I’m really tired of this. But if you don’t refute this nonsense, the bastards win. So:
Tomorrow’s L.A. Times will drag out the nonsense pathetically trying to link Jared Loughner to right-wingers. The banner headline:
Loughner’s ramblings appear rooted in far right
In smaller print appears this deck headline: “Experts say the suspect in the Arizona shooting rampage is fixated on issues cited by other extremists. But he also appears to have been influenced by the far left.”
See? Balance! The piece opens as follows:
The ramblings of accused Arizona killer Jared Lee Loughner are difficult to tie to a coherent political philosophy, yet in them can be discerned a number of themes drawn from the right-wing patriot and militia movements, experts said.
Making my job easier is the fact that the piece is nothing more than a rehash of a much derided New York Times piece from two days ago — a piece that has been systematically taken apart by others including Matt Welch of Reason and Daniel Foster of National Review.
Like the New York Times piece, the L.A. Times piece is based almost completely on the opinions of some clown from the Southern Poverty Law Center — an organization that, in Jesse Walker’s colorful words, “would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds.” I happen to like Brent Bozell, but I will nevertheless quote Matt Welch’s colorful description of the SPLC because it is so entertaining:
Quoting the SPLC as an impartial arbiter on right-wing extremism is about as credible as quoting Brent Bozell as a fair-minded assessor of media content. This is not one of those, oh-the-ACLU-is-evil knee-jerk kind of observations; seriously, read up on the subject before either quoting from the organization or taking its findings as Gospel.
As Daniel Foster noted the other day in the National Review, the SPLC is
an organization that just labeled immigration restrictionist groups “hate groups” and issued an “alert” to law enforcement officials nationwide to fear for their lives when pulling over vehicles with right-wing bumper stickers.
Yet this SPLC hack is the main “expert” — and he finds great significance in Loughner’s bizarre statements about “currency”:
“What you can see across the board in his writings is the idea that you can’t trust the government — that the government engages in mind control against its citizens,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored the radical right.
Loughner’s assertion that he would not “pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver” is a running theme among right-wing opponents of the Federal Reserve system.
“The people who talk about the manipulation of currency follow it backward from the IRS to the Federal Reserve … that it’s run by either secret, powerful elites or secret, powerful Jewish elites,” said Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a nonprofit group that also monitors right-wing extremism.
As the National Review’s Foster said of the NYT piece:
Potok has a much sharper analytical mind than I, and has done some mighty quick and conclusive psychological profiling of Loughner. He cuts through the morass of utter nonsense in Loughner’s statements — most of which treat the concept of “currency” as a talismanic, metaphysical, and even supernatural catch-all — and seizes on a barely coherent remark about the gold and silver standards as evidence that Loughner was moved to action by monetary policy.
Even if you want to paint Loughner as concerned about the gold standard, you are left with the syllogism I wrote the other day, in a post titled Rantings of a Madman:
Some right-wingers favor the gold standard.
Jared Lee Loughner favors the gold standard.
Therefore, Jared Lee Loughner is a right-winger.
If that makes sense to you, I have a video that will make even more sense:
This bizarre video, packed with syllogisms every bit as logically compelling as the one I just quoted you above, has a bunch of nonsense about people being the “treasurer of their own currency.”
The full context of the line about not paying debts with currency not backed with gold and silver is this, from near the end of the video:
Ah, a lack of trust in God: the true hallmark of the typical right-winger!!!
Once again, I will cite Matt Welch’s comments on the NYT article, for they are apt here. Loughner’s comments are not indicative of a right-winger ranting about the gold standard; they are indicative of, as Welch puts it, “a crazy dude just stone rambling about shit.” Indeed.
The article does get around to pretending at balance — in the 14th paragraph of a 19-paragraph article — by allowing that, sure, there may have been some leftist influences for our young Mr. Loughner:
On the other hand, some analysts say Loughner had an equal number of leftist inspirations.
“The Communist Manifesto” is one of the books he favored, and a former high school friend reported on Twitter that Loughner was a “pot head” whose tastes ran to Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and Anti-Flag a radical leftist punk band whose music focuses on themes of corporate greed, U.S. foreign policy and opposition to war.
At that time, she said, he was very philosophical and leaned to the ‘left.’ She said, “For the Bush/Kerry election we all wore “1 term president” buttons. That election was HUGE to us.”
Their group was “liberal in wanting to change the way the world was run, we both wanted to. He took it to an extreme I never would’ve.” She said he was a “political radical” long before the teaparty, Glenn Beck, or Sarah Palin came on the scene.
Dave Weigel quotes one of the friend’s Twitter messages: “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”
Is there a reason that we are not told about this? Is there a reason that this friend is quoted in L.A. Times but talks about his drug-taking and music habits? Is there a reason that even these unilluminating facts are disclosed until the 14th paragraph?
Is there a reason that the headline blares a connection between this guy and the far right, based on some attenuated crap from a discredited hack organization– but readers are never told that the guy’s own friend said he was “left wing” and “quite liberal”???
Why, of course there is. I don’t think I have to insult your intelligence by pointing it out, do I?
What I can do, however, is engage in some inflamed rhetoric.
Die, L.A. Times. Die already. Pull the plug. The time has come.
UPDATE: Thanks to Hot Air for the link. As always, please bookmark the site and come back!
You know who really does a number on this inane article? Matt Welch. Go and read.