L.A. Times: "Loughner's ramblings appear rooted in far right"

That would be the news pages, not the Opinion section. How, at this late date in combing through the wreckage of the Tucson shooter's brain and paper trail, do you arrive at that conclusion? The same way newspapers did just after the massacre: by using as your primary factual source not anybody who actually interacted with the guy, but instead the factually fallible partisans at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Most wind up concluding that Loughner suffered from mental problems. But experts said that several oft-repeated phrases and concepts — his fixation on grammar conspiracies, currency and the "second United States Constitution" — seem derived from concepts explored with regularity among elements of the far right.

"What you can see across the board in his writings is the idea that you can't trust the government — that the government engages in mind control against its citizens," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored the radical right.

Loughner's assertion that he would not "pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver" is a running theme among right-wing opponents of the Federal Reserve system.

"The people who talk about the manipulation of currency follow it backward from the IRS to the Federal Reserve...that it's run by either secret, powerful elites or secret, powerful Jewish elites," said Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a nonprofit group that also monitors right-wing extremism.

First, note the code words "experts" and "seem," crucial to so much truly awful speculative journalism from time immemorial. Second, this formulation would lead the unsuspecting reader to conclude that Loughner's currency-talk was limited to or generally characterized by complaints of the greenback not being backed by precious metals, which is indeed a longstanding source of concern among a measurable minority on the right, far right, and Planet Libertarian.

But Loughner, as even the most cursory glance at his non-L.A. Times-quoted ramblings will show, used "currency" as a bizarre, all-encompassing metaphor, overlapping with grammar, mind-control, conscious dreaming, and God knows what else. As Jesse Walker observed yesterday, the shooter participated in online fora with actual gold bugs, and they thought his "infinite source of currency" talk was plum loco. In fact, you have to exert some editing effort to produce a Loughner quote on the gold standard that sounds anything like your modal Ron Paul fan. As Patrick "Patterico" Frey points out in a rebuttal to the L.A. Times piece, the one quote the paper used was surrounded by this unincluded context:

In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifactions: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!

No! I won't trust in God!

If that "seems" like a routine emission from the far right, you're either not actually familiar with the far right, or your hatred of it is activated by the mere presence of keywords like "Constitution" and "currency," which overwhelm whatever sense of logic and fairness you might have brought to the issue.

We know about the SPLC, but what about this Chip Berlet fellow, and his assertion that "the people who talk about" currency manipulation–which, by the way, every government engages in, by the act of having a quasi-governmental body set interest rates–are either A) anti-Star Chamber, B) anti-Semites, or C) both? Here's who Chip Berlet is: Someone who thinks that both the Tea Party and libertarianism can be explained by white racism:

It's an AstroTurf campaign to fill people with scare stories and misinformation. Even if these people say, 'No one told me to come,' they are getting direct mailings telling them to go to meetings and ask questions. They are angry because they feel displaced. They feel pushed out of the way by liberals, people of color and immigrants. It's the story they have told themselves to explain why they haven't made it in America. It's racial anxiety fueled by a bad economy, a black president and disparities at a time when white people's supremacy is being challenged.

Now we have a black president, and for the most part whites didn't riot in the street. But it doesn't mean that most of us who are white men in America don't wonder what that means. They see the president as the head of a bureaucracy, and they are unsettled by the idea of having a black boss: How am I supposed to act? What am I supposed to do? Does that mean white people are losing power? The short answer is: Yeah, deal with it. [...]

It is a backlash against social liberalism and it's rooted in libertarian support for unregulated capitalism and white people holding onto power, and, if they see themselves losing it, trying to get it back.

Would you quote this man as an "expert" on right-wing rhetoric?

Look, while I'm glad that Andrew "Fifth Column" Sullivan, David "Unpatriotic Conservatives" Frum, and Matt "They're full of shit. All of them" Taibbi are all so suddenly concerned about the level of divisive vitriol in our national discourse, the persistent attempts on the news pages (let alone in the Twitter feeds of debased partisans) to link this atrocity to beliefs held by millions of Americans, despite an utter lack of evidence so far (as I'm aware) about what political messages this crazy person was consuming and reacting to, reveals much, much more about those connecting the dots than it does the ideologies they are attempting to discredit. This goes for Rush Limbaugh, too.

