The Christian Science Monitor's Peter Grier wrote on Friday that the gunman who opened fire at the Pentagon on Thursday "appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings." The article’s headline screamed, "John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?"
Grier did note that writings by Bedell, the shooter, "question whether Washington itself might have been behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." However, the author didn’t point out that this world view is often associated with the left. (A Rasmussen poll in 2007 found that 35 percent of so-called Truthers are Democrats.)
Grier went on to assert:
The Pentagon attack and the destruction at the IRS building in Austin, Texas, come at a time of explosive growth in extremist-group activism across the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such organizations.
The number of US extremist paramilitary militias grew from 42 in 2008 to 127 in 2009, according to a just-released SPLC annual report.
So-called "Patriot" groups, steeped in antigovernment conspiracy theories, grew from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009 – an increase that the SPLC report judges as "astonishing."
Once again, the journalist failed to mention that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a liberal organization that often associates conservatives with hate groups. Additionally, the IRS bomber in Austin hated capitalism, hardly something to be associated with right-wingers.