HuffPo's Rowe: Right-Wing Media Culpable For Holocaust Museum Shooting, Conservatives Are All Racists

June 11th, 2009 4:27 PM
Michael Rowe has an article on the Huffington Post, posted today, that makes a few wild-eyed claims about right-wing extremists.

For example, Ann Coulter is responsible for yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum.

Bill O’Reilly is responsible for the shooting of well-known abortion doctor George Tiller.

Oh, and the coup de grace: Sarah Palin and all of her supporters are raging racists.

That’s not to mention the implication that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and all of Fox News were the favorite news sources of James von Brunn, now-infamous shooter at the Holocaust museum.

Idiotic though these claims most certainly are, liberal bilge of this magnitude demands confrontation.  First, examine what Rowe wrote on Ann Coulter:
Coulter has made her fortune by generating, fanning, and nurturing hatred and contempt for a variety of people, including liberals, Democrats, gays, foreign nationals, 9/11 widows, feminists, single mothers, Muslims, and any other group she could throw to her disenfranchised readership as shark bait. [...] James von Brunn, driven by his own twisted version of Coulter's publicly-proclaimed perspectives regarding the "imperfection" of Jews, entered the Holocaust Museum in Washington and put them into action, with tragic and deadly consequences.
Few people would deny that controversy follows Coulter like a guided missile.  But if pressed, I doubt Rowe could point to a single instance in which Coulter called for the killing of any Jew.  He certainly failed to do so in his article.  While it seems more than redundant to claim bias in the Huffington Post, this unbacked accusation borders on the very extremism he errantly sees.

Next, on Bill O’Reilly, Rowe pontificates:
Much the same thing happened on May 31st when Scott Roeder entered the Reformation Lutheran Church during Sunday services and slaughtered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Media analysts continue to explore a possible continuum between Tiller's murder and FOX host Bill O'Reilly's well-documented on-air tirades against the doctor, whom he repeatedly called "Tiller the Baby Killer." O'Reilly broadcast his vendetta to millions and millions of FOX viewers already infected with evangelical superstitions and a horror of science, especially science as it applies to a woman's right to choose.
Dr. George Tiller was murdered by a man who was easily beyond the reaches of conservatism.  Bill O’Reilly has not ever, not a single time, called for the vigilante murder of any person; much less the murder of an infamous abortion doctor.  Furthermore, let’s look at Rowe’s writing – in the same article:
If O'Reilly had been a serious journalist or broadcaster instead of a sclerotic, chronically-aggravated right-wing rage pimp, he might have had the professional self-awareness or ethical sense to realize that he was putting George Tiller's life in danger over the more than 28 broadcasts in which he used Tiller's name.
Darkly insinuating a shadowy conspiracy of the right-wing media (if that is one’s definition of Bill O’Reilly) on a website built by and for left-wing activists does the exact same thing that Rowe accuses O’Reilly of doing.  Would Rowe feel responsibility for O’Reilly’s death, if (God forbid) that were to occur?  Would Markos Moulitsas, founder of the DailyKos blog, publicly hold himself responsible?  The chances of that are highly unlikely.

Then, there’s Sarah Palin and the Republican base.  The following quote is quite long, but it is important to note the logical progression (such as it is) in making the connection between Sarah Palin, the Republican base, George W. Bush, right-wing talk radio, and James von Brunn.
Sarah "Screw the Political Correctness" Palin, on the other hand, seemed right at home. She marched into those same crowds grinning and winking, and "Yoo betcha-ing" like she was onstage at the Miss Alaska pageant. While her supporters waved watermelon slices and stuffed monkeys, Palin talked about who the "real Americans" were, and who was "palling around with terrorists." She refused to address the blatant racism of her fans, or address the obvious exploitation of Obama's middle name, Hussein, and the implication she herself was making with her "terrorist" comments.

She was, after all, playing to the accurately-named Republican "base," the same crowd to whom George Bush had sold his second presidential term by pandering to their darkest and most cowardly aspect. This time out it was fear of gay marriage and adoption, carefully tended fear of another 9/11, fear of more fallout from a war they still didn't believe he'd lied about.

One can almost appreciate the horrible honesty of the racists among the McCain-Palin supporters who were able to admit what the others obfuscated: that they didn't want a black man in the White House. Certain videos from their rallies are deeply disturbing. They showcase the seething racism of her most ardent followers.

History has already recorded their obsession with Obama's origins, his religious background, and his citizenship, which remains an obsession among them today.

Obama's citizenship was reportedly also something of an obsession for von Brunn, and likely very much on his mind when he walked into the museum and opened fire to make a statement about what "his" America ought to look like. I have no trouble imagining which radio stations he listened to, or which pundits best represented his baseline political ideology. And why.
First, despite the well-documented bias of the media against Sarah Palin, there is no reputable report on stuffed animals or fruit of any kind at Palin rallies.  I have, however, heard news reports on Oreo cookies being hurled onstage at Michael Steele for Senate campaign stops (circa 2006).  Furthermore, there is simply no evidence to back the claim that all of Palin’s fans are racists.  That is liberal hysteria of the basest order – preying on the fears of liberals, that the backward hill folk are coming to slaughter them.

It is not racist to wonder whether a person is constitutionally qualified to run for President.  John McCain was asked that very question, as he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and not in the main-land United States.  As the Republican candidate was held to the same standard, one wonders why it is seen as racist to request a birth certificate from the Democrat.  Perhaps it is unnecessary; but legal curiosity isn’t racism.

And then there’s the smear again, that right-wing radio and Fox News are shadow conspirators in a secretive plot to kill George Tiller, and a little-known security guard at the Holocaust museum.  Having already written about George Tiller, what of the Holocaust museum shooting?  Was this man a right-wing extremist?

Turns out, he was not.  In fact, he can easily be proven to be a virulent national socialist – in other words, a Nazi.  Ben Johnson of has an excellent write-up of James von Brunn’s ideology (h/t Noel Sheppard).  This man was not, in any way imaginable, a conservative.  

Those facts, one might predict, will not trouble the media in the slightest.