Question: Where were the major-media thumbsuckers about the dangerous rhetoric of radical environmentalism after James Jay Lee took hostages at the Discovery Channel and issued a list of specific (and insane!) environmental policy demands? Answer: Outside of a few sprinkled non-liberals, they largely did not exist. Even though Lee was far more explicitly and identifiably ideological, even though his views did have some overlap with the outer fringes of environmental Malthusianism, most MSM types, if they discussed extreme green rhetoric at all in the wake of the incident, concluded that Lee's manifest weirdness and grievance-fueled fixation on the Discovery Channel trumped all similarities and chains of causation. This was, I think, a defensible response.

Why so different now? The answer is obvious: We are nearly two years into a media panic about grassroots right-of-center/limited-government activity and rhetoric. They have been predicting imminent race-fueled mayhem for so long that there is no way a lack of connective evidentiary tissue was going to stand in the way of pinning this murder spree on The Climate of Hate. In the immortal words of Paul Krugman, which stand as the best definition of "confirmation bias" I've seen yet,

When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

The media wasn't expecting a Malthusian crime spree, just as it wasn't suspecting scruffy anarchist protesters to stomp on and break the leg of a Republican woman outside of a New Orleans fundraiser (note: I don't know if they ever nabbed anyone in that almost totally ignored case; the point is that if there was an existing anarchists-attack-Republicans storyline and fear, it would have made national headlines long before any arrests). Much of the world's most damaging journalism–initial reports on Hurricane Katrina, for one of a thousand examples–are a direct result of confirmation bias overwhelming the industry's traditional standards of verification. Embattled Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik may well turn out to be the analogue to former New Orleans Police Superintendent Edwin Compass in this case: official permission to run with a story that just seems like it must be true.

Only this this time the L.A. Times cannot claim the excuse of not having access to a catastrophic reporting zone. And in making tenuous claims between rhetoric and action, the newspaper has succeeding in poisoning the very well it is trying to clean. Even if evidence surfaces to support the hunch, it will not excuse the speculative pre-writes.

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  • ||

    The U.S. Battleship Maine was sunk in Havana harbor last night by agents of the Spanish government!

  • Almanian||

    Excellent

    *applause*

  • ||

    O come on - OBVIOUSLY it was radial anti government tea partiers!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Were they radial? Or reciprocating?

  • Whappan?||

    Both.

  • MNG||

    When people start saying someone is "really talking code" the bullshit is going to get deep...

  • Brett L||

    Dogwhistles and code. Something only adversarial journalists can hear.

  • Almanian||

    MNG, your post is just code for "I hate black people", isn't it?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Weasel words would have been a better descriptor.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Are you talking about when Welch called the use of "experts" and "seem" code? He is saying that what "experts" really means is "I don't want to name my sources on this because they are whackos" and what "seems" really means is "seems to the whacko without evidence". He was right. There was no bullshit in that. Deep or shallow.

  • Skip||

    You called Black Congressmen the N-word, I'm sure of it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Still waiting for one of the talking heads to offer some evidence (evidence is so 20th century) that Jared Loughner was aware of "Sarah's Magic Map", or for that matter was even aware of who Sarah Palin is, to say nothing of what, if any influence she may or may not have had on his behavior.

    Wow. Cause and effect is hard.

  • ||

    That picture of Potok is like someone said "I have to photograph someone being a concern troll in real life".

  • Destrudo||

    And I thought Ezra Klein had a punchable face. Let me go on the record with some irresponsible violent rhetoric: I would love to see the twee knocked out of him via knuckle sandwich right to the glasses.

  • ||

    You are an incendiary fellow Destrudo.

  • ||

    Somebody is hurting somewhere. I just know it.

  • ||

    He's so emo!

  • ||

    He gets my vote for the next Sad Keanu.

  • Almanian||

    That's awesome! I like "Cold Puppy Keanu" best.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    rac feels our pain. Can we make him President?

  • ||

    So is Berlet. My God, could you have higher concentration of smug than that picture?

  • Tonio||

    Yes, John: you when you're all lathered up against the homos.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    "Mark Potok is very sad that you are racist."

  • ||

    Regardless of whether you think this was rooted in the left or right, I think it should be obvious to everyone that the teabaggers--who are destroying this country--need to tone down their incendiary rhetoric.

  • ||

    Can I incendiary your face?

  • Cecil||

    Cogent argument - well thought out.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    See, from where I'm sitting, it's not the "tea baggers" that are destroying the country. In fact, I can't see how they are in any position to do so, being that none of them hold any positions of real power, and mostly what they've done is rile up a lot of people and generate some buzz.

    It seems more more evident to me that those "destroying this country" are the ones at the helm. Let's see.... who could that be? Hmm....

  • ||

    I sometimes miss it myself, but that was supposed to be funny!

    Of course the left thinks "teabaggers" are ruining the country--they've been screaming that for months now!

    ...and how much more incendiary can you get?!

    They just don't think it's incendiary--because they believe it themselves. But calling someone a teabagger is highly incendiary. Claiming that the Tea Party is destroying the country is highly incendiary.

    The left just doesn't see it that way--they think it's accurate.

    It's the ol' "Just because you think what you're saying is true, doesn't mean it isn't racist" deal.

    And that's my read on the LA Times (and others on the left) take on this--they think the incendiary stuff they say about the Tea Party (and libertarians) isn't incendiary because it's true.

    They're wrong about that--of course!

  • Cecil||

    My first take was that you were joking, but it is so close to the actual commentary coming from the left I wasn't quite sure.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's funny 'cause it's true!

    That's the way they see it.

  • Almanian||

    That was so fucking good, you fooled people! Well done, Ken!

  • ||

    I got it! - maybe some people have forgotten you - it doesn't seem like you have posted in a while

  • DesigNate||

    Damn it! I don't want to defend the tea partiers, but fuck me if you aren't an idiot. The tea-party hasn't done shit to this country. It's the rat bastards on both sides of the aisle that have destroyed us through their insane spending sprees.

  • ||

    Now let's talk about something Glenn Beck said five years ago.

  • ||

    It's hard to have incendiary rhetoric when you're teabagging.

  • DesigNate||

    My apologies Ken, apparently my funny bone is dead.

  • ||

    No worries--that happens to me all the time.

    I mean, I've been on both sides of that equation...

    You know what I mean!

    If I worked hard to imitate the idiots, then I shouldn't take offense at being mistaken for one of them.

  • ||

    " the teabaggers--who are destroying this country--"

    citation please...

  • ||

    Citation?!

    Completely unnecessary.

    Would you have liked it better if I'd said, "...it should be obvious to everyone that Sarah Palin--who is ultimately responsible for these murders--needs to tone down her incendiary rhetoric."?

    Mocking the idiots who really believe that doesn't require a citation.

    Go find your own citation.

  • Solanum||

    Dear bearded boomers,

    Fucking die already.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone

  • !||

    I second that motion.

  • Thom||

    An unintended benefit of ObamaCare?

  • Death Panels||

    Working on it. Bureaucracy just makes everything go so goddamn slow, you know?

  • ||

    Virtuosic alt-text, Welch.

  • Kristen||

    Seconded!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    thirdified!

  • ||

    They're right! And ending DADT killed all those birds too!

  • ||

    "Even if evidence surfaces to support the hunch, it will not excuse the speculative pre-writes."

    Way to cover yourself Matt.

  • ||

    The New Orleans thing was really bad. And they never even did anythign to the little bastards.

  • Bradley||

    All these vandals and streets thugs are giving real anarchists a bad name. I can't see Lysander Spooner doing any curb-stomping, except the rhetorical kind.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Next meme:

    OK, he is a paranoid schizophrenic, disconnected from reality, and he acted alone, based on no external motivation.

    But his beliefs and rantings, to the extent they are coherent at all, sometimes and on occasion share features that some on the right also rant about - I mean, for example, "his fixation on grammar conspiracies, currency and the 'second United States Constitution' — seem derived from concepts explored with regularity among elements of the far right."

    Therefore, those on the right are all dangerous, paranoid schizophrenics too. They clearly think the same way this guy does, so they must be only one session of listening to Rush Limbaugh away from wandering into a crowd with a "high-capacity" automatic assault pistol loaded with high-powered, armor-piercing, exploding, cop-killing bullets and spraying the crowd indiscriminately.

    Seems perfectly logical. QED.

  • ||

    Obviously, we need to stop talking about the Federal Reserve, alternate currencies, or grammer.

    Because we have no idea what a crazy person might do after listening to our words.

  • cynical||

    But even if we stop talking about the Federal Reserve, there's no guarantee that the next Jared Loughner won't find out about its existence somehow. The only way to truly be sure to prevent another tragedy is to dismantle the Fed altogether.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    End the Fed! It's the only way to keep the childrun safe from psycho killurz!

  • Irresponsible Hater||

  • ||

    I note that you have used many of the same vowels and consonauts (damn my inability to spell - I have no idea of how to spell those things that are not vowels!)as Loughner - obviously, you are a danger to yourself, others, and this great country.
    Now stop using those hateful vowels...and those other things.

