The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
White supremacists began pointing fingers almost immediately after the lethal rampage at two Jewish community centers in Kansas by longtime white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller (aka Frazier Glenn Cross). Some supported Miller or blamed Jews for the attack, while others disavowed him.
Meanwhile on the mainstream right, several leading conservatives attempted to blame liberals for the massacre. Specifically, they pinned the blame on a single liberal journalist, Max Blumenthal, because Miller on a handful of occasions praised Blumenthal’s against-the-grain reporting on the right wing in Israel. From there, they blamed liberal organizations more broadly for the incident, including one for whom Blumenthal has not worked for since 2009.
Leading the charge was Rush Limbaugh, who on his widely syndicated radio show Monday cited a column by Ron Radosh at PJ Media – headlined: “Who Inspired the Nazi Klan Leader’s Actions in Kansas? The Answer Here” – that detailed a handful of Miller’s characteristcally expletive and hate-filled rants that approvingly cited Blumenthal’s criticism of Israeli policies.
Working off Radosh’s piece, Limbaugh attacked not just Blumenthal and his well-known father (Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal) but also Media Matters, the liberal organization that monitors right-wing media:
LIMBAUGH: Max Blumenthal is the son of Sidney Blumenthal, who is, of course, Hillary Clinton’s confidant. But Max Blumenthal, if I’m not mistaken, works at Media Matters for America. And Max Blumenthal is one of a cabal of left-wing journalists that despise Israel, and this guy found his way to things that these people had written, and he was inspired. He admits he was inspired by all this, and that’s why he took action against the three Jewish people in Kansas City.
This is preposterous and blatantly false. Where to begin? ( continue to full post… )
As part of Fox News’ eager coverage of the recent “range war” showdown over Cliven Bundy’s cattle grazing rights in Nevada, the network broadcast a segment from the scene Monday that was remarkable both for the reporters’ seeming embrace of the far-right antigovernment “Patriot” movement and for its subjects’ startling clarity on their strategy for confronting federal agents: using women as human shields.
Richard Mack, the erstwhile Arizona sheriff and longtime figure in the Patriot movement, was at the scene. He told Fox reporter William LaJeunesse that the people who gathered there to stop law enforcement from rounding up the illegally grazing cattle – which had grown to hundreds by the time the Bureau of Land Management caved in and returned many of the cattle – were prepared to lay their lives on the line in standing up to the government. Or more precisely:
We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they’re going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.
Mack’s radical Posse-Comitatus-based ideology, which claims that county sheriffs are the higest constitutional level of law enforcement, lines up nicely with Cliven Bundy’s antigovernment views. That explains why Mack has taken a lead role in helping promote Bundy’s cause in far-right media circles. ( continue to full post… )
Mainstream media coverage of the showdown in southern Nevada over Cliven Bundy’s cattle has so far been scrupulously balanced. Most outlets – including local TV stations from nearby Las Vegas, as well as cable news outlets CNN and MSNBC – have presented Bundy’s belief that the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over the land on which he grazes his cows as well as the government’s explanation of how it is enforcing land use rules fairly for everyone.
The same cannot be said for right-wing media outlets, led by Fox News, which have steadily characterized the Bundy family as heroic patriots standing up to a tyrannical government. A number of far-right pundits have even been urging people to go to the scene in Clark County to make their presence known.
Fox’s Sean Hannity led the parade of Bundy boosters on Fox, featuring a segment on Tuesday night that included an interview with Bundy and a narrative that presented his claims at face value. Indeed, Hannity himself repeated Bundy’s favorite question: “Why do they own all that land?” (Hannity reportedly plans to devote an entire show to the situation on Monday.)
Fox’s Greta Van Susteren also featured an interview on Thursday with Cliven Bundy and his adult son, Ammon Bundy, who was hit with a Taser during a ruckus on Wednesday. Again, it was a sympathetic report, featuring no countervailing information, and it included an interesting explanation from the father and son regarding their attitudes towards the courts:
VAN SUSTEREN: There’s a court order that says that the federal government can do this. So what’s your response to that.
CLIVEN BUNDY: My response is it’s the wrong court. I’ve never had my due process in a Nevada state court, a court of competent jurisdiction.
AMMON BUNDY: Hey, uh – I like my Dad’s little story he uses to explain the situation. If someone came in and busted into my house and abused my children, and I call the cops, they don’t respond. And then I take them to court, I show up in the courtroom, look on the stand, and it’s the very person that abused my children looking down at me in a black robe. How in the world are we going to get justice in that court?
The rhetoric from right-wing pundits concerning Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s showdown with federal authorities over cattle grazing rights has quickly grown overheated. But talk show host Pete Santilli – who has a notable history of extremist statements – has reached an entirely new level of hysteria.
Santilli devoted more than an hour of his Internet radio broadcast on Monday to interviewing Bundy. As the interview progressed, Santilli became increasingly incendiary, calling on members of militias in the region to show up and defend the ranchers. At the end of the exchange, Santilli concluded with a rant that veered close to suggesting that federal law enforcement officers at the scene should be treated like enemy terrorists waging “jihad” against ordinary Americans:
We talk of, ladies and gentlemen, the American Dream. We talk of it. We talk of the pride that we have in what our Founding Fathers put forth for us, our U.S. Constitution. The flag – all the men and women that have given their lives to defend what this man is standing and defending. Right now. And it’s now a matter of determining: Are our domestic enemies, right now, more of a detriment to the survival of our nation than these foreign enemies that we get so energized to go and kill?
Do we need to dress these federal agents up as a bunch of brown people and say that they came from the desert and they want to wage jihad against us, or are we going to call it jihad, just about, against the American people at this point?
The federal government, ladies and gentlemen, has become so out of control, so tyrannical, to the point where they do it swiftly, silently, to the point where the American people don’t even recognize what tyranny is.
As he wrapped up the rant, Santilli became even more explicitly violent, characterizing the Nevada showdown as a “fight to the death”:
Is it time now, at this point in time – if this is not THE issue, right now! Where we stand and fight to the absolute, and I say, death! There is no other option! The federal government must get out of the state of Nevada, with respect to that 600,000-acre ranch – they must leave. We want that to be done peacefully. If they don’t want it to happen peacefully, it is gonna be by their choice.
Santilli’s solution: Militiamen and “patriots” need to bring their guns:
Ladies and gentlemen, when I say, I’m calling upon every single American anywhere in the vicinity of Clark County, pool your money together, fill up your gas cans, get your cameras. If you’re in Nevada and you can legally carry, get weapons out there, OK? We’re going to stand and fight in Clark County, Nevada! They will leave or else!
Of course, if gunfire actually does break out, one can rest assured that he will almost certainly be nowhere in the vicinity himself.
If it wasn’t clear from the pronouncements that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy made in TV interviews this past week – most notably his assertion that “I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing” – the confrontation in the Nevada desert that has drawn a horde of antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement supporters and militiamen out of the woodwork is a classic example of the conflict between so-called Patriots and the real world in which bureaucracies like the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) operate.
That’s especially clear after a review of remarks Bundy made previously in the media, including threats to start a “range war” and “do whatever it takes” to keep his cattle grazing freely on public land. The most notable of these was an appearance at a cattle owners convention in South Carolina in 2012 at which he trumpeted his refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the government; speaking at the same gathering was noted Patriot movement leader Richard Mack.
Bundy has been outspoken in promoting his antigovernment beliefs, including during an interview with far-right radio host Pete Santilli earlier this week. Santilli has a colorful and sordid record of saying extreme things on the air, most infamously his wish that someone would shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina. In recent weeks he has explicitly aligned himself with the Patriot movement.
Much of the interview revolved around Bundy’s belief that the U.S. government can’t possibly own the open public lands of the interior West:
Who owns this land? Who has title to this land? Is it the state of Nevada? Or is it the federal government? And if it’s the federal government, then I want to understand, I know I’ve asked this question: How does the federal government own 90 percent of the state of Nevada? How does that happen?” […]
The other question I bring forth, according to our Constitution, how could this possibly be? We claim the Constitution is the law of the land, and so how could this happen here in America? How could this happen that the United States could own this vast amount of land – not only in Nevada, but in the Western United States? So this is an issue that I bring forth.
How time flies when you’re spreading hate.
It’s hard to believe – and more than a little sad to realize – that the National Socialist Movement (NSM), currently the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi organization in the United States, has been around now for 40 years, although it started life under a different name.
Notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric and its racist views, the Detroit-based NSM is scheduled to celebrate its anniversary with a rally on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Saturday, April 26. The occasion will also mark the 20th anniversary of the leadership of Jeff Schoep, who renamed the Nationalist Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement when he took over in 1994.
Besides marking its four decades of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, the purpose of the rally is to oppose illegal immigration, according to its successful permit application, the Times Free Press reported today.
NSM has been on an anti-immigrant kick – or goose step – for some time. In November, the group held an anti-immigration rally in Kansas City on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The neo-Nazi rally in Chattanooga comes the day before Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April 27.
A career criminal who plotted to kill a prosecutor and attempted to hire a white supremacist to kill a federal judge in Florida was sentenced Monday to 60 years in prison.
Robert Eugene Spiker, 45, previously convicted of rape and robbery, offered to recruit for a white supremacist gang and be its “enforcer” if one of its members would kill U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Morris, court documents say.
Spiker also plotted to stab Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Devereaux during a courtroom hearing and, when that was foiled, attempted to hire a hit man who actually was an undercover police officer, the documents say.
Spiker targeted the judge and prosecutor because they were assigned to handle federal perjury charges brought against Spiker. The perjury charges came after Spiker, serving 15 years in prison for burglary, filed multiple federal civil rights complaints accusing guards of assault and inadequate medical treatment, court documents say.
Spiker used his own blood to write a murder-for-hire contract on the judge and threatened to “ice and dice” Devereaux during a courtroom ruse that was foiled when security personnel found a homemade knife. Spiker intended to have his defense attorney ask Devereaux over to the defense table to apologize for threatening the prosecutor. Spiker planned to stab Devereaux when he got close.
At a sentencing hearing, the prosecutor appeared as a victim, telling the sentencing judge, “I would have gone over to the table and very well likely may not be here today,” the Florida Times Union reported in today’s editions. ( continue to full post… )
It only took a brief rant to wreck Austin Ruse’s budding career as a “traditionalist” Catholic pundit. Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), an anti-LGBT hate group that lobbies at the United Nations, was on American Family Radio (AFR) last week when he said that the “hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” like Duke “should all be taken out and shot.”
While violent rhetoric is an increasingly common feature of far-right rhetoric, it is particularly jarring coming from a pundit and think tank official who markets himself as “pro-life” and “pro-family.”
After Right Wing Watch posted Ruse’s rant – and then publicized his self-pitying responses to having his own words played back – Ruse found himself suddenly isolated. The American Family Association – on whose program he made the rant – severed all ties with him, saying: “AFR condemns such comments, no matter who makes them.” One of C-FAM’s board members, Monsignor Anthony Frontiero, resigned from the board after Faithful America petitioned him to do so. And C-FAM may lose its status at the United Nations.
Ruse eventually buckled and apologized, telling Talking Points Memo:
“I deeply regret and apologize for using the expression ‘taken out and shot’ on the Sandy Rios Show this week. It was not intended to be taken literally. I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence. I regret that these poorly chosen words are being used to attack my friends at American Family Radio and American Family Association.”
Notwithstanding the apology, AFR’s Sandy Rios defended Ruse’s remarks as being “words of life” that warn believers against listening to liberal professors. Rios insisted that Ruse’s words were the kind people make in private conversation all the time, which may well be true around her workplace – AFR is a wing of the American Family Association, whose spokesperson Bryan Fischer has made all manner of offensive and outrageous remarks. ( continue to full post… )
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), an anti-LGBT hate group that lobbies at the United Nations, has had a bad week.
First, Ruse garnered outrage last Wednesday when he stated on the air that the “hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities…should all be taken out and shot.” He was speaking about a female student at Duke University who works as an actress in the pornography industry. Ruse blamed Duke’s women’s studies department, claiming that the student “learned this” there.
In the wake of his remarks, Ruse doubled down and engaged in Twitter flame wars with detractors and lambasted the blog Right Wing Watch (RWW), which had posted audio and a transcript from the show. Ruse railed against RWW, saying that “The pajama boys over at Right Wing Watch have their panties all in a twist about what I said.” He also called liberals “dumb,” “stupid” and “idiotic” and claimed that his remarks about shooting leftists shouldn’t be taken seriously.
On Thursday, Ruse deactivated his Twitter account, grousing that it was overrun by a “leftist swarm” and on Friday, he was removed from American Family Radio (AFR), which is run by the extreme anti-LGBT group American Family Association (AFA), which allows all manner of bigotry on its airwaves, particularly from Bryan Fischer. Apparently, calling for the shooting of university officials was a little too extreme even for them.
In a Facebook statement, AFR announced that “The fill-in host on AFR who made those comments is no longer on the air with us and will not be filling in on AFR in the future” and that the views were “un-Christian.” AFR also scrubbed Ruse’s shows from their archives (the Facebook announcement appears to have been removed, as well). Ruse finally apologized, sort of, on Friday, telling Talking Points Memo that he regretted using the expression “taken out and shot” and that it wasn’t meant to be taken literally. ( continue to full post… )
Hardball with Chris Matthews Takes FRC’s Jerry Boykin to Task for Remarks about Obama, Muslims and Jews
Last night, Hardball with Chris Matthews reserved a spot on the “clown car” for Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin. The segment centered on audio that we recorded of Boykin speaking on a “hot mic” at a far-right conference.
Boykin said that President Obama supports Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and sends them subliminal messages of support. In the same recording, which we posted on YouTube, Boykin awkwardly joked with an Israeli reporter that “Jews are the problem” and the “cause of all the problems in the world.”
Boykin is a retired Army Lt. Gen. and served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush. His career was derailed by his anti-Muslim advocacy, culminating in a public rebuke by President Bush and a Pentagon investigation that determined he had violated military rules. In the years since, Boykin has established himself as a leading Muslim-basher and conspiracy theorist.
Watch Matthews and his guests, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh and Michelle Bernard of the Bernard Center, take Boykin and the Family Research Council to task: