About That Supposed American Renaissance Link….


You will recall that today's New York Times and yesterday's attributed nameless "law enforcement" officials as drawing a link between Tucson shooter Jared Loughner and the white-power chuckleheads at American Renaissance. Over at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent picks up the phone (presumably) and calls a nameless DHS source of his own:

[A] DHS official tells me that the department has not established any such possibility, undercutting what appears to be the primary basis for this claim.

Fox News's report yesterday initially claimed that a DHS memo had outlined the possible connection […]

But DHS has not officially provided any such information to any law enforcement officials, the DHS official says.

"We have not established any such possible link," the official says.

The official cautions it's conceivable that a law enforcement official got unofficial info from a DHS official somewhere along the lines of what Fox reported. But he emphasizes that DHS has not even concluded in any official way that even the possibility of such ties exists. The official adds that it wouldn't be DHS's place to reach any such conclusion in the first place, since the FBI is leading the investigation.

As Donald Rumsfeld taught us, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But as he also taught us (less wittingly), don't leap on the first frayed thread of information that tickles your confirmation bias. Especially if you claim to be in the news business.


NEXT: The Year in Clemency

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  1. Thanks. This is what I’d asked about in the other thread.

  2. That’s okay, the “story” has done its job: it will now be cited ad infinitum as “proof” that the shooter is an evul racist tea-baggin’ Sarah Palin fan.

    1. Indeed. Mission Accomplished by the partisan left.

      1. Which apparently now includes Fox news.

      2. Why do you care?

        Any partisan Republican like yourself should be damn grateful if the half-wit half-governor is knocked out of the 2012 race before she can split the party Palinista laggards out permanently.

        1. Any partisan Republican like yourself

          Who are you addressing, sirrah?

          1. Retracted.

            Any real American like yourself should be…………

            1. If I had to choose between Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee I would choose to have Palin in the White House in a heart-bear.

              That is with the HUGE qualifier that those are my only 2 options.

                1. PIRS – I like “Heart Bear” – that should be Sarah Palin’s avatar, and 2012 campaign mascot (if she runs, etc. etc.)

                  1. Almanian, now that you mention it …


              1. OK, howsabout Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?

                1. Palin. She might be a ditz, but she’s more right than wrong on the basic questions. I’d rather have that than a smart guy dragging us in the wrong direction.

                2. “OK, howsabout Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?”

                  Palin. She is more pro-liberty than Obama. Not that I would call her “libertarian” by any strech of the imagnation. But compared to Obama she is. Now, if I had to choose between Obama and Huckabee? If THOSE were my only two options? I might move to Uruguay. I say Uruguay because I would probably be a political criminal if that happened and Uruguay does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

              2. I can’t think of any politician on the national scene today that scares me more that Mike Huckabee.

                1. “I can’t think of any politician on the national scene today that scares me more that Mike Huckabee.”

                  Agreed. Obama comes close but Huckabee would be even worse.

              3. Ah but there’s always a third, more preferable option: suicide.

            2. …like I know anything about being a real American.

  3. The official got unofficial info from another official whose conclusions are not officially official.

    Nature. Goulet.

  4. Sir, can you confirm or deny that the shooter was in fact inspired by Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin’s TLC show?

    If you don’t reply back within 5 seconds, I’ll take that as confirmation.


    Thank you, Sir. I’m running with the story.

  5. It’s hard not to think that mistaken connections are reported at times solely for the purpose of deceiving the public into believing that such connections exist. It happens too often to believe otherwise.

    1. AP devotes several paragraphs to Sarah Palin’s role in the shooting (hired the assassin, maybe?) before ‘clarifying’ no link exist; yeah, they are cynically acting on an agenda to squash the congressional rollback just as Clinton did when he blamed the OKC bombing on talk radio. Unfortunately Shrike, these McCarthy tactics wont work this time. If anything, it inches us closer to getting us the third severely under qualified president in a row.

  6. So many double negatives…
    As I can’t officially say it any better than “official” I’ll repeat it, giving if a veneer of plausibility coated with the realm of possibility, with just a hint of probability….and by repeatition, an air of veracity…
    “The official got unofficial info from another official whose conclusions are not officially official.”
    Its official now! No right thinking (which mean left thinking) person can deny it!!!

  7. Will we ever really be sure it wasn’t space aliens who induced him to act?

    1. Only his hairdressers knows for sure.

  8. So has anyone else noticed that arguing that using violent political rhetoric causes shootings is about the same logic as saying that violent video games and movies cause shootings?

  9. But we must feed the 24/7 rabble rabble cycle. Facts are inconvenient and inconsistent with our goals.

  10. For all we know, it could have been the voices in Shriek’s head directing Loughner. Or a directive spelled out in his bowl of Alpha-Bits, that very morning…

  11. Milo on the phone with Senator Bedfellow…..

    MILO: Senator? This is Milo Bloom at the Beacon. Will you confirm that you sunk Jimmy Hoffa in your backyard pond?

    BEDFELLOW: What? Of Course Not!

    MILO: Fine. I’ll go with “Sen. Bedfellow denies pond is where he sunk Hoffa.”


    MILO: Ok. “Bedfellow DID sink Hoffa in pond.”


    MILO: “‘I lost the body’ says Bedfellow.”

    1. Classic. My favorite is when their political party had their convention beside the 1984 Democratic one. A delegate for the later comes over and asks who they are running for president, the answer, ‘A dead cat.’ He looks back over to the Democratic convention, hears a lame ass Mondale phrase and decides to join the Bloom County party.

    2. “You’re going down in flames you tax fattened hyena”!

      (Hangs up)

      Tough to go wrong with the classics.

      1. I miss Bill the Cat

        1. Here, let me ease your pain: ACK!

  12. It has been alleged by people I won’t name that Sarah Palin, upon orders from the higher ups at American Renissance, personally ordered Loughner to do the shooting. This has not been disproven, nor has any satisfactory (to me) evidence to the contrary been given.

    1. And that since it hasn’t been disproven she ordered the hit, it hasn’t been disproven that opposition to ObamaCare or any belief that it is unconstitutional is part of the same conspiracy.

  13. American Renaissance are not “white power knuckleheads.” They are not about supremacism. Just about looking for, however they define it, “white interests.” They oppose affirmative action, mass immigration of non-white people to reduce the White majority and make white people a minority.

    Now, you can disagree with these ideas, but these are not “white power knuckleheads.” I encourage you to approach Jared Taylor. He is a genial debator, Matt. These guys are not neo-nazis.

    1. Didn’t you get the memo? Anyone looking out for white interests is a de facto neo-nazi. In fact, even the notion that there’s any such thing as white interests qualifies you as a neo-nazi.

  14. Lets start a rumor that the guy was inspired by the Assassins Creed video games.

    1. No. Let’s start a rumor that the guy did this because of the Star Wars prequels.

  15. Now a fake “registered republican” jpg is circulating. Surprised it took this long.

  16. Sarah Palin turned me into a newt!!

  17. As Donald Rumsfeld taught us, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    What we have are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, meaning that there are things we don’t know that we don’t know.

  18. I’ve been a little out of the news cycle for the last 48 hours– I had read briefly about the shooting this weekend, but on my way to work this A.M. I was listening to NPR and man, I was a little stunned as to how much Democrats were really relishing this event. I mean, it’s rolling around in their mouths like they’re savoring a fine artisan chocolate. Even some members of the Obama administration were condemning the anti-government rhetoric.

    Frankly, it’s a little creepy.

    1. Period.

    2. I was a little stunned as to how much Democrats were really relishing this event

      More than a few “libertarians” relished it as well. See Saturday’s thread. Note how several commentators took delight in the attempted murder of a “parasite” politician.

      1. I’ll have to see which three trolling commenters “relished the event”, and compare them to the veritable potpourri of mainstream power-players with the power of a legislature behind them that seem to be relishing it.

    3. First shots in the race partisan war, man! They finally done it! Grab your bombs man, it’s finally on!


      Why wouldn’t they be experiencing paroxyms of self-righteous hate? Oddly enough, I think they might be onto something with their complaints about the atmosphere — ironic that the key evidence is their own paranoia.

  19. It’s completely disgusting the way the fucking lefties have immediately tried to use this lone nutbag’s heinous act for politican gain. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at antyhing those cretins will do.

    I’m seeing it on forums that are totally non-political – in the “off-topic” section of the forum, there’s at least one fucking asshole going off on the “violent rhetoric” or the “use of violent imagery.”

    What’s so hard to comprehend about the notion that this guy was NUTS?

    The only “evidence” that I’ve seen that he was motivated or incited by “violent political rhetoric” came from the Arizona Sheriff who said so at his press conference – it’s total, wild-ass supposition until there is any real evidence of it.

    This totally is not what we needed today – more bullshit for the bullshitters to get their bullshit all riled up about.

    I’m truly sickened by the incessant politicization of everything today. Any time ANYthing happens, it’s got to be somebody’s fault – other than the individual who actually did it.

    Fuck. Just makes me want to spit.

    1. “I’m truly sickened by the incessant politicization of everything today.”

      I agree with you. However, if any good will come out of this it is that more people (at least of those who pay at least some attention to the world around them) will distrust politics in general.

    2. Oh what scoundrels those lefties are! The right wingers would absolutely nevereverever exploit, say, a multi-thousand casualty terrorist attack for their own ends, wold they? They’re just so peachy and innocent and honest and they’d NEVER stoop that low.

      1. Of course they would stoop that low. So why are the lefties, supposedly so much better than that, rushing to emulate them?

        Has it perhaps occurred to you that they are more alike than they are different?

      2. Please don’t feed the trolls.

        Thank you,
        Zoo staff.

  20. So at this point, as I understand it, no official has “officially”, conclusively established that Government Official Sheriff Dupnik fucks sheep. Additionally, no official has officially denied that another official stated that Sheriff Dupnik fucks sheep. And Sheriff Dupnik has issued no official statement regarding his sheep-fucking proclivities.

    I believe I have that correct. Can someone else make it official?

  21. What I love is how these are the same assholes that wonder why we’re so indifferent and dehumanized. As if even the most intimate and deeply personal event doesn’t immediately become some stupid fucking partisan/pundit hack debate to better the chances of some political effort to raise the tax rate 1/10th of a percent somewhere.

    How can you not get cynical? I just tune that shit out and laugh at ’em. At the risk of sounding elitist, reactions like this have become an IQ and credulity signifier for me.

    1. “I just tune that shit out and laugh at ’em. At the risk of sounding elitist, reactions like this have become an IQ and credulity signifier for me.”

      I agree. In a sense it reminds me of some fundamentalist Christians who, whenever any tragedy occurs, whether it be a war or an earthquake or a hurricane, points to it and mutters something about Biblical prophesy and The End-times.

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