Here is the full e-mail as read by Beck:
"I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. Thanks for all you do to send the message of truth and love. And God has the answer. - Sarah"
Palin's comments come amidst the swirl of rhetoric concerning the most discussed "crosshairs" in political memory. On her Facebook page last year, Palin posted a map of 20 Congressional districts being targeted by her political action committee, "SarahPac," in the 2010 midterm election. Gabrielle Giffords' Arizona district was one of them.
At the time Giffords herself responded.
"When people do that, they've gotta realize there are consequences to that action," Giffords said on MSNBC.
Though there are no known ties whatsoever between shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner and Sarah Palin or any part of the Tea Party movement, the "crosshairs" became part of the media coverage of the Tucson shootings from the very beginning.
Rush Limbaugh entered the fray on his radio show today, accusing liberals of "making fools of themselves to take an incident like this and to try to turn it into a political advantage by accusing people that have nothing whatsoever to do with this sordid, unfortunate event, as accomplices to murder. It's silly on its face."
"Don't kid yourself," said Limbaugh. "What this was all about is shutting down any and all political opposition and eventually criminalizing it. Criminalizing policy differences, at least when they differ from the Democrat Party agenda."
Conservative pundits have rushed to Palin's defense. One blogger unearthed graphics produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee which featured red target symbols on certain Congressional districts. A graphic produced by the Democratic Leadership Council in 2004 featured bulls' eyes.
Former Pennsylvania Congressman Chris Carney, who himself was in Palin's "crosshairs," told a Pennsylvania newspaper, "I'm not sure if 'blame' is the right word for Ms. Palin, but I think it wasn't helpful, obviously…It would be very useful if she came out and, if not apologize, say that she was wrong in putting that sort of logo on peoples' districts."
While Giffords narrowly won reelection, Carney was defeated in November.
Comments like this, and the very coverage of the crosshairs has enraged many conservative commentators.
Writing on the website "Big Journalism," editor-in-chief Dana Loesch said, "The tragedy of Saturday and the importance of identifying and preventing 'lone wolf' attacks has been completely obscured by a shameful and uneducated attack of private citizens by the media and certain public figures who were elected to lead, not divide."
Andrew Breitbart tweeted, "Be honest lefties: Have you had fun politicizing tragedy this weekend? Was it worth it?"
Rebecca Mansour, a spokeperson for SarahPac, told conservative commentator Tammy Bruce, "We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent." Insisting she was speaking for herself, and not on behalf of Palin, Mansour said, "We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights."