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From the 04.24.2014 edition of FNC’s Fox and Friends:

For weeks, conservative media have embraced Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who engaged in an armed standoff with federal agents after refusing to pay decades worth of federal grazing fees on public land. The support persisted even as Bundy and his supporters were engaging in revolutionary, insurrectionist rhetoric and repeated threats of violence against government authorities.

Bundy took this even further on April 19, when he made overtly racist comments during one of his daily press conferences. From the New York Times (emphasis added):

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he asked. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.

Though Nevada coverage of the Bundy standoff has made it clear that Bundy is breaking the law, right-wing media, and Fox News in particular, have propped up his cause with a PR campaign that romanticizes his lawlessness and the armed militia groups that helped him force a standoff with federal agents. On Fox alone, Bundy received a total 4 hours and 40 minutes of its prime-time programming between April 5, when Bundy’s story broke, and April 17:

Fox figures have been aggressive in supporting Bundy’s fight with the federal government, led by Fox host Sean Hannity. Hannity interviewed Bundy on his Fox show Hannity, on April 9, sympathizing with the rancher’s claims and arguing that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.” In the following days, Hannity escalated his rhetoric, arguing that federal agents have “drawn the wrong line in the sand here,” praising Bundy because he “like[s] anybody that’s willing to fight,” and stoking fears “of what this government is capable of doing.” Hannity also repeatedly predicted a violent outcome, saying, “This can spiral out of control,” and, “If it keeps going, this is going to end very, very badly.” He even demanded, “The government needs to stand down” because “I’m telling you, [it is] my opinion that this crisis could come to a head, and lives could be lost.” He has refused to apologize for touting the standoff, and has doubled down on his support when his hypocrisy on the rule of law was highlighted.

Other Fox figures have downplayed Bundy and his supporters’ threats of violence, agreeing that Bundy and his supporters demonstrate “the resistance of patriotic Americans,” supporting the agitators as “good, hardworking Americans” or ”law-abiding American citizens — patriots,” even as they concede that Bundy’s actions were illegal. Right-wing outlets outside of Fox have made similar arguments. National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and compared Bundy to Gandhi. The Drudge Report recklessly hyped the growing fear of a violent standoff between anti-government militia members and federal forces.

Some of Bundy’s conservative media supporters seem undeterred by his repulsive comments. Radio host Dana Loesch, who has already used Bundy’s standoff to invoke Benghazi, said his comments were “odd and sounds offensive,” but also defended him, saying:

I hope no one is surprised that an old man rancher isn’t media trained to express himself perfectly. He seems to be decrying what big government has done to the black family — which big government has negatively affected not just the black family, but all families regardless of ethnicity — so perhaps he included that in his remarks against big government? I’m just trying to figure out how he even got to the point of discussing it and yes, it’s justified to have a healthy suspicion of the New York Times.

On the April 24 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, on the other hand, demonstrated what rational coverage of the Bundy’s lawlessness looks like, noting, “it’s the kind of conservatism that undermines everything that conservatives should be about”: 

h/t: Ellie Sandmeyer at MMFA

Citizens Committee On Benghazi Releases Findings From Benghazi Review. On April 22, the Daily Mailreported on findings from the Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi, a self-selected group created by Accuracy in Media, that pushed a number of conspiracy theories regarding the attack in Benghazi, Libya. According to theDaily Mail, the report claims that the attack was a “failed kidnapping plot” of Ambassador Chris Stevens, that the U.S. had “switched sides in the war on terror,” and that President Obama had coordinate with the Muslim Brotherhood to blame the attacks on a YouTube video. [Daily Mail4/22/14]

Fox News Hypes Citizen’s Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report”

Fox News Hypes Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report.” On the April 23 edition of Fox News’Fox & Friends First, co-host Ainsley Earhardt hyped the committee’s “blistering new report” and repeated the claims that the attacks “could have been prevented,” and that “Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik”:

EARHARDT: A blistering new report reveals the Benghazi terror attacks could have been prevented. The Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi claims the U.S. allowed $500 million in weapons to flow to Al Qaeda terrorists who opposed the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, and their rise to power lead to the embassy attack two years ago that left four Americans dead. The commission concluding the attack was actually a failed kidnapping plot. The report says that Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik, the mastermind of the 1993 world trade center bombing. [Fox News, Fox & Friends,4/23/14]

Meet The Citizen’s Committee Panelists: Birthers, Conspiracy Theorists, And Anti-Muslim Advocates

Birthers

Capt. Larry Bailey, USN (Ret.): Obama’s Birth Certificate Is A Forgery, Real Father Is Frank Marshall Davis. Retired Capt. Larry Bailey is the founder of Special Operations Speaks, an anti-Obama group of Special Operations veterans. Bailey has admitted on numerous occasions that he is a birther, telling Foreign Policymagazine in 2012 “”I have to admit that I’m a Birther” … “If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is.” Bailey has also touted the conspiracy theory that President Obama’s real father was actually the late community writer Frank Marshall Davis. [Foreign Policy8/17/12,Media Matters,  8/8/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Gen. Paul Vallely (Ret.): FBI Is Covering Up Truth About Birth Certificate Out Of Fear Of A “Black Backlash.” Retired General Paul Vallely, who was a Fox News contributor from 2001-2007, has claimed that Obama’s real birth certificate “has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there,” and that it was a “forged document.” Vallely told fringe right-wing website WND that both versions of Obama’s birth certificate were forgeries and alleged that the FBI and Congress were covering up the truth about Obama’s place of birth out because they are “afraid of a black backlash from some of the urban areas.” [WND, 6/15/11Media Matters7/27/12; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) Claimed Obama Was Not A Natural Born Citizen. On September 1, 2010 Talking Points Memo reported that Thomas McInerney had “officially joined the legions of birthers,” citing McInerney’s support for an Army Lieutenant who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was born in the United States. McInerney’s affidavit claims:

According to our Constitution, the Commander in Chief must now, in the face of serious— and widely held— concerns that he is ineligible, either voluntarily establish his eligibility by authorizing release of his birth records or this court must authorize their discovery.

McInerney has also worked as a military analyst for Fox News, where he pushed other conspiracy theories including the theory that WMDs were never discovered in Iraq because Saddam Hussein hid them other countries. [Talking Points Memo, 11/1/10; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14Media Matters11/1/10,3/22/13]

Anti-Muslim Activists

Col. Allen West: Islam Is Not A Religion, It’s “A Totalitarian Theocratic Political Ideology.” Retired Col. Allen West is a former U.S. Representative and also a Fox News contributor, and has a history of pushing an Islamophobic narrative. After West lost his re-election bid, MSNBC reported on some of West’s most outrageous claims including that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that.” After the attack on a British soldier in 2013, West claimed that the violence was due to “appeasement” of “Islamists.” [MSNBC,11/20/12Media Matters, 5/17/135/23/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Clare Lopez Is A Senior Fellow At Two Anti-Muslim Organizations. Clare Lopez is a prominent member of two anti-Muslim groups - the Clarion Project and the Center for Security Policy. The Center for Security Policy was funded by one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes, Frank Gaffney, who also sits on the board of the Clarion Project. The Clarion Project is funded by three of the seven top anti-Islam and anti-Muslim think tanks in the United States. Lopez has authored several articles for both organizations, and has made claims that Obama’s administration has been infiltrated by Islamist-supporters to institute Sharia law. In a 2011 interview, Lopez claimed “the bottom line really is that, unless ethnic Europeans begin to have an awful lot more babies, the forces of shariah Islam will inherit Eurabia by sheer dint of their numbers.” [Media Matters 2/20/14; Center for Security Policy, accessed 4/23/14; Clare Lopez, 12/2/09 via YouTube; Examiner.com3/11/11; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Benghazi Conspiracy Theorists

Adm. James Lyons (Ret.) Claimed Benghazi Was A Cover-Up. Adm. James Lyons who regularly writes for the conservative outlet, The Washington Times, is known to push old Benghazi conspiracies and debunked assertions; Lyons has claimed that he has never seen “a cover-up as intense as the Benghazi cover-up” and compared the State Department’s Accountability Review Board that investigated the attack to “having the mafia investigate a crime scene.” Lyons has also made an unfounded claim that Libyan militia guards protecting the Benghazi compound “were not allowed to put ammunition into their weapons,” and suggested that David Patreus’ affair was a cover-up for Benghazi. [Media Matters7/30/13, Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Wayne Simmons Has Suggested That White House Gave “Stand Down” Order. Former CIA officer Wayne Simmons, who is a frequent guest on Fox News, has pushed the debunked claim that the White House gave a “stand down” order during the Benghazi attack and that the people killed in Benghazi “were sold out.” Simmons has also advocated profiling students from Muslim countries. [Media Matters7/30/13, 5/2/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Citizens’ Committee Is Organized By Fringe Conservative Group, AIM

Accuracy in Media (AIM) Has A History Of Promoting Conspiracy Theories. The Citizens’ Committee on Benghazi is organized and supported by Roger Aronoff’s fringe conservative group Accuracy in Media (AIM). AIM is responsible for promoting many conspiracy theories over the years, and is also well-known for extreme anti-gay views and hate speech. [Media Matters2/7/12]

h/t: Michelle Leung at MMFA

Radio host and Fox personality Sean Hannity hosted TruthRevolt.com founder David Horowitz to engage in an unimpeded rant that described President Obama as a “menace to American security” and accused Democrats and the “American left” of pushing the nation toward a modern day Holocaust. Hannity’s promotion of the extreme figure may have completed his transition from conservative mouth piece to right-wing fringe promoter.

On the April 22 edition of his radio show, Hannity discussed the alleged growth of anti-Semitism around the world, comparing the phenomenon with Obama’s purported support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hannity asked his guests, Horowitz and writer Joel Rosenberg, whether anti-Semitism in recent news stories had the potential of turning into a “modern day Holocaust.” Horowitz replied (emphasis added):

HOROWITZ: I think that’s exactly accurate. There’s normal anti-Semitism which has been going on for thousands of years. And this Kansas City shooter, I mean he’s a Klu Klux Klaner, he’s a Democrat — lifelong Democrat, Klu Klux Klan racist and anti-Semite. But he’s obviously been encouraged. The irony of course is that he killed three Christians. Um, obviously encouraged by the American left. Max Blumenthal, who is the misbegotten son of Sidney Blumenthal who worked for the Clintons in the Clinton White House, has written a book filled with Jew hatred about Israel, which this guy read and cited as one of his inspirations. I actually pointed this out in a book I wrote about ten years ago. The alliance between the American left and the Islamo - I don’t call them Islamo-Fascists anymore, they’re Nazis. They preach the same doctrine that the Nazis did, they were allied with the Nazis during the second World War. The destruction of Israel, which is welcomed by you know, like I say normal anti-Semites. But after the Second World War, there was a certain intolerance towards these types of attitudes thanks to the American left which goes right into the White House. Obama is also responsible for this - attacking Israel.

After Rosenberg disagreed with Horowitz’ claim of the growth of anti-Semitism in the American left, Horowitz retorted, ”On the campuses across this country the American left is calling for the destruction of Israel. How can you say there’s no anti-Semitism? The American left is the fountainhead of anti-Semitism now,” concluding that it is only a matter of time before the left commits violence against Jews.

Hannity refused to rebuke Horowitz’ comments, actually agreeing with Horowitz characterization adding that Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authorities. Hannity then allowed Horowitz to attack Obama directly by asking “Why does the president constantly think that he can negotiate with fanatics?” Horowitz responded that Obama is an “anti-American president” and a “menace to American security” (emphasis added):

HOROWITZ: This administration is enabling Iran. Obama could care less if the Jews are killed in the Middle-East. Obama - to answer your question, Sean - Obama is an anti-American president.

[…]

But because Obama is black and because he’s a leftist he’s completely protected by the press. Nobody holds him to account. We live in a kind of surreal universe where people will not say the truth. And the truth is that Barrack Obama is a menace to American security, and the sooner - and of course you can’t impeach him because you can’t impeach the first black president.

Horowitz’s rhetoric shouldn’t have been a surprise to Hannity, as he has a history of comparing liberals with terrorists and accusing people of being “Nazis.”

But Hannity’s promotion of such an extreme figure didn’t come in a vacuum. Recently Hannity has gained ridicule on the left and prominence in the fringes of the right-wing after supporting lawless rancher Cliven Bundy, who refused to pay grazing fees after his cows used federal land for over twenty years. Bundy praised Hannity, while warning of an impending civil war after an armed standoff between federal agents and armed militia supporting Bundy.

As if supporting a lawless rancher and encouraging extreme rhetoric towards the president wasn’t enough, Hannity recently added to his fringe resume by calling a nun a “Communist” for saying Paul Ryan’s budget hurt the poor.

h/t: Thomas Bishop at MMFA

On FNC’s The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros cheered SCOTUS’ ruling that went in favor of Schuette in the Schuette v. Coalition To Defend Affirmative Action case by falsely implying that MLK would’ve supported their decision.
Fact check, Ms. Tantaros: MLK would’ve likely been appalled by today’s SCOTUS ruling.  

mediamattersforamerica

From the 04.22.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:

From the 04.21.2014 edition of FNC’s Hannity:

See Also: NewsHounds.us: After Promoting Rancher Bundy’s Armed Insurrection Against The Government, Hannity Plays The Victim

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 

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?

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Allen West: ‘Radical’ Muslims waging ‘jihad’ in U.S. — by voting and obeying election laws (via Raw Story )

Former Republican Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who is currently employed as a Fox News contributor, on Thursday warned that Muslims were organizing to “destroy” the United States by exercising their legal right to vote. Fox News host Steve Doocy…



 

On the same day Fox announced Katie Pavlich’s role in a new show on the network, Pavlich created a false narrative that former IRS official Lois Lerner reached out to the Department of Justice about possible criminal prosecutions for tax-exempt groups.  Fox went on to promote the story in several segments and continued to push it even after Pavlich corrected her initial report.

On April 16, Fox News announced it would launch a new show called Outnumbered to airon weekdays at noon.  Fox contributor Katie Pavlich will be part of a rotating group of panelists on the show. The same day, Pavlich wrote on TownHall.com that new emails released under the Freedom of Information Act show that Lerner reached out to officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to discuss the possibility of criminal prosecutions for tax-exempt groups who lied about political activity on their filings. Gretchen Carlson pushed the report on The Real Story, repeating the claim that Lerner contacted officials at the DOJ to ask about criminally prosecuting the groups.

But Pavlich’s claim that Lerner contacted DOJ officials first is false — the emails show that in fact the DOJ reached out to Lerner first with a phone call. Pavlich updated and corrected her post to reflect that fact:

Editors note/correction:A previous version of this post stated and implied Lois Lerner contacted the DOJ about criminal prosecution when the emails state she in fact got a phone call from DOJ about the issue. While she was clearly in contact with DOJ about criminal prosecution for tax exempt groups, DOJ initiated the contact in this specific instance. Emails also show Lerner and Flax responded to both recommendations by Senator Whitehouse and DOJ to look into criminal prosecution. The headline to this post has also been updated.

Pavlich even acknowledged in the post that “Lerner later acknowledged pursuing prosecutions of these groups would not fit well with the law.”

Pavlich’s significant correction didn’t stop Fox from continuing to imply that Lerner was somehow conspiring with the DOJ to prosecute conservative groups. On the April 17 edition of Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Childers pushed the story as “bombshell new evidence”:

CHILDERS: To this now, bombshell new evidence in the IRS scandal. Just-uncovered emails show that former agency official Lois Lerner spoke with the Department of Justice about going after political groups.

[…]

DOUG LUZADER: These emails appear to show that Lois Lerner herself was actively communicating with counterparts at the Department of Justice about this idea of going after political groups. 

Neither Childers nor correspondent Doug Luzader ever mentioned the fact that it was the DOJ who had reached out to Lerner first and suggested possible criminal prosecutions for tax-exempt groups who lied about their political activity. Also unmentioned was the fact that Lerner later acknowledged that pursuing prosecutions would not be realistic.

Even as Fox’s “bombshell” revelations about the IRS “scandal” continue to fizzle out, the network shows no signs of abandoning its crusade to tie the IRS controversy to corruption at the highest levels of government. Pavlich’s journalistic misstep — and Fox’s eagerness to run with her flawed narrative — stain the credibility of the network’s new daytime program before it’s even begun.

h/t: Olivia Marshall at MMFA

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Far right anti-worker shill Eric Bolling DEFENDS China’s law labor laws. 

From the 04.15.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:

imageMike Huckabee: How can Obama support same-sex marriage and call himself a Christian? (via Raw Story )

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) attacked President Barack Obama on Friday night over his support of same-sex marriage. Mediaite reported that Huckabee was appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” with substitute host Laura Ingraham when he made…