  • ||

    Potok looks like someone decided to soak Steve Zahn in piss for six months.

  • ||

    Alert Andres Serrano.

  • ||

    Yes, but with a threatening-to-dangerous patchy beard.

  • hmm||

    I thought it was just a poor Steve Zissou costume.

  • Matt C||

    Now we have a black president, and for the most part whites didn't riot in the street

    WTF? When did whites ever riot in the streets?

  • Matt C||

  • ||

    I saw your video, and it pretty much fits your typical lawless violent insurection. Notice the lipton tea truck in the far upper RIGHT corner - you have to squint really really hard to see it...

  • T||

    Those are Canadians. They don't count as people.

  • The Other Kevin||

    You must have been sick that day. It was all over the news, for the most part.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I seem to recall an event in Seattle a few years back. Of course those were the silly "anarchist" punks who are so brave they run around with their faces covered with bandanas and black hoodies.

  • JD||

    Of course those were the silly "anarchist" punks who are so brave they run around with their faces covered with bandanas and black hoodies.

    Are you sure they weren't police?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I don't think they had radios. And they didn't seem to care if they were videod.

  • hmm||

    1968 Chicago DNC convention.

  • Pip||

    "WTF? When did whites ever riot in the streets?"

    At the 2008 RNC Convention in St. Paul. They also dropped cement from bridges onto School buses filled with children below.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    anarchists-attack-Republicans storyline and fear

    Did you mean to write that the other way around? "If there had been a republican-stomps-lefty" storyline?

  • Matt Welch||

    No -- the gal was a Republican, the protesters were lefty anarchists, so if there had been pre-existing fear of lefty anarchists attacking Republicans, the story would have gone national.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Got it now. A "pre-existing *fear of* lefty anarchists attacking Republicans". The extreme hypothetical/joke got me confused.

  • ||

    The think about the SPLC's report is, it completely ignores all the similarities between Loughner's beliefs and the left. Essentially it cherry-picks elements of his beliefs that seem right-wing and ties them together to paint a particular picture, rather than taking into account the entire array of statements and facts about Loughner.

    You could theoretically do this with anyone. You could paint Giffords as either a progressive or a conservative, simply by editing her voting record and statements to include ONLY this things that tie her to the category you want to paint her as.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Right - when I think of grammar & government conspiracy obsessed theoreticians, I think "right wing". Not Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, or hippy-dippy liberals talking about "the system, man".

  • John Hensley||

    As if Noam Chomsky isn't obsessed with grammar and government conspiracies?

  • ||

    No kidding. I bet Loughner was more indirectly influenced by Chomsky than any conservative talk-show host.

    Chomsky has spawned more conspiracy theorizing than any other major or semi-major intellectual figure in the last half century. And most of that had been on the left.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    sarcasm

  • John Hensley||

    more like bad joke delivery

  • ||

    Just when "AstroTurfing" was fading from memory, our friends in the punditocracy have seen fit to grace us with the incessant overuse of "incendiary rhetoric." Nonstop use of buzzwords does make me want to set things on fire, so maybe this one will stick.

  • ||

    I wonder if it's flocking behavior or if another Journolist has popped up somewhere.

  • ||

    probably both. You can see how their narative startst he same and then develops exactly the same way as the facts come out requiring a change. They are nothign if not organized and consistent.

  • Brett L||

    I'm pretty sure they're still communicating. All the usual suspects rolled out the same line at the same time. The great part about Journolist is that I know who to ignore now.

  • hmm||

    It's a never ending circle jerk of pundit reading pundit reading pundit.

    You see the same thing in financial analysts. It's pathetic. I'm starting to think the vast majority of people don't bother thinking and just digest another person's shit just to shit the same thing it out again.

  • ||

    "What comes out one end, we feed to the other. Plus Indian food."

  • Esoteric||

    The replacement JournoList was started immediately after Ezra Klein shuttered the original one. It's called "CabalList" (no joke) and it's exactly the same thing, except with fewer members.

    And no Weigel this time.

  • ||

  • Ted S.||

    At least I haven't seen the fucking -gate suffix show up regarding the Tucson shootings yet.

  • Almanian||

    Gabby-gate. I like it...

  • MSNBC||

    Tonight on Hardball, Chris Mathews discusses targetgate and its effect on Sarah Palin's political career.

  • Almanian||

    Rachel Maddow on "Hate Gate" - tonight on MSNBC

  • Rachel||

    I'm really really really really really annoying.
    Watch me!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    What about "vitriolic"? That used to be a cool word until it became the turrets tic of every jack-ass on T.V.

