Monday, April 29, 2013

How Matt Drudge Serves As Alex Jones' Web Traffic Pipeline


BEN DIMIERO/Oliver Willis/Media Matters for America


Matt Drudge has long been conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' biggest ally. According to a Media Matters review, the heavily-trafficked Drudge Report has promoted at least 50 separate articles at Jones' Infowars website in 2013, and has linked to at least 244 different articles on the site in the past two years. 
Drudge announced this week that he had privately told friends that 2013 would be the "year of Alex Jones." Considering Drudge's penchant for promoting Jones and his Infowars website, those comments are more of a promise than a prediction.
Alex Jones is a radio host famous for pushing absurd conspiracy theories about a host of issues, including that the U.S. government perpetrated or was otherwise involved in the 9-11 attacks, the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Space Shuttle Colombia disaster, and the Aurora movie theater shooting.
Jones has lately made headlines for his most recent conspiracy that the Boston Marathon bombings were a "false flag" attack staged by the government. Drudge has provided several links to Jones' site in the days since Jones started floating Boston conspiracies, including an article highlighting the father of the bombing suspects claiming his sons had been set up. 
The links to Jones' site in the wake of the Boston bombings are not surprising; he has sent a steady stream of traffic there in 2013.
Among the fifty Infowars pieces promoted by Drudge so far in 2013: a story mulling over claims that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have been "surreptitiously" given cancer, possibly by the U.S. government; numerous articles promoting conspiracies about supposedly ominous ammunition purchases made by the Department of Homeland Security; and a story comparing Obama to "other tyrants" -- including Stalin, Hitler, and Mao -- that have "used kids as props."
Drudge has been consistently linking to Jones' site for years (Drudge Report also features two permanent links to the Infowars mainpage). Among the 244 Infowars articles Drudge has promoted since April 2011:
  • November 2012 article promoting claims that James Holmes, the man currently on trial for the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, may actually have been under the influence of CIA "mind control." The piece was based around a story told by an "alleged inmate" supposedly in jail with Holmes, who claimed Holmes told him he was "programmed" to kill by an "evil" therapist. 
  • July 2012 post highlighting an interview between Jones and Joseph Farah, editor of conspiracy website WND. During that interview, Farah suggested that if Obama were re-elected, people like him and Jones would be "hunted down like dogs."
  • March 2012 piece suggesting that the death of conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart may not have been the result of natural causes, but instead related to a "damning" video about President Obama Breitbart had supposedly planned to release the day of his death.  
  • An April 2011 article responding to President Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate headlined, "New Obama Birth Certificate is a Forgery." The story states: "Our investigation of the purported Obama birth certificate released by Hawaiian authorities today reveals the document is a shoddily contrived hoax. Infowars.com computer specialists dismissed the document as a fraud soon after examining it."
A 2012 study by Think Progress found that in addition to frequently linking to Infowars, Drudge also regularly sends his readers to WND, a site best known for its promotion of conspiracies related to President Obama's birth certificate.  
Since Jones has started floating various nonsensical conspiracy theories about the Boston Marathon bombings, several conservatives have spoken out against Drudge's repeated promotion of the radio host.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson, who is editor-in-chief of the influential Red State blog, tweeted on April 18, "I hope Drudge stops linking to infowars." Responding to Erickson's tweet, fellow Fox News contributor Jebediah Bila echoed his concern, adding that she had "been saying this for months." On April 24, Red State editor Ben Howe joined the chorus, tweeting "I'd love it if Drudge Report stopped linking to Infowars."
Shortly after Drudge announced it would be the "year of Alex Jones," Jones returned the compliment, announcing that the conservative publisher was "breaking through the electronic Berlin Wall of globalist bullshit, as cowards do nothing!"
Jones has previously praised Drudge for helping push his work. In an interview for Rolling Stone with Alexander Zaitchik (now a reporter for Media Matters), Jones credited Drudge with helping to promote a 2010 campaign against the Transportation Security Administration:
In November, Jones put on a demonstration of his power by employing his latest guerrilla technique. Asking his audience to stage a mass online search of the phrase "Revolt Against TSA" -- a tactic known as Google Bombing -- Jones instantly manipulated the term to the top of Google's search index. As intended, the maneuver caught the sensitive traffic antennae of Matt Drudge, who put the TSA story on the national news agenda. "Our show was the detonator on the cap of the TSA story, and Drudge was the barrel of the gun," says Jones. "The result was a direct head shot on the New World Order."
Despite Jones' well-known history, Drudge is not the only right-wing figure that has played a role in validating him. Former Rep. Ron Paul and current Sen. Rand Paul; Fox News' Lou Dobbs and Andrew Napolitano; and gun activists like Ted Nugent and Larry Pratt have made repeated appearances on Jones' program in recent years.

Lila Rose, Kermit Gosnell, And The Distorted Way We Talk About Abortion


JEREMY HOLDEN/Media Matters for America


Anti-choice activists, playing on media bias toward sensationalism, have manipulated journalists into making an exceptionally rare procedure the face of abortion in America.
Lila Rose, the proprietor of the group Live Action and a veteran anti-choice crusader with a long history of mounting deceptive campaigns targeting abortion rights, released a video on April 28 of an undercover activist's experience at a New York women's health clinic that she dishonestly said illustrated "illegal and inhuman practices" that should lead to a murder investigation.
On cue, Washington Post blogger Melinda Henneberger quickly tied the video campaign to Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia physician facing multiple murder charges resulting from the monstrous and horrific procedures he is alleged to have carried out under the guise of women's reproductive health.
Henneberger was quickly forced to correct a central point of her post and tacitly acknowledge that she did not view the entire, unedited video before writing a blog post that drew sweeping conclusions about what this video means to the larger abortion debate. The New York Times also took the bait, noting that Live Action is tying its videos -- a second video was released Monday -- to Gosnell and adding:
The release comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has thrown his support behind legislation that will guarantee a woman's right to an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, if her health is in danger or if the fetus is not viable. The current law permits abortion after 24 weeks only if a woman's life is in danger, although it is not enforced because federal court rulings have allowed less restrictive late-term abortions.
But the conversations documented by Live Action have absolutely nothing to do with the realities of abortion in America. Medical practitioners in both videos make clear that the situation they are ostensibly discussing -- what they do when a fetus survives a late-term abortion -- is something they have never had to deal with. So the entire conversation is now based on a hypothetical scenario cooked up by Lila Rose to demonize abortion providers.
This is a longstanding tactic of the anti-choice movement, as noted by Amanda Marcotte of RH Reality Check:
Third trimester abortions are about 1% of all abortions performed, and frankly, the anti-choice movement only focuses on them because they are especially disgusting, and therefore make a good cudgel to attack all abortion rights. And since they are so emotionally fraught, they have a great deal of appeal to the ghouls that populate the anti-choice movement, the ones who spend obscene percentages of their lives dwellling on graphic pictures of dead fetuses.
The overwhelming majority of abortions performed in the United States -- 90 percent -- occur during the first trimester, according to researchers at the Guttmacher Institute. Note that while Live Action is currently focused on late-term procedures, their stated goal is "ending abortion."
The actions Gosnell allegedly took do not fall under the framework of medical abortion and constitute murder --murder -- under Pennsylvania law. Yet those actions, along with a hypothetical situation that the experienced practitioners in the video say they have never encountered during procedures that make up a staggeringly small fraction of abortions in this country, now form the basis of the conversation.
In recent weeks, journalists have debated whether ideological bias caused media outlets to ignore the Gosnell trial. The conventional theory in elite media circles is that journalists have downplayed that trial because they are ideologically opposed to a story that sheds a negative light on reproductive rights.
Yet, since Gosnell's arrest, pro-choice advocates have focused on the trial as an illustration of what happens when women do not have access to safe, legal reproductive health services, including legal abortions.
If any bias is at play, it is a bias in favor of sensationalism, allowing anti-choice activists to make the entire discussion of reproductive health defined by an exceptionally rare procedure in order to achieve their political ends. 

New data reveals voter suppression may have backfired


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Pro-life movment using Gosnell case to push extreme agenda


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Elizabeth Colbert-Busch Blows Out a Desperate Mark Sanford in South Carolina Debate


By: Jason Easley/politicususa

Colbert-Busch began by saying that her greatest professional accomplishment was her business career. Mark Sanford touted his 20 year record of cutting spending. He then gave the standard talking points about government being in your wallet, and said that he was part of the House class of ’94 that balanced the budget.
Colbert-Busch got big applause for saying she supports the Chamber of Commerce’s position on immigration reform. She said immigrants should pay their taxes, learn to speak English, and get to the back of the line. Sanford said the immigration reform bill needs some more work. He blamed labor unions for shutting the guest worker program down. Colbert-Busch dodged when asked if she agreed with Sanford on the unions, but said we need fair immigration reform.
The discussion moved to the Port of Charleston. Colbert-Busch called the port an economic engine for the state. She hit Sanford for voting against the bridge, dredging, job creation, and said that he was the only congressman to do that. Sanford said that Colbert-Busch donated $500 to his first gubernatorial campaign, so his vote could not have bothered her that much. Sanford than tried to piggyback off of Tim Scott by saying, “I agree with what Tim Scott says.” Colbert-Busch rebutted his point that she donated $500 to his campaign, and said that Sanford lied to her about supporting trade. He said he supported it, and then he turned around and did the opposite. Sanford said again if it really bothered you why did you write a campaign check in support of my candidacy for governor?

Sanford was asked about Obamacare. He said he doesn’t like the bill (sic), and he would vote to defund it. Sanford brought up the tired Obamacare lie that the government is going to come between doctors and patients. He then played that old Southern classic, government doesn’t tell you what products to buy. Colbert-Busch called Obamacare problematic. She said it was expensive. It cuts into Medicare benefits. It causes employers to layoff their employees, She added that it needed to be fixed. She listed the things she liked about the bill, and said it was good business, creates jobs, and we need it. Sanford tried to tie her to the Democrats in Congress by claiming that her Washington fundraiser was hosted by 37 Dems who voted for Obamacare. Sanford then launched his big strategy, linking his opponent to Nancy Pelosi. Colbert-Busch said, “Nobody tells me what to do, except for the people of the 1st District of South Carolina.”
They moved on to entitlement reform, and Colbert-Busch said entitlement reforms should be bipartisan. She talked about addressing entitlement costs. She repeated the lie that Obamacare cuts Medicare benefits. Sanford wanted all Medicare dollars moved to a block grant system, and pushed for the privatization of Social Security. Colbert-Busch shot back that if Social Security would had been privatized seniors would have been devastated when the stock market crashed. Sanford said he would have voted for the bill to fix the flight delays. Colbert-Busch said the sequester was poorly executed. She said that when you talk about protecting taxpayers that doesn’t mean you take the money, leave the country, and use it for personal purposes. Sanford returned to trying to tie Colbert-Busch to Nancy Pelosi.
On education, Colbert-Busch praised public schools and disagreed with Sanford’s voucher plan. Sanford framed his voucher plan as choices that make sense. (Sanford is looking like a candidate who has been stuck in time warp. He is repeating the same ideas that he has been pushing for years.) Sanford got big applause after he again defended his vote on the port, and attacked big government. Colbert-Busch hit Sanford for not creating jobs while he was governor. Sanford claimed that the state was 15th in job creation under him.
Colbert-Busch said that the NLRB overstepped their bounds when they tried to stop Boeing from locating in South Carolina. Sanford tried to label Colbert-Busch a liberal because she took $70,000 from labor unions. Colbert-Busch said that what Sanford was saying was not true, and that she took a pledge to represent everyone in the First District. Sanford called it a gut check issue, and said that he wants to represent everyone but not the union that was trying to shut down Boeing in South Carolina.

Sanford used a question about special interest money to paint Colbert-Busch as too liberal for the district, and claimed that she has gotten a million dollars from outside special groups. Colbert-Busch said her only pledge and special interest is to the people South Carolina District One. Period. Sanford said that it isn’t believable that someone would give Colbert-Busch a million dollars, and expect nothing.
On the topic of gay marriage, Colbert-Busch said that she supported full equality, and quoted Dick Cheney. Sanford touted the fact that he voted for DOMA, and tied DOMA to not letting Washington decide things for us. He said that marriage is the purview of the states. Sanford was asked if would vote to impeach Clinton again, and he cleverly reversed the question and asked do you think Bill Clinton should be condemned for the rest of his life?
On the issue of abortion, Colbert-Busch said that this issue is between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her God. Sanford replied by trying to hit the Democrat for taking things off of her website.
Sanford kept hinting that Colbert-Busch was lying about her positions because liberal groups are funding her campaign, but Colbert-Busch kept repeating that she only cares about the First District.
Colbert-Busch closed her big night by dropping a bomb on Sanford that if elected, she promised to give back 10% of her salary to the taxpayers.
Mark Sanford’s struggles tonight reminded me of Scott Brown when he debated Elizabeth Warren. Sanford spent the entire debate trying to paint Colbert-Busch as too liberal for the district. Sanford pulled a Scott Brown, and tried to bring up character issues about his opponent. Mark Sanford’s attacks in this debate sent the clear message that his campaign thinks he is losing. For her part, Colbert-Busch said that Sanford lied to her, and she brought up his “Appalachian Trail” trip.
Sanford has the red meat Republican talking points nailed, but Colbert-Busch is a formidable candidate that showed why she has wide appeal with everyone except the district’s hard core conservatives. Sanford’s only shot at winning this election looks like it is to convince this heavily Republican district that Colbert-Busch is too liberal, hiding something, and she can’t be trusted.
That is an awful tall order for someone who has lied, and continued to lie to the voters of this district. Colbert-Busch was strong and very impressive. Unlike Sanford, she projected honesty. The promise to give back 10% of her salary to the taxpayers might be the blow that wins her a seat in the House.

Irate Boston man confronts ‘sh*theel’ Alex Jones reporter over ‘false flag’ claim


By David Edwards/Raw Story
A reporter from Alex Jones’ Infowars.com website found himself being being verbally destroyed by a resident on the streets of Boston over claims that the recent bombings had been the result of a so-called “false flag” operation carried out by the U.S. government.
In the YouTube video posted on Friday, a man can be heard tearing into Infowars.com reporter Dan Bidondi over “right wing conspiracy theories.”
The day of the bombing, Jones had tweeted that “this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag,”adding that “the FBI has been behind virtually every domestic terror plot in the US.”
“Your boy said this was a false flag, the bomb that blew up people was a false flag,” the angry man in the video notes. “The FBI is behind the bombing, that’s what you’re here to cover. And that’s why I’m the asshole? Because the FBI blew up those people at the Boston Marathon? That’s right. That’s because you’re a dope. And what you say is dangerous and people like you shouldn’t be able to drive a car, much less espouse your opinions in public.”
“But we have a First Amendment, got to protect it. But you’re an asshole. And so is Alex Jones… And that’s the nicest thing I can say about you, you son of a bitch.”
“Anything else you got to say?” Bidondi asked.
“Yeah, I just said it, motherfucker,” the man shot back. “I am the smart guy because I’m not standing here saying the FBI blew up the people at the Boston Marathon, you fucking shitheel.”
“We got the photos to prove it,” Bidondi insisted.
“You got shit, you got jack shit, you got your dick in your hand,” the Boston resident replied. “You fucking asshat.”
Watch this video, uploaded to YouTube on April 26, 2013.


Fox News smacks Glenn Beck: ‘He was trying to save his ass’


By Stephen C. Webster/Raw Story

A Fox News spokesperson explained Monday that conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck left the network not because he was safeguarding his spirituality, but because “he was trying to save his ass” after a massively effective advertiser boycott.
The comment comes by way of Politico’s Mike Allen, who emailed Fox News for a reaction to Beck’s remarks on Friday, when he told a group of students that he left Fox News to save his immortal soul.
“Glenn Beck wasn’t trying to save his soul, he was trying to save his ass,” a Fox News spokesperson told Allen in an email. “Advertisers fled his show and even Glenn knows what that means in our industry. Yet, we still tried to give him a soft landing. Guess no good deed goes unpunished.”
For the record, that’s the first official acknowledgment that Fox News really felt the advertiser boycott launched in part by the activist group Color of Change.
For months on end, activists pelted Beck’s advertisers with tens of thousands of letters, emails and phone calls complaining about the host’s racist rhetoric that hundreds of companies backed away. Beck saw so many advertisers flee from his program during that period, his show actually ran without any ads at all in the U.K. for a time.
The conspiracy host’s departure was announced in April 2011. He’s since launched a video-based website called “The Blaze TV” and a companion blog. Beck was reportedly in talks with Current TV to buy the network out for $500 million and put “The Blaze TV” on cable, but network owner Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States, turned him down and sold to Qatar-based Al Jazeera for less.

