Politi­cians and pun­dits alike have blamed vit­ri­olic polit­ical rhetoric for cre­ating a cli­mate of hatred that made the vio­lence in Tucson almost inevitable.

We asked David Cis­neros, assis­tant pro­fessor of com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, to dis­cuss the impact and pro­priety of acerbic polit­ical language.