Palin Calls Criticism ‘Blood Libel’

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Sarah Palin, who had been silent for days, issued a forceful denunciation of her critics on Wednesday in a video statement that accused pundits and journalists of “blood libel” in what she called their rush to blame heated political rhetoric for the shootings in Arizona.

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” Ms. Palin said in a seven-and-a-half minute 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.”

Ms. Palin’s use last year of a map with cross hairs hovering over a number of swing districts, including that of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, has become a symbol of that overheated rhetoric. In an interview with The Caucus on Monday, Tim Pawlenty, a potential 2012 rival for the Republican presidential nomination and the former governor of Minnesota, said he would not have produced such a map.

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