From the June 20 broadcast of Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show:
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From the June 20 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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Yesterday, we pointed out that Fox News' coverage leading up to Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) hearing into the ATF's Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious was peppered with unattributed and unsupported conspiratorial claims that the operation was deliberately designed to go badly in order to justify stricter U.S. gun laws. This is not an anomaly; the network and its sister channel Fox Business have long been home to absurd conspiracy theories about the Obama administration.
So it should come as little surprise that Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard hosted Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt to offer similar claims last night:
PRATT: Clearly, they were just hoping to jack up the numbers of guns that would show up at crime scenes that could be traced back to the United States... The only explanation that makes sense to me is that this was a political agenda... They were trying to pin the tail on the American gun owner as the donkey, it's all our fault for all the trouble that they're having down in Mexico.
Pratt's comments were not unanticipated by Fox; indeed, before he spoke, Fox was airing a chyron that read, "Fast, Furious, Deadly, And Also Politically Motivated?" (note the use of "the Cavuto"):
Even a staff report produced for Issa -- no friend of the Obama administration -- has instead stated that Operation Fast and Furious, in which the ATF knowingly allowed guns to be trafficked across the border to Mexico, was intended to "identify other members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case."
How credible is Pratt to be making such claims? Let's put it this way: He was reportedly fired as co-chair of Pat Buchanan's 1996 campaign after it was revealed that he was too close to white supremacists and the militia movement (exactly how toxic do you have to be to be fired by someone who called AIDS nature's "awful retribution" upon gays, defended Hitler, and said that there are too many Jews on the Supreme Court?).
Pratt's Gun Owners of America group has criticized requirements for background checks before firearm purchases in general and proposals to have those checks take into account dangerous mental health diagnoses in particular. They have called for the immediate defunding of the larger Project Gunrunner that interdicted more 10,000 firearms headed to Mexico with no mention of what should replace it to prevent Mexican cartels from getting their hands on trafficked assault weapons.
When you're a conspiracy-obsessed network, all of this is a feature, not a bug.
As Glenn Beck's protracted transition from Fox continues, the embattled host is looking for anyone - or anything - to blame for his increasingly dangerous stunts.
Earlier this week, Beck appeared to point to an image of President Obama that materialized on a monitor at the very moment Beck asked, "Why would you get a gun?" Tuesday night, MSNBC's Ed Schultz said that Beck went "way too far" with that scripted stunt, calling Beck a "first-class idiot."
Now Beck is lashing out at Schultz, calling him a "piece of trash," and offering up the excuse that a poor camera angle only made it appear that Beck was pointing at Obama.
Beck has been using cameras to manufacture appearances and alter reality for years. Now he's trying to hide behind those very cameras when the appearance he created suggested that it's OK to buy a gun in order to prepare for trouble, trouble apparently manifested in President Obama and White House advisor Cass Sunstein.
Beck's explanation does nothing to clarify why, on a scripted television show, an image of Obama appeared precisely where Beck was pointing, precisely after he asked, "Why would you get a gun?"
Maybe the monitor made him do it.
Continuing its pattern of hyping ridiculous conspiracy theories to attack the Obama administration, Fox News baselessly suggested that the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious was deliberately designed to go badly in order to justify stricter U.S. gun laws. In fact, even a report prepared for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) refutes this theory.
From the June 14 edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show:
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|Fugitive David Bugert |
Alaska Peacekeepers Militia leader Francis "Schaeffer" Cox is locked up in Fairbanks, Alaska, awaiting trial on state and federal charges of conspiring to murder judges and State Troopers, along with a slew of illegal weapons crimes.
Yet Cox is still having an impact on the resurgent antigovernment militia movement well beyond his home state. This coming Saturday for example, the Montana-based militia group Flathead Liberty Bell, which Cox helped get off the ground in 2009, is sponsoring a survivalist "Preparedness Expo" at the Valley Victory Church in Kalispell, Montana.
Scheduled workshops include Political Structures, Wild Foods and Herbal Remedies, Home Schooling, Animal Care, Self-Defense...and much more.
Also featured will be Special Presentations by radical right luminaries including Ruby Ridge icon Randy Weaver, who will be autographing copies of The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge, and Stewart Rhodes, ex-Ron Paul aide and founder of the Oath Keepers, a national organization of police and soldiers who've sworn to disobey orders they deem unconstitutional.
Presumably not in attendance will be longtime Montana militia leader David Burgert, who's the subject of a state and federal manhunt after he allegedly fired shots at Missoula County deputies two days ago.
Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White tells Media Matters that Burgert has been associating with Flathead Liberty Bell members since Burgert was released from federal prison last March.
The Flathead Liberty Bell directs prospective members to watch a video of a presentation called The Solution that Cox delivered before a December 1, 2009 militia gathering in Hamilton Montana.
"Our government is not going to hear us until we speak to them in their language, which is force," Cox said. "Now that doesn't necessarily mean violence. And don't get me wrong--I'm not against violence. I am not against violence, okay? I am not against spilling blood for freedom. I will kill for liberty. You know, everybody asks, 'Would you die for liberty?' That's not really the right question to ask. The right question to ask is, 'Would you kill for liberty?' Because if you would kill for liberty, it assumes that you would die for liberty."
From the June 14 edition of Cox Radio Syndication's Neal Boortz Show:
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It hasn't been a great week at Fox News.
Days after host Eric Bolling used scripted news teases and online graphics to portray hip-hop artist Common and the president of Gabon as a couple of the "hoods" that President Obama hosted in "the hizzy," an image of Obama appeared onscreen during the Monday episode of Glenn Beck at the exact moment Beck asked, "Why would you get a gun?"
Earlier in the episode Beck claimed that "others," including President Obama and financier George Soros, were "preparing" for "tough times." He also warned of food shortages, natural disasters, and E. coli; stoked fears that world leaders would conspire to "make it harder for you to get a gun"; and asked, "Why would you get a gun?" As Beck asked the question and pointed to a monitor, an image appeared showing President Obama and White House advisor Cass Sunstein. "To prepare for tough times," Beck said. "That's why."
It's astounding that it needs to be said, but answering the question, "Why would you get a gun?" by pointing to a picture of the president, is unacceptable.
That outrageous -- and clearly scripted -- stunt comes right on the heels of Fox's use of seemingly scripted news teases and pre-produced, on-air graphics to accuse the Obama White House of hosting "hoods" in "the hizzouse" - that is to say, the White House.
Bolling offered a hollow and dishonest apology for those remarks, claiming to have gotten "a little fast and loose with the language." Never mind the news teases and graphics. But Fox News can't hide behind its hosts and claim they are going off message when the mounting evidence makes clear that those hosts are simply following the script.
And a repugnant script it is.
From the June 13 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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From the June 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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The Center for Immigration Studies gave Tucson Weekly writer Leo W. Banks an award for "excellence in the coverage of immigration." However, in his writing, Banks has used dehumanizing and anti-immigrant language and has promoted the myth of extensive violence in United States along the border.
In a video released June 3, Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, a.k.a. Azaam the American, exhorted Al Qaeda followers in the U.S. to exploit a loophole that allows them to purchase weapons at gun shows without having to pass a background check. Elsewhere in the video Gadahn encourages terrorists to carry out lone wolf and small group attacks on major institutions and public figures.
GADAHN: America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?
Amazingly, the response from many right-wing and gun focused bloggers has been to focus extensively on Gadahn's lack of awareness of the considerable regulations governing "fully automatic assault rifles" and making misleading arguments about the availability of machine gun conversion kits.
Al Qaeda has directly instructed its sympathizers to purchase weapons at gun shows without a background check to murder Americans. Under current law both terrorists and criminals can buy weapons from private sellers to avoid backgrounds checks that would otherwise block the sale.
|Legal semi-automatic assault rifles for sale at gun show|
from private seller. From Inside Gun Shows
By Professor Garen Wintemute of UC-Davis
The most aggressive dodge of the well known fact that there are no background checks required by any private seller at gun shows comes from the Pennsylvania gun blog Snow Flakes in Hell who focuses on the fact that Gadahn is already prohibited from buying guns.
The gun blogosphere is ablaze with this video hawked by Mayors Against Illegal Guns showing a one Adam Gadhan, a high ranking American-born Al-Quaeda operative, naively posting that machine guns can be had at US gun shows without background checks. Most people have focused on the ridiculousness of this assertion, but I think more interesting is the fact that Adam Gadhan is a prohibited person under current federal law because he's currently under indictment for treason against the United States.
Terrorists that are currently prohibited from purchasing guns can buy guns at gun shows from private sellers because the sellers don't have to run background checks. This is exactly what Gadahn is encouraging terrorists to do. Requiring background checks so that murderous criminals like Al Qaeda can't show up at gun shows and walk away with guns is an explicit goal of the Fix Gun Checks campaign.
Fox News' America Live repeated the accusation that undocumented immigrants have increased crime rates in Hazleton, Pennsylvannia. However, America Live failed to report that the there is no evidence supporting the accusation, or that there is no evidence that undocumented immigrants have higher crime rates nationwide.
Writing today at the National Review Online's The Corner Kevin D. Williamson was critical of organizations, including Media Matters, for highlighting Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn's recent video instructions to purchase guns at gun shows to use in terror attacks against Americans. From Gadahn's statement:
America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?
Mirroring common gun lobby talking points Williamson notes that "fully automatic" guns are highly restricted and regulated. Williamson's account is in fact a highly misleading characterization of the accessibility of fully automatic weapons. The reality is that semi-automatic rifles, such as AK-47s or AR-15s, are widely available and sold at gun shows from private sellers that do not run background checks. Further conversion kits that make these rifles indistinguishable from machine guns are also widely available at gun shows.
Williamson's focus on the availability of fully automatics weapons distracts from the uncontested fact that terrorists could easily use gun shows to bypass background checks as they plot the next Mumbai style terrorist attack.
From Williamson's post:
In his latest statement, Mr. Gadahn repeated the myth that machineguns are widely available to American civilians, and he encouraged his fellow jihadis to hit the gun-show circuit and gear up for an intifada in the United States. When I read that statement, I was certain that it would be repeated as fact by the antigun ideologues and their enablers in the media. [....]
It is not easy for a U.S. civilian to legally possess a "fully automatic assault rifle," or any fully automatic firearm at all. If that civilian is not a federally licensed firearms dealer, owning a fully automatic weapon manufactured after 1986 is categorically illegal; fully automatic weapons that were legally owned and registered with the federal government before 1986 may be transferred to a qualified buyer with the approval of federal and local law-enforcement authorities, a rigorous background check, and, of course, a sign-off from the U.S. Treasury Department: there's a couple hundred bucks in fees and taxes involved. (You may examine the application here.) Selling a fully automatic weapon to an unlicensed party, at a gun show or anywhere else, is a very excellent way to land yourself in prison for a good long while. Mr. Gadahn, and the editors of the New York Daily News, are full of it.
Also writing at The Corner Clifford D. May noted the availability of conversion kits fact in a post responding to Williamson:
That's not correct [Gadhan's assertion regarding the availability of fully automatic weapons], as Kevin makes clear. A fully automatic assault rifle -- or any fully automatic firearm -- is very difficult to acquire due to serious restrictions already in place. But one can, I believe, buy a kit that will enable the conversion of an AK semi-automatic into a fully automatic weapon.