When Sarah PAC first put out the ad, I did not see it. I read and heard the media establishment that was upset by it, but I never saw the ad itself. I thought that the ad had crosshairs on candidates themselves, and I thought (with prejudice) that it was off-color.
I never thought of it again until the shooting of Mrs. Giffords. Now, we see the media blaming Sarah Palin and her "crosshairs" ad. So, I finally decided to see the ad for myself, which I did at her Facebook page.
Surprise: The media was lying to us, knowing that most of us would never see the ad itself. In fact, there are no crosshairs on individual candidates, but a series of marks on a map. The marks are laid over districts that Sarah PAC wanted to flip to the Republican side of the ledger. I'm pretty sure that if the media had not poisoned my mind with the word "crosshairs" I would not even identify them as such. They are just marks on a map, like I would do by hand if I was giving a presentation to my salesforce demonstrating to them where I wanted sales increased.
Today's Wall Street Journal editorial comparing the media's response in this case, versus the case of Army Major Malik Hasan, is very enlightening.