June 11, 2014

Right-wingers ignore right-wing terrorists

How Republicans react to the right-wing terrorism they've fomented:

Home-Grown, Right-Wing Terrorism: The Hate the GOP Refuses to See

As the Las Vegas shootings show, right-wing extremism is real and on the rise. But for Republicans, better to focus on the Muslims.

By Dean Obeidallah
Remember in 2009, right at the start of the Obama era, when then-Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a report (PDF) entitled: “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”? The report was truly prescient. It alerted us to the rise of right-wing extremism, such as from white supremacist groups, and warned that unchecked, it could lead to violence.

How did Republicans respond? They went ballistic attacking the report. John Boehner was especially upset that Napolitano would use the term “terrorist” to “describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation,” adding, “using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.”

Well, what have we seen since 2010? An explosion in the number of hate groups and a rash of domestic terrorist acts committed by those very right-wing groups Napolitano warned us about. Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, since 2010, there have been 32 instances of terrorism by far-right groups—that equals eight attacks per year.
And:So how have Republicans responded to the rise of attacks by right-wing groups? By ignoring it and keeping their focus on foreign terrorists and Muslim-Americans. Perhaps the Republican members of Congress would find it instructive to reread the oath they took upon being sworn into office that provides in part: “I do solemnly swear to defend the United States…against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

I’m sure they are fully aware of these words. The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.
How Fox News Covers Right-Wing Cop Killers

When Political Violence Doesn't Warrant Collective Blame

By Eric Boehlert
The chilling details of Sunday's Las Vegas ambush produced public shock and intense media coverage. One major news outlet seemed to lag behind, though: Fox News.

Primetime hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity both ignored the shocking cop-killer story last night, while Megyn Kelly devoted four sentences to it. (By contrast, the story covered extensively during CNN and MSNBC's primetime.) Fox talkers on Monday were still far more interested in debating the prisoner swap of Bowe Bergdahl than they were examining the political ambush in Las Vegas.

For Fox News, the Las Vegas killing spree represents a toxic mix of guns, far-right insurrectionism, tea party implications, and the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff. For Fox News, the story about right-wing gun violence and the seeds of a bloody political revolution present all kinds of problems for the channel and its outspoken hosts, some of whom have previously championed limitless gun rights, insurrectionism, the Tea Party, and racist rancher Bundy.

In the 36 hours after the shooting, Fox News tread lightly around the Las Vegas story, producing regular news updates about the crime spree. But Fox provided almost no commentary, no context, and certainly no collective blame for the executions.

And that's how Fox News deals with right-wing domestic terrorism in America, when it even bothers to acknowledge the killings and the crimes. (The channel barely covered Georgia's courthouse siege last week.) At Fox, the deadly and disturbing events are treated as isolated incidents that are mostly void of politics. And more importantly, on Fox the perpetrators are always portrayed as lone gunmen (and women) who do not represent any cultural or political movement.

But when Fox covers breaking U.S. news events involving terror acts by Arabs or Muslims? Recall that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last year it was a Fox talker who suggested American mosques be bugged and other Constitutional rights for Muslims be eliminated. And it was on Fox that viewers were told, "not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." It's where there was a concerted effort to blame the larger Muslim community for the isolated event.

The obvious double standard is not only unfair but it's misguided, as homegrown right-wing terrorists in America have proven to be a deadlier threat over the last decade. As CNN's Peter Bergen reported earlier this year, since 9/11, "extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."

Fox News Has Ceased Coverage of Las Vegas Tea Party Cop Killers

By Mark NCFox has replaced the Sunday massacre with older stories about the Bergdahl prisoner swap, the Veterans Administration, and Hillary Clinton’s book release and presidential aspirations. The producers and editors at Fox News have never been shy about reporting acts of alleged terrorism, even before any evidence has emerged. But for this story they have refused to even refer to the crime as terrorism. There are some obvious reasons why Fox would skew their reporting and ultimately remove this story from their news coverage. And all of them represent biases that are a long-standing part of what can be called the Fox News Creed.

First of all, the perpetrators are not who Fox’s racist producers typically profile as terrorists. Rather than being brown-skinned, Muslim, foreigners, the Millers are white Christians from Indiana. So not only would it run counter to Fox’s philosophy to implicate the Millers in terrorism, it would offend their 90% white, right-wing audience.

Secondly, the issue raises concerns about access to dangerous firearms. The NRA constituency at Fox is loathe to focus on such events that make the public uncomfortable with the wild west society that is favored by the gun fetishists and right-wingers who program and watch the network. Fox avoids or downplays most stories about gun violence, but jumps on any report that they can frame as an Obama attempt to repeal the Second Amendment.

Thirdly, Fox is well known for promoting some of the very same political ideologies as the Millers. They have featured guests who advocate secession from the United States, as well as armed resistance to federal law and authorities. An example of that is the recent Cliven Bundy affair where Jerad Miller just happened to show up threatening to use “the language of violence” against representatives of the Bureau of Land Management. Fox has also hyped Republican leaders, like Texas governor Rick Perry, who have made public statements that come just short of declaring secession.

Finally, the Millers’ association with Tea Party groups is something that Fox will work vigorously to excise from the public discourse. The Millers were supporters of the biggest Koch brothers-bankrolled Tea Party organizations (Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks), and openly espoused their anti-government views. It was only a matter of time before people who came to rallies with signs that said “We Came Unarmed--THIS TIME,” would keep their promise of violence. Of course, Fox News also supports the same groups and views, and has been instrumental in creating and promoting the Tea Party. In fact, there would be no Tea Party without Fox News. Consequently, Fox is not going to risk alienating such a critical part of their audience.
CNN is almost as bad as Fox News. It's part of the conservative mainstream media that doesn't want to anger the Republican Tea Party by calling right-wing terrorists what they are.

Why Is Cable Television So Afraid to Admit That Many of America's Terror Attacks Are Right-Wing?

CNN is afraid to call a major social threat by its real name.

By CJ Werleman
Fielder told NBC News she had heard Jared Miller make anti-government statements in the past—including a desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers—but was not alarmed by them.

It takes no degree of sophisticated insightfulness to conclude the obvious: that the Millers are right-wing extremists, identifying with Tea Party anti-government views. It’s also reported that the Millers were among those in attendance at the Cliven Bundy ranch, when right-wing extremists, egged on by Fox News, pointed assault rifles at U.S. federal agents.

But don’t expect CNN to include the prefix “right-wing” to the use of the word extremism or terrorism, for their, and the mainstream media’s, fear of the right-wing hysteria machine is ever present and always palpable. In fact, CNN refused to identify the Tea Party flag. Dan Simon of CNN went so far as to avoid the far right’s wrath that he said the killers “left behind some type of flag with some kind of insignia.” The cable network’s 24/7 ticker feed reads, “Killers had extremist views.”

No, CNN, the killers had RIGHT-WING extremist views. That is established and clearly evident. Wolf Blitzer asked a guest, “What kind of anti-government groups are associated with this type of extremism?” Again, that much is obvious. The right-wing of today’s Republican Party is in itself an anti-government group, and has been ever since Goldwater Republicans became the loudest voice in the GOP’s shrinking tent, culminating with Reagan’s, “Government is not part of the solution. Government is the problem.”
Comment:  For more on conservatives and terrorism, see Right-Wing Terrorism Worse Than Jihadism and Report Documents Right-Wing Terrorism.

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