Fox News Correspondent: "They Used To String Folks Up" For What The Feds Did To Lawless Rancher

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes defended rancher Cliven Bundy in his lawless stand against the federal government. Referencing federal employees' actions in legally confiscating Bundy's cattle because of unpaid fees and fines, Starnes said: "Don't they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada? ... Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle."

Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has for decades refused to pay the federal government the fees required to allow his cattle to graze on public lands. Last year a federal court ruled that Bundy had to remove his cattle or they would be confiscated to pay the roughly $1.2 million in fees and fines he's accumulated. The confiscation began earlier this month, but was halted because the Bureau of Land Management had "serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public."

Bundy does not recognize federal authority over the land in question, and he and his armed supporters have repeatedly threatened violence against the federal government. Despite his lawlessness, Bundy has become a cause célèbre for many in the right-wing media.

During an appearance today on the radio program of Republican strategist Alice Stewart, Fox's Todd Starnes championed Bundy as an example of Americans "saying enough is enough" with the federal government.

"We do know that the feds returned some of the cattle that they had taken from the Bundy Ranch. What I find interesting, though, Alice, is don't they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada?" Starnes said. "Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle."

Starnes later claimed that the Bundy incident shows that "Americans have really reached a boiling point here" and Americans have finally said, 'You know what? We're not going to stand by and let the Constitution be tramped.'"

He also took the opportunity to link the situation to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, stating: "Look at all the government firepower that was out there at that ranch. They had more guns there than they did at the consulate in Benghazi ... if only Ambassador [Christopher] Stevens had been a protected tortoise."

Despite his own inflammatory rhetoric, Starnes did caution against the behavior of some Bundy-supporting militia members, saying it's "very disturbing" they were "[s]eeming to taunt the federal agents. And I think that they need to be very careful about that." 

From the April 15 edition of KTHE's The Alice Stewart Show:

STARNES: We do know that the feds returned some of the cattle that they had taken from the Bundy Ranch. What I find interesting, though, Alice, is don't they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada?

STEWART: Well, they should. They should.

STARNES: Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle.

STEWART: Oh, yeah, unless you're with the federal government.

[...]

STEWART: As Charlie Daniels has said, you mentioned this on Fox the other day, this is a situation, it's the first case of citizen versus big government, and at least in this battle over the weekend, the citizens won. But the war is not over.

STARNES: You know, Alice, it's not over. And I think that Americans have really reached a boiling point here. One of the things that worked to the Bundy family's advantage was social media. That images and video was being put out there almost in real time as this was going down.

Very disturbing, though, the behavior of some of those militia folks that were out there. Seeming to taunt the federal agents. And I think that they need to be very careful about that. But I will say this. That Americans have finally said, "You know what? We're not going to stand by and let the Constitution be tramped." We've put up with this through Obamacare, through the NSA spying on our telephone calls, through the TSA, and their, you know, their endeavors in the airport, to even the IRS. You know, and I think that Americans are finally saying enough is enough. And now, Alice, just think about this for a moment. Look at all the government firepower that was out there at that ranch. They had more guns there than they did at the consulate in Benghazi.

STEWART: I know it.

STARNES: I mean if only Ambassador Stevens had been a protected tortoise.

Posted In
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Todd Starnes
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