Sunday, November 20, 2011

Right Wing Media: Wrong!

Fox News has been circulating the disinformation that the failed assassin last week who shot an AK-47 at the White House was part of the Occupy DC protests.  Minnesota-born and raised Morning show host Gretchen Carlson has been eager to be part of the right wing propaganda machine in promoting that factually inaccurate claim, as have other talking heads, including clearly their news anchors, not just their entertainment idiots, in referring to Hernandez as the Occupy shooter.

He was not. Hernandez appears not to ever have been part of or at Occupy DC protests.

From the Washington Post local news coverage ON WEDNESDAY:
In trying to determine why he recently traveled to the nation’s capital from the western part of the country, investigators searched the Occupy D.C. campground near the White House but have found no connection between him and the Occupy protesters, according to three law enforcement officials familiar with the case.
One of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said the motive for the gunfire might have been simple anger: Ortega-Hernandez “hates the president, he hates Washington, he hates society,” the official said.
Ortega-Hernandez fired shots with an AK-47-style assault rifle about 9:30 p.m. Friday — his 21st birthday — while in a car at 16th Street and Constitution Avenue, police said.
As I write this, the Fox website has this on it; NOTE the size of the bold headline font:

Man Linked to 'Occupy' Protest Charged With Attempted Assassination of Obama

(AP/U.S. Park Police)
Idaho Man Charged With Attempted Assassination

An Idaho man accused of firing two shots at the White House last week has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama or his staff.

Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, made his first court appearance before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on Thursday, one day after he was arrested at a western Pennsylvania hotel. He will be taken back from a federal court in Pittsburgh to face the charges in Washington, D.C.

Ortega will remain in federal custody at least until a magistrate in Washington can determine if he should remain jailed until his trial on the charge, which carries up to life in prison.

'Occupy Wall Street' Connection to White House Shooting?
ABC News has learned authorities are increasingly concerned that a man sought in connection with a bizarre shooting incident on the Washington Mall last week may pose a threat to President Obama.
The Secret Service now suspects that a bullet fired in this incident may have hit the White House after a bullet round was found in a White House window, though the round had not yet been conclusively linked to the incident.
further down in the piece, it states this:
Authorities suspect Ortega has been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall.  Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house. U.S. Park police say Ortega may have spent time blending in with Occupy D.C. protesters.
and then continued with these paragraphs:
Secret Service Searched Occupy D.C. Camp For Person Who Shot At White House
The Secret Service announced the suspect was taken into custody in Pennsylvania.
The Secret Service searched Occupy D.C. on Monday for a man suspected of firing bullets at the White House on Friday, one of which was stopped by the building’s ballistic glass.
Protestor Ralph Wittenberg told TPM on Tuesday evening that authorities came through “searching for a so-called terrorist who shot at the White House, with no warrant, they went into everybody’s tents.”
Nothing in this piece acknowledges that the authorities were searching, EQUALLY, the entire area surrounding the White House, and that there was absolutely NO evidence that Hernandez was EVER at the location - all of which are factually accurate about the Occupy protest site.

We also have right wing blog sites like this one which try to emphasize a non-existent connection between Hernandez and Occupy DC, and which is also conspicuously not making any updates or corrections:

Kyle Drennen's picture
Updated [11:02 ET]: More analysis added.
As reports started coming out on Wednesday on the search for White House shooting suspect Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, one common detail was mentioned, including in The New York Times: "Late on Friday, the police searched the Occupy DC protest camp...after reports that the suspect might have spent time there." NBC, ABC, and CBS left that fact out of their evening and morning coverage of his arrest.

All three network evening news programs made the Wednesday afternoon arrest of Ortega-Hernandez their lead story. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Shots fired at the White House, prompting an urgent manhunt for the gunman, now under arrest amid questions about his motive." ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer declared: "Caught. The man accused of tiring an AK-47 at the White House, apprehended." On CBS's Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley reported: "Bullets strike the White House. Bob Orr on the man in custody."
On Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, anchor Bret Baier took note of the shooter's reported connection to the Washington D.C. Occupy protest: "Hernandez reportedly spent time with the Occupy D.C. protesters and may be mentally ill, according to officials."       
CNN on Tuesday was thrilled with the idea that Occupy D.C. had "rules and regulations," including registration of all protesters. Anchor Brooke Baldwin excitedly proclaimed:
"This is what you actually have to fill out if you want to occupy have your name, you have your emergency contact have to sign 'I won't carry weapons, I won't vandalize property, and I'll respect quiet hours between 11 at night and 7 in the morning.'"
One wonders if Ortega-Hernandez filled out such a document if he did spend time in the encampment.

On Thursday, the network morning shows began to delve deeper into Ortega-Hernadez's background, but still avoided his possible time spent at Occupy D.C. On CBS's The Early Show, correspondent Bob Orr reported:
Investigators looking into his background say that it appears that Ortega-Hernandez is a bit mentally unstable. Now, he's been telling friends of a deep dislike for President Obama. Sources say he often refers to the President as the antichrist. So the theory is, he may have targeted the White House as a way of acting out on that anger.

On NBC's Today, correspondent Pete Williams similarly informed viewers:
His father told NBC's Spanish language network Telemundo that Ortega had recently become obsessed with the date 11-11-11, the day of last Friday's shooting, and worried that's when the world would end. Investigators are also checking into reports that Ortega made threatening and bizarre comments about President Obama.
In a news brief on ABC's Good Morning America, Josh Elliot simply noted: "Police say he is mentally ill and obsessed with President Obama."
What this shows is NOT that the main stream media is biased, it shows that the main stream media is more objective and accurate than the right wingers.

And then of course, we have Rush Limbaugh, who doesn't bother to get his facts straight but who influences millions of people on the right, who had this on his web site, dated November 17th 2011:

Guy Who Shot at White House Lived in Occupy DC Camp

November 17, 2011
RUSH:  It's not just the milling around stage of the Occupy Wall Street day of action.  It's the milling around stage while the media tries to find a way to pin the Tea Party on this shooter at the White House.  They're trying to find out who this guy is, said he never had any known radical ties.  Really?  What's he doing at Occupy DC?  They're doing everything they can.  It was once reported the guy hated Obama but now he just hates government.  And they're doing everything they can to try to find a way to pin this guy on the Tea Party. 
and ended with this:
RUSH:  Yeah, and what they're hoping to find out is that he's actually a Tea Partier.  That's what they're hoping.  That's why they're waiting.  That's why they're saying, "We can't find any evidence this guy's ever been involved in radical --" they only found him as part of Occupy DC running around with a weapon, an AK-47.  But they can't find out where this guy's come from and what he's all about and what his motivation is.  They're just hoping, they're praying, any link whatsoever to the Tea Party they can drum up, and they will stop the presses.  In fact, remember what they tried to do with the guy that shot Gabby Giffords.  Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, tried all that.  They'll try the same thing here with this guy.  That's what they're waiting on.
 I don't care if Rush wants to manufacture a persecution of the right, particularly the demented tea partiers.  He is welcome to hold any point of view he likes, regardless of how lacking it may be in a factual foundation or objective reality.  What he is not entitled to do, without being called on it, is to be factually inaccurate.  Limbaugh is chronically factually inaccurate, Fox news is chronically inaccurate, Michele Malkin is chronically inaccurate, Ann Coulter is chronically inaccurate, most of the right wing blogosphere is chronically inaccurate, the right wing politicians in Congress are chronically inaccurate.  The laundry list is too long to write about here.  The above are representative samples of the cross section of that larger right wing media.

We will remain badly polarized and divided, paralyzed from coming together in any kind of unity, any kind of consensus, so long as we do not begin with the common ground of objective, reliable fact.

I would argue here that the right doesn't want that kind of coming together and that they actively discourage and oppose objective fact.  Why? Because the facts are not their friends; the facts do not support their views or their opinions or their policies and actions.  The facts would erode their iron grasp on power.  Their base is the low information, non-fact-checking voter.

The best push back against them in the world is to promote the facts, accurately and objectively.  I can understand it taking up to 24 hours for a so-called news organization to make a correction; I can understand it taking a little longer for current events 'entertainment' to catch up.  But I'm writing this on Sunday, November 20th, FOUR DAYS later.  There have been no corrections made, and I doubt there will be any corrections made by those on the right; it doesn't fit their ideology, the facts be damned.  

That's not entertainment.

That's propaganda.


  1. Obviously running to a OW DC camp does not make you a member.

    I wonder though, if he had instead ran to a Tea Party rally, how many of you would be willing to make the leap the other way? I would say if that happened, it would have been all over this blog and MSNCBC as "fact" with minutes.

  2. There is in fact no evidence that anyone 'obviously ran to an OW DC camp', FWM.

    Or do you have a factual source of which I am unaware?

    Because if Hernandez didn't run to an OWDC camp, doesn't appear to have ever been there, and would have had to sign in if he had, then you seem to be on pretty thin ground in this comparison.

    Further if someone has made comments linking them to a common purpose or supporting a premise or policy position of a group, that would be another reason to link them to that group.

    But there don't appear to be any of those EITHER to link Hernandez to OWDC protests. I'm reasonably confident that no one at the Occupy DC protests believed in shooting at the White House, or that Hernandez was Jesus Christ, or that Obama is the Antichrist.

    That last one, about Obama being the antichrist does seem reminiscent however of some of the rhetoric of Glenn Beck and other right wing tea party extremists. And NO, I don't think that makes the crazy shooter a tea partier. But it does make some of the tea partiers equally crazy.

  3. FatWhiteMan:

    "if he had instead ran to a Tea Party rally, how many of you would be willing to make the leap the other way?"

    You may have noticed that I and thousands of other bloggers, as well as all of the hundreds of leftwingrant radioheads out there, plus "Sissynews--the voice of the 47%er welfare cheats, commies and teh GAY" all, IMMEDIATELY jumped to that conclusion in on-air, internet and print forums. Oh, I'm sorry, that's not correct.

    The proof is in the recantation. I'm sure that that Blimpblow and the rest of the reichwing talkingshitheads will be trotting out apologies and retractions, ASAP.

  4. Of course, it's O.K. to imply a connection between any person who does something stupid with a firearm and concealed carry licensees, though. In that case, we don't need evidence, since belief is all the proof required.

  5. With his dirty hippie beard and worship of marijuana, he definitely fits the description of an Occupier.

  6. Greg Camp:

    Please see my previous comment. Please refer to other, earlier comments wherein I called you an "idiot", "moron" or other sort of bonehead.

    When FoxSnooze, Douche Limpblow or ANY of the LFP* who give the 26%ers their opinions start doing that sort of thing, then you might have what is called, "equivalency"--until then, you're talkin' outcher ass.

    I see Aztec Red has gotten internet privileges again.

    *Liars For Pay

  7. democommie, I'm not sure what you mean, I thought AztecRed was avoiding us on his own accord. I sure hope no one suggested he stay away, he's one of our oldest and most loyal.

    Welcome back, AztecRed.

    FWM, I don't agree that the liberal media is as bad as the Fox News folks in lying and twisting.

  8. RedAz wrote:

    "With his dirty hippie beard and worship of marijuana, he definitely fits the description of an Occupier. "

    Really? and you know what exactly about occupiers? There are plenty of people on the right who are advocating for changes in marijuana laws btw; including a few here.

    The occupiers are not hippies, and so far as I can tell from more reputable sources than the unethical Nut Gingrich, they are not characteristically either dirty or big pot 'worshipers' or 'users'. You need to provide proof of that contention which as usual you won't be able or willing to do.

    Unless you changed while you were gone?

    Where were you, and what brought you back? Laci and I speculated about your sudden disappearance, and hoped you were ok while you were gone.

  9. Democommie,

    I'm just going by what I read here. There have been several articles in the time that I've been visiting that have reported a bad deed by someone with a gun, then implied that concealed carry licensees are therefore bad, even though the original source never gives any evidence that the shooter had a license or even bought the gun legally. That sounds exactly like what the right-wing talkers are doing with regard to the White House shooter and the Occupy movement.

  10. "I'm just going by what I read here. There have been several articles in the time that I've been visiting that have reported a bad deed by someone with a gun, then implied that concealed carry licensees are therefore bad, even though the original source never gives any evidence that the shooter had a license or even bought the gun legally."

    Greg Camp:

    Please take a look at the masthead, here. It doesn't indicate that this is or is a subsidary of a MAJOR media outlet. Let me know when you see a headline in the NYT, WaPo, LA Times or some broadcast or major cable outlet that says, "Oregon gun owner with CCW and ties to the NRA attempts to assasinate president".

    The chances of such a headline being on any reputable news org's print, broadcast, cable or internet "page", without pretty exhaustive vetting are as likely as Herman Cain being able to make a decent pizza.


    I was assuming that Aztec Red was being held in an undisclosed locatio.

  11. democommie wrote:


    I was assuming that Aztec Red was being held in an undisclosed locatio.

    With Dick Cheney? Thank god he made it back to us without getting shot in the face; it's hunting season you know.

    I was hoping he hadn't been ill, or something along those lines. I DID wonder if he'd gone off in a huff though; we've had a few regulars who do that from time to time....

    Whatever the reason for his absence, welcome back RedAz! We did miss you!

  12. RedAz described the (alleged) shooter as resembling the Occupy protesters.

    Apparently he thinks only those people - the males anyway - wear beards like this guy.


    Rather I think the shooter looks a LOT like a youger version of the four old farts down in Georgia who were going to make Ricin, and who targeted upper echelon people in the government. That would make two - no THREE! points of similarity - government targets, insanity, and ungroomed out-of-control facial hair, LOL.

    See the artists rendering here from their court appearances:

    Looks like there was some activity on that story last week that I had missed.

    I'll have to post something separately on that.

  13. Apparently I was wrong. His dirty hippie beard and worship of marijuana does not make him fit the description of an occupier.

    His dirty hippie beard, worship of marijuana, belief in "worldwide peace", ex-gang membership, and anti-war stance is all boilerplate leftism. Whether he is an actual occupier or not is up for debate, but he definitely fits in among them.

  14. And yet it appears he was never anywhere near the protesters, was not peaceful in his opposition, was religiously deranged like many of the religious right wing fundamentalist crazies.

    Biggest way in which the shooter differs from the occupiers and most resembles the more extremist fringe of the tea partiers?

    He has a gun, and believes that shooting people in government is the way to make things better. Occupy protesters don't have guns, don't advocate assassination.

    You can't say that about the militia crazies in Georgia, you can't say that about nut jobs like Sharron Angle in Nevada with her very popular right wing claims that if they didn't get their way with the ballot box, the next alternative was the ammo box.

    Funny thing about the principles on which this country was founded - representative government - is that Sharron Angle was saying if her supporters weren't a majority, as reflected by WINNING the election, then she was willing to overthrow the majority, she was willing to shoot-up duly, properly elected representative government.

    This guy is just nuts. He doesn't really fit in with any political position.

    But he does share an overwhelming single driving force that IS like the right, an unreasoning and unfounded fear and hatred of Obama. And this is just one more instance of the right falsely propagandizing that position of fear and hatred of the President. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out this crazy guy, like others, notably Charlie Wilson in Washington state who is now behind bars, was inspired by right wing talkers like Beck and Limbaugh. Because gun nuts have been who were subsequently arrested for being dangerous.

    At least Wilson was a lawful licensed concealed carry permit dangerous nut job.

  15. His dirty hippie beard, worship of marijuana, belief in "worldwide peace", ex-gang membership, and anti-war stance is all boilerplate leftism. Whether he is an actual occupier or not is up for debate, but he definitely fits in among them.

    November 22, 2011 5:48 AM

    And your avatar definitely puts you in with the insecure group of men who fantasize about women who like gunz so much that they get like to flaunt their "charms" while holding onto a penis subsitute.

  16. "He has a gun, and believes that shooting people in government is the way to make things better. Occupy protesters don't have guns, don't advocate assassination."

    When Neo-Nazi JT Ready was providing security for an Occupy protest, he and his goons were carrying guns.

  17. "And your avatar definitely puts you in with the insecure group of men who fantasize about women who like gunz so much that they get like to flaunt their "charms" while holding onto a penis subsitute."

    You threw the penis card. That means I win.

  18. RedAz, you are clearly impaired by getting your misinformation and propaganda from the right wing media.

    J.T. Ready, criminal and dishonorably discharged ex-marine is one of YOUR side, pro-gun lunatics.

    Apparently, he was big about showing up at tea party events. I can't find ANY evidence of his being asked to leave one of those - unlike Occupy Phoenix.

    "Opportunistic Neo-Nazi Claims to Support #OccupyPhoenix...Asked to Leave

    By David Neiwert

    Our favorite Arizona Nazi border watcher, J.T. Ready, recently reached new opportunistic depths by showing up and pretending to support Occupy Phoenix -- even though he was apparently confronted by other participants, who made it clear he wasn't welcome.

    Let's be clear: J.T. Ready is a neo-Nazi, a classic totalitarian/authoritarian, someone who despises and loathes and sneers at the kind of democracy-in-action that the Occupy movement represents. He likes chaos, though, and he sees the movement's unsettling effect as something he can use. And showing up at protests always is good for a little attention. That's why he did this.

    Predictably, as Matt Gertz at Media Matters reports, the same right-wing bloggers who have been trying to smear the Occupiers as anti-Semites picked this up and ran with it:

    For some time, the right-wing media has been attempting to brand Occupy Wall Street and related protests as anti-Semitic. In the latest example, conservative blogger Jim Hoft is pointing to video of heavily armed Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready patrolling the Occupy Phoenix protest and saying nice things about the movement.

    Hoft sarcastically concludes, "Yup. They're just like the tea party."

    It's worth pointing out that much of the rhetoric Ready spouts during the video -- decrying fiat money, saying that he and others were "exercising our Second Amendment right so that everybody can have a First Amendment right," claiming that Operation Fast and Furious was intended to "take away our rights" and the perpetrators are traitors who should be put to death -- sounds much more like the rhetoric of a conservative protestor than an OWS supporter.

    And indeed, that's the problem for Hoft: Ready previously attended and reportedly spoke at Tea Party rallies ...

    Gertz then details all the times Ready has appeared in support of tea party events.

    And who can forget Ready's recent excursion into the world of vigilante border watches? That, as it happens, is also the territory embraced by tea partiers, not Occupy.

    Along the same lines, Ready has a history of associating with -- and being empowered by -- major tea party figures in Arizona, most notably Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the publicity-hound sheriff of Maricopa County."

    Gosh, RedAz, I sure hope you are proud of guys like this on your pro-gun tea party side of arguments. He is just like you, isn't he?

  19. Oh, wait, I'll agree with you on one thing - Ready isn't wearing a beard.

  20. Usually FWM is the first to mention penis.