Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Posts tagged "Sean Hannity"

After right-wing folk hero Cliven Bundy was caught on camera delivering a racist tirade, Media Matterslooks back at the conservative media figures who propelled him into the national spotlight.

Right-Wing Folk Hero Bundy Caught In Racist Tirade

NY Times: Bundy Wondered If Black People Might Be “Better Off As Slaves.” Bundy went on a racist rant during a recent press conference, as reported by The New York Times:

Mr. Bundy’s standoff with federal rangers — propelled into the national spotlight in part by steady coverage by Fox News — has highlighted sharp divisions over the power of the federal government and the rights of landowners in places like this desert stretch of Nevada, where resentment of Washington and its sprawling ownership of Western land has long run deep.

[…]

He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.

"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." [The New York Times,4/23/14]

Here Are His Biggest Fans Who Propelled Him Onto The National Stage

Hannity Promoted Bundy So Loudly, Bundy Calls Him a “Hero.” Fox’s Sean Hannity obsessively promoted Bundy’s standoff with BLM, earning a public thank-you from the rancher during an April 21 appearance on 9-11 truther Alex Jones’ conspiracy radio show. While Bundy said the men disagreed about whether armed militias are the first or last line of defense against government overreach, he said of Hannity: “He is my hero and he supported me and this movement and I appreciate and love him for it. Support him 100 percent.” For his part, Jones said, “I want to commend Sean Hannity because he has been really bad on a lot of issues but he has a lot of courage doing the right thing here. So I appreciate him being supportive of this.” [The Alex Jones Show,4/21/14, via Media Matters]

Hannity Praised Bundy Because He’s “Willing To Fight.” Hannity invited Bundy onto the April 11 edition of his radio program, where he told Bundy that federal agents have “drawn the wrong line in the sand here,” praising the rancher because he “like[s] anybody that’s willing to fight.” Hannity stoked fears of violence, adding, “I’m just afraid of what this government is capable of doing. I mean we saw what happened in Waco,” to which Bundy responded, “We have to have faith that America will stand. You know we would never won any of these wars from the Revolutionary War on up if we didn’t have faith and courage and fighting for something.” Hannity later concluded, “The government needs to stand down” because “this is only a symptom of how one person, standing up to the government, I’m telling you, [it is] my opinion that this crisis could come to a head, and lives could be lost.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 4/11/14, via Media Matters]

Hannity Bragged About His Role Promoting Bundy And Escalating Standoff. On the April 15 edition ofHannity, the Fox host bragged about his role in escalating the standoff between Bundy and federal officers and floated the possibility that the federal government might kill the rancher:

HANNITY: I would even argue a little bit that the media coverage that myself and some other people have given to this case played a part in this because none of it made sense.

[…]

HANNITY: I would assume that as Cliven’s son, you want to protect your dad. What are your plans if, in fact, they come late in the night?

[…]

HANNITY: Do you worry that, in fact, they may kill either your dad or somebody in your family? [Fox News, Hannity, 4/15/14]

Alex Jones: Bundy Is “Like Paul Revere,” Making His Stand. On the April 9 edition of Jones’ conspiracy theory radio program, Jones interviewed Bundy and told him, “So your bottom line, like Paul Revere, you’re making your stand, you’re telling folks we’re being overrun by an out of control tyranny.” Later, Jones speculated that if the Bureau of Land Management auctioned off Bundy’s confiscated cattle, it “could turn into 1776 very quickly”:

JONES: This could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case or others that are happening. If they ever fire on innocent peaceful people trying to take stolen cattle and act like the mercenaries they are, this could turn into 1776 very quickly.

BUNDY: Yeah, and we’re totally disgusted with this type of government and I don’t think we the people are going to stand it, and I’m not going to stand it, I’m going to stand as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to get this —

JONES: Incredible, well we will get updates in the next few days, sir, to find out what unfolds [Infowars, The Alex Jones Show4/9/14, via Media Matters]

Jones: “Cliven Bundy: Domestic Patriot.” Jones’ Infowars.com posited on April 19 that Bundy is a “domestic patriot” and wrote on April 10 that Bundy is the “last man standing” in the fight against the government’s attempt to “enslave us in an [United Nations] Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights”:

Government is using environmentalism to confuse the public and the Left/Right paradigm to divide the public so they can enslave us in an Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights. The last rancher — “the last man standing” — across the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean, Cliven Bundy, is in a fight for his rights and your rights against a federal bureaucracy that’s out of control. [Infowars, 4/10/144/19/14]

NRO’s Williamson: Like Bundy, “The Law Was Against Mohandas Gandhi Too.” National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson defended Bundy in an April 15 post titled “The Case for a Little Sedition,” writing:

Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition; Mr. Gandhi himself habitually was among the first to acknowledge that fact, refusing to offer a defense in his sedition case and arguing that the judge had no choice but to resign, in protest of the perfectly legal injustice unfolding in his courtroom, or to sentence him to the harshest sentence possible, there being no extenuating circumstances for Mr. Gandhi’s intentional violation of the law.

[…]

Surely not every inch of that 87 percent of Nevada under the absentee-landlordship of the federal government is critical to the national interest. Perhaps Mr. Bundy would like to buy some land where he can graze his cattle.

Prudential measures do not solve questions of principle. So where does that leave us with our judgment of the Nevada insurrection? Perhaps with an understanding that while Mr. Bundy’s stand should not be construed as a general template for civic action, it is nonetheless the case that, in measured doses, a little sedition is an excellent thing. [National Review Online,4/15/14, via Talking Points Memo, 4/24/14]

Fox’s Napolitano: Bundy Is A “Patriotic, Heroic American.” Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano appeared on the April 15 edition of Fox & Friends and called Bundy a “patriotic, heroic American”:

NAPOLITANO: I don’t know who the bad guys are. I don’t know if it’s the actual young troops on the ground. It’s probably their civilian superiors. Look, there’s a couple of problems here. One is that the BLM is not a military or a law-enforcement entity. I was shocked to see that they even have troops dressed in camouflage and with M-16s. It really looked like they were fighting a war rather than — against a foreign invader, rather than enforcing a judgment against an American. In this case a patriotic, heroic American. [Fox News, Fox & Friends4/15/14]

Napolitano: Bundy Comes Off Looking Like “An American Hero.” During the April 18 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Napolitano said that Bundy “comes off looking like an American hero” because of the BLM’s attempt to seize his cattle:

NAPOLITANO: But when the federal government is so heavy-handed —

O’REILLY: I know, and it’s because of this Tea Party thing —

NAPOLITANO: That they lose the PR war —

O’REILLY: They got killed.

NAPOLITANO: This guy comes off looking like an American hero even though he lost the case. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 4/18/14]

O’Reilly: Bundy “Probably Is A Hero In Many People’s Eyes Because He’s Standing Up Against This Colossus.” During his discussion with Napolitano, Bill O’Reilly acknowledged that the law is not on Bundy’s side, but added:

O’REILLY: And he probably is a hero in many people’s eyes because he’s standing up against this colossus that a lot of Americans think is oppressive. But here’s the fact. The federal government sent more force in to handle Cliven Bundy’s cows than they did to Ukraine. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 4/18/14]

Dana Loesch: Bundy “Has Paid Fees” And What Federal Government Is Doing “Is Ridiculous And It Needs To Stop.” Conservative radio host Dana Loesch appeared on the April 10 edition of Fox’s The Kelly Fileto spin Bundy’s refusal to pay federal grazing fees:

LOESCH: Well, he has paid fees, though, Megyn. He’s paid fees to Nevada county, and I think what’s at dispute here is BLM’s management of this land.

MEGYN KELLY (host): The feds, meaning.

LOESCH: I mean, if they’re going to come in and claim to be good stewards of the land and that this land is going to be beneficial to the American public, well, the American public isn’t benefitting from it. He’s claiming that he has title to an easement on this land, which, you know, it’s all — the devil’s in the details. And maybe he does, and that’s something that perhaps he and BLM can work out.

But they’ve approached this, Megyn, heavy-handed from get-go. And I’ll tell you this. If these cattle — BLM called them “trespass cattle.” If these cattle were in this country — if they were people and they were here illegally, the Department of Justice would be running guns to them, and the Department of Homeland Security would be driving by with free government phones and EBT cards. But, now that they’re cattle, they’re actually rounding them up and killing them.

He had thousands of head of cattle that’s been reduced dramatically. He is the last rancher in this county because the Bureau of Land Management has used these heavy-handed tactics and has run off absolutely everybody, even those who had a valid claim to easement on this land. What they’re doing is ridiculous, and it needs to stop. [Fox News, The Kelly File,4/10/14]

Loesch: “BLM Should Either Reimburse Bundy … Or Leave Him Alone.” The next day, Loesch tweeted:

[Twitter, 4/11/14]

Fox’s Starnes Warns “Americans Will Not Allow The Constitution To Be Trampled.” In April 12 tweets, Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes warned that the Obama administration should pay close attention to the battle over Bundy’s ranch, characterizing the Bundy family and their supporters as defending the Constitution:

[Twitter, 4/12/144/12/14]

mediamattersforamerica

h/t: Emily Arrowood at MMFA

Bundy defender Hannity throws him under the bus. However, Dana Loesch and Alex Jones, to name a few, are still defending him. 

From the 04.24.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

h/t:  Brian Tashman at RWW

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

Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative filmmaker and author charged this January with violating federal campaign finance laws, allegedly said that while he might eventually admit his guilt, he would initially plead innocent because it would give “him a window of opportunity to get his story out there.” Conservative media have been happy to lend him a hand in doing so.

In January, federal prosecutors announced that D’Souza was being charged with filtering excessive campaign donations through straw donors to Republican Wendy Long, a friend of his who lost her 2012 campaign to unseat Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. D’Souza pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to The New York TimesD’Souza’s lawyer is claiming that the conservative pundit is being “targeted…because of his consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism” of President Obama. (The prosecution has called these claims “entirely without merit.”) The Times alsoreports that prosecutors claim to have a recording made by the husband of a woman D’Souza was “involved with romantically” who was “one of the alleged straw donors.” According to the woman, D’Souza said that if he were eventually charged, he might plead not guilty to help “get his story out there”:

Prosecutors also said they had obtained a copy of a recording made surreptitiously last October by the husband of a woman Mr. D’Souza was involved with romantically around the time of the donations, when Mr. D’Souza was separated from his wife. In making the recording, the husband was not acting at the government’s direction, prosecutors said. The woman, Denise Joseph, was one of the alleged straw donors.

Ms. Joseph was recorded as saying that Mr. D’Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that “gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there,” the government said. Ms. Joseph had no comment, her lawyer said.

Conservative media have been crucial in helping D’Souza “get his story out there” — his allies on Fox News, talk radio, and right-wing online outlets have loudly and repeatedly claimed that D’Souza is a victim of persecution because of his political beliefs.

The day after the indictment was announced, Matt Drudge tweeted that the charges against D’Souza and a former Republican Virginia Governor were evidence of Attorney General Eric Holder “unleashing the dogs” on “Obama critics.” Rush Limbaugh saw the case as proof the Justice Department was “trying to criminalize as many Republicans and conservatives as they can.” ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham announced on her radio show, ”we are criminalizing political dissent in the United States of America. Welcome to the Brave New World of retribution justice.”

Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones, in an alarmed video posted on Youtube with the title “Emergency: Obama Launches Purge,” called the situation “like Nazi Germany.”

Fox News, which has repeatedly hosted D’Souza since the indictment, reacted to the news by claiming ”the left are rediscovering their inner Stalin.” During an interview the week after the charges were announced, Hannity labeled D’Souza “the latest victim to be targeted by the Obama White House.” Fox Nation linked to Drudge’s conspiratorial tweet and a handful of other articles on conservative websites, asking their readers to “Sound Off” on whether there is a “COORDINATED, VAST LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY.”

This conservative media narrative about the case has now become central to D’Souza’s defense. Per the Times, the trial is “about a month away.” 

h/t: Ben Dimiero 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

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

Lawless rancher Cliven Bundy praised “hero” Sean Hannity for promoting his cause during an appearance on a conspiracy radio show during which he also warned a civil war could only be avoided if federal “bureaucrats” are disarmed by county sheriffs.

Bundy has been in conflict with the federal government for decades over his refusal to pay grazing fees for his cattle herd’s use of public lands. A recent attempt by the Bureau of Land Management to enforce court orders allowing the confiscation of Bundy’s cattle to settle unpaid fees and fines was suspended due to safety concerns after armed militias rallied to Bundy’s cause and some militia members pointed guns at BLM law enforcement.

Despite threats of violence from Bundy and his supporters — and the fact his legal claim against paying grazing fees is incredibly weak — right-wing media have praised Bundy as a conservative champion standing against an outsized federal government. Amid endless sympathetic coverage on Fox News, host Sean Hannity emerged as the network’s leading advocate for Bundy.

Media Matters and others have criticized Hannity’s “totally irresponsible" journalism, including his support of Bundy’s extreme positions, invocation of the deadly Waco standoff, and his touting of the possibility that the federal government will kill Bundy.

During an April 21 appearance on 9-11 truther Alex Jones’ conspiracy radio show, Bundy offered thanks to Hannity for promoting his cause. While he said the men disagreed about whether armed militias are the first or last line of defense against government overreach, Bundy said of Hannity, “He is my hero and he supported me and this movement and I appreciate and love him for it. Support him 100 percent.” For his part Jones said, “I want to commend Sean Hannity because he has been really bad on a lot of issues but he has a lot of courage doing the right thing here. So I appreciate him being supportive of this.”

Bundy also expanded on his past call for the disarmament of BLM agents and predicted that if local sheriffs did not take guns from “bureaucratic armies,” then civil war will occur. Warning that BLM agents will join forces with “bureaucratic armies” to form “the strongest army in the world,” Bundy suggested that county sheriff’s failure to disarm this force means that “the American people will be faced against American people before long if this is not straightened out.” He later added that federal law enforcement should be disarmed by sheriffs “one county at a time” in order to avoid “a civil war.”

Like Hannity, Jones has been a tireless advocate for Bundy. In addition to hosting Bundy multiple times on his radio show, Jones was an early proponent of an easily debunked conspiracy theory that posited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was behind a nefarious plot to bar Bundy’s cattle from public lands in order to build a solar power plant there at the behest of a Chinese energy firm. Jones offered another conspiracy theory during the April 21 interview, suggesting that Reid will “blow something up. Maybe even Reid will attack his own offices and then blame it on you.” Bundy responded, “They can’t do that because of people like you,” and added Jones’ “integrity” would preclude the government from framing the rancher with a false flag operation.

From the 04.21.2014 edition of Genesis Communications Network’s The Alex Jones Show:

h/t: Timothy Johnson at MMFA

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 

h/t: Kenneth Vogel and  Mackenzie Weinger at Politico

For commentators who claim to despise lawlessness and who have attacked the Obama administration for allegedly feeding disorder and politicizing it, conservatives were quick to embrace a lawless Nevada rancher who for two decades has refused to pay federal grazing fees on public land and is now promoting his cattle crusade as a war against the federal government.

According to the right wing media, paying the obvious penalty for openly refusing to obey the law for decades suddenly translates into victimhood for rancher Cliven Bundy and “harassment” by the government, as conservative commentator Dana Loesch tried to spin away Bundy’s contempt for law and order.

Aside from ignoring the law, Bundy and his armed, anti-government supporters have repeatedly threatened violence and fanned the flames of confrontation with revolutionary, insurrectionist rhetoric, like declaring a “Range War.” (“Serious bloodshed was narrowly avoided,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week from the site of the flash point.)

