Has the Tea Party truly "siphoned energy and support from violent fringe groups"? On Wednesday James Dao and Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times reported on the murderous rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin: "Music Style Is Called Supremacist Recruiting Tool."
After working in the threat of "ultra-right-wing militias" (though all indiciations are that the killer acted alone), Dao and Kovaleski threw in a reference to the Tea Party as a "more mainstream alternative" to such violent domestic terrorist outfits, though there has never been violence or arrests at Tea Party rallies.
The New York Times handed over more real estate to controversial left-wing comedian Bill Maher, this time in the Sunday Book Review section, where Maher praised a book in support of legalizing marijuana in a review and in the front section of the Book Review, where Maher lamented: "The drug war, just like the war on terror, created jobs and budgets, and the beneficiaries don’t want to give them up, even though they know they’re fighting an immoral and unwinnable war."
In the aftermath of the Sikh temple shootings, CNN's Piers Morgan this week has resumed his crusade for more gun control in America, although, on the bright side, on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight, he hosted a more evenly balanced debate in which he and fellow liberal gun control advocate Alan Dershowtiz teamed up against two conservative opponents of gun control.
On Monday's The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz suggested that the weekend attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin proves conservative commentator Michelle Malkin was wrong in 2009 when she criticized a Homeland Security report in 2009 which suggested an increase in domestic terrorism from right-wing groups in response to the election of the first African-American President.
After recounting details of the shootings, the MSNBC host tied in Malkin. Schultz:
The Associated Press carried two stories on Friday about the attempt by and ultimate failure of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to avoid going back to prison.
In the first, ahead of that day's hearing, AP reporter Bob Johnson failed to mention Siegelman's Democratic Party affiliation. In the second, Johnson managed to get Democratic Party references designed to raise what appear to be partisan questions about whether Siegelman really deserved his fate into his 29th and 34th of 35 paragraphs. Excerpts follow (AP is using all uppercase in its national site headlines now; bolds are mine):
The day before two of the U.S. Congress's most liberal, anti-gun legislators introduced a bill to severely restrict the online sales of ammunition, an American Olympic athlete who uses hundreds if not thousands of rounds a day in practice won a gold medal at the London games.
One of the astounding stories to come out of this year's Summer Olympics is the amazing success of American shooter Kim Rhode, who won the gold medal in skeet shooting on Sunday, hitting an amazing 99 targets hit out of 100 possible. "She set a new Olympic record in the morning's qualifying round with 74 hits out of 75," Washington Post sports writer Rick Maese noted in today's paper. As part of her ongoing training, "Rhode averages 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, seven days a week," Maese noted in his positive human-interest story. But as the Scared Monkeys blog notes today:
I feel awful about what happened in Colorado, but can we stop the hugging and the teddy bears? Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment. There is nothing so hackneyed in the world of photojournalism as pictures of the hugging and the shrines with candles and teddy bears after a tragedy, with a piano softly trilling in the background.
This accomplishes nothing. If you want to do something, please write a check to a good charity, a family financially harmed by the shooting, or send flowers to a specific person.
Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.
On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’sMichael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)
Our friends at MRCTV have a great new video that goes through a short history of the liberal media's penchant for hastily laying the blame for spree shootings and other violent attacks on conservatives. Yet time after time, when all the facts came out, we learned that it was anything but conservatives behind each and every incident. Of course, by the time all the facts came out, the media spin and speculation had already sowed the seeds of misinformation. As is to be expected, some of the worst offenders were MSNBC talent like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz.
My personal favorite of the ones that narrator Dan Joseph recounts is the media's rush in 2009 to speculate that suicidal U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was murdered by some anti-government extremists -- whipped up no doubt by the Tea Party movement -- when in fact it turns out Sparkman staged the scene of his hanging to look that way. You can watch the full video in the embed that follows the page break.
During Tuesday night's edition of “The O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News host got into a heated exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the concept of Congress passing legislation that the FBI would be notified whenever anyone purchases “heavy weapons.”
Bill O’Reilly said it makes sense for Congress “to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.”
On May 2, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters ran down a list of national media outlets which failed to report the Occupy movement connections of the five men arrested by the FBI for plotting to blow up a suburban Cleveland bridge, despite the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer began noting those relationships from the get-go.
Matt wrote that the Associated Press recognized the connections, but watered it all down by "letting an Occupy Cleveland spokesman's claim the men 'weren't affiliated with or representing the group' go unchallenged." Yesterday, after one of the five arrested entered a guilty plea to avoid a probable life sentence, an unbylined AP report waited until the final of 13 paragraphs to even mention Occupy, and then proceeded to engage in the same dishonest downplaying -- even though evidence revealed a few days after Matt's post proved an undeniable, high-level relationship (bolds are mine; HT Instapundit):
No matter how inane or damning his comments and answers to inquiries, it appears that Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can continue to count on favorable coverage from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, aka the Administration's Protection.
The AP's Marcy Gordon, with the help of her story's headline writer, made Geither's appearance before the House Committee on Financial Services all about partisanship until near the very end. Incredibly, she also relayed a very important question committee members asked about Geithner's use of an interest rate he knew was being lowballed by British banks as the basis for determining the interest rate on Treasury bailout loans while he was still head of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve Bank -- but didn't tell readers what his answer was. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
*Corrected from earlier | WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., recently published a searchable database of concealed carry licensees within the "WRAL viewing area, including Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Nash, Northampton, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne, Wilson and Wake counties." Searches do not turn up names or street numbers, but they do give a number of permits issued to residents on that street.
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.
Washington Post Metro columnist John Kelly usually avoids controversial political subjects and often does "answer man" features about local D.C.-area history, making his feature overall an enjoyable read. But from time to time Kelly works in his liberal bias, just as when he bashed conservative talk show hosts as "right-wing nutjobs" and when he weighed in against the so-called Tebow bill that would allow homeschoolers to join local high school sports teams.
Today, Kelly offered an idea of his for a gun control measure but concluded by grousing that it probably would never get passed into law because those pesky "Second Amendment absolutists" would get in the way and so, "we'll just continue to accept that the price for having a well-regulated militia is that homicidal maniacs will be able to buy guns as easily as buying tickets to a movie."
As he hosted a debate on Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday, CNN's Piers Morgan repeatedly cut off conservative guest John Lott as the former University of Chicago professor tried to argue against imposing additional gun control.
At one point, as he grew impatient with Lott trying to explain that the overwhelming majority of guns - 86 percent - are "semi-automatic," and that an "assault weapon" is not as unusual a weapon as it might sound, Morgan lost control and started ranting:
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended that America's police officers should go on strike and refuse to protect people until gun control legislation which would allegedly make them safer is enacted. Bloomberg:
Americans trust guns more than they do, God, Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite insists in her July 22 post. The liberal theologian preaches for the need to correct the idolatry by, you guessed it, more gun control, just as she did back during Holy Week.
Appearing on the Saturday, July 21, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formerly of Newsweek - made a point of noting that one of the guns used in the Aurora theater massacre used to be illegal under the assault weapons ban, as if shooter James Holmes could not simply have purchased a different gun to assist in his murder spree.
Isikoff asserted that the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, "was lifted under President Bush," and noted that President Obama had "pledged during his campaign to restore it" but that "he has dropped that issue." Isikoff:
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, July 22, Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter - formerly of Newsweek - charged that the NRA has "imposed" a "gag order" that makes politicians afraid to discuss enacting more gun control.
He went on to advise that those who support more gun laws should say to the NRA that "We're not going to let you silence us."
On the July 22 CBS Sunday Morning show, correspondent Lee Cowan highlighted criticism of gun rights by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using a soundbite of the liberal mayor scurrilously remarking that gun rights advocates "think that the right to bear arms allows you to go out and kill people at random," before adding, "And that's not overstating it very much."
The report, which focused primarily on details of the Aurora theater massacre and its victims, digressed for a moment into the gun control issue, but only included the side that supports more gun control:
Correcting a common media refrain repeated moments earlier on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen offered “to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control,” pointing out that what Easterners (ie: journalists) see as an unusually large ammunition purchase of six thousand rounds is really not all that noteworthy:
In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.
On Saturday's Today show, as NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formelry of Newsweek - filed a report on the drive to make people safer at movie theaters after the Aurora massacre, heconcluded his report by suggesting that, because "the powerful National Rifle Association has blocked any move for stricter gun laws," people will have to settle for "beefed-up security and greater vigilance," as if the NRA were preventing people from being safer.
Toward the end of the report, Isikoff relayed the complaint of gun control activists that it is too easy to obtain certain types of guns. Isikoff:
CNN anchor Piers Morgan devoted a considerable portion of his Friday program to pushing for more gun control, breaking with those who have advised delaying such talk until after a period of mourning for shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado.
Morgan not only began Piers Morgan Tonight with a "Piers' Special Commentary" calling for more gun laws, but, later in the program, he included three guests who argued in favor of more gun control, with only one to argue against, with whom the CNN host ended up becoming agitated as Denver University Professor David Kopel scolded Morgan for not waiting longer before launching into a divisive political debate.
Shortly after beginning the show, Morgan played a clip of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advising the presidential candidates to talk about the gun control issue, and then began his commentary:
Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at Newser.com really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"
The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
On a day where politics was supposed to take a back seat to "prayer and reflection" in the wake of a deadly Colorado shooting, CNN let liberal mayors drive the debate about gun control on Friday afternoon.
"[W]hy hasn't your party, the Democratic party done more to legislate guns?" anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. CNN also played a clip of Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak out about guns. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
MSNBC colleague and liberal pundit Chris Hayes was the first to jump on the anti-gun bandwagon, and bizarrely focused on suicide instead of the Aurora tragedy. Hayes argued that, "the availability of a gun makes suicide fatality far more likely" even though, it "doesn't make the impulse to do it more likely," ignoring the fact that suicide has nothing to do with the events of last evening.
While the Daily Kos first reacted with horror like everyone else to the Aurora shooting, it didn’t take too long for the America-bashing to begin. The blogger known as “Killer of Sacred Cows” grew angry that Rep. Louie Gohmert would suggest the madness could have been stopped sooner if someone else in the theater was packing heat. That apparently put him in “Idiotsville.”
But KoSC really wanted to blame the American Culture of Violence for the shooting, that our screwed-up social system doesn’t tolerate diminished mental capacity, it creates it: