H/T: Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress

Fox figures praised armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as good, patriotic, hard-working Americans, ignoring their threats of violence against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents and indications that they were willing to put women in children in the line of fire.

Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy Refuses To Pay Grazing Fees, Resulting In Standoff With BLM

Los Angeles Times: Bundy Refused To Pay Grazing Fees For Use Of Federal Land.  As the Los Angeles Times reported on April 7:

Bundy is battling with federal officials over his cattle’s grazing on 150 square miles of scrub desert overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. He has refused to pay BLM grazing fees since 1993, arguing in court filings that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement. His back fees exceed $300,000, he says. [Los Angeles Times4/7/14]

AP: Court Ordered Bundy To Pay Fees Or His Cattle Would Be Confiscated. Bundy refused to pay the fees he owed, and so the BLM attempted to carry out court orders to confiscate his cattle to settle the debt:

A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy to remove his trespassing cattle in 1998. The bureau was implementing two federal court orders last year to remove Bundy’s cattle after making repeated efforts to resolve the matter outside court, Kornze said, adding the rancher has not paid grazing fees in 20 years. [Associated Press, 4/13/14]

AP: BLM Halted Cattle Confiscation After Armed Militias Showed Up To Protest. As the Associated Pressreported, after the Bureau of Land Management began confiscating Bundy’s cattle, armed  ”states’ rights protesters, including militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ return to rancher Cliven Bundy,” leading to the BLM’s decision to halt the confiscation:

Federal land managers say “escalating tensions” led them to release all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.

Bureau of Land Management Chief Neil Kornze announced an abrupt halt to the weeklong roundup just hours before the release.

"Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public," Kornze said in a statement. [Associated Press, 4/13/14]

Sen. Harry Reid Calls Armed Protestors “Domestic Terrorists”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Sen. Reid Called Bundy's Armed Supporters “Domestic Terrorists.” At an event hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called armed protesters supporting Bundy ”domestic terrorists,” saying, “Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots, are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal4/17/14]

Bundy Repeatedly Threatens Violence Against BLM Agents

Las Vegas Sun: Bundy Said He Would “Do Whatever It Takes” To Protect His Cattle. In 2013, Bundy told the Las Vegas Sun he would “do whatever it takes” to prevent the government from seizing his cattle:

[T]he rancher insists his cattle aren’t going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch and has vowed to “do whatever it takes” to defend his animals from seizure.

"I’ve got to protect my property," Bundy said as Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."Bundy’s wife Carol told the Sun that she owns a shotgun and is prepared to use it:

Carol Bundy said her husband is not a violent man, just a person who will protect what he owns. For that matter, so is she.

"I’ve got a shotgun," she said. "It’s loaded and I know how to use it. We’re ready to do what we have to do, but we’d rather win this in the court of public opinion." [Las Vegas Sun9/23/13]

Bundy's Response To Question About Resorting To Violence: ”I Didn’t Say I Wouldn’t Carry A Gun.” On the April 10 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham asked Bundy whether he would resort to violence to settle the dispute:

INGRAHAM: When you said you would do quote “whatever it takes,” to stop the government from impounding your cattle, what did you mean by that? Did you mean you would resort to violence?

BUNDY: What I said was — I didn’t say I wouldn’t carry a gun. [The Laura Ingraham Show4/10/14, via Media Matters]

Fox Figures Praise “Patriotic” Bundy Supporters

Fox’s Earhardt: Bundy Supporters Are “Good, Hardworking Americans.” On the April 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt expressed outrage at Sen. Harry Reid’s comments that Bundy’s supporters are “domestic terrorists,” saying:

EARHARDT: And then the question this morning, the government’s reaction to all of this. They’re pulling guns on these individuals, on Harry Reid’s community. These are folks that live in Nevada, these are good, hardworking Americans. So they disagree and the government goes out there and pulls guns and now Harry Reid’s calling them terrorists? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/14]

Fox's Morris: Supporters Were “Protesting Peacefully.” In a later segment during the April 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Clayton Morris claimed that, “Suddenly people are there protesting peacefully, arguing against government intervention here … and all of these police and folks roll in with guns and sniper rifles pointing at them.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends4/18/14]

Fox’s Napolitano: Ranch Protesters ”Shows You The Resistance Of Patriotic Americans.” Fox contributor Andrew Napolitano and Bill O’Reilly discussed the Nevada standoff on the April 17 edition of The O’Reilly Factor. Both conceded that Bundy’s actions were illegal, yet Napolitano called his supporters “patriotic” and downplayed their threats of violence:

O’REILLY: But here’s the fact. The federal government sent more force in to handle Cliven Bundy’s cows than they did to Ukraine. Right, I mean we can’t even get binoculars over there for those people but we have all of this.

NAPOLITANO: It shows you the attitude of the federal government today, and it shows you the resistance of patriotic Americans — Americans whose voices were silenced at the scene by being moved three miles away. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor4/17/14]

Fox’s Starnes: Bundy Supporters Are “Law-Abiding” Patriots.  On the April 17 edition of Hannity, Fox contributor Todd Starnes told guest-host Eric Bolling, “The idea that you’ve got the Senate Majority Leader going out there and calling law-abiding American citizens — patriots — domestic terrorists for protesting against their government is beyond the pale.” [Fox News, Hannity4/17/14]

Fox Guest: Why Were Guns Pointed At “Hardworking Ranchers”? During the April 17 edition of Fox News’s The Kelly File, frequent Fox guest and conservative filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch demanded an explanation from Sen. Harry Reid as to why guns were pointed at “hardworking ranchers”:

LYNCH: That man [Sen. Reid], I want an explanation from him. I want to know why it is that I had M-16s pointed at my face. Why those M-16s were pointed at women and children and hardworking ranchers. I want an explanation. Because the more I keep on looking at my footage — that looked like Afghanistan. [Fox News, The Kelly File4/17/14]

Bundy Supporters Who Fox Praised Were Armed, Threatened Violence

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Armed Militia Members Mobilized For Armed Confrontation.The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on April 9 that armed militia members were joining Bundy in his standoff with the BLM:

From near and wide, armed men are trickling toward Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where the rancher’s fight with the federal government has become a rallying cry for militia groups across the United States.

[…]

They say they are prepared for armed confrontation, but they insist they will not be the instigators if bloodshed happens. [Las Vegas Review-Journal4/9/14]

Reuters: Many Supporters “Wore Military Fatigues And Carried Rifles And Pistols.” Reuters reported on April 17 that many of Bundy’s supporters carried rifles and pistols:

A number of Bundy supporters wore military fatigues and carried rifles and pistols and had traveled from California, Idaho, Arizona, Montana and beyond. Most kept their handguns holstered.

[Former Arizona sheriff Richard] Mack, who wore his gun on his hip, and other Bundy supporters interviewed by Reuters said they would not shoot first but would retaliate if fired upon. [Reuters, 4/17/14]

Review-Journal: "Serious Bloodshed Was Narrowly Avoided" At The Protest. The Las Vegas Review-Journal also reported that:

On Wednesday, that dispute teetered at the edge of deadly conflict, when Cliven Bundy’s family members and supporters scuffled with rangers from the Bureau of Land Management sent to protect the federal roundup of Bundy’s cattle on public land. [Las Vegas Review-Journal4/9/14]

Huffington Post: Former Sheriff Wanted To Put “Women Up At The Front” If A Shootout Occurred. According to the Huffington Post, former Arizona sheriff and Bundy supporter Richard Mack proposed putting women on the front lines if a shootout with the BLM occurred and claimed he “would have put my own wife or daughters there”:

"We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front," he said on Fox News, according to TheBlaze.com. "If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers."

[…]

"If they’re going to start killing people, I’m sorry, but to show the world how ruthless these people are, women needed to be the first ones shot. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible. I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die. [Huffington Post, 4/15/14]

Reuters: Bundy Supporter “Aimed His Semi-Automatic Rifle” At Federal Agents. On April 17, Reuters reported on the aftermath of the Bundy ranch protest, writing that during that during the standoff an armed protester aimed his gun at federal agents:

Flat on his belly in a sniper position, wearing a baseball cap and a flak jacket, a protester aimed his semi-automatic rifle from the edge of an overpass and waited as a crowd below stood its ground against U.S. federal agents in the Nevada desert. [Reuters, 4/17/14]

sniper

          Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

KLAS-TV Las Vegas: Militia Man Joining Bundy Protest Said “We Provide Armed Response.” On April 10, a local Las Vegas news station KLAS-TV reported that one militia man coming to support Bundy said, “That is what we do. We provide armed response … We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government.” [KLAS-TV Las Vegas, 4/10/14]

h/t: Olivia Marshall at MMFA
mediamattersforamerica

Led by Sean Hannity, Fox News has devoted 4 hours and 40 minutes of its prime-time programming to cheerleading for a Nevada range war.

