Jonah Goldberg has a column about the press and the Tucson shootings:
Confirmation bias is a problem for all people and institutions of all ideological stripes, but in this instance it is synonymous with liberal media bias. Richard Nixon reportedly once said that it was obvious the world is overcrowded, because everywhere he went he saw huge crowds. Similarly, reporters "knew" beforehand that this must have been a right-wing nut, and so, like the drunk who only looks for his car keys where the light is good, they recognized only evidence that proved their theory.
It's deeply reassuring (though no doubt dismaying to the Times, MSNBC and other outlets), that the American people didn't buy it. After three days of "discourse hysteria" a CBS poll released Tuesday found that 57% of Americans found the killing unrelated to the political discourse. By Friday a poll by Quinnipiac found that only 15% of Americans blamed the murder spree on "heated political rhetoric."
The Times's own "public editor," Arthur Brisbane, has a column in Sunday's Times essentially siding with Mr. Goldberg and with other critics of the Times's coverage, such as James Taranto. Mr. Brisbane writes: "I think the intense focus on political conflict — not just by The Times — detracted from what has emerged as the salient story line, that of a mentally ill individual with lawful access to a gun."
The Times's news department, though, doesn't seem to have gotten the full message from the public editor. It's still emphasizing Jared Loughner's interest in hard money.