By Elijah Nouvelage OHATCHEE, Ala. (Reuters) - A day after violent tornadoes killed at least five people in Alabama and left residents sorting through the destruction on Friday, storm forecasters issued another "severe weather risk" warning for the U.S. South this weekend. In the wake of reports of 24 tornadoes striking Alabama and Georgia on Thursday, rough weather on Saturday could stir more tornadoes in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and the surrounding area, according to the National Weather Service. Five people were killed in Alabama, NWS reported, although it could be days before the de...
Right-wing media push new conspiracies about Waukesha parade killer -- and give no evidence for any of them
The right-wing effort continued on Monday to manufacture a culture-war weapon out of the tragic carnage of the Waukesha Christmas Parade.
Rep. Marjorie Greene posted the following on Telegram:
“The media won’t cover the Waukesha killer Darrell Brooks because saying his name means a man can be responsible for mass murder without a gun. In the Rittenhouse trial, the gun and the right to self-defense were really on trial. For the left it’s always to get gun control.”
The Rittenhouse reference is significant, as it continues a right-wing conspiracy theory rooted in no evidence since the tragedy occurred: that Brooks was acting on behalf of Black Lives Matter as a terrorist seeking to avenge Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal for murder in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin.
That theory had been rejected out of hand by Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson who last Tuesday stated that Brooks acted alone and that “this was not a terrorist event.” No evidence has yet surfaced in right-wing media to contradict those assertions, but dark references to media bias have persisted.
If Greene had evidence of media outlets minimizing or justifying Brooks’ actions, she did not provide it. Brooks has a long criminal history -- as reported in the media -- and faces at least six murder charges in connection with the tragedy, also widely reported.
If Greene had evidence of media outlets suggesting that Brooks was overcharged, she did not present it. As to the comparison she forged to the Rittenhouse case, she did not offer examples of left-wing media referring to Brooks as a hero, role model or potential congressional intern. Mainstream media continues to report on domestic-violence allegations in Brooks’ past.
The Right has been desperate since the tragedy to cast Brooks a symbol or representative of all they hate. Here are some examples:
- Tucker Carlson said on Fox News that “'This has to do with the [Rittenhouse] verdict. That's the obvious conclusion. Is it true? Again, we have not confirmed it, but we can be absolutely certain that the national media will spend zero time trying to find out. Why? Because they're implicated.”
- Commentator Candace Owens needed only one day to assess fault by Tweet: “Darrell was on the streets and able to kill 5 more people, plus injure 48, because Democrats sponsor Black terrorism.” (She used lower-case “black.”)
- Donald Trump Jr. weighed in that the media “will be coming up with every excuse for this piece-of-crap terrorist within about five minutes," as reported at RawStory.com.
- And, of course, there was Greene herself on Twitter: “After the widespread hateful reaction to the Rittenhouse verdict and dog whistle calls to radical BLM ground troops by the mainstream media, Democrats and even the President of the United States, we must ask if they incited the mass murder in Waukesha, WI.”
Ex-Trump official warns former colleagues that they're defying the Capitol riot probe at their own peril
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Monday, former Trump official Miles Taylor warned his one-time colleagues against defying the Capitol riot committee -- and especially singled out former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, whom he said was attempting to use his position at the DOJ to justify a coup d'etat.
"Jeffrey Clark was stirring up the department to turn against the government it was set up to serve," Wallace agreed. "He was plotting a coup and putting together the pieces, including overturning the result of an election. Do you think someone like Clark should be retaining lawyers for other legal issues he may face?"
Taylor said he hoped that Clark was smart enough to hire a top legal team, but what he's seen from most of the former Trump advisers is that they're doubling down on being defiant, even though the Jan. 6 committee has proved that it isn't messing around, he said.
"I mean, they are taking the subjects to the mat and making sure that the law is enforced," said Taylor. "Congress's ability to subpoena someone and interview them is one of its most crucial oversight powers. If that oversight power is undermined, it fundamentally undermines the checks and balances. And whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, you shouldn't want that to be the case. People like Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark — they are going to pull every legal trick in the book to prevent their cases from going forward. That's their right. Everyone in this country gets due process."
He went on to call for "rational Republicans" willing to fight for America.
Wallace pushed back, saying that she doesn't believe there are many of those left.
"The disinformation has already permeated and rotted to its base from its roots -- the grassroots, literally, of the party, all way to its highest leaders, Kevin McCarthy. I think, if — you talk about decent Republicans, I count two," she said. "Only two! We started with Adam Kinzinger. The right has already predetermined what they are going to do about this."
Taylor agreed, saying that the Republican Party looks like "The Walking Dead" at this point.
Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said that she is worried at how slow the Justice Department is going when it comes to people at the highest levels of power who attempted to overturn the election and unmake American democracy simply because they didn't like the result.
"My message to the Department of Justice is 'Get on it!'" she exclaimed. "Do not act like feds here. Act like state prosecutors. Go fast! Do not take the time -- don't give the other side a month to answer a pleading. Go to the judges. We saw this Supreme Court go quickly when they wanted to hear the Texas case."
See the full discussion below:
"Rational Republicans" are like "The Walking Dead" www.youtube.com
Jack Dorsey announced today plans to step down as head of Twitter. That prompted Candace Owens to say the following: “I’ve been telling people for years. Jack Dorsey is not your enemy. He is a prisoner at his own company. Good thing the Parler app is finally working properly and looks amazing. The communists will fully run Twitter soon.”
If you don’t already know Candace Owens, all you need to know is that she’s a koshering virtuoso. Like some Jewish people who make anti-Semitism seem respectable, Owens, who is Black, makes white supremacy seem fine and dandy. She appears to think Jack Dorsey had been some kind of bulwark against liberal sensibilities. Now that he’s leaving, she said, “the communists will fully run Twitter soon.”
I don’t care what Owens thinks about anything. Neither should you. Every word she says -- including “a” and “the” -- is a variety of bad faith. Even hyping Parler is deceptive. Authoritarians can’t succeed on the margins of media and society, where Parler is. To sabotage their enemies, they must appear as respectable as a Black woman koshering white supremacy. By blaming the “communists,” Owens is reminding followers of what they already believe true: they are the real victims.
While I don’t care about Owens, and neither should you, we should care about the use of the right’s rhetoric of slander, of which the word “communist” has long played a part in American history. Liberals and progressives first looked to the government as a force of social reform in the early 20th century. Around that time, the Russian Revolution occurred (1917). Since then, the American right has smeared liberals by associating their policies and objectives with godless communism.
The history of the rhetoric of slander is so pernicious it’s hard, if not impossible, for a lot of (white) Americans to see what might be obvious otherwise. When the right accuses liberals of being communist (or socialist), they are covering up the common purpose they share with actual communists. Both factions are collectivist. Both are implacable. Both aim to replace the established order. Both regard the process of democratic reform as liberal decadence requiring the purifying violence of revolution. The difference is origins. Communism is mob rule arising from the left. Fascism is mob rule arising from the right.
That such slander is so pernicious as to prevent most (white) Americans from seeing what might be obvious otherwise means there’s an opportunity for international media outlets to say what needs saying. Such is the case for The Globalist. Though based in Washington, the publication takes an international view of economics, politics and culture in order to inform readers “how the world hangs together.”
And as far as I know, editor Stephan Richter, who is German, and senior editor Alexei Bayer, who is Russian, are the only writers to connect the Republican Party and the Russian Revolution. In a piece posted this month, they said: “The parallels between the Leninist power usurpation in early 20th century Russia and the Trumpian brigades in today’s United States are becoming ever more eerie.”
Nothing in modern Western history has ever come so close to the storming of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg as the events of January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC, when a riotous mob stormed the US Capitol. Ironically, these forces were out to preserve the rule of their “Czar”, Donald Trump, who had been defeated for re-election.
Most Americans associate mobs with the left on account of the right aggressively slandering the left for decades. Bayer and Richter, both of whom lived under the shadow of the Soviet Union, know better. While “the mob on the left also showed up in the summer of 2020 [and] turned legitimate protests against police brutality into a violent mob bacchanal,” they wrote, it’s the people ready to accuse the Democratic Party of being a den of communists who are the true heirs of chaos.
“The mainstream Democratic Party has denounced those riots,” Bayer and Richter wrote on Nov. 6. “Meanwhile, the Republican Party has transformed itself into the Party of Trump and therefore into the Party of Mob Rule. It is channeling its inner Leninist and baiting the mob.”
[The Democrats] passed an infrastructure bill and are proposing many long overdue measures to improve the lives of ordinary people. To this end, they are offering better health care, services for the elderly and educational assistance. Meanwhile, their Republican “colleagues” are stirring hatred in the mob toward all those measures — just like Lenin did back in 1917.
It’s an imperfect analogy. Like I said, the GOP is mob rule arising from the right. It seeks to maintain, to the point of open warfare, the hierarchies of power by which rugged white individuals stand on top. Lenin and his revolutionaries were mob rule arising from the left. They sought to flatten Russian society to the point of wholesale murder.
That it takes, however, an international media outlet that sees American politics from a European perspective to point out the similarities between them is instructive. The right’s rhetoric of slander has such a hold on Americans, most can’t see what’s in front of them.