All of the incendiary rhetoric and the loaded allegations about a tyrannical government has been marketed and promoted by Fox News and the rest of the conservative media, which claims to revere America as a nation of laws; the same Fox News that declared war on Occupy Wall Street protesters in 2011 and condemned them for being lawless. (“Domestic terrorists”!)

But now, suddenly the rules of engagement have shifted. Bundy is a right-wing hero and a massive Fox News flip-flop has taken place.

The facts of the Bundy case are not in dispute.

Since 1993, Bundy has refused to pay grazing fees for his use of 600,000 acres of public land. Bundy does not recognize the unambiguous authority of the federal government to administer the lands. In July 2013, a federal court ordered the defiant rancher to remove his cattle from the land or they would be confiscated to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes. He disobeyed, and confiscation of the cows began last week, before being halted because of the Bureau of Land Management’s “serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.”

Even Fox’s Megyn Kelly conceded that legally, Bundy “doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

Nonetheless, the stampede of support for lawbreaker Bundy has been nearly all encompassing on the right. National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and condemned the government’s actions as a “siege,” while The Drudge Report recklessly hyped the growing fear of a violent standoff between anti-government militia members and federal forces.

On Fox, Sean Heannity has served as ringmaster for the insurrectionist circus that unfolded in Nevada and Hannity has clearly singled out law enforcement as the enemy. “Not once did Hannity mention concern for the well-being of law enforcement officials,” noted the Fox-watching site NewsHounds. “Not once did Hannity discuss the federal government without demonizing them and suggesting that they were behaving in a criminal, fascist manner that deserved to be fought.”

Yet that’s the same Hannity who’s been part of the right-wing campaign to denounce Obama for being outside the law; for his alleged ”pattern of lawlessness.”

"Obama’s Politicized, Lawless Executive Branch," was the headline to David Limbaugh’s TownHall.com column just last week. “Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution,” came from National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy this winter. (“It is wearying to catalogue President Obama’s lawlessness,” he complained.)

And from Rush Limbaugh in February [emphasis added]:

What do we do to stop somebody as lawless, some president as lawless this?  What do we do?  Nobody knows.  Nobody knows what to do.  Nobody knows how to stop him giving away money.  Nobody knows how to beat him giving away money.  Nobody knows how to deal with a guy who makes up the law every day as he gets up. We’ve never confronted this before. We’ve never had a president who is so lawless. We’ve never had a president who is so unconcerned with the Constitution

That central attack theme has been repeated hundreds (thousands?) of times across the right-wing media since Obama was first sworn in and has come to define the conservative opposition to Obama: The current President of the United States, who happens to be an attorney and a former law school professor, shows no obedience to American laws or its courts, which is why Fox News, for instance, has repeatedly wondered if Obama should be impeached for his alleged lawbreaking.

Someone so arrogantly lawless that he pays no mind to U.S. jurisprudence? Kind of like a Nevada rancher who’s been in open defiance for more than 20 years and views himself as being immune to federal law? 

How can you tell the embrace of Bundy and his lawbreaking crusade is so obviously driven by partisan politics? Just recall the Occupy Wall Street movement and how conservative pundits uniformly howled their indignation. Why? Because left-leaning activists were breaking the law.

At National Review, editor Rich Lowry warned, “It’s become clear during the past few weeks that there is a lawlessness at the heart of Occupy Wall Street.”

Lowry was amazed at how activists refused to obey orders from police:

When asked to do something by an officer of the law, the instinct of most people is to comply, especially if they are violating a rule. The instinct of many of the Occupy protesters is to resist, then inflate their arrests or clashes with the police into a monumental struggle with the forces of oppression.

Keep in mind Lowy’s claim that “most people” comply with officers of the law while watching this clip from a Nevada confrontation over the weekend, dubbed a “Ranch Riot” by a Bundy sympathizer. In it, pretesters not only fail to comply with “officers of the law,” would-be militia members rain down epithets on law enforcement officials, denouncing various officers as being a “terrorist,” “loser,” “chickenshit,” and a “fucking pussy.” (Lots of the name calling starts at the 5:00 mark.)