  • ||

    When you're Chicken Little, every sky looks like it's falling.

  • Almanian||

    Specie-iest!

  • Almanian||

    Also [Little] - SIZE-ist!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Each time i see a MSM/Loughner post here I sigh loudly and then read it like it's subtitled porn.

    Ultimately, like masturbation, I enjoy watching Welch, et al tear into these news whores, but I still go to bed with the shame of knowing that more people are paying attention to the whore than the whore-banger.

  • Old Mexican||

    "What you can see across the board in his writings is the idea that you can't trust the government — that the government engages in mind control against its citizens," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored the radical right.

    Isn't Van Jones a 9-11 Truther, by the way? Does that fall in the category of "mistrusting your government"?

    Why so different now? The answer is obvious: We are nearly two years into a [left wing] media panic about grassroots right-of-center/limited-government activity and rhetoric.

    What else???

  • Almanian||

    You call them the

    factually fallible partisans at the Southern Poverty Law Center

    because you're

    RACIST!!!!!!11!

  • sevo||

    "seem derived from concepts explored with regularity among elements of the far right."

    Along with, oh, clean clothes. What a gas bag.

  • Number 2||

    Government control through grammar is an element of far right ideology? Since when?

  • JD||

    Take your choice:

    1) Since it became a fashionable part of the media narrative to say so

    2) Since it became useful for the SPLC to use it for their fundraising efforts

  • Dan Kennedy||

    The political ambulance chasers have desperately tried to hijack a national tragedy. Despicable.

  • ||

  • Almanian||

    DAMN IT! WHERE'S WARTY WITH THE KITTEH AND PUPPEH PICTURES TO CALM THINGS DOWN!!

    WE NEED KITTIES AND PUPPIES, STAT!!!

  • Warty||

  • Almanian||

    that was fucking AWESOME!

    Thanks, Warty!

  • Number 2||

    I know Mark Levin is not a popular guy here, but he made a comment last night that I think has some merit: When the L.A. Times, NYTimes, Washington Post, Paul Krugman, etc., write these stories, their target audience is not you, me or the American people at large. Their target is the "Inside the Beltway" crowd, in an attempt to influence them and to help set the insiders' agenda. It matters not tht 57% of Americans disagree that political vitriol played a role in the shootings -- we Americans only matter on Election Day. To the Times, et al., it matters only what the bureaucratic/policy wonk estalishment in D.C. thinks. Elites are addressing elites; in their minds, our role is only to watch while "policy" is made on our "behalf."

  • Whappan?||

    What do you mean? Libertarians are indistinguishable from conservatives. Except they're worse. Everyone here worships Mark Levin.

  • Virginia||

    The SPLC's 990.

    I love non-profits with $190M endowment, pay their CEO 300K + 45K fringe, spend $8M on civil rights legal services, and then $12M on outreach telling everyone how great they are. They're really looking out for the little guy.

  • waffles||

    dear lord, I must've been confused out them. They are actually trying to encourage poverty? What kind of sick organization seeks to impoverish people!?

  • hmm||

  • hmm||

  • ||

    Chip Berlet is a notorious charlatan. See http://berletwatch.freehostia.com

  • Ted S.||

    Dark green text on a chartreuse background. Yikes.

  • Atanarjuat||

    It's the story they have told themselves to explain why they haven't made it in America.

    Yeah, and those teabaggers are a bunch of rich, priveleged white guys too!

    at a time when white people's supremacy is being challenged.

    ???

    Is he talking about professional sports or something?

  • Spartacus||

    "Now we have a black president, and for the most part whites didn't riot in the street. "

    For the most part? Were there some white-people riots at the time that I somehow missed, or is he just making shit up?

  • ||

    Last I saw, about a quarter of a million white people showed up for the inauguration screaming "hope and change" and "this is our time".

  • Spartacus||

    Those people wouldn't riot if I took a dump in their Volvos.

  • Ted S.||

    Aren't Juggalos mostly white?

  • ||

    the newspaper has succeeding in poisoning the very well it is trying to clean.

    You know who else poisoned wells?

  • Czarist Russian Secret Police||

    The Federal Reserve?

  • Sarah Palin||

    The controllers of the Lamestream Media?

  • Mel Gibson||

    Hollywood?

  • Oscar Meyer||

    Hebrew National?

  • Coke||

    Pepsi?

  • ||

    His bartender, before he pitched that perfect game?

  • Devil Inchoate||

    +1

  • -||

    Top-notch analysis, Matt.

  • d||

    "modal". Type-o? (I.e., should "modal" be "model", or are you making some sort of grammatical or higher-order logic claims here?)

  • Devil Inchoate||

    "Type-o". Typo?

  • waffles||

    This whole debate has really turned my stomache. I get the "mosquerbating" but this event has really brought out the real sickness from the "inside-the-beltway" crowd. What is with these people and their insane ideological blinders?

    My personal opinion is that rational results-based policy is gradually being squeezed out of the discussion by grand ideas supported by feelings. I know the concept that we are somehow living in unprecedented times is overused, but maybe it's true. Maybe it's not, but the blinders are on as tight as ever.

    And the whole fall of white supremacy thing these writers pull out of their ass sickens me the most. It is truly disgusting and is evident of real racism. So why am I not allowed to critcize the government, islam, fundamentalist christians, black people, liberals, conservatives, or high school dropouts?

    The answer is simple. I am a priveleged, cracker, aetheist, elitist, baby-killing, corporate pig, with a huge hardon for the constitution. Anything I say or do is hate-speech these days. I guess I'm simply not allowed to join the conversation.

  • ||

    My personal opinion is that rational results-based policy is gradually being was long ago squeezed out of the discussion by grand ideas supported by feelings.

  • ||

    Now, now, waffles. Repeat after me:

    The fact that you have sand in your panties is not a reason for me to shut up.

  • NoVAHockey||

    "whole fall of white supremacy thing these writers pull out of their ass sickens me the most"

    I'm sure the minority population will be pleased to know they've reached the top.

  • waffles||

    well the things that's truly sick about it is that the writer presumes that there is some kind of race war going on and that there must be losers and winners. Like ending one form of discrimination means we have to start another, for equality, or something. I don't get it, but it must feel like the right thing to do. It doesn't matter how it actually works out.

  • J_L_B||

    Leftists love to delve in this everything violent is caused by the right wing.... The right has had their opportunities to respond but never taken them. The Va Tech shooter was motivated by a hatred of all things rich people, and perhaps the biggest one of all, 9/11, had enough to it to be linked to the left in the same way they're doing now.

  • ||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a joke
    and the people that adore them are usually people from the left.
    The SPLC seems to do the left's bidding.
    Everyone in his country that does not see their way is a "Hater".
    The SPLC has a big credibility problem.

  • ||

    Matt, surely you realize that the Rush bit was an intentional tweak to get the Democrat's panties in a wad? In fact, his technique may go farther in getting this kind of crap to stop than Reason's thirty posts using tones of moderation to explain things.

  • SIV||

    I was surprised Carney doesn't get it.

  • ||

    That's really too bad about the Allee Bautsch. Damn she's fine! Nothing like hot blonde in distress to get the trigger-finger itching. Oh, I mean, you know, 'dialog.'

  • SIV||

    I applaud Reason's throrough and timely coverage of the vicious, politically motivated assault on Allee Bautsch in New Orleans in April of last year

  • Richard Keefe||

    Potok and the wannabee Berlet are cut from the same cloth.

    Both are PR men for Hate Industry front groups. They make their money by "finding hate" behind every rock and tree.

    Potok is compensated with more than $146,000 donor-dollars a year for his feeble efforts. For that kind of money, you'd be a "hate expert" too.

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-C

    "Political Research Associates, a nonprofit group."

    What does that mean? "Non-profit" is hardly a synonym for "unbiased."

    Both the SPLC and PRA are private fund-raising groups with no mandate and no oversight.

    The SPLC currently has $190 MILLION donor dollars on hand in its bloated Endowment Fund. Not bad for a "non-profit."

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-6I

    The most ironic (read: "hypocritical") thing about the Southern Poverty Law Center is that NOT ONE of its top ten, highest paid executives is a minority.

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-67

    In fact, according to the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, despite being located LITERALLY in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King's home church, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power.

    Some "experts"

  • pancakes||

    I hate experts.

  • Spiny Norman||

    It's actually "conscience dreaming," not "conscious dreaming," at least according to this video. Which somehow makes even less sense.

  • ||

    At this rate, it's time to tip my top hat goodbye, adjust my monocle and leave for that Libertarian paradise called Zimbabwe.

  • ||

    The best thing Matt Welch ever did was to end his association with the LA Times.

  • Skip||

    Expecting the nutroots to NOT blame this on their political enemies would be like expecting a fire to not destroy stuff.

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