Skip to main content

How did conservatives respond to the suggestion by Shepard Smith of Fox News that it was time to look at the DHS Report about right-wing extremists in a new light?

As you might suspect, conservative commentators, blogs and websites opted not to look at the DHS Report again for content, but instead decided to berate Shepard Smith, the Fox News reporter who delivered the message.

Rush Limbaugh didn't even mention the DHS Report. What Limbaugh took away from Mr. Smith's reporting was that he was complaining about hate-filled emails:

As for Shepard Smith whining and moaning and complaining about e-mails, nobody needs to tell me about hateful e-mails, for crying out loud. I get the most vile, sick e-mails attacking me as a "Jew lover" that you can imagine. I don't read 'em.  I hear about them. They're in a public account, of course, as you know -- and I'm a conservative. Who do you think these hate e-mails from coming from? Where are they coming from? Yeah, I get people, "You Jew lover, you Jew lover!" because I am faithful to Israel and a number of other things.

So, Shep, you got nothing on anybody out there. The vile hate that was 24/7 in most of the American media for the eight years of Bush -- and particularly from 2003 on after the Iraq war -- nobody, nobody at this point in time has ever done, in our society, anything comparable to the kind of hate that we got from mainstream sources.  Hollywood, books, news media, hate. Spat out hate was part of the daily reporting agenda for way too many years of the Bush presidency.

Hate-Promoting Left Seizes Chance to Falsely Blame Right for Violence

Wow! So, according to Rush, he doesn't promote hate. Everything he says is just normal political dissent. It's everybody else out there that is doing the hating.

**********

Allahpundit of Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air also zeroed in on the hate email angle, and suggests that Mr. Smith should listen to his conscience and just quit.

Take a group of people who are politically conscious, add Internet access and anonymity, and elect the other party’s guy president and voila: You’ve got a perfect petri dish in which to grow your very own nutroots culture. And no, before people start whining, of course I’m not saying that everyone who fits those criteria is nutroots. Just that we’re seeing a strain of paranoia in some righty blog comments since The One took office that was formerly relegated to lefty assertions about how the Bushitler would cancel the elections and declare himself king or whatever. If that were Shep’s point, it’d be fair enough; as it is, this is his hamfisted attempt to draw a straight line between dopey "Hussein" invective and the sort of decades-long dementia displayed by the Jew-loathing nut who pulled a shotgun in the Holocaust Museum today. (And who, by the way, hated neoconservatives generally and the GOP’s last two nominees for president in particular.) I don’t know how else to read this clip except as Shep warning America that his own viewership is teeming with would-be presidential assassins. If he truly believes that, why doesn’t he quit? How can his conscience stand it?

Shep Smith: Our viewers’ e-mails are starting to scare me

**********

World Net Daily complained about Smith's characterization of people who continue to question the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate. The website used the opportunity to include a link to a "Where's the Birth Certificate" campaign encouraging readers to purchase bumper stickers and rally signs, as well as contribute to the purchase of billboards in major cities around the country.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, host of the top-rated evening cable newscast, believes Americans challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of president are "crazies," saying "there is no truth whatsoever" to the suggestion Obama is not a "natural born citizen."

Smith made the remark during analysis of today's shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where an elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle, killing a security guard before himself being shot. Police were probing an alleged white supremacist, James von Brunn, as the assailant.

During his interview with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Smith said:

"There are these crazies out there who want to pretend [Obama's] not a citizen of the United States, who want to pretend that his religion is something they see as in some way troublesome to them and all of us. And there is a group perpetuating this thought, and there is a culture to which you can attach yourself very easily through the Internet. ... We know it's absolutely – there is no truth whatsoever – zero – to any of those ideas, yet they live within the computer and they fester in people's minds."

BORN IN THE USA?
Shep Smith attacks right-wing 'crazies'
Rips people questioning eligibility as being 'out there in a scary place'

The article does not bother to discuss the DHS report, but only uses it as a jumping off point to bring up the email Mr. Smith read, which flowed in to a personal assault on Mr. Smith for an incident that happened back in 2000.

Smith made numerous references to a Department of Homeland Security report warning of potential violence from "right-wing extremists," and said he's been personally disturbed by an increase in e-mail to him from people "who are way out there on a limb ... out there in a scary place."

He read what he called a representative message that asked, "How dare you tell us to get over the birth certificate ... ?"

Ironically, Smith himself allegedly engaged in activity some might deem questionable.

Same Article

In typical conservative reaction to anything, they personally attacked the messenger without discussing ideas or opinions. Basically, they reported what was said and then launched into an attack of Shepard Smith.

**********

Atlas Shrugs writer Pamela Geller doesn't want to look at the DHS Report again, either. She just wants Shep Smith to disappear. She too felt a need to bring up that incident from 2000.

How amusing that Shepard feels the need to take this opportunity to scold us for doing the job the media and schmucks like him won't do. He also took the opportunity to vouch for the DHS report on right wing extremism. You know, the one that targeted vets, tea party attendees, Jewish extremists -- as the real threats to the country. The 89 year old Nazi Von Brunn served in World War II -- are those the new terror threats? WW2 vets? Scary stupidity.

(snip)

But Shep sucks. And Shep has always sucked, and it's time to get rid of the deadwood. I don't know where he gets off talking down to us, but it's not his job to defend Obama and to try to tie African American racism into this Jew hating incident. Funny thing, though, he didn't discuss Jew hatred at all. Nope. An 89 year old Nazi goes into the Holocaust museum and shoots up the place, and Shep is whining about the lack of O-love. And that racism is driving that lack o'love. Earth to Shep: Americans are angry because Obama is destroying the country. And what does that have to do with an 89 year old nazi shooting up the Museum devoted to mass extermination of the Jews?