Coverage by show

Media Matters examined Fox News’ weekday programming from 4 p.m. through 11 p.m. ET since it first started covering the story.

Fox News began agitating for a range war on April 9, sympathetically portraying Cliven Bundy as a folk hero based on the Nevada rancher’s refusal for two decades to pay the required fees for grazing his cattle on public land. While Nevada reporters have made clear that Bundy is “clearly wrong” and “breaking the law,” Fox has waged a PR campaign romanticizing Bundy and the armed militia groups that fled to his ranch and forced a standoff with federal agents who were executing a court order that allowed them to impound his cattle.

Fox Radio host Todd Starnes fanned the flames by implying that federal agents could be “strung up” for confiscating Bundy’s cattle, regardless of a court order. Even after the Bureau of Land Management announced that it would return the cattle to Bundy, Hannity asked Bundy whether he was worried that government agents might kill him.

Hannity has effectively turned his Fox News show into a public-relations firm for Bundy and the militias backing him, dedicating more than 1 1/2 hours of coverage since April 9 to effectively agitating for armed conflict with the federal government.

Hannity led Fox News' Cliven Bundy coverage

Methodology

Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of Fox News programs from April 5th to April 17th. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: Bundy, Nevada, ranch!, cattle, Bureau of Land Management. The search included the Fox programs The Five, Special Report, On the Record with Greta van Susteren, The O’Reilly Factor, The Kelly File, and Hannity.

h/t: Jeremy Holden at MMFA 

Operation American Spring, the far-rightmilitia-aligned group that’s planning a pro-coup rally next month to force President Obama out of office by shutting down Washington D.C., got a shout-out this week from Tea Party Nation.

TPN head Judson Phillips emailed members a column — “Declaring War on Americans” — by Alan Caruba, in which he applauds the militias defending the Cliven Bundy ranch and plugs Operation American Spring, while hinting that the demonstration may provoke a violent response from the government.

I love the notion that Cliven Bundy lives in Bunkerville. It reminded me of Bunker Hill and you know how badly that eventually turned out for the British in 1775. What ensued was a guerrilla war led by George Washington that defeated the most powerful nation of its time. There is no way a militia with small arms can defeat the kind of arms the U.S. government can bring to bear on such a battle, but one has to admire the courage of those people who showed up to confront them. That’s quintessentially American!



I don’t think the BLM response to Bundy was exclusive to the agency. That decision needed to be sent up the line as far as the White House. Indeed, it was likely initiated by the White House.



All tyrannies over-reach at some point and we are seeing that occur in the White House. The nation is fortunate to have the House controlled by Republicans and now needs a Senate as well in order to dispense some much needed justice on behalf of Americans.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the White House responds to the May 16th “Operation American Spring” being organized to bring a million or more to Washington, D.C. to participate in an event that will demonstrate the breadth of the unhappiness that has spread since Obama’s first election and is gaining momentum since his second.

This isn’t the first time the Tea Party group has promoted Operation American Spring.

Back in January, the group emailed members an invitation to participate in the May 16 event, saying that non-peaceful means are on the table in their anti-Obama campaign.

Gen. Paul Vallely of Stand Up America US, who is also helping to spearhead “Operation American Spring” beginning May 16th in DC, has suggested that to counter Obama’s imperious overreaching that Congress should tender a vote of “no-confidence” against him.



Going forward, the most compelling remedial grassroots action we should all get solidly behind is, of course, “Operation American Spring” which will be launched in earnest on May 16th. I urge readers to check it out on the Patriots for America site. You have the option of participating in the protracted occupation or volunteering your services and talents in support of the operation.

Finally and very importantly, if all of these peaceful remedies fail to achieve our constitutional goals, then ALL other remedies sanctioned by our Founders and “natural law” must necessarily be relied upon by the American people. Let the Founders ALWAYS be our guide.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Molly Redden at Mother Jones

H/T: Sarah Jones at PoliticusUSA

h/t: Adam Peck at Think Progress LGBT

think-progress

crooksandliars:

Bill O’Reilly hasn’t tried to defend Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who refuses to pay federal fines, like Sean Hannity, who appears to be trying to instigate — but he does try to lend a sympathetic ear to his problems. Tuesday night, Bill had on his two favorite legal eagles Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle, to suss out the situation and both supported the federal government’s positions over the anti-government fanatics and militiamen. They agreed that Cliven Bundy has no legal or constitutional legs to stand on, and he must pay.

Lis Wiehl: …they let the cattle go, gave them back to him, but he’s still on the hook the government says and I believe they are right about this, the government’s right about this, for one million dollars in late fees and taxes

Grazing fees.

Lis Wiehl: Grazing fees

O’Reilly: You can use the federal land if you pay for it

Lis Wiehl: You have to pay a fee, right, right.

O’Reilly: Supporters of Bundy say the federal government is violating the constitution, we hear that all the time. Do they have a strong argument?

read more

From the 04.15.2014 edition of FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor:

crooksandliars:

Here’s a pop quiz. Find the contradiction in this quote:

“I’ll tell you, there’s unhappy people here, and we are rioting against the federal government, those people that are carrying guns and pointing them at us…I don’t think we’re going to put up with that in America.”

Would that America be a little slice of Nevada where domestic terrorists dwell and refuse to acknowledge the federal government, or is that America the one where fifty states are united under one national flag and live under the rule of law?

Also, would that America be the one where they have no problem with this…

…but whine about the federal government carrying guns and pointing them at them?

The victimhood just rolls off Bundy in big sweaty drops, courtesy of your Fox News hosts, who want you to know the badass federal government is full of mean people who want to arrest moochers and call them horrible names like domestic terrorist. Never mind the pesky truth, it’s just mean, am I right?

read more

h/t: Tara Culp Ressler at Think Progress Health

Yesterday, Chelsea Clinton announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child, which also means that Bill and Hillary Clinton will be welcoming their first grandchild right as the former Secretary of State begins her anticipated run for the White House.

And this is all just too much of a coincidence for Newsmax host Steve Malzberg, who went off yesterday speculating that Chelsea’s pregnancy was intentionally timed to benefit her mother’s presidential campaign.

Pointing to an interview Chelsea gave to Glamour Magazine last year in which she said that she and her husband had “decided we were going to make 2014 the Year of the Baby, and please, call my mother and tell her that. She asks us about it every single day,” Malzberg concluded that Bill and Hillary were pressuring Chelsea to get pregnant at a time that would benefit her campaign.

"Pardon the skeptic in me," Malzberg said, “but what great timing! I mean, purely accidental, purely an act of nature, purely just left up to God. And God answered Hillary Clinton’s prayers and she going to have the prop of being a new grandma while she runs for president. It just warms the heart. It brings a tear to my eye. It really does. Wow!”

From the 04.17.2014 edition of NewsMax.TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show:
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

Poor Bill O’Reilly. His tender fee-fees were so hurt by a sign saying “Nobody died for our “sins” Jesus Christ is a myth” it’s threatening his whole Easter or his whole faith or something. And persecuted Christian Laura Ingraham is suffering right along with him!

Doesn’t this sound like grievance mongering?

O’REILLY: If you are in Madison, Wisconsin and you go to the Capitol Building, you may be very insulted this Holy Thursday.

O’REILLY: Fair minded people know that’s appalling.

INGRAHAM: Every Christian holiday, we see something like this.

O’REILLY: They want to hate and disparage people like you and me.

INGRAHAM: I am praying for the redemption of the nasty folks over at (Freedom From Religion Foundation). I don’t know if it will work or not.

O’REILLY: These people want to insult - and that’s what it is - it’s insulting. They want to insult people with whom they disagree. And there’s no reason for it.

INGRAHAM: The culture is already predominantly atheistic. …So, they have enormous power, I think, already in the culture that doesn’t address religion at all. But that’s not enough for them. They want to mock and demean. …This doesn’t surprise me at all. I expect this to happen. …Why is it always the Christians the only ones that get the mud slung at them? I don’t know why it’s just Christians.

So what do you think O’Reilly’s reaction would be if two African Americans had this discussion about being stopped and frisked by the police for no reason? I think we have a good idea.


H/T: Ellen at Newshounds.us

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The latest rumor to make its rounds on the web is a tip from the Jerusalem Post that in Donetsk, Ukraine, Jews older than 16 years old will be forced to register their identities with the pro-Russian separatists led by Denis Pushilin, whose forces have recently taken over several government buildings in the city. This is actually just a provocation most likely planted by pro-Ukrainian groups.

Rain, an independent TV station in Russia, quoted Pushilin as saying the documents did not come from him. Some people from the local Jewish community agreed documents were an attempt to provoke a conflict and blame it on Pushilin and his separatists, according to the Ukrainian news publication the News of Donbass.

To set the record straight: Jews in Ukraine are not being asked to register with pro-Russian separatists at risk of losing citizenship. This war of information, however, might not be ending anytime soon.

President Vladimir Putin ramped up his aggressive language toward Southeastern Ukraine in his four-hour live Q&A session Thursday, when people called in, texted and sent video messages with their questions. He has made it more obvious that his priorities are protecting ethnic Russians over helping Ukraine become more stable.

We can see this in his increasingly pro-Russian language. Putin pubically called the Southeast Ukraine, which is bordered by Moldova, Donetsk, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk “Novorossiya” or “New Russia” for the first time. In other words, he made it clear this region is now rightfully a new kind of Russia and should be treated as such. The area was last called “New Russia” in 1922 when it was “given” to Ukraine by the Bolsheviks. “God knows why” they gave these cities to Ukraine, Putin said Thursday.

image

The “New Russia” label is particularly scary when coupled with the way Putin is attempting to divide Russia from the West. Putin described the western man as being “for himself,” and “the more successful the person, the better.” He distinguished this from a “person of the Russian world” who thinks there is “something higher” of his own life. The more Putin creates these juxtaposition, the more like it seems he is not going to let down on Ukraine.

Sure, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterparts agreed on a de-escalation resolution Thursday in Geneva. But as is clear in Putin’s rhetoric: If it’s up to him — and it might just be — Ukraine is New Russia.”

As Putin increases his anti-fascist, pro-Russian rhetoric, he renders the Ukrainian government weak, further destabilizing the country. That’s why local Ukrainian groups in Donetsk resorted to faking an anti-Semitic document on the part of pro-Russian separatists.

If Putin doesn’t put a halt to elevating the interests of ethnic Russians over the interest of all Ukrainians, more members of the international community invested in this conflict will be blinded by his war of misinformation.

Source: Sarah Kaufman for Policy Mic

thepoliticalfreakshow:

FCC: Create a "Sexual Violence" Warning for Television Shows

***Warning*** This petition text contains references to sexual violence.

Right now, millions of sexual violence survivors are at risk for re-traumatization from the television programs they watch. But there’s one easy thing the FCC can do to stop that — create a “sexual violence” content warning for television. 

I was recently watching the new TV series Bates Motel, and was surprised to see a very graphic rape scene half-way through the episode. The title of the program and the information listed for the episode did not include information about a rape scene, nor was there a content warning specific to sexual violence at the beginning of the show. And it’s not just Bates Motel — in the past year graphic scenes of sexual violence have appeared in The Walking Dead, Girls, Silent Witness, Game of Thrones, and other programs.

The picture you are seeing is of myself and my co-workers, friends and fellow survivors, Anna Perez and Christine Kobie. As survivors and advocates we understand how damaging this content can be to someone who is not expecting it and is not able to prepare for it. Survivors’ memories of their own assault can be triggered by sights, sounds, smells or even feelings that they experience. These triggers can bring back memories of the trauma and cause intense emotional reactions and physical reactions, especially in survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Millions of television viewers are sexual violence survivors. According to RAINN statistics, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That means that of the audience for the episode of Bates Motel which featured a rape scene, there were potentially over 450,000 survivors in the audience (assuming that out of the 4.6 million viewers, half were women and half were men). These survivors deserved a warning.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution — The FCC, via the TV Parental Guidelines, should create a “sexual violence” content warning at the beginning of any television show that will be airing an episode with sexual violence.

Such a warning will empower survivors by giving them the choice on whether or not they want to watch, and if they do, they can prepare themselves for the scene. It will also allow families to decide what type of violent content they want to view. The FCC has already designated “fantasy violence” as a subset of violent content that affects viewers differently than other forms of violence, they need to do the same for sexual violence.

Please join us in asking the FCC to create a “sexual violence” content warning, including a resource for survivors like the RAINN 24-Hour Hotline (800) 656-HOPE, to be shown before programs with scenes of sexual violence.

To: 
Federal Communications Commission and TV Parental Guidelines 
TV Parental Guidlines 
Tammy Sun, Director Media Relations, FCC 
Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC 
Robert McDowell, Comissioner, FCC 
Mignon Clyburn, Comissioner, FCC 
Jessica Rosenworcel, Comissioner, FCC 
Ajit Pai, Comissioner, FCC 
Create a “Sexual Violence” Warning for television

Sincerely, 
[Your name]

Harry Reid’s right on. 

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM