WASHINGTON — While the U.S. media attempts to exercise some restraint in its coverage of the horrific shooting rampage in Arizona that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, foreign media did not hesitate to tie the attack to what it sees as America's demons, such as guns, the Tea Party and the legacy of the Wild West. The coverage reflected more accurately what Americans are saying via social media such as Facebook and Twitter, than official comment.
"The Arizona congresswoman shot on Saturday had ominously predicted the possible consequences of right-wing violence," according to the Guardian.
"On the crisp January morning in Tucson, lives collided with deadly force in what Sheriff [Clarence] Dupnik called hateful rhetoric and violence, of which Arizona had become the capital. 'We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry,' he said," reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
"For the left, the congresswoman was victim of a climate of violence raging in the country because of the Tea Party," wrote a blogger for Le Monde.
"It is believed to be the first time that a woman politician has been the object of an assassination attempt in America, a country where elected leaders have often been the subject of attacks," wrote Britain's Sunday Telegraph.
In the United States, today's journalists were raised to value objectivity in their reporting and writing. That value is being questioned, however, as non-professional journalists find success through blogs and social media, and as websites such as Huffington Post and The Daily Caller build large audiences around news with a point of view. The coverage of Gifford's shooting shows how stark the difference still is between American mainstream media and its counterparts abroad, who never have taken on the mantle of reporting without bias.