The right-wing media have shamefully attempted to tie James Lee, who created a hostage situation in a Discovery Channel building, to former Vice President Al Gore, due to Lee's statement that he was "awakened" after reading Gore's book An Inconvenient Truth. In fact, Lee, who criticized Gore's book for not providing "solutions," holds a number of views Gore does not, including extreme opinions on population control and immigration.
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Right-wing media attempt to blame Gore for Lee's actions
Hoft: Lee "saw Al Gore's junk-science movie and says he decided he had to do more." In a September 1 Gateway Pundit post, titled, "Gunman, Bomber, Leftist Activist -- Holds Hostages at Discovery Building," Jim Hoft posted a picture of Lee and wrote: "James Lee- behind the Save the Planet Protest. He saw Al Gore's junk-science movie and says he decided he had to do more... So he packed on bombs and took hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters."
Maybe the media is right. All the political vitriol, all the hate out there is spawning crazies capable of anything. We all need to stand together and send a message of unity and tell provocateurs like Al Gore to tamp down the rhetoric.
Who could have inspired such a maniac?! We know that he must have been influenced by someone. We've been told by countless lefty pundits and politicians that such craziness can usually be attributed to evil right-wing commentators who have whipped tea partiers into a seething, violent frenzy.
Well, this time it is clear. James Jay Lee has named the things that most inspired him -- some cultish book about an ape called "Ishmael" AND chief executive greeney Al Gore.
Fox Nation also ran side by side pictures of Lee and Gore on its homepage:
Drudge Report: Lee " '[a]wakened' by Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth.' " The Drudge Report linked to an MSNBC article about Lee under the headline, " 'Awakened' by Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth'..." From the Drudge Report:
Fox & Friends: "[T]he gunman's extreme environmentalist views may have been sparked by an Al Gore documentary? Where's the media outrage there?" On the September 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade teased an upcoming segment by saying: "Now we know the gunman's extreme environmentalist views may have been sparked by an Al Gore documentary? Where's the media outrage there? Would they be silent if the tables were turned with a different documentary with a different point of view?" Later in the show, co-host Gretchen Carlson noted that "he apparently became some sort of an environmentalist junkie after he watched vice president -- former vice president's movie, Inconvenient Truth [sic], Al Gore's movie. He became a radical environmentalist."
Big Government: "An Inconvenient Truth: Enviros' Doomsday Rhetoric Breeds Eco-Terror." In a September 2 Big Government post, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Christopher Horner wrote:
In the wake of yesterday's terrorism outside Washington, DC by Discovery-network hostage-taker James J. Lee, let's consider the position articulated by, say, radio host Glenn Beck to not attribute responsibility to Al Gore's eco-ranting. The latter is of course larded with assurances of a certain eco-catastrophe brought about by dark forces impeding salvation, and disturbing utterances like "the tide in this battle will turn only when the majority of people in the world become sufficiently aroused by a shared sense of urgent danger to join in an all-out effort." (Earth in the Balance, p. 269)
Beck's (somewhat backhanded, I understand) rationale for exculpating Gore of partial responsibility is that the terrorist was not a sane person. Yep. But the two -- culpability by Gore and other radical green imams, and acting out by mentally unstable members of their targeted demographic -- aren't mutually exclusive. We know that individuals bear responsibility for reasonably foreseeable consequences of their actions, both the instigator and the instigated.
One might not like the connection, what with environmentalism being as chic as a Che Guevara handbag, but you can't deny it. Take the quiz, "Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber?". I dare you to score better than 50%. That should make you uncomfortable. Then read Lee's manifesto, and really squirm at the similarities.
Eco-terrorism is terrorism. Stop waving it away as a different kind of terrorism, each incident in the pattern of behavior merely an isolated one. Willful or not, these incidents are the logical consequence of the doomsday rhetoric.
Environmental radicalism has been mainstreamed, the latest poisonous "radical chic". But there are consequences to this indulgence. Stop Gang Green before they harm again.
But Lee was also critical of Gore's book, and Gore does not share Lee's views on immigration and population control
Lee promoted living "WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children" and "programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility." In his manifesto against the Discovery Channel, Lee wrote that "[f]ocus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution." (emphasis in original) Lee demanded that the Discovery Channel promote this goal by creating "programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility."
Gore promoted "stabilizing" the human population through literacy, access to contraception, and reducing infant mortality. In Gore's book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, he advocated stabilizing the populations of Third World countries to guarantee access to resources. Gore recommended achieving this goal through literacy and education, access to contraception, and reducing the infant mortality rate:
A more careful analysis suggests that rising per capita income is also associated with several of the basic causes of demographic transition. High literacy rates and education levels are important, especially for women; once they are empowered intellectually and socially, they make decisions about the number of children they wish to have. Low infant mortality rates give parents a high level of confidence that even with a small family, some of their children will grow to maturity, carry the family name and genes (and in the belief of some societies, the spirits of ancestors), and provide physical security for their parents when they are old. Nearly ubiquitous access to a variety of affordable birth control techniques gives parents the power to choose when and whether to have children. [Page 311; italics in original]
Lee criticized An Inconvenient Truth for not providing "real solutions." In a post on his MySpace page, which has since been taken down, Lee reportedly wrote that Gore's book "was very enlightening" but "he didn't offer any real solutions":
I finished reading Al Gore's book, and [sic] inconvenient truth a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic. The book was half good, which means the part about science was good. The rest seemed like a commercial for sainthood.
Lee promoted "solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that." In his manifesto, Lee wrote, as one of his "demands":
Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)
Gore has been supportive of less restrictive immigration policies. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gore expressed support for less restrictive immigration policies. For instance, an October 21, 2000, Des Moines Register article (accessed via Nexis) reported that Gore "pledges to make the INS 'more efficient and user friendly.' He supports expanding to Haiti and all of Central America a law that allows immigrants fleeing human-rights abuses in Nicaragua and Cuba to gain immediate asylum. Gore opposes legislation that would make English the official language" and "support[s] increasing the number of H-1B visas, which are six-year work permits." An October 8, 2000, Austin American-Statesman editorial (accessed via Nexis) further noted that "[b]oth Gore and [George W.] Bush advocate keeping families intact" and that "Gore wants the immigration applications speeded up." A September 4, 2000, San Diego Union-Tribune article (accessed via Nexis) quoted Gore as saying, "Every country...has a duty to protect its borders, but it must be done with compassion and the kind of respect for human life that is crucial to what we stand for as a country."
Some right-wing media figures denounced drawing links between Lee and Gore
Malkin: "Al Gore is not responsible for this." Later on the September 2 edition of Fox & Friends, guest Michelle Malkin said:
MALKIN: I'm going to do something that my enemies and opponents on the other side rarely do, and that is to make clear that Al Gore is not responsible for this. An Inconvenient Truth certainly is an incitement to stupidity and an incitement to massive, costly government intervention, but it is not, and it was never intended be, an incitement to violence.
Malkin also wrote on her website:
The gunman was reportedly motivated by Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth eco-propaganda. Guess what? I'm not playing that opportunistic blame game here. It's not Al Gore's fault when an enviro-nut goes off unhinged (and I've said that before). The blame in this case lies with the crazy man who terrorized the Discovery Channel employees. Period.
Beck: "You know what caused this guy to do these things? He was sick and twisted and crazy. Period." On the September 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn Beck attempted to use the bomber to revive attacks on White House official John Holdren but noted, "You know what caused this guy to do these things? He was sick and twisted and crazy. Period." Beck further noted that "these people do exist, and they exist on the left and the right."
Beck: Gore and Holdren are "not responsible in any way for the Discovery nutjob guy." On the September 2 edition of his radio show, Beck said: "So let me just be very clear here. Al Gore and John Holdren have a ton of really bad ideas. But they're not responsible in any way for the Discovery nutjob guy."