It’s safe to say Sean Hannity would have started hyperventilating on-air if he ever got his hands on a profanity-laced, anti-police Occupy Wall Street clip like the one that came in from Nevada. (Anarchists!) But suddenly at Fox, anti-government loudmouths who condemn law enforcement officials as chickenshits are the ones being cheered and depicted as freedom fighters.

So much for law-and-order at Fox News.

=

h/t: Eric Boehlert at MMFA

Fox News’ Sean Hannity is increasingly — and dangerously — taking on the role of PR agent for a Nevada rancher defying the federal government with violent threats.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has quickly become a darling of right-wing media over his decades-long refusal to pay federal government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In July 2013, a federal court ordered the rancher to remove his cattle from the public property or they would be confiscated and sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes. When that confiscation began this month, the rancher took his battle to conservative media, who held him up as a folk hero battling big government invasion into private property rights and states’ rights.

Bundy’s defiance has been marked by violent and revolutionary rhetoric toward the federal government, hints of a bloody confrontation cheered on by the right-wing fringes who have repeatedly compared the situation to notorious and deadly standoffs like Ruby Ridge and Waco. For example, when Bundy appeared on his radio program, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones posited that if Bundy’s supporters confronted federal agents at the auction for Bundy’s confiscated cattle, which the rancher encouraged, it “could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case.” Jones warned that “this could turn into 1776 very quickly.”

But such dangerous hyperbole isn’t confined to the fringes. Increasingly, Sean Hannity’s promotion and defense of the rancher’s actions and threats is starting to resemble that of far-right extremists.  

Hannity interviewed Bundy on his Fox program 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.”

His rhetoric had noticeably escalated two days later when he invited Bundy onto his radio program The Sean Hannity Show. Hannity argued that federal agents have “drawn the wrong line in the sand here,” praising Bundy because he “like[s] anybody that’s willing to fight.” 

He went on, “I’m just afraid of what this government is capable of doing. I mean we saw what happened in Waco,” to which Bundy responded, “We have to have faith that America will stand. You know we would never won any of these wars from the Revolutionary War on up if we didn’t have faith and courage and fighting for something.”

Throughout the program, Hannity repeatedly pushed violent predictions, saying, “This can spiral out of control. You get one wrong person out there, this can spiral out of control really fast,” and “If it keeps going, this is going to end very, very badly.” He even demanded, “The government needs to stand down” because “this is only a symptom of how one person, standing up to the government, I’m telling you, [it is] my opinion that this crisis could come to a head, and lives could be lost.”

Hannity promised to bring Bundy back onto his Fox program that night, and discussed the possibility of traveling to Nevada to visit the ranch.

At this point, Hannity is perhaps Bundy’s most prominent supporter, and his role as PR agent for a man openly defying federal law and hinting at violent retaliation against federal agents appears to only be increasing. Words are one thing, but Hannity’s public hyperbole is particularly worrisome given the fact that armed militia group members are reportedly heading into Nevada to take on the government with Bundy, who’s placed armed guards at his gates. 

h/t: Emily Arrowood at MMFA

Right-wing media are fanning the flames of a conflict between a federal agency and their new hero — a scofflaw Nevada rancher who’s threatening a violent range war against the federal government.

Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher in Nevada, has been fighting the government over grazing rights on public land for nearly a quarter century. In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In 1998, the government issued a court order telling Bundy to remove his cows from the land, as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise located there. And in July 2013, a federal court ordered Bundy to get his cattle off public land within 45 days or they would be confiscated. The confiscation began this month, and the cattle will be sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes.

Conservative media have held the confiscation out as a big government invasion of private property rights and have repeatedly hyped the rancher and his family as victims being intimidated by a heavily armed force of federal agents who are escalating the situation into the realm of notorious and deadly standoffs like Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Fox News hosted the rancher on the April 9 edition of Hannity, where Sean Hannity sympathized with Bundy’s claims against the government and argued that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.” 

Fox & Friends highlighted the situation and complained about the protections for the desert tortoise. Co-host Brian Kilmeade said, ”We’re not anti-turtle, but we are pro-logic and tradition.” 

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com played up the fact that the federal agents confiscating Bundy’s cattle were armed. Alex Jones’ Infowars.com posited that the government was attempting to “enslave us in an [United Nations] Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights.” During an April 9 edition of Jones’ conspiracy theory radio show, Jones said of Bundy, “So your bottom line, like Paul Revere, you’re making your stand, you’re telling folks we’re being overrun by an out of control tyranny.”

National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and described the government’s actions as a “siege.” The conservative American Thinker accused Attorney Gen. Eric Holder of enforcing the law against Bundy for racial reasons. 

But if anyone is waging a campaign of intimidation, it’s Bundy and his family, who have repeatedly threatened violence, invoked revolutionary rhetoric, and issued public statements making known that they own firearms and appear willing to use them.

The rancher told the Las Vegas Sun in 2013 that “he keeps firearms at his ranch” and promised to “do whatever it takes” to defend his cattle from being seized.

"I’ve got to protect my property," Bundy said as [his son] 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."

Grabbing another fistful of bacon, Arden said he wants to be part of any coming battle. His mother smiled.

When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked if he would resort to violence to settle the dispute, Bundy said, “I didn’t say I wouldn’t carry a gun.”

On Fox News’ Hannity, Bundy implied that the federal government’s seizure of his cattle amounted to an infringement on the rights of Nevada and said he’ll “do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.”

BUNDY: Well, you know, my cattle is only one issue that the United States courts has ordered that the government can seize my cattle. But what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public land, access to the land, and have seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people that like to go hunting and fishing. They’ve closed all those things down, and we’re here to protest that action. And we are after freedom. We’re after liberty.

HANNITY: How far are you willing to go? How far are you willing to take this?

BUNDY: My statement to the American people, I’ll do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.

Appearing on the radio show of conspiracy theorist Pete Santilli, a 9-11 Truther who previously threatened to shoot Hillary Clinton, Bundy repeatedly said the time has come to “make our stand.” Discussing his situation’s relationship to the deadly Waco and Ruby Ridge standoffs, Bundy said, “I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at”:

BUNDY: I told you that I did the legal thing and the political thing and the media thing and it seems like it’s down to we the people if we’re going to get it done. You know the things like militias. You know, I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at.

We got a strong army here, we have to fight, their [unintelligible] to back off. We don’t have our state officials not stepping up and saying no. So until the state people steps up and says no, the county sheriff says no, this thing is going to keep escalating until the point that we are going to have to take our land back and take our rights back and maybe that’s the time we are at in life, I don’t know, it just seemed like we worked our way all the way to this point, now are we going to back off? Or are we going to take it — somebody is going to have to back off. If they’re not, we the people are going to put our boots down and we are going to walk over these people.

During his appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Bundy said that he tells the government he will “do whatever it takes” to oppose the government and because he “make[s] that statement, they seem to say well this man, he can’t stand. We’re gonna have to take him down.”

Jones and Bundy also discussed a since-delayed plan for the Bureau of Land Management to auction off Bundy’s confiscated cattle in Utah to repay his debts to the government. Bundy urged his supporters to “go in there with force” and to stop the auction. Jones said a confrontation at the auction “could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case” and warned that “this could turn into 1776 very quickly,” garnering Bundy’s agreement: 

JONES: This could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case or others that are happening. If they ever fire on innocent peaceful people trying to take stolen cattle and act like the mercenaries they are, this could turn into 1776 very quickly.

BUNDY: Yeah, and we’re totally disgusted with this type of government and I don’t think we the people are going to stand it, and I’m not going to stand it, I’m going to stand as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to get this —

JONES: Incredible, well we will get updates in the next few days, sir, to find out what unfolds.

Bundy may not have “called” any militia, but militias around the country are mobilizing to support him. And while the potential for violence continues to escalate, right-wing media keep egging him on.

h/t: Timohy Johnson and Brian Powell at MMFA