Now the New York Post‘s Claire Atkinsonis offering some specific speculation on Griffin’s demise. She points to the hiring of Janelle Rodriguez from CNN to oversee MSNBC dayside programming — a position that Atkinson had previously pointed out was Griffin’s primary job at this point.
Obviously, this sort of prognosticating must be taken with a grain of salt. After all, many have been prepping for Griffin’s MSNBC funeral for years now. But we can add to the story. Mediaite correctly reportedthis last year when Lack came in:
Mediaite has also been told that Lack is considering a total overhaul of MSNBC’s daytime programming.
That happened. In that same article we reported:
NBC insiders tell Mediaite that while Lack likes Griffin personally, he has serious questions about Griffin’s ability to effectively run a big cable network like MSNBC. And, so far, we hear, nothing Lack has seen has changed that impression.
That rings particularly true now in light of an underreported development at the network that was not mentioned in the Post piece, MSNBC’s hiring of respected news vet David Bohrman to help oversee MSNBC political coverage. At the least, Lack is bringing in a seasoned team to make Griffin completely dispensable.
Atkinson concludes her piece with a real head scratcher:
And what of Griffin? Our 30 Rock-ologists wouldn’t be surprised if he lands with former colleague Jeff Zucker at CNN. Just speculation, of course.
Of all the people who, at the least, suspect Griffin has been in over his head at MSNBC, its got to be his former boss Jeff Zucker. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a role for Griffin at CNN, but one would expect a serious demotion from where he is, or at least was, before Lack came back to fix the leaking MSNBC ship.
The presidential campaign of Donald Trump took yet another disquieting turn this Sunday, as the Republican presidential front runner approvingly posted a Benito Mussolini quote to Twitter and refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan on national TV.
Early on Sunday morning, Trump retweeted a user named “ilduce2016” — a reference to the Italian dictator’s title — who had written “‘It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.’ — @realDonaldTrump #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.”
It later emerged “ilduce2016” is an automated bot set up by Gawker, which wrote they had registered the account “under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself.”
On the Sunday edition of NBC News’ Meet the Press, Trump said he knew what he was doing and even praised the fascist’s word choice.
“Mussolini was Mussolini,” Trump said, reported the Hill. “It’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote. I know who said it, but what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”
“You want to be associated with a fascist?” host Chuck Todd responded.
“No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes,” Trump retorted.
In a separate appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Trump refused to condemn former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke or the KKK itself, saying he didn’t know enough about either to pass judgment. Duke has previously endorsed Trump.
“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said, reports CNN. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.”
Host Jake Tapper again asked Trump whether he would like to take the opportunity to disavow Duke and the KKK.
“I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about,” the candidate responded. “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. You may have groups in there that are totally fine — it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.”
“OK. I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here,” Tapper said.
Of course, Trump hasn’t innocently stumbled into the good will of racists. Thanks to his positions on immigration, Islam and race, Trump has earned numerous endorsements and praise from groups like the far-right American Freedom Party and the American Nazi Party.
In November, he infamously retweeted doctored statistics on black crime originating from a neo-Nazi account. A later study of his social media habits found Trump tends to retweet users who follow top white nationalist accounts or use hashtags like #WhiteGenocide.
Trump’s Twitter feed has become a clearinghouse of neo-Nazi sentiment and it’s happened way too many times to dismiss as random
Neither U.K. nor the U.S. has not conclusively determined the cause of the plane crash, but, as NBC News reports, U.S. investigators are focusing on “ISIS operatives or sympathizers” as the perpetrators,
British and U.S. officials said Wednesday they have information suggesting the Russian jetliner that crashed in the Egyptian desert may have been brought down by a bomb, and Britain said it was suspending flights to and from the Sinai Peninsula as a precaution.
Intercepted communications played a role in the tentative conclusion that the Islamic State group’s Sinai affiliate planted an explosive device on the plane, said a U.S. official briefed on the matter. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss intelligence matters publicly.
The official and others said there had been no formal judgment rendered by the CIA or other intelligence agencies, and that forensic evidence from the blast site, including the airplane’s black box, was still being analyzed.
The official added that intelligence analysts don’t believe the operation was ordered by Islamic State leaders in Raqqa, Syria. Rather, they believe that if it was a bomb, it was planned and executed by the Islamic State’s affiliate in the Sinai, which operates autonomously.
Other officials cautioned that intercepted communications can sometimes be misleading and that it’s possible the evidence will add up to a conclusion that there was no bomb.
Meanwhile, Russian and Egyptian investigators said Wednesday that the cockpit voice recorder of the Metrojet Airbus 321-200 had suffered substantial damage in the weekend crash that killed 224 people. Information from the flight data recorder has been successfully copied and handed over to investigators, the Russians added.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said British aviation experts were headed to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the flight originated, to assess security before British flights there would be allowed to resume.
No British flights were flying to the resort Wednesday, but several were scheduled to depart.
Cameron’s 10 Downing St. office said in a statement that it could not say “categorically” why the Russian jet had crashed.
“But as more information has come to light, we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device,” it said.
The British government’s crisis committee was meeting Wednesday to review the situation. Downing St. said Cameron had discussed the issue of security at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who flew to Britain on Wednesday for an official visit.
The British disclosures would be an embarrassment to el-Sissi, who had insisted in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday that the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula is under “full control.” He has staked his legitimacy on restoring stability and reviving Egypt’s economy.
The suspension of flights would be a further blow to Egypt’s troubled tourism industry, which has suffered in the unrest that followed the 2011 Arab Spring. The one bright spot for Egypt has been tourism at the Red Sea resorts.
British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the British experts would “ensure the right security measures are in place for flights.”
“It is when that review is completed that we will allow the flights that are there tonight to depart,” he said.
The Irish Aviation Authority followed the British lead and directed Irish airlines to suspend flights to Sharm el-Sheikh Airport and into the airspace of the Sinai Peninsula “until further notice.”
The British acted “too soon,” said Hany Ramsay, deputy head of Sharm el-Sheikh’s airport.
“Other countries might soon follow them, Ramsay told The Associated Press, suggesting there may be political and commercial motives behind the British statement.
“They want to hurt tourism and cause confusion,” he added.
NBC News has conceded that the flimsy anti-Clinton allegations contained in a New York Times report fail to deliver on the hype surrounding them. The Times report was based in part on a chapter from discredited conservative author Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, and a series of facts surrounding the story’s allegations supports NBC’s negative conclusion.
The Times story suggested that donations to the Clinton Foundation may have influenced Hillary Clinton’s State Department, when they signed off on the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company with uranium mining claims in the U.S., to Rosatom, a Russian atomic energy agency. Alleging that individuals who had previously donated to the Clinton Foundation may have benefited from the deal, theTimes’ reporting has been used as the springboard for commentary hyping the supposed connection, despite the lack of evidence.
But the April 24 First Read column on NBCNews.com admits, “upon reflection, that Times article doesn’t hold up that well 24 hours after its publication.”
Indeed, a series of facts supports NBC’s conclusion and unravels the innuendo in the Times piece:
Ian Telfer, who was Uranium One’s chairman at the time it was being taken over by Rosatom, did donate money to the Clinton Foundation. However, he told the Financial Post that he committed those funds to the Foundation in 2008, “before Uranium One had any negotiations with the Russians, and the donations he has made since then were part of that initial pledge.” Hillary Clinton also did not become secretary of state until 2009.
Frank Giustra, a Canadian businessman who the Times noted also donated to the Clinton Foundation and who owned the predecessor to Uranium One before its sale to the Russians, sold his personal stake in the company in 2007. The proposed sale of Uranium One occurred in 2010. Giustra himself released a statement criticizing the Times‘ reporting, calling it “wildly speculative, innuendo-laced,” and inaccurate, and noting that contrary to the Times‘ claim that Bill Clinton had flown with him to conclude a stage in the Uranium deal, “Bill Clinton had nothing to do with” that purchase.
The State Department only had one vote on the nine-member Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that approved the deal. Other agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Commerce, and Justice, also weighed in.
The chairman of the CFIUS is the Treasury secretary, not secretary of state.
Rosatom had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency outside of the secretary of state’s influence.
Utah’s local nuclear regulator also had to sign off on the deal, as it involved mills in the state.
Former assistant secretary of state Jose Fernandez, who was the State Department’s principal representative on CFIUS, said, “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.”
