, twit, blog or facebook their OPINIONS publicly does not change the truth or make it right.

Very much like the sick young man who killed two innocent sisters on the SM Ranch, there are those in society who walk among us and repeatedly show signs and symptoms of their mental illness yet get a pass. If we are to ignore mental illness and allow it to be assimilated into healthy society as normal, then we have to be prepared that someday one of them will act out negatively.

My thoughts and prayers are being focused toward those who have suffered during these horrific tradgedies…

Christ, what a crummy and boringly already made comment. As I said before I am pointing all ten fingers so none are back at me. Here is one view of the results of hate speech in America,

Have you read all the comments here, dhgscw? Are you in the dark or just staying neutral? Or are you soft on hate and yet refuse to back it up with a friendly wager? I bet again that when this is decided we will find the fascist palinistas, beck, fat bastard and other neo cons will have inspired this murderer as well as many others who, as the cowards they are, target innocent and unarmed civilians with lethal firepower.

I’m the first one to point out that we shouldn’t make judgements prior to knowing the entire story,,innocent before proven guilty. I am one of the few that remind people when reading a story that it’s not wise to convict someone until the case has gone through the system. I don’t see that here at all. I agree with WiseGuy ‘cite some examples’. This is a place for discussion and that is what I see. If you don’t want discussion then you are in the wrong place. I see people discussing hate speech and politics in a civil manner, I don’t see any ‘jets’ that need to be cooled.

I will absolutely use this tragedy to promote my community improvement agenda. May I say to you, Dave, don’t use your personal financial interest to defend KVEC’s cynical hate radio agenda that has so obviously ramped up division and animosity and anger in our community.

Dave, why don’t you instead stand up for LOCAL radio, rather than lashing your fortune to the biggest, most destructive broadcasting whores of history? Have some faith in yourself and realize that you don’t need Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to be the foundation of your career.

The Dave Congalton Show is a very good show, Dave. It’s the kind of radio that the public airwaves were meant for. Now should be YOUR time to stress to the radio industry the value of LOCAL HOMETOWN radio and how it might be time in America for management to get behind it and not make it dependent on all that disgusting hate and violence promoting “entertainment” that you bow to.

Dave, you’re missing an opportunity here, my friend. Be courageous!

As this unfolds you (wiseguy) may end up being as ingnorant a you sound. We do not really know where this guy was on the political spectrum or even if he had an accomplice. In fact I have heard reports his favorite book was communist manifesto. Free speech is the hallmark of our country and people like you that use every incident to try stop free speech you don’t agree with are the worst form of American!.

Wise guy is right on. Before this incident every sentient being in this country was well aware of the intense hate radio and nasty political rhetoric that has become the standard, almost all from the right.

Wise guy has pointed out that KVEC now has NINE hours of hate radio, with Congalton sandwhiched in between. What do they preach on those NINE hours? Advancement of human rights, the overall improvement of citizens here, public health? No, all they promote are ways to make the Obama years unsuccessful. There is no cooperation on common ground, there is no compassion for those less fortunate (Even though these creeps make millions in salaries spreading their lies). Fox often runs at a deficit just to advance right wing neo con principles. Palin is an idiot, yet was hired for a fortune to spew her hate and wrath to the idiots who worship her.

You dare to accuse Wisegy of attempting to squelch free speech- You ought to apply for a job with Fox, you would fit in with all the liars there.

Boy, talk about “hate speech”. I gather from reading your post that you have a sincere hatred for all of those on the right.

“FineWine”, this has very little to do with “right wing vs left wing.” This is about toning down, decreasing the overwhelming degree of hate and fear-mongering being promulgated on the public airwaves.

Nor is it about ending “free speech.” But if someone is addicted to spreading lies and hatred in our community, there is nothing that says we have to hand that despicable person a public microphone to help him spread his ill-conceived message as far as possible. And nothing about free speech requires us to sponsor or in any way contribute to the funding of those types of malignant broadcasts.

And, as free speech advocates, we cherish our right to speak against the prevalence of hate radio in our community and the malignant business model of KVEC that profits from broadcasting all those lies and hatred each and every day.

The best radio is always LOCAL radio. How about we all, “conservatives” and “liberals” and “whatevers” come together and encourage more LOCALLY generated radio programs that DO NOT depend on promoting fear and hate to attract listeners? How about it?

Right on. Clark Howard, Dave Congalton and such do not contribute to the public angst, but rather the public welfare. In my fantasy world no accusation could stand without response, every partisan talk show would have the opposite on hand to challenge all the views.

Some on the left actually invite those with divergent views to come on and spend considerable time outlining their viewpoint. I don’t think this happens on the other side.