Potential dangers of political rhetoric

January 12, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(AP/Chris Morrison)
People gathered outside of Congresswoman Giffords office to promote peace after the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Jan. 8, 2011.

President Barack Obama will travel to Tucson, Ariz. Wednesday to attend a memorial service for the victim’s of last weekend’s shootings. The tragedy has provoked a lot of discussion – much of it heated – about the current tone of American politics.

It’s still not clear what exactly motivated the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. That he attacked a Congresswoman has some arguing that our political atmosphere – filled with violent words and images – is pushing some to consider or commit violent acts.

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto joined "Eight Forty-Eight" to discuss the consequences of political rhetoric. She studied how the 2008 presidential campaign ads shaped public opinion and vote choice. She is also an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research.

She is also from Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ district.

Music Button: Pitch Black, "Harmonia", from the CD Waveform Transmissions Vol. 3, (Waveform)