WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 10, 2011, 08:33 AM

Does media shoulder some of the blame for the shooting tragedy in Arizona?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Has our political landscape become so volatile, that some will turn to violence to silence an opposing view? Does the media shoulder some of the blame for the tragedy in Tucson?

Just days after the Arizona shooting, the topic of political talk becoming too heated is just getting started. It was the main topic on Jay Thomas' radio show this afternoon. Some talking points in the 24-hour news cycle have un-doubly gotten nasty and negative, but NDSU communications chairman Paul Nelson says it’s not the media, but the people who watch or listen.

Paul Nelson: "All the heated rhetoric really creates a context where nutty people can get the wrong messages."

Some people say it’s too hard to decipher fact from opinion, and believe some shows labeled news stir up peoples already anger towards Washington and politicians.

Shirley Kinzler: "Sure, it just gets people all riled up I think."

Others believe that some already have their minds made up and listening or watching the talking points doesn't make much of a difference.

Kim Edland: "Angry people are just going to be angry no matter what. And they're out there going to behave in a certain way regardless of what the media does."

Still, some radio hosts believe some responsibility lies on the host on what and how things are said.

Jay Thomas: "I think as a talk show host, whether it is on radio or TV. You do have a responsibility; you need to know when to rein it in."

This isn't the first tragedy, or first time this country's had this debate, but the talk, for better or worse, seems far from over.

Many have deemed the Arizona gunman mentally unstable. Investigator say letters from the Congresswoman he kept, lead them to believe he may have been obsessed with her.