Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media, January 9, 2011
It is apparent that Fox News is backing away from the story, after already doing damage to and smearing the organization.
The only certain fact about the motivation of Arizona killer Jared Loughner is that, like the lunatic who opened fire on the Pentagon last March, he is a pothead. Several people who knew Loughner say that he was a serious abuser of the drug and “liked to smoke pot.” What’s more, Loughner had been arrested in 2007 for possessing drug paraphernalia.
The use of marijuana has been linked to mental illness, including psychosis, and increases the kind of paranoia exhibited by Loughner in his writings.
However, Jennifer Griffin of Fox News recklessly and irresponsibly claimed on Sunday morning that the killer was a political conservative. Using Obama officials as her sources, she reported that “intelligence gathered by the Department of Homeland Security and shared with state officials across the United States” had revealed “a strong suspicion” that the shooter was influenced by a conservative publication called American Renaissance (AR).
This publication is on the right side of the political spectrum and is politically incorrect because of its criticism of racial preference and “diversity” programs and immigration policies that weaken the strength of a country. It has scheduled a Feb. 4–Feb. 6, 2011, conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
One would have expected that a “conservative” news channel dedicated to fairness and balance would not be so quick to publicize the charges or “suspicions” of some anonymous federal officials in the Obama Administration who seem anxious and eager to smear conservative groups.
But without bothering to get a response, Griffin claimed, “This is based on some of the videos he posted on YouTube. This group’s ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, and anti-Semitic.”
But a review of Loughner’s YouTube videos finds nothing about American Renaissance.
To make matters worse, it turns out that Griffin not only did not contact AR for a response but badly mischaracterized the nature of the publication.
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance told AIM that he first heard about the charge from CNN, not Fox News. He said that when he found out about the story on the Fox News website, he emailed several Fox News correspondents denouncing the allegations. “I got no response,” he said.
Eventually, he was contacted by James Rosen of Fox News. But that was after Fox News analyst Juan Williams, recently fired by National Public Radio, cited the charges as if they were true on Fox News Sunday.
Apparently using the questionable Griffin story as his source, Williams was quick to claim “there are connections between him [the shooter] and this group, American Renaissance, I think they’re called, and they are strongly anti-immigrant, they’re anti-Semitic and they’re anti-government.”
Nothing Williams said was backed up by the facts and he did not cite any.
Taylor told Rosen that the charges are “scurrilous” and that he took issue with the reference to his group being “anti-ZOG” (Zionist Occupational Government).
“That is complete nonsense,” Taylor said. “I have absolutely no idea what DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is talking about. We have never used the term ‘ZOG.’ We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us.”
In a statement on the publication’s website, Jared Taylor went into more detail and countered: “No one by the name of Loughner has ever been a subscriber to American Renaissance or has ever registered for an American Renaissance conference. We have no evidence that he has even visited the AR website.”
He added, “American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.”
A subsequent story by Griffin claimed that American Renaissance was mentioned “in some of his [Loughner’s] internet postings and federal law enforcement officials are investigating Loughner’s possible links to the organization.”
But no evidence of such postings or links was cited or has surfaced.
In this Griffin story, the source became a “law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS and obtained by Fox News…” She falsely characterized American Renaissance as “a pro-white racist organization.”
Giving it a high degree of credibility, Greta Van Susteren of Fox News insisted it was “an internal memo” that was “put out by DHS” and reproduced the entire thing.
While American Renaissance is critical of government affirmative action programs and unrestricted immigration, there is no evidence of anti-Semitism, and there is no evidence that American Renaissance by any objective standard is a racist organization. It does deal with racial issues. But so does the Congressional Black Caucus.
The memo in question supposedly said, in relation to AR, “…no direct connection–but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.”
Jared Taylor countered: “AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression ‘ZOG’ has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.”
What’s more, Taylor noted that, “Gabrielle Giffords is not the ‘first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government.’ Barbara Boxer has represented California in the Senate from 1993, and Dianne Feinstein has done so since 1992. There are at least six Jewish congresswomen listed by Wikipedia as currently serving in the House. If this memo is typical of the research done by the Department of Homeland Security, our country is in serious danger. I telephoned DHS today to try to get the bottom of this nonsense, but apparently there is no homeland security on Sundays. The person who answered the phone said no one is there and that I should call back on Monday morning.”
He added, “Fortunately, some of the media organizations that have been reporting this story have contacted me, and have reported my assertion that American Renaissance knows nothing at all about Jared Loughner, that we condemn all violence, and that we cannot possibly be described as anti-Semitic.”
After going on the air with the false and malicious charges about AR, Fox News finally published a story with a response to the charges under the headline, “American Renaissance Denies DHS Charges, Any Affiliation With Shooter.”
A later Fox News story reported, “New details are emerging about Loughner as a law enforcement memo based on information provided by the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by Fox News suggests he may have ties to the American Renaissance group, though it’s unclear if he was directly affiliated with the publication or group.”
It is apparent that Fox News is backing away from the story, after already doing damage to and smearing the organization.
By this point, however, dozens of liberal-left media outlets and bloggers have already cited Fox News as the source of the claim that the killer was involved in a conservative group.
Taylor called for an investigation into how and where DHS obtained the bogus information and who leaked it to Fox News.
“I’d like to know where they are getting this nonsense,” Taylor told AIM. “What else are they telling other people?”
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is Arizona’s first Jewish female to be elected to Congress. Was her Jewishness used as a motive for her to be shot?
What made Jared Loughner, 22, go to a town hall style meeting outside a Safeway grocery store in Tuscon, Arizona and embark on a shooting rampage?
Also this morning the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo that stated in part:
The investigation has been taken over by the FBI, and is being run through the Tucson Command Post. Here’s what can be confirmed at this time (1800 hrs) . . . .
The suspect has multiple arrests . . . But no criminal record? Intervention by someone?* no direct connection–but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group.
The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.
The publication American Renaissance describes themselves on their website,
Race is an important aspect of individual and group identity. Of all the fault lines that divide society–language, religion, class, ideology–it is the most prominent and divisive. Race and racial conflict are at the heart of the most serious challenges the Western World faces in the 21st century.
The problems of race cannot be solved without adequate understanding. Attempts to gloss over the significance of race or even to deny its reality only make problems worse. Progress requires the study of all aspects of race, whether historical, cultural, or biological. This approach is known as race realism.
On the AR Readers Guide of their website they state,
The Philosophy of Race Realism
What we call race realism is what was considered traditional common sense until perhaps the 1950s. It is a body of views that was so taken for granted it had no name, but it can be summarized as follows: That race is an important aspect of individual and group identity, that different races build different societies that reflect their natures, and that it is entirely normal for whites (or for people of any other race) to want to be the majority race in their own homeland. If whites permit themselves to become a minority population, they will lose their civilization, their heritage, and even their existence as a distinct people.
All other groups take it for granted that they have a right to speak out in their own interests. Only whites have lost this conviction.
On that same page they also discuss the Race and IQ myth,
One of the most destructive myths of modern times is that people of all races have the same average intelligence. It is widely accepted that genes account for much of the difference in intelligence between individuals, but many people still refuse to believe genes explain group differences in average intelligence. This blindness leads to futile attempts to eliminate “learning gaps” between the races and forces whites to accept the view that if blacks and Hispanics are less successful than whites, it is because of white “racism.”
The Immigration and the Demographic Transformation section states,
The single greatest threat facing whites is mass immigration of non-whites into white homelands. If it continues, whites will become a minority in the United States before mid-century. Britain, Canada, and Australia will also lose their white majorities. The culture of the West will not survive the disappearance of the people who created it.
In one op-ed written by American Renaissance founder and Editor Jared Taylor, “A reply to David Horowitz” he writes,
By all means, let Israel remain Jewish, but by the same token let the United States remain majority-white. Mr. Horowitz has a distinguished record of fighting double standards, so he should recognize one when he sees it. If he supports a Jewish Israel, he should support a white America.
In another op-ed titled “Jews and the American Renaissance” Taylor seems to be attempting to put an end to arguments over Jews in the AR, personally, I see this as a direct statement against Anti-Semitism in the AR,
AR has likewise taken no explicit position on Jewish matters. Readers have always included both Jews and people who believe Jews play no useful role in a movement that promotes white interests. It has been my intent to emphasize questions crucial to our interests and on which we agree.
To put it more accurately, AR has taken an implicit position on Jews by publishing Jewish authors and inviting Jewish speakers to AR conferences. It should be clear to anyone that Jews have, from the outset, been welcome and equal participants in our efforts. There has always been a minority in the AR constituency that has criticized me and AR for welcoming Jews, and there has been another minority that has criticized me and AR for not denouncing the first minority. These groups have generally treated each other with polite reserve, and expressed their bitterness only among themselves or to me–as was proper.
There are other divisions within AR. There are Christians and atheists, Democrats and Republicans, evolutionists and creationists, and advocates of different foreign policies. There has been tension within AR on these questions, but always good manners.
That changed at the most recent American Renaissance conference. At least one participant told a Jewish conferee that Jews were not welcome. One participant well known for strong views rose to denounce Jews as the historic enemy of the European people. Another called him “a f***ing Nazi,” and stormed out of the conference hall.
There will be no more disgraceful behavior of this kind if people who attend AR conferences bear in mind that Jews have a valuable role in the work of American Renaissance, and are welcome participants and speakers. Anyone who thinks otherwise has the choice of staying home or keeping his views to himself.
AR does not, on the other hand, have litmus tests for subscribers or conference participants. There will always be disagreement and debate in our ranks on many issues, including the role Jews may or may not have played in creating the crisis we face. Some people in the AR community believe Jewish influence was decisive in destroying the traditional American consensus on race. Others disagree.
Whether one agrees with AR’s views or not, it seems clear to me that Mr. Taylor’s above statement of “Anyone who thinks otherwise has the choice of staying home or keeping his views to himself” is far from ‘Anti-Semitic’.
Reading articles as well as the books that this site is promoting, there is no doubt that this group would be considered by some as a White Supremacist group. Others will read the same items and come away saying they are promoting true American Culture and that “Multiculturalism” is causing the demise of the United States.
In my attempting to follow true journalism rules, I contacted and spoke to Jared Taylor by telephone and we spoke for a half hour.
Mr. Taylor stated to me,
“I have no idea where the DHS came up with AR being Anti-Semitic or anti-ZOG, you will not find anything that is Anti-Semitic in our publications. The DHS saying that AR is anti-ZOG or even using the word ZOG makes me wonder how much they looked at our site, it doesn’t say much about the DHS.”
A search of their website pulls up only two times that the word ZOG is used. Both are articles re-posted by other sites explaining the meaning of the word and one of those articles is from FOX News.
When I asked if the suspected shooter Jared Loughner was connected to AR, Mr. Taylor explained,
“We have checked the archives and lists of people that have been to our conventions and have no record whatsoever of the name Jared Loughner anywhere. He may have posted comments in our website using a screen name, but there is nothing with the name Jared Loughner.”
In the beginning of our conversation when I explained who I was, he had this to say about Israel,
“I agree with what Israel is doing by securing their borders and attempting to keep the State a Jewish State.”
When I raised the question about white supremacy he answered,
“I don’t know how anyone can call what we do white supremacist, the definition of white supremacist would be to control all those that are non-white. We do not want to control anyone. As far as Racism, if you look at the science of IQ’s for example you will see that Asians are smarter than whites, is that a racist statement?”
Regardless of one’s opinion on AR the question is this, if Jared Loughner was at all mentally unstable as stated by the Pima County Sheriff, did he ever read any of AR’s publications? And if he did, what influence could these have had in his decision to try to assassinate Rep. Giffords?
Any mentally unstable person will come away with their own point of view regardless of the context. People have called me an “Islamophobe” and “racist” for my writings, yet I have never called for violence of any kind. If anything, I have called for the exact opposite.
Perception is reality and someone with a screw loose could just as easily use my articles as a reason for wanting to harm someone.
Whatever his reasons we in the new media (and the media as a whole) need to be careful pointing the blame at anything that may have set him off before we know all of the facts. Jumping to conclusions because someone may have been to site that you don’t agree with is what can lead to the banning of such websites and publications. This is nothing more than the banning of freedom of speech.