After Her Poll Numbers Plummet, NRA Runs Ads Thanking Senator For Killing Background Checks Bill


By Igor Volsky/Think Progress
Earlier this month, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted against a bipartisan measure to expand background checks for gun purchases conducted at gun shows and online and saw her approval ratings plummet by 15 points. But now the National Rifle Association, who spent millions lobbying against the popular measure is coming to her defense.
The organization is running radio ads thanking Ayotte for focusing on “meaningful bipartisan solutions” and opposing “misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook.” The ad does not specifically mention background checks, but notes that Ayotte supports improving the mental health system as “the only way to protect our children” because she is a mother:
Washington is full of politicians out of touch with the problems of our lives. While we worry about keeping our kids safe, too many of them worry about keeping their own power. But Senator Kelly Ayotte is focused on meaningful bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems. That’s because Kelly Ayotte is not just a senator, she’s also a mom who cares about protecting our kids. She knows that they only way to protect our children from tragedies like Sandy Hook is to fix our broken mental health system. That’s why Kelly Ayotte brought Republicans and Democrats together on a bipartisan solution and it’s why Kelly had the courage to oppose misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook. Kelly Ayotte is focused on prosecuting law breakers and fixing our broken mental health system. Call her at 202-224-3121 and thank her for focusing on protecting our kids and our New Hampshire values. Paid for by the New Hampshire men and women of the National Rifle Association.
Listen:
Gun safety advocates confronted Ayotte for opposing background checks the day after the vote and asked her to explain her position. The first-term senator didn’t address the need to keep criminals or mentally ill people from obtaining firearms and instead explained that she wanted to protect gun shop owners from the burden of running additional background checks for sales conducted at gun shows or online.
New polling data from Public Policy Polling finds that the five senators from Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio who voted against background checks have “seen their approval numbersdecline, and voters say they’re less likely to support them the next time they’re up for reelection.”

In 2012 Election, African American Voters Surpassed White Turnout For The First Time Ever

By Igor Volsky/Think Progress

Though Republican election officials in battleground states sought to dampen voter turn out of traditionally Democratic voters through by instituting identification requirements and limiting early voting hours, a new analysis of census data by the Associated Press shows that African Americans “voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time.”
The analysis finds that had “people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly”:
The 2012 data suggest Romney was a particularly weak GOP candidate, unable to motivate white voters let alone attract significant black or Latino support. Obama’s personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome doubts and spur record levels of minority voters in a way that may not be easily replicated for Democrats soon.
Romney would have erased Obama’s nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004,according to Frey’s analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black voting lower.
More significantly, the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Colorado would have tipped in favor of Romney, handing him the presidency if the outcome of other states remained the same.
African Americans outperformed their voter share, representing 13 percent of total votes cast in 2012 while making up 12 percent of the population — despite facing great obstacles to exercising the franchise.
A poll conducted by Hart Research poll immediately after the election reported that 22 percent of African-Americans waited 30 minutes or more to vote, compared to just 9 percent of white voters. A more thorough analysis from Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed that black and hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites. In Florida, home to the longest lines, at least 201,000 people may have been deterred from voting by the long waits.
Black youth was also far more likely to be asked to show ID, a study by professors at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis found, and many did not even try to vote because they lacked the required identification.
“The 2008 election was the first year when the minority vote was important to electing a U.S. president. By 2024, their vote will be essential to victory,” William H. Frey, a demographer who analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP, said. “Democrats will be looking at a landslide going into 2028 if the new Hispanic voters continue to favor Democrats.”

After Casting Key Fifth Vote For Bush, Justice O’Connor Now Regrets Bush v. Gore


By Ian Millhiser/Think Progress
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the conservative retired justice who provided the fifth vote to install George W. Bush as president, is now having second thoughts about that decision:
Looking back, O’Connor said, she isn’t sure the high court should have taken [Bush v. Gore].
“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”
The case, she said, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”
“Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” she said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.
If nothing else, Bush v. Gore demonstrates how justices who are determined to reach a certain result are capable of bending both the law and their own prior jurisprudence in order to achieve it. In Bush, the five conservative justices held, in the words of Harvard’s Larry Tribe, that “equal protection of the laws required giving no protection of the laws to the thousands of still uncounted ballots.”
The Court’s decision to hand the presidency to Bush stunned many legal observers, some of whom were O’Connor’s fellow justices. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens once recounted a story where he ran into fellow Justice Stephen Breyer at a party while a relatively early phase of the case was pending before the Court. According to Stevens, “[w]e agreed that the application was frivolous.”
Indeed, Bush’s own lawyers were skeptical of the legal theory that ultimately made up the basis of the Court’s decision in Bush. As Ben Ginsberg, a top lawyer on Bush’s presidential campaign, explained in 2006, “just like really with the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have some fundamental philosophical difficulties with the whole notion of Equal Protection.”
And, yet, O’Connor and four of her fellow Republicans joined together to embrace a particularly aggressive reading of Equal Protection — at least so long as it could put George W. Bush in the White House.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Random Friday video on Saturday:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - Michelangelo-Trailer (Gameplay)

Fox News' Ugly, Selective War On Terror


ERIC BOEHLERT/Media Matters For America


On August 5, 2012, just before 10:30 in the morning, Wade Michael Page pulled up outside the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI., took out his semi-automatic handgun and started killing worshipers. An Army veteran and an avid bass player in a neo-Nazi rock band, Page murdered two Sikhs outside the house of worship and then made his way inside. There, he reloaded and killed four more, including the president of the temple who was shot while trying to tackle Page. Three more were critically wounded in the massacre.

When local police descended, Page opened fire and shot one officer nearly ten times. When the authorities returned fire and shot  Page in the stomach, he took his 9mm pistol, pointed it at his own head, and pulled the trigger.
According to acquaintances, the 40-year-old killer hated blacks, Indians, Native Americans and Hispanics (he called non-whites "dirt people"), and was interested in joining the Klu Klux Klan. Immersed in the world of white power music, Page's band rehearsed in front of a Nazi flag. 
Note that back in August 2012, Fox News didn't care very much about Wade Page and the wild gun shootout he unleashed in an act of domestic terror in the Milwaukee suburb, nor did Fox suggest the event was connected to a larger, more sinister terror trend. In fact, in the days that followed the gun massacre, there were just two passing references to Page during Fox' primetime, one from Bill O'Reilly and one from Greta Sustern. No guests were asked to discuss the temple shooting, and after one day the story was completely forgotten.
In one rare occasion when the conversation did turn to Page's motivations, Fox's opinion hosts were quick to criticize the notion that he was a far-right extremist. (He clearly was.) On The Five, after co-host Bob Beckel referred to Page as "right-wing skinhead," he was quickly shouted down by his colleagues. Co-host Andrea Tantaros stressed that the killing was an isolated event that didn't have any larger implications. "How do you stop a lunatic?" she asked. "This is not a political issue."
Fox's guarded response to an extremist's murder spree was striking, considering that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bomb attack Fox News has gone all in (again) with its war on Islam as the channel fights its latestbigoted chapter in the War on Terror. It's striking as Fox tries to blame a larger community for the act of two madmen because it's the same Fox News that often can't find time to even comment, let alone report, on what's become regular, and often deadly, right-wing extremist attacks in America.
From neo-Nazi killers like Page, to a string of abortion clinic bombings, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists, acts of right-wing extreme violence continue to terrorize victims in the U.S. ("Fifty-six percent of domestic terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. since 1995 have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists.") But Fox News is not concerned. And Fox News does not try to affix collective blame.
It's clear that Fox is only interested in covering and hyping a single part of the War on Terror; the part that targets Muslims and lets Fox wallow in stereotypes. The part that lets Fox accuse Obama of being "soft" on Islamic terrorists and perhaps sharing a radical allegiance. The part that lets Fox advocate for buggingmosques and eliminating other Constitutional rights, and lets it unleash a collection of anti-Islam crusaders onto the cable airwaves.  
Most importantly, Fox covers a War on Terror that lets it uniformly blame Muslims.
Keep in mind though, there's been no reported evidence that anyone in the Cambridge, MA, Muslim community knew about, condoned or helped plan the bombing perpetrated by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In fact, it's possible the bomber brothers told nobody of their plan because local Muslims would have reported them to the police, the way a local imam tipped off Canadian officials who made arrests this week and thwarted an alleged rail bombing plot. (And the way local Muslims in Virginia and New York have helped prevent terror plots.)
Fox's ugly religious attacks represent a brazen display of bigotry and bullying. The hypocrisy is that Fox News routinely downplays acts of political, and religious, violence from far-right extremists, while making sure not to condemn those indirectly associated with them.
Such acts have been legion. During a robust period of political violence last decade, women's health clinics were attacked in January, May, and  September 2003, January and July 2004, January, May, and July 2005, as well as May and December 2007according to the National Abortion Federation.
Then in 2009, five clinics in Florida were the target of acid attacks.
More recently, two antiabortion firebombings occurred in 2011. And last year a woman's health clinic in Wisconsin was damaged when a homemade bomb was set off on the building's windowsill.
Of course, in May 2009, antiabortion extremist Scott Roeder shot and killed Dr. George Tiller while he attended church in Wichita, KS.
And then there are the right-wing hate extremists who have plotted attacks against the government and minorities. Below is a partial list of attacks, or planned attacks, unleashed by radicals in recent years. The descriptions are taken from the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2012 report, "Terror From the Right: Plots, Conspiracies and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City."
Fox News talkers showed little interest in these terror plots, and no interest in making sweeping generalization about whether a larger political or religious community was to blame for them. And when you read the laundry list, keep in mind the assertion from Fox News' Brian Kilmeade: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims":
June 8, 2008
Six people, most of them tied to the militia movement, are arrested in rural north-central Pennsylvania after officials find stockpiles of assault rifles, improvised explosives and homemade weapons, at least some of them apparently intended for terrorist attacks on U.S. officials.
October 24, 2008
Two white supremacists, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, are arrested in Tennessee for allegedly plotting to assassinate Barack Obama and murder more than 100 black people.
April 30, 2010
Darren Huff, an Oath Keeper from Georgia, is arrested and charged with planning the armed takeover of a Madisonville, Tenn., courthouse and "arrest" of 24 local, state and federal officials.
July 21, 2010
Attorney Todd Getgen is shot to death at a gun range in Cumberland County, Penn., and his weapon, a silenced AR-15 rifle, is stolen. Authorities arrest prison guard Raymond Peake nine days later, saying Peake was trying to accumulate weapons for an unnamed organization that intended to overthrow the government.
Jan. 14, 2011
Federal agents in Arizona arrest Jeffery Harbin, a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, for allegedly building homemade grenades and pipe bombs that he apparently intended to supply to anti-immigration groups patrolling the Mexican border.
March 10, 2011
Six members of the antigovernment Alaska Peacemakers Militia, including its leader, Francis Schaeffer Cox, 28, are arrested and charged with plotting to kill or kidnap state troopers and a Fairbanks judge.
Jan. 17, 2011
Bomb technicians defuse a sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) found in a backpack along the Spokane, Wash., route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade with 1,500 marchers. Using forensic clues found in the dismantled bomb, officials about two months later identify and arrest Kevin William Harpham, a long-time neo-Nazi.
October 5, 2011
White supremacist ex-convict David "Joey" Pedersen, 31, and his girlfriend, Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, are arrested in California after a murderous rampage in three states.
November 1, 2011
Four members of an unnamed North Georgia militia are arrested in an alleged plot to bomb federal buildings, attack cities including Atlanta with deadly ricin, and murder law enforcement officials.
December 10, 2011
Four soldiers, later identified as members of a militia-type group called Forever Enduring, Always Ready (FEAR), are arrested for murdering 19-year-old former soldier and group member Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York, because they feared the pair would talk about the group's plans.
April 17, 2012
Joseph Benjamin Thomas and Samuel James Johnson of Mendota Heights, Minn., are indicted on federal weapons and drug charges following an investigation into their alleged plans to form a white supremacist group called the "Aryan Liberation Movement" and commit violence against minorities, leftists and government officials.

REPORT: Fox News Overwhelmingly Hosts Former Bush Personnel To Cover Library Dedication


ERIC HANANOKI/Media Matters For America:

Fox News' coverage of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum dedication overwhelmingly featured former Bush administration personnel. According to a Media Matters review, 71 percent (12) of guest appearances about President Bush's library and legacy were by former Bush White House personnel, while just 29 percent (5) were not affiliated with Bush.
Fox's heavy tilt toward former Bush personnel helped result in coverage that lionized his administration and pushed myths and falsehoods about his legacy. Fox also aired a softball interview with Bush by his former press secretary, Dana Perino. Presidential historians and veteran reporters previously told Media Matters that reporting about the Bush library and legacy shouldn't "whitewash" his record.  
Former Bush White House personnel who made at least one guest appearance on Fox News included press secretary Dana Perino, counselor Dan Bartlett, counselor Ed Gillespie, chief of staff Joshua Bolten, chief of staff Andy Card, special assistant and photographer Eric Draper, and deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, along with former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
MethodologyMedia Matters searched the Nexis and TVEyes.com databases for mentions of "Bush" on Fox News from April 22 through April 25. We only counted segments primarily focused on Bush's library and legacy.Media Matters did not count reports by Fox News correspondents as guest appearances. 

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Mississippi man arrested in ricin case


By Vivian Kuo, CNN
Tupelo, Mississippi (CNN) -- A Mississippi man has been arrested in connection with the investigation into ricin-tainted letters sent to President Barack Obama and other officials, federal and local officials said.
FBI agents arrested James Everett Dutschke of Tupelo at his home early Saturday without incident, said FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden. Earlier this week, agents searched Dutschke's residence and former martial arts studio, though it's not clear what they found.
On Tuesday, prosecutors dropped charges against another man, Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Mississippi, who was arrested April 17 and accused of sending a threat to the president after letters containing a suspicious powder triggered security scares around Washington.
At a court hearing the day before the charges were dropped, Curtis said he was being framed and identified Dutschke as a potential culprit.
The letters -- sent to Obama; Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi; and Sadie Holland, a judge in Lee County, Mississippi -- touched off anxieties in Washington and elsewhere in the wake of the bombs at the Boston Marathon. The two incidents were unconnected, officials said.
The FBI said the letters tested positive for ricin, a toxin derived from castor beans that has no known antidote. No illnesses have been reported.
The letters read, in part: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."
They were signed "I am KC and I approve this message," a source told CNN.
Each letter had a Memphis, Tennessee, postmark and no return address.
Dutschke's attorney, Lori Basham, has said her client used to work for Curtis' brother, but the two have had no contact since 2010. Calls to Basham were not immediately returned Saturday.
Curtis said Wednesday that he didn't even know what ricin was until he got out of jail and looked it up on the Internet.
When police suddenly stormed his home last week, Curtis said an investigator asked him about ricin, and Curtis said he responded, "Well, I don't eat rice, and I don't have any rice in the house."

Maher slams Bush library: ‘What a bullsh-t rewriting of history’

By Arturo Garcia/Raw Story

Bill Maher is not a fan of the 13 existing presidential libraries, and he made no bones about it onReal Time on Friday night, slamming the new one dedicated to George W. Bush for features like the “Decision Points Theater,” which asks visitors to choose whether they would invade Iraq if they were in Bush’s shoes.
“Who was asking that question? No one,” Maher raged. “No one. What a bullshit rewriting of history. After 9-11, nobody went, ‘Yeah, we gotta go after Iraq, ’cause they didn’t do it.’”
While his panelists were quick to point out that taxpayers did not fund the construction, Maher retorted that public funds are used to “maintain the fictions” of each administration.
“They’re presidents. They’re not King Tut,” said Maher. “Why do we have to build a mausoleum?”
But Maher’s panelists still countered his stance; actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith pointed out the value of having “different histories” represented in the libraries, whileNewsweek and Daily Beast columnist John Avlon argued for them as repositories — albeit partisan ones — of civic history in the face of a country “running down the slope of stupid.”
The sight of all five living chief executivesgathered for the occasion, Smith said, also pointed to a unique bond between them.
“Even though they may be critical of each other, it never comes out in an event like that,” she explained. “Which leads me to believe that they really are kind of a tribe, which in the end sticks together.”
Maher also had choice words for Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), calling him “an asshole” for his statement that while “five jihadists have reached their targets” during President Barack Obama’s administration, none did so during Bush’s two terms — after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I love the way they count terrorism with Bush after 9-11,” Maher said. “‘Except for that one horrible thing.’”
Robert Traynham, dean of the school of continuing studies at Georgetown University, quickly agreed with Maher, calling Cotton’s attack ridiculous.
“What he’s insinuating is that President Obama’s soft on terror, as opposed to President Bush,” Traynham said of Cotton. “This doesn’t even pass the smell test. I mean, every president, obviously, wakes up every single day, looks at the threat assessment, says ‘What can I do to protect all of us?’”
But Cotton’s statements were especially troubling, Avlon said, seeing as how he is a Harvard Law School graduate, a military veteran and Rhodes Scholar.
“Hyper-partisanship makes you stupid,” he told Maher. “You start playing to the cheap seats.”
Watch video, posted by Mediaite on Friday, below.