The political right is absolutely right. There is no evidence that this Jared Loughner kid listened to right-wing radio, watched Fox News, or any of that dyed-in-the-wool Republican crap. They are so right on this point. However...
...to hear the crazy shit that comes out of these folks mouths, you don't have to go to those sources. It's so outlandish sometimes, that real media outlets are forced to report on it. So, he could have heard that shit anywhere. CNN, MSNBC, Comedy Central, TLC, magazines, newspapers, and literally millions of places on the internet. Let's not act like you have to actually watch Glenn Beck to hear how crazy he is.
The political right is also correct in saying that they are not the only ones who use violent imagery. Everyone goes a little bit over the line sometimes, no matter what the reason may be. However...
...the sheer number of instances that come out of the mouths of right-wingers, be the Tea Partiers, Libertarians, or just run-of-the-mill Republicans is just overwhelming. These people are forever talking about gun rights, rising up against imagined tyranny, the streets running with blood; the right just spend the last two years promoting revolution...or did I imagine the preacher IN ARIZONA who openly prayed that President Obama would be killed?
Yeah, they've got that quote of the President saying "if they bring a knife, you bring a gun," or something like that, but for every ONE quote from the left that uses gun imagery or suggests violent uprising against elected officials, I'm sure I could easily find you thirty. The left just isn't that quick to talk about killing people. Let's be honest; they're generally pussies. Even when George W. Bush STOLE a Presidential election and forced us into a war that no one wanted but him, the left didn't get violent. In fact, Cynthia McKinney got voted out of office for being too upset about it. President Obama won one fair and square and the man instantly faced more death threats than any President in history.
So it's not like people are making things up. The right likes to talk about guns. The right likes to buy guns. And a lot of people on the right are looking for a reason to use one.
That's not to say that no one on the left gets crazy. It's just that no one else is known for it like the right is. And the legitimate media can't even get blamed for this one. The right's own media outlets promote this stuff. It's what their viewers and listeners want to hear. They want to hear Glenn Beck link the Obama Administration to Nazi Germany and scare them into thinking that they'll need to defend themselves. They want to hear Rush Limbaugh say something crass and tasteless against someone who isn't a WASP. They want Sarah Palin to get out there and say, "don't retreat; reload." If they didn't do it, it would be like watching the first four shows of American Idol and walking away with respect for the participants. No, you watch because you want to see someone's dignity destroyed in front of your eyes.
So, instead of defending yourself and just take it on the chin. I never thought I'd say it, but follow the Olbermann example: Just apologize, even if you don't feel you did anything wrong. The gesture alone would say a lot and it isn't gonna hurt Rush Limbaugh's ratings to do that. Only children say, "Well, what about him?" Grown-ups who know that they were also wrong would just accept it, make a statement, and move on.
Then again, Rush Limbaugh has never been known for his maturity.