Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why Newsweek's Circling the Drain

I mentioned a couple of weeks back how I rarely read Newsweek these days, and here's another example of why.

See, "My Life as a White Supremacist."

No one can forget how Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb in front of a federal building in Oklahoma City in April 19, 1995, killing 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6. FBI efforts to avert another outrage have taken on increased importance in recent years, as fears of Islamic terrorism, a sour economy, expanded federal powers under the Patriot Act, and the nation’s first black president have swelled the ranks of extremist groups. Since President Obama’s election, the number of right-wing extremist groups—a term that covers a broad array of dissidents ranging from white supremacists to antigovernment militias—has mushroomed from 149 to 824, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based civil-rights group.

“What we’re seeing today is a resurgence,” says Daryl Johnson, the former senior domestic terrorism analyst for the Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, the department issued a report warning that “right-wing extremism is likely to grow in strength.” And because today’s extremists, unlike their predecessors, have at their disposal online information—bomb-making instructions and terrorist tactics—as well as social-networking tools, the report said, “the consequences of their violence [could be] more severe.”

The report, which was quickly withdrawn after an outcry from conservatives, seemed prescient months later when an 88-year-old gunman opened fire on visitors at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Last year, nine members of the Hutaree, a Christian militia, were arrested in a plot to kill police officers in Michigan. In January, Jared Lee Loughner, an Army reject, was charged with going on a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., killing a federal judge, among others, and severely wounding Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Earlier this month, the FBI arrested four men of pensionable age in Georgia for allegedly plotting to attack federal buildings and release biological toxins on government employees.
See what I'm saying?

James von Brunn, the suspect in the Holocaust Memorial shooting, was ordered to undergo psychiatric testing while in custody. He hated Jews and neocons. See, Kathy Shaidle, "Holocaust Museum shooter von Brunn a 9/11 'truther' who hated 'neo-cons', Bush, McCain." And the case against the Hutaree Militia unraveled as soon as prosecutors filed charges. And of course, the completely debunked notion that Tuscon killer Jared Loughner was "right wing" long ago devolved into urban legend territory. Even Diane Sawyer resurrected the meme in her recent interview with Representative Giffords.

Pretty bad, eh?

See Reason as well, "Newsweek Cannot Help But Follow Media Tradition of Panic Over Right Wing Extremists."


mike said...

More evidence of why Newsweek sold for a dollar recently. No, not for an issue. The entire company. Sold for one dollar. That tells you all you need to know.

Estase said...

Time isn't any better. And US News and World Report, which despite being put out by Mort Zuckerman, went out despite the fact that they were much less partisan than T and NW.