James Lee, the crazed environmentalist that took hostages at Discovery Channel's Maryland headquarters only to be shot and killed by police Wednesday, was "awakened" by Nobel Laureate Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
As readers are likely aware, armed with several bombs, Lee took three hostages at the Silver Springs facility.
Before the incident began, Lee posted the following demands at his website savetheplanetprotest.com:
The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY: [...]
6. Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy. Find ways so that people don't build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth! Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!
This was not the first time Lee protested Discovery. MSNBC.com reported Wednesday evening:
Court records show that Lee was arrested Feb. 21, 2008, on the sixth day of a protest at the Discovery building. At the time of his conviction in March 2008, he was identified as being from San Diego.
Police were called to the scene when a crowd that had gathered began growing "unruly" as Lee threw thousands of dollars of cash into the air, some of it still in shrink-wrapped packages, police said at the time. (Lee was found not guilty of littering.)
Lee said at the time that he experienced an ‘‘awakening" when he watched former Vice President Al Gore's environmental documentary ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth."
The following comes from Lee's MySpace page (h/t Verum Serum via Stephen Gutowski):
I finished reading Al Gore's book, and [sic] inconvenient truth [sic] a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic. The book was half good, which means the part about science was good. The rest seemed like a commercial for sainthood.
This incident points to another inconvenient truth: despite the absurdity espoused by many liberal media members in the past 19 months that conservative talkers are inciting "right-wing extremists" to acts of violence, there are indeed disturbed individuals on both sides of the aisle that can be provoked by any number of things.
As NewsBusters's Melissa Clouthier noted Thursday:
The left...has spent the last year and half trying to pin every act of terrorism and evil on the vast, white, racist, homophobic, bigoted Tea Party. They do it without shame. They impugn, malign and besmirch repeatedly. Best Tea Party sign? "You'll say I'm racist anyway."
Lefties generalize from anecdotes unless the crazy person is one of their own (and yes, that was just a generalization). Then, of course, the crazy is an "outlier". He's a depraved individual. And often, there are compelling reasons for the outburst. Those compelling reasons demand more examination. And upon examination, well, it turns out the context is complex and nuanced. [...]
However, when their own crazy gets caught, they want the more reasonable and reasoned and logical response of not smearing a whole group of people (say, all people who watched and liked the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth).
Indeed. To suggest that this incident was caused by Gore's film is akin to the inanities put forth by the left about those on the right.
As AOLNews opinion editor John Merline wrote Wednesday evening:
It's an unfortunate reflex these days among pundits and politicians trying to score cheap political points against their ideological opponents. Just find the thinnest thread to tie them to the actions of some deranged nut job who happens to espouse somewhat similar views. See how dangerous and extremist their positions are?
So, liberal talk show host Keith Olbermann once blamed competing talk show host Bill O'Reilly for the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller.
Conservatives once tried to draw parallels between the Unabomber and Gore.
President Bill Clinton attempted to connect the horrible Oklahoma City bombing to the rhetoric coming from right-wing talk shows.
It's all bad logic of the reductio ad absurdum variety. And we'd all be better off if everyone took this opportunity to forever swear off this pathetic rhetorical device.
Yes we would, John, but if this man was a Fox News-watching Tea Party member whose demands were that the Discovery Channel stop showing programs blaming carbon dioxide for global warming, you can bet that every so-called news outlet in America would be proudly making this connection regardless of it representing bad logic of the reductio ad absurdum variety.
As such, calls for sanity in the coverage of these horrible incidents are noble, but such good intentions will be completely forgotten the next time something happens that can be blamed on a conservative regardless of how absurd the nexus.
Sadly, that's just the way the liberal media work.
Readers are encouraged to review Brent Baker's "Miracle on West 57th: CBS Ties Lee to Gore and Quotes Assessment of Bush as ‘Intelligent.'"