I know I probably sound like a broken record on this, but it’s important to cover the growing problem of right wing domestic terrorism. Media Matters has put together a report on the beliefs of Byron Williams, who got into a shootout with California Highway Patrol officers on July 18th. Luckily, he didn’t kill anyone, but it came out that his intention was to commit acts of terrorism against the Tides Foundation and the ACLU. Working for Media Matters, journalist John Hamilton interviewed Williams, and surprise surprise, found out that he’s a huge devotee of Glenn Beck.
I have no doubt that Beck will immediately deny any responsibility for filling people’s heads with paranoid lies until someone cracks and decides to do something violent. But there’s a clear line here:
Observers of this most recent act were mystified by one of Byron Williams’ reported targets: the Tides Foundation, a low-profile charitable organization known for funding environmentalists, community groups, and other organizations.
Beck, it turned out, had attacked Tides 29 times on his Fox News show in the year-and-a-half leading up to the shooting.
Here’s some more reporting on Beck’s obsession with Tides and particularly with George Soros. There are many other billionaires who spend money on lefty causes, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, but Soros gets the lion’s share of the attention from the freaked-out right. And frankly, after seeing the tenor that the freak-out over Journolist took, I’m definitely of the mind that this is anti-Semitic. With Beck, the unspoken but ever-present anti-Semitic themes of his fear-mongering are probably a result of expedience. Beck has never been one to reinvent the wheel. If he wants to paint a picture of an international conspiracy to rule the world, of course he’s going to finger Jews as the people behind it. The sentiment already exists in his audience. It’s much easier to fan the flames if the embers are already there. Check out some of the Facebook replies Michael Roston got off Mark Levin’s Facebook page when Levin was feeding his audience bullshit stories about Journolist and the liberal conspiracy to run the media, one listserv where we talk about “The Wire” at a time:
I want to take a moment to point out that Williams was targeting both Tides (which he concluded was the org from which Soros will do all his dirty, world-conquering work) and, yep, the ACLU.
Yeah, this last one is a head-scratcher.
Obviously, most people who eat Glenn Beck’s shit all the time aren’t going to commit acts of violence. Most of them are, luckily, too cowardly and comfortable to do something like Williams did, even if they fantasize about it. But some oddballs here and there are going to do this, because they really do believe what Beck is saying about some grand conspiracy of evil liberals.
In fact, right as Media Matters was releasing this report, another likely would-be terrorist was arrested.
Richard Scott McLeod of Brighton was arrested Monday in Webberville on weapons charges and is under suspicion for potential threats against President Barack Obama.
On the outside of the 48-year-old’s vehicle were bumper stickers quoting Adolf Hitler. On the inside, police say there was a picture of Obama, a loaded gun, a bullet-proof vest and tips on how to build bombs.
A lot of the time, these extremists consider folks like talk radio show hosts to be weak sauce, not extreme enough. (Though interestingly, this seems to be less so when it comes to Glenn Beck. Scary.) But it’s worth remembering that the bar on radical, over-the-top fear-mongering is set by what the more mainstream wingnut pundits will say. People who want to be more extreme in their conservatism take their cues from what is permissible to be said on Fox News and add 15 points of nutbar. Beck is impeding on the hardcore types’ “Jewish conspiracy to rule the world” fantasies, and I imagine their reaction will just be to turn the heat on even higher.
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: