Floyd Lee Corkins, the "man who planned a mass shooting at a conservative Christian lobbying group’s Washington headquarters in 2012 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the failed plot," the Associated Press reported shortly before noon Eastern Thursday. Yet nowhere in their four-paragraph story -- accessed here at WashingtonPost.com -- did the news wire note that Corkins admitted he was inspired by the website for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Leo Johnson had the chance to kill Floyd Lee Corkins that August Wednesday in 2012. He chose not to.
“God spoke to me and told me not to take his life,” recalled Johnson, the building manager for the Family Research Council. “That’s not the act of someone who’s a hater, or involved with a hate group. I could have easily done to him what he tried to do to me and all of my colleagues.”
Corkins had walked into the FRC’s Washington D.C. offices with a handgun and a bag of Chick-fil-A, determined to kill everyone inside the socially conservative non-profit before smearing chicken sandwiches in their faces. As it happened, he never got past the lobby, and Leo Johnson, who took a bullet in the arm, was his only victim. Johnson, though unarmed and wounded, wrestled Corkins to the ground and disarmed him. The building manager’s heroics averted a possible massacre.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying: “You never want a good crisis to go to waste.”
Apparently, that's also the motto of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center's Marilyn Elias, who last week wrote an article amid the hunt for the Boston marathon bombing suspects which urged both caution against jumping to conclusions that Muslims might have perpetrated it but also attempted to smear its favorite target: regular conservatives.
Floyd Corkins Jr. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to wounding a security guard at the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group fighting against gay marriage, on August 15 last year. Corkins was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches at the time – the restaurant chain noteworthy for its public, Christian-based opposition to gay marriage – and intended to rub the sandwiches in his victims' faces.
The New York Times made do with a brief from Reuters that did not mention a vital angle: That FRC was brought to the attention of Corkins via the website of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled FRC a "hate group."
It was huge news. A map targeting those with opposing viewpoints led to a tragic attack. Partisan rhetoric was out of control and fringe-types were being driven to gun commit gun crimes. Except that, in the case of the Gabby Giffords shooting two years ago, none of those things were even remotely true. But that didn’t stop the media from breathlessly conjecturing that a target-festooned map on Sarah Palin’s website had pointed Jared Loughner to Rep. Giffords, and that Palin’s “reload” rhetoric made him shoot.
But now we have a case in which a politically motivated shooter has confessed to choosing his targets according to a map. In fact, it was a “hate map” created by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). But ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN aren’t talking.
After a man shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) last summer, the organization claimed it was targeted because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed it as a "hate group."
The shooter has now revealed that he indeed used that SPLC map to find his target. And CNN has not only promoted this list of "hate groups" in the past, but after the shooting it re-affirmed the FRC's place on the list as "hate spewing hate."