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November 23rd, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Mark Kelly on the Sarah Palin crosshairs: "It's not helpful"

Tonight Piers Morgan sits down with Mark Kelly for the hour to talk about his wife, Rep. Gabby Giffords, her recovery, and how she is coping now. In their new book "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," Kelly writes about Sarah Palin and the crosshairs she placed on her website, targeting Democratic districts including Giffords. Kelly doesn't agree with the actions Palin took. "Certainly the targets that she put over Gabby’s and other people’s districts, you know, in our opinion, was not the right thing to do."

Kelly notes that Giffords spoke about it before she was shot on January 8, 2011 and she made it clear that it could "ultimately incite people to do violent things." He stresses, "Sarah Palin certainly is not responsible for what happened. But I think the angry rhetoric in an election year is not - it's not helpful." Tune in at 9pm ET for the full, emotional interview.

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  1. c abdul

    Our next election could be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin's bus tour was really canceled? Know what leaked out? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she's not running? Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret and learn why she's dodging the media.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • rightofcenter

      haha you crack me up, lol

      November 26, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Pam DeRossitte

    Piers and Mark - Now let me get this straight: The entire (supposedly) able-bodied and able-minded Congress cannot get one thing done, period (other than sqaubble and fight), but Gabby Giffords can take a bullet through the brain, and accomplish more in less than a year than almost any of us will in a lifetime? I think we need to get Gabby back in there ASAP.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Larry Weidick

    I noticed that when Mark Kelly started to say that Sarah Palin was not the first to put crosshairs on legislative districts and democrats have also done Morgan stepped in right away and didn't let Kelly finish. Morgan is a typical main stream media left-wing hack.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. James Esquate

    Why is there any discussion of Sara Palin. It was irrefutably show that Mrs. Giffords' shooter didn't even know who Sara Palin was or even what the difference is between Democrats and Republicans. So why would a responsible new source even publish anything so untruthful without stating the fact to no rhetoric either left or right had anything to do with the shooting.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jenny Houston

    Piers, I am really upset at your interview with Mark Kelly. Do I support Mark and Gabby? U bet I do. I'm happy she is doing so well and hope she can come back to work. She is also lucky that she had the resources to pay for such good rehab care. Most people who sustain a TBI (traumatic brain injury) don't get the care they need. I appreciate Mark coming on the program to tells us about his family, but several things you said made it clear you don't know a damn thing about people who have a traumatic brain injury. My son, Mark, was a passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver in 1973 when Mark was 19 Hewas thron from the car and has a TBI. He had picked music as his career at age 15 and worked as hard as Gabby is working on rehab to be the professional he was when he got hurt. His goal at the time was to get to the top of the rock and roll heap, and he might have made it as he had a lot going for him, including one heck of a lot of self-discipline. Like most TBI families, I had to quit my job as well as give up my MBA program to come home and take care of Mark. There was/is no place else for him and others to be - still isn't. As I said, I'm happy Gabby is doing so well and hope her recovery continues. They are an outstanding couple. However, there are thousands of mostly young TBI sufferers in the country who have few to no resources. Would U like to donate $1,000 to my Mark so I can hire some of the help he needs to get as well as possible. THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULTY PROBLEMS TO HANDLE. IT EATS FAMILY ENERGIES, HEALTH AND LIVES. OUR MILITARY ARE NOT READY TO CARE FOR OUR SOLDIERS COMING HOME WITH A TBI. I PRETTY MUCH HAVE HAD TO DEVOTE MY LIFE TO MY CHILD OR PUT HIM IN A DEPLORABLE SITUATION. YOU DID NOT SEEM TO BE AWARE OF THIS HORRENDOUS PROBLEM. I plan to write Mark and Gabby to encourage and congratulate them for their success./ Hoping she does return to Congress, perhaps to do something for our kids, husbands, wives, parents. Caring for someone in this situation is overwhelming. I tried to help by creating non-profit organizations and becoming active in TBI politics to help. Wore me out, then I broke my hip and had to stop for awhile, but I SHALL RETURN. Please educate yourself about this overwhelming problem. It's awful that Gabby was shot, but they are also lucky. There are thousands of us out here who are still hurting and will for a very long time. Believe me, it hurts a lot to see your dynamic, highly intelligent, determined, ambitious, hard working child lose all hope of failing or succeeding in his chosen life. That life was wiped out for Mark before he really got a start. THAT HURTS BOTH OF US A LOT!

    On the plus side: Often enjoy your program. So basically, think you are doing a good job. THANX!.

    November 24, 2011 at 6:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Rick Parel

    Piers Morgan is a hateful sleazeball, and Mark Kelly is no better. He will do or asy antyhing to sell his smarmy book.

    November 24, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Celia

      If you think with the job Mark Kelly has that selling a book about his wife being shot was his only way of putting food on his table you are a true fool.....LOL. She was a congresswoman making 174 thousand dollars a year, and him an astronaut.....I am sure their salaries were well beyond what most people in this country live on and if it had been reversed and a Republican had been shot, ....OMG........The Rhetoric of Republicans is shocking, and paybacks are going to be shocking reversed. they have opened a can of worms, and if you think saying being ashamed to be from texas like the Dixie Chicks said was bad....LOL Watch out..

      November 24, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Heidi

        Not to mention free healthcare, the best in the country, what other reg. folk could go to a rehab place like she went to???

        November 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    Shame on you, Morgan. Jared Loughner was a drug-addled anarchist nutjob who never listened to talk radio or watched the news. Sarah Palin had absolutely nothing to do with this massacre. Nothing. You should resign. If you want a TV gig bad enough, go join fellow hate-monger Keith Olbermann on Al Gore's glorified public access channel.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Fred

    Well, it's not the first time you relate this story to Palin. While we now all know that the guy had nothing to do with Palin or her views or the cross hair. You are either dishonest just to attract more people watch your unsubstantial show or simply stupid. your mindset is so funny as if I say if some crazy gabby's fan watch you blame sarah palin and then go to harm her then it's your fault.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. James Esquate

    Mark Kelly should demand that his wife's party apologize to Ms. Giffords for shamelessly politicizing this horrible event in her life by knowingly lying that Sara Palin's rhetoric (or any rhetoric) caused it.

    November 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SGM

      Are you and Piers on drugs?

      November 28, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rob

    This is disgraceful. "Piers" and Mr. Kelly are trying to resurrect the LIE that Loughner was inspired to commit his spree by Sarah Palin, a charge that has no evidence (none! zero! nada! zilch!). You're a liar, Mr. Morgan.

    November 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nana

      Get your facts right before you call any one a liar dumbo. Why not blame the moslim terriost for this? This is what Fox news feeds the light minded air heads daily. Sara pailen has been more a comedy show like Trump. The loser in this was all those who spent time and money looking for some magic in Pailen. She did not transform in to some wise woman from a far away land near Russia. She has always been full of her self, minding other people's family and morality than her own.

      November 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rodert From SC

    So sad that they still have to bring Sarah into this. Mark Kelly and Piers Morgan should be ashamed of themselves. Palin had nothing to do with this and they know it.
    Good luck to Gabby. I hope she can live a good life from here on out. Blaming Palin only shows their political bias.
    Where is the civility in this interview?

    November 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ThirteenthLetter

    This is simply a lie. You know very well that Sarah Palin had nothing to do with this shooting. An obscure image on a website, identical to another image used by the Democratic National Committee, and which there is absolutely no evidence that the shooter, an apolitical nutcase who'd been obsessed with Giffords since 2007 - and you blame Palin? This is blood libel. Shame on both of you.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Cliive from NZ

    I don't understand why the link to Sarah Palin is being made. She had nothing to do with the shooting. Is this Piers person's hatred of Sarah Palin so great that he wants to link her to an attempted assassination? We don't get him on the news in my country so I don't know much about him. Is this normal behaviour for him? Is he a stable kind of person? I am sure many people don't like Sarah Palin's politics but this is stooping a bit. Even as far away as I am, I know she had nothing to do with the shooting. How do people like him retain their credibility?

    November 25, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jackrabbit90813

    All Americans are shocked that his wife was so brutally attacked by a drugged out marxist. His wife was saved by an Army surgeon who performed similar brain surgeries on the battlefield. He has served our country as an astronaut (maybe he should wake up and see who cancelled our space program).

    This should be a wonderful story of American greatness.

    People are not going respect him, his wife, well, no one respects piers morgan very much. This is such a chicken feces attack on someone who was not, even remotely, involved in the story. Why does this man stoop to piers morgan's gutter level?

    We will have to look elsewhere for a wonderful story of American greatness.

    November 25, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. just common sense

    If you want to sell a book why would you play to the left lunatic fringe (the 30% of those polled that still think Sara Palin had anything to do with this) when you should be focused on the higher numbers of moderates/independents who respect basic honesty and fairness. At this point (notice the absence of left support for continuing to go against Palin on this) it is just goofy to continue this narrative. Playing to the left fringe like this make me think those that suspect Mark Kelly will ultimately go for his wife's seat (should she still be disabled by the time of the election) may be correct.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. jptso3

    Within minutes of the Tucson shooting every form of media was ablaze with speculation. In haste to get a story hard news reporters were getting it wrong. Early reports had Gabby Giffords dead. Mark Kelly learned of her “passing” while listening to the radio.
    Throughout the day of the shooting, media gathered bits of information, and then added layers of speculation with a frosting of yellow journalism, which morphed into “fact”. Before the ink was dry on the gunman’s fingerprint sheet, the elected Sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupink passionately proclaimed that “political vitriol” was “absolutely to blame” for the shooting. By early afternoon Jared Loughner had been identified as the shooter – and identified as white, and male. These two latter facts apparently were enough to get the yellow journalism machine in full throttle as Loughner was instantly linked to neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Then he was linked to the Tea Party and, of course, to the “right”. The media reported that Loughner might be a veteran. The machine was in overdrive when a grainy surveillance photo of a white man walking through a store was displayed to America. The man in the photo was linked to Loughner as TV talking heads started to wonder who this man was – the crawler at the bottom of the screen said “person of interest”. The speculation machine was white hot by 1 PM. The media hacks had the “person of interest” entwined in a possible broader conspiracy with Loughner, with Loughner linked to white supremacists.
    But, there was no link between Loughner and white supremacists and Loughner wasn’t a veteran. The “person of interest” was, it turns out, just a cab driver and Giffords wasn’t dead –Fact was intruding on the myth, but true believers were too red faced to bother with facts.

    By late afternoon, the kooks on MSNBC were exploding with insults. The HuffPo and the DailyKoz bloggers were engaging in their usual cuss-laden rants condemning the violence, and in the same sentence wishing death to all conservatives. Twitter with it’s truncated streams of lunacy lit up like Times Square on New Year’s eve with 128 characters of hate. The theme was the same – The shooter they wailed was provoked by the “right”… Sarah Palin, talk radio and Fox News. The evil right had incited the killer. Broadcast media was soon showing the soon-to-be famous Palin “target map” as Exhibit A. The Palin map of America shows several States (and Democrats) targeted by the Palin PAC. The map included Arizona, and specifically Giffords district. With the map in hand (and displayed on-screen) the bobbleheads practically came off their neck-springs with red-faced rants. They concluded Palin’s rhetoric generally, and her target map specifically caused Loughner to turn to mass murder. By nightfall, the torches were lit and the pitchforks were out. The mob was collectively screaming for blood; the mob wanted Palin’s head on a pike. But facts got in the way.

    Loughner wasn’t a white supremacist. He wasn’t a foot soldier in a conspiracy, he wasn’t a “right-wing kook”, he wasn’t a vet – he was simply – a kook. Loughner was described by acquaintances as strikingly anti-social. He was seen often talking to himself, and when he spoke to others he made little sense. He didn’t watch TV and didn’t listen to talk radio. The types of books he favored weren’t authored by Palin or O’Reilly, rather, he ingested the works of Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx. He wasn’t part of the “Tea Party” or any party of group for that matter. Loughner was a drifter, a loser a nihilist, and crazy to the marrow of his bones. Loughner posted a YouTube video that was disturbing and illuminating. The video is, in a single word, creepy. It’s simple white text against a black background sets the tone. The text is incoherent, written in third person and rails against government, against religion and against paper money. You don’t need a degree in phycology to gather from Loughner’s video is that Loughner is…crazy. We soon learned that Loughner attended Giffords events three years before his rampage and apparently didn’t get the attention from Giffords he thought he deserved. Loughner felt slighted by Giffords and he started to boil. For three years he held a personal grudge against Giffords and on January 9, 2011 he acted. This rebuff occurred three years before he pulled a gun and shot 19 people. It predated Palin and her target map. It predated Arizona’s SB 1070 and predated Obama. This information, coupled with his disinterest in TV, cable news or talk radio (and adding his mental illness to the mix) it would lead anyone with the IQ of a gnat to the conclusion that Loughner’s rampage had no link to political rhetoric, political imagery or current events. But facts didn’t make any difference to the mob. Loughner was motivated by the most base of motives… rage against a person brought on by a perceived personal slight. That, and he’s crazy.

    As days passed facts mounted contradicting the left’s [crazy] theory that political rhetoric was to blame. The left predictably doubled down and continued to draw the false parallel. In reality, the shooter did what he did, not because Giffords’ opposed SB1070 or because of her support for PPACA or because Palin published a target map but because he was crazy. He pulled the trigger because of personal animus, and mental illness. It was clear then and it is clear now that Loughner was unstable for years. He had been rejected by the Army, he had been thrown out of community college. He was told to seek psychiatric help. He been (in his mind) rebuffed by Giffords. No one was “listening” to him, and he decided to get noticed. Loughner had his crosshairs on Giffords for years and on a January weekend he converted his disturbed thoughts into physical violence.

    Loughner is a pathetic, mentally ill man. But facts didn’t stop the local sheriff from linking, without a shred of evidence, this event to immigration and the health care debate. Within hours talking-heads took time to broadcast a grainy photo of a middle-aged white guy, suggesting that he might be a co-conspirator – they labeled him a “person of interest”. The net was cast, the rumor mill quickly ignited and the question asked: how many more white, rightwing nuts are part of the attempted assassination of Giffords?

    In the "Giffords" book, Kelly, rails against Palin and discusses the Palin map. If given the chance Kelly wouldn’t tell Palin she was responsible, just “irresponsible”. The idea that Palin and her “target map” had anything to do with this tragedy was debunked long ago, but Kelly apparently feels he has the right, and it seems, the duty to lecture Palin on responsibility in politics, Apparently Kelly sees himself as the final arbiter of appropriate political discourse. Does he plan to lector the media fools and talking heads who in fact loudly and viciously blamed Palin? Does he make any comment about the death threats and awful hate speech directed at Palin by the millions who still blame Palin, notwithstanding the evidence?

    If Palin wasn’t even remotely linked to the Giffords’ shooting and didn’t know her, why would Palin call to offer condolences? It seems like a nice thing to do, but it's rather clear that the cost to Palin, had she made that call, would have been a lecture by someone she doesn't know. All that call would have done is create a link, where none existed before. Palin was in a no-win position, and she rightly to took the course of least resistance, and least blame. Kelly admits he would have lectured Palin about being irresponsible. Palin's choice (to avoid the call) clearly turned out to have been the smart move.

    Since Mr. Kelly apparently believes he has exclusive use of the moral high ground, it would have been appropriate for Kelly to contact Palin and apologize for falsely linking to Palin to his wife’s shooting. But that sort of act would have required him to say he was wrong. Kelly's only link to his current celebrity and Palin is the phony link between Palin and the Giffords' shooting. Thus Palin's choice to avoid Kelly's planned accusatory lecture turns out to have been the right choice.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. just common sense

    Even the zombie lunatic fringe left who will mindlessly spout any left wing narrative are too embarrassed to take a moment to comment in support the "Pain (right wing) caused it" story. Piers Morgan and his network are hopeless hacks to let this trash go out unchallenged or corrected. Mark Kelly is very unwise to ruin what could have been a great story of heroism and recovery with his apparently mindless mouthing of this left wing drivel.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. David Neal

    isn't it revealing that Piers Morgan is focused upon Sarah Palin (who had absolutely zero influence upon this tragic event) and this blog entry does not even mention Jared Loughner, who has 100 percent responsibility for this horrifying shooting. This is a clear indication that Piers Morgan lacks any objectivity as a 'journalist'. At best, Morgan is a tabloid rumor-monger. His only goal is to manufacture out of thin air, a 'story'. He exists to create malice and falsehood, and his weapon is the airtime CNN affords him. Disgraceful that his ilk, those without ethics or morality are saturating our media with their internal agenda, instead of reporting news and facts, they create them.

    November 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sharon Ostreicher

    My father is 86 and a Concentration Camp survivor. He asked me to contact you because he wants to be interviewed and share his story. Please respond and let me know what to tell him. I can answer any questions you may have.
    Thank you,

    November 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. mj loehrer

    Piers: It's only because you have a loser show that you're commenting on Sarah Palin. News flash big boy, your ratings are still in the tank and you'll be history in six months.

    November 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Charles

    Does anybody remember back to 2006 when we had the D.C. sniper and when the 5 Amish children were shot at their school? Pretty tragic events. Back then, Democrat Harry Mitchell had an ad with crosshairs placed over Az. Rep. J. D. Hayworth.
    Piers is a highly paid journalist, I am a nobody. It took all of 5 min. to look this up using Google. Makes you wonder.

    November 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Daisy

    What dishonest garbage! Why did he not talk about the Dems map with crosshairs? DISHONEST journalism at its finest!

    November 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    July 30, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 30, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply

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