Why does Shep have his panties all in a twist? Nazis aren't new. Or special. Look at all of Europe during World War II. Systemically they killed their Jews, every country (save the Danes), with gusto.

Shep, don't preach to us about anger. This from a guy who hit a reporter with his car as she saved a parking space. He was arrested for it too.

Please Shepard Smith Out the Door!

Of course, one post wasn't enough for Ms. Geller. She couldn't resist boasting when her first post was published at World Net Daily as an exclusive commentary, and went on to lament the fact that

...Sheppie has become a media dahlink over at the left wing mother ship, Media Matters, where the lemmings get their left wing talking points every day."

Krugman too. Lol

Pamela Geller in World Net Daily: Go Shep Go!

Evidently, once something you say on Fox News is applauded by anyone on the left, you have to go. We can't have anybody on the left agreeing with something said by someone employed by Fox News.

Do you think Ms. Geller linked to the Media Matters because her original post was quoted within the article? Or was it truly because she is outraged at Shep Smith's suggestion that we take another look at that DHS Report? She must have been very disappointed that Paul Krugman didn't mention her in his column. And what, exactly, do you think she found so amusing (LOL) in Krugman's op-ed?

Credit where credit is due. Some figures in the conservative media have refused to go along with the big hate — people like Fox’s Shepard Smith and Catherine Herridge, who debunked the attacks on that Homeland Security report two months ago. But this doesn’t change the broad picture, which is that supposedly respectable news organizations and political figures are giving aid and comfort to dangerous extremism.

What will the consequences be? Nobody knows, of course, although the analysts at Homeland Security fretted that things may turn out even worse than in the 1990s — that thanks, in part, to the election of an African-American president, "the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years."

And that’s a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril.

The Big Hate

I also wonder why she isn't calling for Catherine Herridge to be fired by Fox News, as well, since Mr. Krugman pointed to her as refusing to go along with the approved conservative talking points.

**********

Of course, all this conservative outrage would not be complete without input from Free Republic, the website that the James von Brunn, the gunman in Wednesday's shooting, had posted at. Surprisingly, the folks over there didn't have time to write their own article reacting to Shepard Smith. Instead, they just quoted the first few paragraphs of another posting, and then just let the comments start flying.

I'm sure many of my readers were tuned into Fox News this afternoon between 2:30pm-4:00PM

I was stunned at the misguided comments of Shepard Smith regarding the Holocaust Museum shooting.

Smith was attempting to make a profound correlation between the shooting suspect James Von Brunn and those who publish websites that criticize Barack Obama.

One could say that this is subjective and Smith's accusations were really directed at people who are anti-semitic or calling for assassinations. However, Smith removed any "benefit of a doubt" we could have afforded him when he pointed at..."

(Excerpt) Read more at OurHussein.com ...

Shepard Smith's assault on Conservatives

And the comments did fly. Was there a substantive discussion about the contents of the DHS Report on right-wing extremism? Of course not. It was just another excuse to call Shepard Smith names, question his sexual orientation, and demand that Fox News fire him.

**********

Amazingly, one site that has not posted a word about Shepard Smith's betrayal of conservatives was RedState. But, it might be because they were more concerned about whether or not James von Brunn might have joined and posted at RedState. So, they spent their time convincing themselves that Von Brunn would be over here at DailyKos (Has Anyone Checked to See if the Holocaust Museum Shooter had a DailyKos Account?). The fact is that Von Brunn probably never did nor would he have joined either site.

Shepard Smith signed a new three-year contract in November 2007, so Fox News viewers who don't like their reality and alternate universe messed around with, should probably just stop watching when Mr. Smith is on.

And so, Shepard Smith's suggestion that we take another look at the DHS Report fell on deaf conservative ears. Quite the contrary, the rhetoric was dialed up and aimed at Smith. I have to agree with Katherine Lee at the Tuscaloosa News, it really is time to dial it back.

If you continually hammer the point that white men are losing their power, that the country is headed on a steamroller to hell, that the president is an illegitimate fascist, socialist, Marxist, Muslim, Jew-loving, Jew-hating babykiller who will take away your guns and lead us into the heart of hell, and you do it night after night relentlessly, then should you be too surprised when someone else takes the words too much to heart and heads for the fences?

Shepard Smith on Fox Wednesday night expressed dismay and concern that the comments on the online blogs ranged from the outright racist to the extremely violent, saying they were getting far worse and more violent. Right-wing blogs such as Free Republic and Stormfront subsequently called Smith various epithets and insults I won't repeat, just because he was concerned that the level of rhetoric was ratcheting up way too high. And yet those blogs also went in and erased comments from Von Brunn that he had posted earlier, ranting about Jews, blacks and the demise of America by immigrants and socialists. Which makes me think even they knew that giving this guy a forum for his diatribes was over the top too.

I have to believe, for the sake of humankind, Shepard Smith is not the last man in America who will say, "Guys, pump the brakes."

At the very least, such relentless rhetoric leads to a permanent sense of grievance that one is being continually lied to, cheated on and discriminated against, whether or not that's true. Me, I can't muster a lot of sympathy for people like millionaire Lindsay Graham pining that a white man can't catch a break if he goes before Sonia Sotomayor's bench, despite evidence to the contrary (if anything, it's liberals who are nervous about her record, given that she hasn't demonstrated any inclination to be biased toward the plaintiff in racial or gender discrimination cases and has, in fact, ruled more often for the defendant).

Dial it back!

As Kevin Stevenson, recently purged Republican Party spokesman for Marathon County, Wisconsin, learned there is no room for moderate positions. But, conservatives weren't listening when Keith Olbermann said, "The problem is, then and now, if you keep showing people the door, sooner or later there will be more people outside the door than inside it with you."

Originally posted to hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:34 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site