Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Our pals on the right are having a self-righteousness-gasm because Clay Duke, who shot up a meeting of the Bay District Schools in Panama City, Florida, before taking his own life, made left-leaning statements on his Facebook page:

... The chilling Facebook statement, posted under the "About Clay" section, talks about being born poor and how the rich "take turns fleecing us":
My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V)... no... I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats... same-same... rich... they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%... the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us...
In addition to the note, Duke also includes a reference to class warfare:
"There's class warfare, all right, but its my class, the rich class that’s making war and we're winning"
- Warren Buffet

The page also contained a list of left-oriented URLs -- mostly obscure and fringey (on the Progressive Mind, for instance, we're told, "The editor is an active supporter of efforts to uncover the truth about the horrible events on Sep 11, 2001"), although the list also includes Media Matters.

This leads to sneering from Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism:

Clearly this guy was mentally unbalanced. He had a history of trouble with the law going back at least 10 years. In fact, he has a lot in common with "freeway shooter" Byron Williams. Williams was a two time felon who set out to kill some folks at the Tides Foundation. He never got there and no one was killed thanks to timely police intervention. But his story became big news when he later listed Glenn Beck among his favorite television programs.

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters, made much of the Beck connection saying that Beck had come close to having a "body count." In addition to Media Matters, Boehlert's article was picked up by major liberal sites.... But it was distributed much more widely by blogs.... The left ate it up like cotton candy....

Eric ... Would you like to comment on being among the Florida school board shooters favorite websites? Or would you prefer to admit that the actions of a disturbed individual with a police record, who was thousands of miles away at the time have nothing to do with you. You're free to choose the latter, but you need to offer Glenn Beck one helluva big apology first.

Here's the difference, though: Media Matters does not denounce the officers of the Bay City District Schools. I haven't done a thorough search, but I say without fear of contradictions that there's never been a negative word on the Media Matters site about this school board.

Beck, on the other hand, is obsessed with the Tides Foundation. He talks about Tides all the time.

Clay Duke stayed near home and shot at the people who fired his wife. That's appalling. But he didn't get the idea from Media Matters.

Clay Duke didn't shoot up the local Fox affiliate, an office of the Republican Party, a big financial firm, or a talk radio station. Byron Williams did taget an organization he almost certainly would never have heard of if it hadn't been for Glenn Beck. Big difference.

And yes, we have to stipulate: In each case, the violent impulse came from the diseased souls of the violent. But the attempt to pin this on Media Matters fails logically no matter what.

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