Palin denies US shooting claims
Right-wing politician Sarah Palin has hit back at critics who blame her hardline election campaigning for the Tucson massacre, saying journalists and political pundits are the culprits.
She posted an almost eight-minute long video on her Facebook page accusing them of inciting hatred and violence in the wake of the Arizona shooting which has left US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords seriously injured.
Last spring, Mrs Palin targeted Ms Giffords' district in Arizona as one of 20 that should be taken back. She marked each district on a campaign map with the crosshairs of a gunsight.
In the Facebook video, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate said vigorous debates were a cherished tradition. But she said after the election, both sides find common ground, even though they disagree.
Mrs Palin added: "But, 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 they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible."
The term "blood libel" is the false allegation that Jews kill non-Jews, especially Christian children, to acquire blood for the Passover or other Jewish rituals, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. It has been used in other contexts and Mrs Palin's meaning is not clear.
Jared Loughner, 22, is accused of trying to assassinate Ms Giffords, wounding 12 others and killing six people.
Mrs Palin said: "There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal.
"And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those 'calm days' when political figures literally settled their differences with duelling pistols?"