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Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2009

DHS REPORT 'IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT'.... Fox News spent much of April hyperventilating about a report from the Department of Homeland Security, warning of possible threats posed by violent radicals, specifically from anti-abortion and anti-Semitic extremists.

The DHS report, which Republicans spent weeks trying to exploit for partisan gain, looks considerably different now. On Fox News this afternoon, while the story at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was still unfolding, Shep Smith referenced the memo, saying he remembered the report "warning, 'look out for crazy extremists out there, about to do weirdness,' and here we are."

Catherine Herridge, a domestic security correspondent for the Fox News, said this is "an excellent point to bring up." She added, "[W]e have to now see those two intelligence assessments that were released by Homeland Security earlier this year -- one dealt with left-wing extremists, the other dealt with right-wing extremists -- you have to see them in a somewhat different light."

Greg Sargent added, "If this gunman proves to be an anti-government zealot and white supremacist, there will be tons of cable chatter and mea culpa-ing to the effect that the DHS was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing in issuing that report. Right?"

We'll see.

Update: Shep Smith added that the DHS report "was a warning to us all, and it appears now they were right."

Steve Benen 4:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (62)

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Comments

"We'll see" indeed. But I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Trinity on June 10, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's somewhat amazing that the memo was even mentioned on FoxNews, but I doubt that will last for long. "This was clearly an isolated incident by a mentally-disturbed individual. The media are just trying to smear legitimate conservatives by creating a false linkage to 'right-wing extremists', as though they even existed."

Posted by: Gummitch on June 10, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, wasn't that a right wing extremist that murdered a certain doctor in an effort to terrorize people in Kansas last week??!!!

Posted by: Robin on June 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I actually disagree with this assessment. A couple of random events does not make this an epidemic of right wing extremist terrorism. Let's not start going off the deep end like the Bush people did with 9/11.

Posted by: Don B on June 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not start going off the deep end like the Bush people did with 9/11.

Yeah, I don't think you have to worry about us invading Argentina.

Posted by: Danp on June 10, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

"those two intelligence assessments that were released by Homeland Security earlier this year -- one dealt with left-wing extremists, the other dealt with right-wing extremists --"

I do not recall left wing extremists being mentioned in the assessments.

Anyone?

Posted by: jharp on June 10, 2009 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

This shooting is only a "random event" if you choose to ignore the context -- a constant stream of anti-Obama rhetoric on the Fox Propaganda Channel and AM Right Wing Radio, a lot of angry Right Wing racists armed to the teeth and an African-American President.

It's not as if incidents like this weren't predicted as far back as November. . .

Posted by: Gummitch on June 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of random events does not make this an epidemic of right wing extremist terrorism. Let's not start going off the deep end like the Bush people did with 9/11.

We're up to four "random" events now: the UU church shooting in Tennessee, the guy who lay in wait and killed two cops because Obama was going to take his guns away, Dr. Tiller's murder, and now this guy.

At what point can we say that there may be a pattern here?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I do not recall left wing extremists being mentioned in the assessments."

Yes, there was a separate report dealing with that.

Posted by: bruce ka on June 10, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, isn't it time that someone get Shep Smith a position on an actual news station? Hasn't he earned it?

Posted by: Shantyhag on June 10, 2009 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of random events does not make this an epidemic of right wing extremist terrorism.

Random my ASS.

Where were these "random" events the past eight years, when that good-ol-boy and his buddies were running things?

The lengths some people will go to just to pretend that everything's OK and there's nothing to worry about....

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on June 10, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I remain amazed (and pleased) that Shep Smith is the voice of reason on Fox News. Kudos to Smith for valiantly doing his job as a journalist!

Posted by: Greytdog on June 10, 2009 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

I do not recall left wing extremists being mentioned in the assessments. Anyone? -jharp

Perhaps someone mentioned it.

Posted by: doubtful on June 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos to Shep Smith for being the sole voice of sanity and integrity on Fox News to date. I hear there's an opening on Hannity's show, maybe he should ask around.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on June 10, 2009 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want Faux News, nor do I even allow it to occupy a slot on my program guide, but it seems Shep is the only person over there with any scruples.

Shantyhag may be onto something there. How does Shep get away with this stuff.....this, plus the "torture" eruption, and there have been others.

Posted by: GreyGuy on June 10, 2009 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

"At what point can we say that there may be a pattern here?"

Now. It's time for the FBI to stop investigating the supposedly dangerous pacifist Quakers and start investigating the people who really are dangerous. And it's time to round these people up for questioning. With a black man as president, you can be sure the white supremists are going to be a continuing problem. And with the pro-Life movement proving that terrorism works, we can expect a lot of problems from them too. So instead of hassling hippies and pacifists, let's hassle the violent people with guns.

Posted by: fostert on June 10, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

I do not recall left wing extremists being mentioned in the assessments. -- jharp, @16:35

There definitely was one though my recollection is that it came out last year, not this. And, of course, nobody objected to *it* because, according to the conservonuts, all lefties are extremist terrorists by definition. That *might* be why you don't remember its existence (I have my doubts, but I'll give you the benefit of one of them...).

The report on the right wing extremists, although commissioned by Bush's DHS, came out on Obama's watch, which made the right wing flip out with more force than usual. First, they don't think of themselves as extreme, no matter all evidence to the contrary and second, that the secret Muslim should have the nerve to target them...

Posted by: exlibra on June 10, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK
Where were these "random" events the past eight years, when that good-ol-boy and his buddies were running things?

Here, among other places..

Posted by: cmdicely on June 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Greytdog said:
I remain amazed (and pleased) that Shep Smith is the voice of reason on Fox News. Kudos to Smith for valiantly doing his job as a journalist!

Ummm . . . I may be paranoid, but I see some political ju-jitzu coming.

By this time tomorrow, I expect to see Republicans start to point out that Obama was warned by the Bush administration about potentially violent extremists, but Obama did nothing about it.

Once again, Republicans will ignore their own previous words and declare that the deaths were all Obama's fault.


Posted by: SteveT on June 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

If I didn't know better, I'd say we were seeing signs that Fox News correspondents might actually be open to new facts and ideas....

But I know better.

Posted by: Ahistoricality on June 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Will Roger Ailes be on Bill O'Reilly's show taking responsibility for what he has personally done to further the reactionary madness and telling Billo to put a sock in it to help stop it from getting worse? Will Murdoch apologize for hiring people to lie?

Posted by: freelunch on June 10, 2009 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Actually both the report on the dangers of some left-wing and right-wing extremists came out this year. Although both were commissioned and preared during the Bush administration, they were each released after Obama took office. I think the left-wing report came out Jan. 27, the one on right-wingers in April.

The reason few heard about the report on potential terrorism from the left is that no liberals insisted they were being targeted for their legitimate personal beliefs. It was only the right-wing echo chamber (I was going to use the word 'bomb throwers' but I don't want to push any more of them over the edge) that insisted the Obama administration was targeting all conservatives. It was transparent nonsense to stir up the base and it went on for weeks.

Posted by: Ken in Tenn on June 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

We're up to four "random" events now

We're up to at least four that gained national attention. Who knows how many "random" events -- assaults, vandalism, harrassment, whatever -- weren't sensational enough to make the national news?

Posted by: Gregory on June 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is why Fucksnews and other MSM outlets were not outraged by the Ron Suskind's revelationn about GWB dismissing a CIA a breifer's warning about an imminent OBL attack with, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

They treated the DHS report with the same kind of contempt.

Posted by: Winkandanod on June 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Catherine Herridge, a domestic security correspondent for the Fox News, said this is "an excellent point to bring up."
Wow. Is Herridge an offbeat saint that somehow fell into the orbit of Faux? How long will she last?

Posted by: demoraptor on June 10, 2009 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck trying to convince the American people that there's a pattern here.

There have only been two cases of abortion-related violence in the U.S. to my knowledge, and I don't know where you think you're going to find any historical examples of Christians bashing Jews. The only race-related violence I've ever seen is from the mouth of Senorita Sotomayor.

Meanwhile, Muslims killed 3,000 and all three of my wives have gotten red paint thrown on their fur coats. Where's the outrage from the left?

Posted by: Myke K on June 10, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"We're up to four "random" events now: the UU church shooting in Tennessee, the guy who lay in wait and killed two cops because Obama was going to take his guns away, Dr. Tiller's murder, and now this guy."

what is going on at DHS? it does no good to see the threats yet do nothing to prevent these catastrophes.

Posted by: marydem on June 10, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, Muslims killed 3,000 and all three of my wives have gotten red paint thrown on their fur coats. Where's the outrage from the left?

ROFL! Desecration of fur coats is so completely equal to people dying.

And though you have obviously willed yourself to forget it, Myke K, there has been plenty of outrage from the left over 9/11. Many of us were particularly outraged that the Bush administration reacted to the attack by invading Iraq, although 15 of the hijackers were Saudis. Many of us have called for securing ports and chemical plants, for example, instead of waterboarding every mideastern-lloking man we can catch.

Jeebus. Quit channeling Rush and O'Reilly for a minute, okay?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Don,

"I actually disagree with this assessment. A couple of random events does not make this an epidemic of right wing extremist terrorism."

Just from the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City forward, the American RightWing has initiated more than 60 terrorist plots inside the U.S.:

* Plots to bomb government buildings, banks, gasoline refineries, utility companies, medical clinics, synagogues, mosques, and bridges

* Plots to assassinate police officers, government officials, judges, politicians, civil rights figures, and others

* Plots to rob banks, armored cars, and firearms dealers

* Plots to accumulate illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives, not to mention chemical and biological weapons

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, Muslims killed 3,000 and all three of my wives have gotten red paint thrown on their fur coats. Where's the outrage from the left?

Even if you are a Muslim with three wives, Myke K, why would the left be mad at you, personally?

Weird.

Posted by: JM on June 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Myke K, supporter of terrorism and murder. Guess that's those pseudo-Xtian values, huh?

Human swine like Myke K. are why we have terrorism.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Shep Smith referenced the memo, saying he remembered the report "warning, 'look out for crazy extremists out there, about to do weirdness,' and here we are."

Weirdness?

One man's "weirdness" is another man's "cold-blooded murder."

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on June 10, 2009 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is a good excuse for Obama to invade Canada and seize their oil and other natural resources.

Posted by: Captain Stupid on June 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

JM, Brian, I am pretty sure Myke K is engaging in satire.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

ROFL! Desecration of fur coats is so completely equal to people dying.

Glad you think the violent attacks on my wives are funny. Of course liberals have no respect for property. You don't have any of your own.

Posted by: Myke K on June 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

I am pretty sure Myke K is engaging in satire.

No, parody.

Posted by: Gregory on June 10, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC, Shep Smith was also the only Fox correspondent to lose his shit over the government's lack of response to Hurricane Katrina, so he does have his moments of lucidity. Those moments never seem to extend to the rest of the Fox personalities.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 10, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos to Shep Smith for being the sole voice of sanity and integrity on Fox News to date. I hear there's an opening on Hannity's show, maybe he should ask around.

There's a demand for sanity and integrity among Hannity's audience? Who knew?

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on June 10, 2009 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Glad you think the violent attacks on my wives are funny. Of course liberals have no respect for property. You don't have any of your own.

Huh, if I have no property, I wonder why the county keeps sending me property tax bills. I also wonder why, if you consider paint throwing to be a violent attack, you didn't pull out your concealed 357 magnum and administer street justice.

You really have multiple wives?

And you really think "attacks" on fur coats is equivalent to a man walking into a public place and shooting multiple people? Really?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 10, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one to think that there might be a slight problem with the Myke K parodies? It's not that they are poorly done, more often than not they are spot on in terms of what inanity a Republican 'agent provocateur' might come up with (n'est pas, mhr?).

Unfortunately, the wingnuts have stretched the boundaries of what is entirely plausible to have originated from one of them to such an extent that satirizing them 'safely' has become quite a challenge.

Of course, regular readers (and commenter) of this site will pick up the parody nature of Myke K 'contributions' from the name tag, even if their content reads frighteningly realistic. However, as the current thread shows, there always appear to be commenter (and by extension very likely many more lurking readers) who are not familiar with the parody character of Myke K posts and therefore get genuinely inflamed about the seeing insanity of their content.

Does that (still?) serve a purpose?

Posted by: SRW1 on June 10, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Shep's a good reminder that there actually is more to Fox News than Hannity's propaganda or Billo's demogoguery. Shep represents the "tabloidy" aspect of the channel, which may be sensationalistic and lowest-common-denominator but still has some resemblance to actual news.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on June 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, they keep me out of these threads, and that's gotta be worth something.

Posted by: Mike K. on June 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I stand corrected. Parody it is.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2009 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, that should be 'seeming insanity' not 'seeing insanity' in my previous comment.

Posted by: SRW1 on June 10, 2009 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

My apologies. I actually know people who would spout shit like the things Myke K has posted.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

I actually know people who would spout shit like the things Myke K has posted.

We all do. The real Mike K., for instance.

Posted by: GC on June 10, 2009 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Shep's a good reminder that there actually is more to Fox News than Hannity's propaganda or Billo's demogoguery. Shep represents the "tabloidy" aspect of the channel, which may be sensationalistic and lowest-common-denominator but still has some resemblance to actual news.

The role of Fox in this sordid event and the Dr Tiller murder reminds of the poem 'The Sorcerers Apprentice' by Goehte, which has the lines in it

'... from the spirits that I called Sir, deliver me!'

Posted by: SRW1 on June 10, 2009 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Damn it, obviously not my day. That should of course read 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' by Goethe.

Posted by: SRW1 on June 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

If you go look up the footage from when the DHS report came out, you'll find Herridge/Smith reported on it exactly the same way as they are now.

Posted by: alindc on June 10, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Just FYI. It's not backtracking, they got it right the first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWycXKTuPZ8

Posted by: alindc on June 10, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

To reference an eariler point with which I agree...

Back in April when the DHS report came out, right wing politicians & pundits lost their collective sh!t and accused the Obama Administration for singling out members of their ranks for exercising their g0ddamned freedom of speech in order to point out what an evilextremistmuslimterroristsympathizerradicalliberalpoopyhead Obama was. This DESPITE the fact that the report was commissioned during Dubya's rule.

Now that the extremists are starting to use acts of terrorism to get what democracy denies them, expect those exact same politicians & pundits to applaud the Bush Administration for warning us...and condemning Obama for not doing enough to protect us (though aside from illegally rounding up extremists & Gitmo'ing them before they can commit a crime, how can you follow every lone nut who spews hatred on the internet?).

Posted by: slappy magoo on June 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Myke, I do trust you were smart enough to move from any state which imposes a personal property tax upon your three chattels, er wives.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2009 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I do realize that multiple sex partners at the same time are nothing unusual for liberals, but I believe in marriage.

That's marriage for one man, one woman. My wives were one at a time, dolts.

Posted by: Myke K on June 10, 2009 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Actually 5...you left out the guy who murdered the head of the dem party in Arkansas during the campaign...just killing a liberal...nothing to see here. The republican machine has been cultivating racism, homophobia, anti abortion,...fear an hate mongering and murders start occurring as a result of Joe the Plumber mentality...like riding on deck of the Titanic noting the small little ice bergs.

This is just starting...the sedition of FOX and O'reilly...oh hell you know who they are...the blamers and haters who smear rather than discuss.
I promise if FOX were banned violence would go down. Before Media consolidation no one would give a national public voice to these hate mongers. The only one we had was in congress in the '50s and we finally got rid of him and his nonsense. More is coming as the term Liberal has been demonized and republicans have no policies just fear and hate, blame and condemnation. Does anyone even remember what McCain's policies stands were?...That's because it was a smear campaign toward dems, Obama and liberals and it hasn't stopped because it's all they have and they are desperate to regain power...as if. McCain even had to interrupt to say Obama was not an Arab or evil...geez. Until we get hate radio shut down and FOX banned expect more violence (Seccession, revolution, war...Country First my ass.)

Posted by: bjobotts on June 10, 2009 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

"...Meanwhile, Muslims killed 3,000 and all three of my wives have gotten red paint thrown on their fur coats. Where's the outrage from the left?
Posted by: Myke K on June 10, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Bush got '
em back for you having killed at least 100,000 innocent Iraqis who had nothing to do with nothing. That wasn't paint Mike, it was the blood of patriots wasted for Bush and Cheney's political gain and profiteering. Relax, their blood meant nothing to Bush who never lost a wink of sleep over it and partied at the fund raisers the whole time they were being sacrificed in Iraq. Mislead kids thinking they were dying for their country...while people like you probably shouted "What if they follow us over here huh huh?, What if they follow us home huh huh?" like they had an army or air force or navy or something. Your wifes were just mad because you took away their string and felt patch not the fur coats.

Posted by: bjobotts on June 10, 2009 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Another +1 for Shep Smith. He's not perfect, but he's miles beyond anybody else on Fox News.

Posted by: Franklin on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if bin Laden activated his GOP sleeper cell?

Posted by: Chris on June 10, 2009 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, what happened to the FCC? Once upon a time not that long ago I cited Major Garrett reporting on something falsely and I could prove that with the written record, etc. I had downloaded the FCC rules (I guess they really are for networks only but where's the difference nowadays?)where it said something to the effect of, "you can't broadcast something as truth when you know it to be false." (Major went from CNN to Fox after that.) What happened to that? Why can't we have responsible reporting going on? (retorhical [damn how do you spell that word?] question) Like nowadays a reporter will let someone like Cheney lie (in this case the reporter called her on it but on fox???? no way). Talk me down, please.

Posted by: bellesouth on June 11, 2009 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Should this event lead critics of the DHS report to reassess their criticisms?

Well, it kinda depends on what those criticisms were. If you criticized the report because you denied the possibility of a right wing extrmemist ever murdering anyone, then yeah. If, on the other hand, your criticism of the report that it was sloppily written, vague, and provided no actionable information then I don't see how this event has any bearing on those criticisms.

Posted by: teqzilla on June 11, 2009 at 7:36 AM | PERMALINK

We're up to four "random" events now: the UU church shooting in Tennessee, the guy who lay in wait and killed two cops because Obama was going to take his guns away, Dr. Tiller's murder, and now this guy.

Someone's already mentioned the Arkansas Dem, so I'll just raise another example: the rightwing loon in Maine who was killed by his wife before he carried out his plan to bomb. After the shooting, cops discovered a garage full of explosives and weapons.

Posted by: lou on June 11, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Using the left wing obtuse connect the dots theory wouldn't we have to say it is the fault of the left wing that the DC shooter went to the museum? He clearly went there because Obama's left wing, anti-Semitic pastor slammed the Jewish community the previous day. Oh that has to be it that has to be it.

We will certainly see more violence by fringe idiots as Obama and company move us toward socialism much the same way we saw so much violence 30 years ago by the left wing idiots. I�m not trying to say the left wing idiots/terrorist aren�t alive and well so don�t get upset. I mean no offence toward the left wing, anti-America, blow up cars, burn down houses, spike trees crowd. I know you guys haven�t slowed down, you are just under reported by the mainstream media which I guess is a good-bad thing for your cause.

Posted by: Dave on June 11, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry about this second post but lets inject some sanity. There are 46 people murdered every day in the U.S. That's about 1,380 a month. The only ones we discuss as a nation are the ones the media decides are news, about 1%. Somehow we think we can determine a pattern with 1%. We are all media controlled idiots, especially me.

Posted by: Dave on June 11, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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