While reporters sift through every aspect of the life of accused killer Jared Lee Loughner in search of his motivation for shooting Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head and slaughtering random innocents, including a 9-year-old girl, some in Hollywood have already assigned blame to Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly.
On Monday, though, they and their supporters began to fight back against the assertions that have come from the likes of Jane Fonda, Michael Moore and others.
Many opponents of the political right seized on Palin's online map that put certain districts in crosshairs indicating that Republicans should target their representatives for defeat in the elections two months ago.
Fonda said on her blog the day of the shooting -- before much was known about Loughner -- that she was "sure" that Giffords was shot by "right wing fanatics who have been repeatedly harassing and threatening Giffords, egged on by Sarah Palin and Glen (sic) Beck and Tea Party members."
She reiterated those sentiments later in several tweets.
"When Palin put crosshairs on a map w/Rep. Giffords & 19 other Dem congressmen/women, she urged followers to 'reload' & 'aim' for Democrats," tweeted Moore, the filmmaker known for his left-wing documentaries.
"This now deleted image from Sarah Palin (sic) website will be reason this terrible shooting has huge political ramifications," CNN's Piers Morgan tweeted, linking to an image of the crosshairs map.
"Congresswoman in AZ, who is ON Sarah Palin's crosshairs map was SHOT in the head 2day. Happy now Sarah?" tweeted actress-comedienne-commentator Kathy Griffin.
On his MSNBC show, Keith Olbermann said Beck and O'Reilly should apologize on air for inspiring the killer and, if they don't, their sponsors should repudiate them and President Obama should consider canceling an interview scheduled on Fox with O'Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday.
Fox News head Roger Ailes chose an unusual venue to defend against the critics who claimed his network's star talent were inciting murder, telling Russell Simmons on the hip-hop mogul's GlobalGrind.com website that "it's just a bullshit way to use the death of a little girl to get Fox News in an argument."
He noted that maps with images of targets on them are often used in politics, including one from the Democrats in 2007 that contained "targets on it for the Palin district." Nevertheless, Ailes said he advised personalities on Fox News to tread lightly.
"I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually," he told Simmons. "You don't have to do it with bombast."