There was a glitch in the matrix last night on network television. The season premiere of CBS' drama FBI focused on a left-wing domestic terrorist who tries to kill conservatives.
In Tuesday's episode, 'Hero's Journey,' a far-left extremist from Portland, Oregon attempts to bomb a Federalist Society event. The FBI stumbles upon this radical's plans after an agent goes undercover as a prospective bomb buyer.
The bureau discovers that the bomb they were attempting to buy had already been stolen by a left-wing lunatic named Nathan (Ben Lorenz). Nathan recently shot and killed his roommate Tony (Sammy Semenza), a fellow leftist who didn't want to resort to extreme violence.
In the basement of Nathan and Tony's house, agents find photos of well-known conservatives along with anti-right paraphernalia:
Agent Zidan: This is weird, right?
Agent Chase: Yeah, I recognize some of those faces, though. They're all conservative right-wingers who've been in the news.
Agent Wallace: Dog alerted to the back room. The bomb was here, but there's no sign of it now.
Agent Chase: Ok, what about any guns?
Agent Scola: No, but a lot of extremist paraphernalia -- books, protest, signs, all railing against the right.
Agent Chase: Well, that could be why he and the missing roommate wanted a bomb.
Agent Zidan: So let's get this scrubbed asap. Can you get this to the joc?
Agent: Yes, sir.
Digging into Nathan's texts, the FBI learns that Nathan and Tony both believed "the right was destroying our democracy."
Two agents, Tiffany Wallace (Katherine Renee Turner) and Stuart Scola (John Boyd), are sent to interview the catering company where Tony worked. They suspect Nathan is planning to bomb an event on the caterer's schedule and realize he intends to blow up a Federalist Society conference:
Agent Scola: Is there anything else that might be on the schedule you could think of?
Caterer: Some conference at a hotel out in Northport--the Links. But that already started about 10 minutes ago. And, yeah, Tony was supposed to be there.
Agent Wallace: Can you pull up the information for that event? Lunch to be served after a keynote speech by Judge Edward Saunders of the Southern District of New York.
Agent Scola: Hey, Tiff.
Agent Wallace: Give me one second.
Agent Scola: Hard-core conservative, ok? He's been in the news a lot recently, praising the Supreme Court's recent rulings on abortion, gun rights.
Agent Wallace: So if he's the guest of honor, most likely the attendees have the same political leaning.
Agent Scola: Which means this conference is one hell of a target for a guy like Nathan.
Putting aside that supporting recent Supreme Court decisions on abortion and the second amendment makes one a "conservative," not a "hard-core conservative," whatever that means, it's surprising to see a network show acknowledge that conservative judges and organizations are potential targets of left-wing terrorists.
Agents further discover that Nathan is wanted for torching the home of the "Oregon State Chairman of the Republican National Committee."
The list of real-life attacks against Republicans and conservatives is long, from the congressional baseball field shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to the assassination attempt of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Violence has included bombings of Republican offices, vandalism of crisis pregnancy centers, and a teen being killed just this week for being a Republican.
Yet threats and attacks against conservative targets don't normally appear in television scripts. Quite the opposite. Television vilifies conservatives so much that during the episode I kept waiting for a "catch," wondering when the conservatives would be revealed as the "real" bad guys. But the Federalist Society conference is actually portrayed as normal.
When Nathan kidnaps the teenaged son of one of the conference attendees after the bomb attempt is thwarted, the episode shows the teenager as a sweet, innocent kid and his dad as a loving father.
Who would have imagined Hollywood writing such a script? Did a free thinker accidentally slip into a CBS writers' room?
An hour later, CBS returned to its natural state of anti-conservatism with the premiere of a left-wing episode of FBI: Most Wanted, attacking the second amendment. CBS' audience didn't get to see an alternate perspective for too long.
But for one hour on Tuesday, an original script dramatizing the threat of left-wing terrorism somehow slipped its way onto the network schedule.