Other media outlets have found that this and additional allegations in Schweizer’s book about donations to the Clinton Foundation are unpersuasive. Time magazine noted that Schweizer’s allegation about Uranium One “is based on little evidence,” and “offers no indication of Hillary Clinton’s personal involvement in, or even knowledge of the deliberations,” while CNN’s Chris Cuomo noted that the “the examples that have come out so far in [The New York Times] were not that impressive.” ABC News reported that Clinton Cash “offers no proof that Hillary Clinton took any direct action to benefit the groups and interests that were paying her husband,” while Fox News’ Ed Henry noted “there’s a lot that’s murky” in Schweitzer’s claims.
Even Times writer Patrick Healy admitted that the allegations are “not smoking guns.”
Several businesses in Austin, Texas were vandalized with “Exclusively For White People” stickers, The Statesman newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The offensive stickers said that a “Maximum of 5 colored customers/colored BOH staff accepted,” which, according to the paper is a reference to “back of house” restaurant operations. Above a City of Austin logo was a notice saying that the stickers were “sponsored by the City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program.”
However, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the stickers were not authorized or in any way sponsored by the city, in a statement released Wednesday and obtained by the Statesman.
“This is an appalling and offensive display of ignorance in our city,” Adler said.
According to the paper, the city determined that the six businesses on which the stickers were found were not complicit in the creation or distribution of the stickers. And several of the stores denied involvement over social media, the Statesman reported.
Outrage erupted on social media after an image of the sticker was first posted to Facebook by a user named Brianna Smith who was reportedly walking by one of the targeted stores.
News of the stickers also reached state Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D) who took to Facebook to denounce the offensive decals, the paper reported.
“Some jokes are not funny,” Dukes wrote. “If this is a joke at all, it is tasteless. … I will be damned if this will occur in my House District … in this historical black community or any community.”
According to television station WGN, the east side of Austin has undergone a large demographic shift as gentrification changes the neighborhood. However, it is a historically minority community, as Dukes noted.
U.S. Army Alaska spokesman Lt. Col. Alan Brown confirmed to NBC News that the allegation was made and said the command launched an investigation late last week. “There are allegations, and like any type of allegations of something like this, we take it very seriously,” Brown said. “That’s exactly what the command has done very quickly.”
Brown said he was not aware of any other complaints of the practice alleged in the report. “The nature of those allegations are not at all commonplace about how soldiers behave and how they’re treated up here,” he said.
The soldiers told the Army Times that the practice was considered a “tradition” and that although it was forbidden it still goes on. The Army Times reported that the platoon allegedly involved is part of a unit that is part of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
Chinese-American Danny Chen was also assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division before he committed suicide while deployed with that unit in Afghanistan, the military has said. Chen’s family said he was subjected to cruel hazing and abuse by other soldiers, NBC New York reported.
Eight soldiers were court martialed. Two received prison sentences, two were discharged, and others were demoted and docked pay.
Brown said the recent inquiry “is in no way connected” with Chen, and that there have been several leadership changes in the years since his death.
University of Oklahoma officials expelled two students on Tuesday, accusing them of playing a “leadership role” in a racist chant by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members that was caught on video. President David Boren said the school was enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy for “threatening racist behavior.” The university has closed the fraternity house and boarded up its windows. One of the students in the video, Parker Rice, apologized for what he called “a horrible mistake” and vowed to “reject racism” in the future.
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday made her first response to criticism over her use of a private email account as secretary of state, saying she used the personal account because she “opted for convenience.” Clinton pushed back against suggestions she skirted record-keeping rules, and said she “went above and beyond” what was required of her. She said she gave the State Department “anything that could be possibly viewed as work-related,” but conceded it “would have been better” to use a second, government account.
Ferguson, Missouri, city manager John Shaw resigned Tuesday in the wake of a scathing Justice Department describing rampant racial discrimination by the city’s police department and municipal court system. The report named Shaw, the city’s most powerful official, as one of the people responsible for much of the unfair conduct of the police and courts. The announcement about Shaw’s resignation came during a City Council meeting a week after the release of the Justice Department report.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) pushed back Tuesday against White House criticism of a letter, signed by 47 GOP senators, that he wrote to Iran warning that Congress could reverse any nuclear deal Tehran negotiates with President Obama. Vice President Joe Biden said the letter was “beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.” Cotton shot back that Biden, “as Barack Obama’s own secretary of defense has said, has been wrong about nearly every foreign policy and national security decision in the last 40 years.”
An Army helicopter crashed during a routine training missionTuesdaynight at Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola, Florida, leaving seven Marines and four National Guard soldiers missing. Debris from the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was found on a remote government-owned beach early Wednesday. A search-and-rescue mission was underway. An Eglin spokesman could not say what went wrong with the helicopter, although there were “weather issues” at the time of the crash.
Iraqi forces, backed by Shiite militia, retook parts of Tikrit from Islamic State fighters on Tuesday. ISIS forces reportedly had begun retreating from the besieged, strategically important city. Government forces have been fighting for a week to take back Tikrit. The offensive involves more than 30,000 pro-government fighters, making it the largest Iraqi military operation yet against ISIS. A victory there would mark major progress toward reclaiming Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, from ISIS.
U.S. stocks fell into the red for the year on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by 333 points, or 1.9 percent, on anxiety over the prospect of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. European stocks fared even worse, with Britain’s FTSE 100 plunging by 2.5 percent thanks to the euro’s declining value compared to the dollar. The euro his a 12-year low at 1.077 per dollar.
The Islamic State reportedly released a video on Tuesday showing a child shooting and killing a man identified by the terrorist group as an Israeli spy. The victim was identified as Mohamed Said Ismail Musallam, a 19-year-old Israeli of Arab descent. His father, Said Musallam, said the victim had no ties to the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, and that he had been recruited by ISIS. “Mohamed told me and his brother that ISIS took him,” Said Mussalam said.
A teenage girl reportedly detonated a suicide bomb in a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Tuesday, killing at least 34 people. Many more people were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the attack was similar to a series of others blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamist terror organization that recently declared its allegiance to the Islamic State. Boko Haram has been fighting for six years to impose Islamic law in Nigeria.
A federal jury in Los Angeles found Tuesday that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up when they created their 2013 hit Blurred Lines. The jury awarded Gaye’s children $7.4 million. Testimony in the trial described numerous similarities between the two songs, and focused on whether Blurred Lines was an homage to Gaye or a copy of his work. An attorney for Thicke and Williams said they remained “unwavering in their absolute conviction that they wrote this song independently.”
A federal judge in Texas on Mondayblocked the federal government from enacting President Obama’s executive order deferring deportations for up to five million undocumented immigrants. U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen said the preliminary injunction was necessary to allow Texas and 25 other states to proceed with a lawsuit challenging Obama’s immigration moves. “The genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle,” Hanen said.
Egypt launched a second wave of airstrikes against the Libyan branch of the Islamic State on Monday, stepping up its retaliation against the Islamist group for beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach. The murders of the Egyptian hostages, if confirmed, would be the first such crime by ISIS outside Iraq and Syria. After the first bombing wave, militants reportedly kidnapped 35 more Egyptians in ISIS-controlled areas.
A day after a cease-fire in Ukraine was scheduled to take effect, heavy fighting continued in the government-held town of Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub that the separatists claim to have surrounded. Both sides missed a Tuesday deadline for pulling heavy weapons back from the front lines. Kiev said that five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another 25 wounded since the cease-fire started.
Bailout talks between Greek leaders and their country’s European creditors broke downon Monday, sending the euro and global stocks tumbling. The negotiations for a six-month extension of Greece’s bailout fell apart when the recession ravaged country’s new leaders, who have vowed to dismantle austerity measures demanded by lenders, rejected the proposed terms for the extension. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem gave Athens until Friday to request extending the bailout beyond the end of the month.
With the Northeast wrestling with the aftermath of its fourth blizzard in less than a month, the South was the one that got a taste of harsh winter weather on Monday. Snow and ice hit the Southern states from Oklahoma to the Carolinas, forcing the cancellation of nearly 2,000 departures and arrivals at airports across the region, and cutting off power to thousands of customers. “You are not going to see bare pavement for a number of days, probably,” Louisville Metro Public Works spokesman Harold Adams said.
An oil train derailed and caught fire in West Virginia on Monday, forcing the evacuation of two towns. Fourteen rail cars on the 109-car CSX train and one house burned, and at least one tanker leaking Bakken shale oil tumbled into an icy river along the tracks. There were reports that several of the 33,000-gallon tankers had fallen into the river. The train had been headed to a refinery in Yorktown, Va., according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office.
Princeton University announced Monday that it had received its biggest gift ever — a rare book and manuscript valued at $300 million. The 2,500-volume trove includes the first six printed editions of the Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence, and Beethoven’s autographed music sketchbook. Musician, bibliophile, and philanthropist William H. Scheide, a 1936 Princeton graduate, left the collection to the school when he died in November at age 100.
Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said Monday that the U.S. has been embedding surveillance and sabotage tools into computers and networks in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, and other countries. The implants allegedly were placed by the “Equation Group,” which “appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command,” The New York Timesreports.
French actor Louis Jourdan, who sealed his position as a romantic idol with his work in the 1958 Oscar winner Gigi, died over the weekend in California at age 93. The handsome and debonair Jourdan was cast in roles that exploited his Gallic charm — so much so that he referred to himself as Hollywood’s “French cliche.” Later he played villains, including James Bond’s nemesis in the 1983 film Octopussy.
Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who hit the top of the charts at age 16 with “It’s My Party,” died Monday of lung cancer. She was 68. “She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian,” said Gore’s partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson. Gore followed up her first No. 1 song with a string of hits, including Judy’s Turn to Cry and You Don’t Own Me, which became a feminist anthem.
When Political Violence Doesn’t Warrant Collective Blame
Claiming to be acting under the bloody “banner of Liberty and Truth,” Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda, entered CiCi’s Pizza in Las Vegas on Sunday right before noon and executed two local policemen on their lunch break. Authorities say Jerad approached one officer while he was refilling his soda cup and shot him in the head from behind, before he and Amanda opened fire on his partner.
While patrons scrambled to safety, one of the shooters reportedly shouted that the “revolution” had begun. The duo then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, and covered them with cloth that featured the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag, which has recently been adopted as a symbol of the tea party movement. The couple also left a swastika on one of the officers.
Six days earlier, the right-wing shooter had posted a manifesto of sorts on Facebook where he announced “we must prepare for war.” Jerad Miller, who traveled to Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring to join the militia protests against the federal government, declared that in order to “To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed.”
The Facebook rant was just one of many clues about the shooters’ radical political leanings. Jerad Miller “left behind social media postings that show his concerns over Benghazi, chemtrails, gun control laws, and the government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy,” Raw Story reported. (One of the viral images Miller shared online carried the caption, “Jeez, it’s no wonder liberalism’s regarded as a mental disorder.”) The shooter had talked to his neighbor about his “desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers,” according to NBC News.
After murdering two police officers, Miller and his wife, carrying large duffle bags, set upon a nearby WalMart, killed a shopper who attempted to confront the couple with his concealed handgun, exchanged gunfire with law enforcement, and then died in an apparent suicide pact.
The politically motivated ambush represents just the latest in a long line of recent far-right, anti-government acts of violence in America. From neo-Nazi killers, to a string of women’s health clinic bombings and assaults, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists, acts of right-wing extreme violence continue to terrorize victims in the U.S.
Arriving outside the courthouse in a silver SUV, Marx immediately opened fire on law enforcement, shooting a deputy twice in the leg, before being shot and killed by police, capping a wild three-minute gun battle. The shooter came supplied with an assault weapon, “homemade and commercial explosive devices,” as well as “a gas mask; two handguns; zip ties and two bulletproof vests,” according to the Associated Press.
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 notrepresent 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 bebugged 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.”
That fact may be one reason why the Department of Justice last week announced it is “reviving a law enforcement group to investigate those it designates as domestic terrorists,” according to Reuters.
Sadly, Fox has had too much practice in recent years looking the other way when right-wing radicals target American police officers.
On April, 2009, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues. He was convinced the government wanted to take away his guns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettereported.
On May 20, 2010, two West Memphis, Ark., police officers were shot and killed by a father-son team of AK-47-wielding sovereign citizens during a routine traffic stop. The killers had ties to white supremacy groups and posted anti-government rants on YouTube.
Two months later, dedicated Glenn Beck fan Byron Williams strapped on his body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the previously obscure Tides Foundation in hopes of sparking a political revolution. (Beck had brought the Tides Foundation into the spotlight by routinely vilifying the organization on his Fox and radio shows.) Instead, en route to his target Williams got into a 12-minute firefight with California Highway Patrol officers.
The pressing domestic terror threat, CNN’s Bergen wrote, is obvious:
Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.