It just gets better and better with Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, Ariz., doesn't it? The city of Tucson is in Pima County. Friends and relatives of the victims of the Jan. 8 shootings that left six dead and at least 14 wounded should regret that Dupnik is their sheriff. After the shootings, Dupnik -- a Democrat who reportedly is also a Rachel Maddow fan -- tried to blame, not the suspect Jared Loughner, but conservative radio and TV talk show hosts, a climate of "hatred" and "vitriol," and all those "bigoted" Arizonans outside of that oasis of tolerance and enlightenment known as Pima County.

Dupnik seemed to have not a clue that he wasn't pointing the finger at the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the nation, nor at those racists in that "Mecca of bigotry and prejudice" called Arizona, but at one Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

If he thinks all those racist loonies are out there gunning for elected officials, shouldn't he have ordered a posse of deputies to protect Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at that Safeway in Tucson?

Of course he should have. Now it comes to light that Dupnik had even better reasons to do that than his hunch that homicidal nut jobs are inspired by conservatives only. According to several news sources, Dupnik's office knew that Loughner had made death threats against people living in or near Tucson long before Jan. 8, 2011.

"Sheriff Dupnik would do far better to spend his time figuring out how Jared Loughner managed to buy a gun last November to commit his crimes," opined John Fund in a commentary for the Wall Street Journal's Web site.

"He apparently passed a federal background check solely because he had no prison record. But Reuters reports that Sheriff Dupnik acknowledged that 'there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against Giffords.' The sheriff's department was aware that Loughner had been asked by police at a local community college to stop attending classes because of his odd behavior. Several of his fellow students expressed fear of him and said they believed he was unstable."

Some media outlets -- and yes, I mean the more liberal ones -- have refused to touch those allegations with a 10-mile pole. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC had Dupnik on the air last week, and the sheriff pretty much confirmed what the WSJ and Reuters had said.

"This is a very, very troubled individual," Dupnik said of Loughner. "His behavior in the past has been very bizarre and very threatening."

I added the emphasis on those last two words myself, to illustrate how far Dupnik has crammed his foot down his throat on this one.

If Olbermann were a journalist instead of what he is -- a Democratic Party apparatchik -- he'd have immediately pounced on Dupnik's admission to ask why Pima County sheriff's deputies weren't keeping an eye on him, especially with Giffords in town. Why, with a supposed nut like Loughner running loose, wasn't Giffords given more police protection?

Dupnik, being who he is -- more Democratic Party apparatchik than sheriff -- continued his anti-conservative, anti-Republican rant and sat smugly as Olbermann lobbed this softball question: "As a sheriff, is it part of your job and part of your responsibility to assess a cultural environment that might increase the chances of injury or danger to our citizens?"

Dupnik responded: "I think I have a legal responsibility to do that." A "legal responsibility" to "assess a cultural environment"? What law enforcement manual is that in?

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.