April 9, 2009
Whose fault is it when a man shoots another man? Or in the case of Richard Poplawski, whose fault is it that he shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers? Do we blame the actions of Richard Poplawski for the deaths of these officers, or are we going to put the right-wing propaganda machine and so-called conspiracy theories on trial? Because, by the tone and accusations thrown about by the liberal blogosphere, it seems that the latter is more-so the case.
In article after article, Richard Paplawski is labeled as a conspiracy nut, an avid Fox News absorber, and a tin foil hat wearing, Alex Jones following young man who apparently let the crazy out of the bag. And according to David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars, the media ought to be embarrassed for the important role they play in “whipping up the far-right crazies out there.” Neiwert goes on to say that,
Because not only did Richard Poplawski avidly participate in white-supremacist online forums and right-wing conspiracy-theory sites, he also avidly consumed mainstream conservative media, particularly Fox.
I am reading this correctly? To paraphrase, not only did Poplawski engage in white-supremacist online forums, because that is bad enough, but to top in off, Poplawski couldn’t get enough of conservative media, mainly the Fox News machine. Now, I’m not interested in the least bit to defend any white-supremacist group or forum. I do not support their whacked out ideas or their very blatant racism, however I do support their inherent right to the freedom of speech. I am not aware of any online forum that coerces people to join, which leads me to understand that Poplawski likely sought out the forum based on his own beliefs. Fox News, on the other hand, no one can escape them, right?
Laughable, nonetheless, and yet Media Matters has attempted to seriously postulate to its readers that Alex Jones’ appearance on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Freedom Watch is just the sort of hyperbolic act that people like Poplawski will use as a launch pad for violence and death. Eric Boehlert writes,
Jones also noted with excitement that Fox News’ Glenn Beck had recently begun warning about the looming New World Order on his show, just like Jones had for years. “It is great!” cheered the conspiracist. (Like Jones, Beck recently warned viewers that “the Second Amendment is under fire.”) Concluding the interview, Fox News’ Napolitano announced “it’s absolutely been a pleasure” listening to Jones’ insights.
We don’t know if Poplawski tuned in to watch Jones’ star turn for Fox News last month. But is there any doubt that Fox News is playing an increasingly erratic and dangerous game by embracing the type of paranoid insurrection rhetoric that people like Poplawski are now acting on? By stoking dark fears about the ominous ruins that await an Obama America, by ratcheting up irresponsible back-to-the-wall scenarios, Fox News has waded into a territory that no other news organization has ever dared to exploit.
Well, yes, I would say there is plenty of doubt that “people like Poplawski” are becoming cop-killers as a result of too much Fox News programming, Alex Jones or not. And interestingly, that type of accusation is much akin the “Marilyn Manson caused Columbine” ridiculousness that typically comes out of the mouths of the right wing nuts to begin with.
But, most important is what is truly at stake here. And what’s very telling is that since the right wing lost its mojo when George W exited the stage, they have found a way to leech on to the momentum of the liberty movement, while distorting it the way only the spin masters of Fox can do. And while the lefties want to feel secure in their Obama win, they do not, and as they too feel threatened by liberty and tea parties, they have in turn exploited themselves and their enemies at Fox.
Rest assured, and to use the term so well coined by Alex Jones, the “left/right paradigm” is not only unraveling, but exposing itself more now than ever.