The media love to portray any person who freaks out as a rightwing extremist. If someone goes on a shooting rampage or takes a hostage or sends a threatening letter, the media seem to be less interested in if that person were simply mentally unstable than what conservative organizations he or she belongs too. They don’t focus on the incident; they focus on what drove the “rightwing extremist” to do harm. Now, we have a case where a leftwing radical went psycho. Will the media say that his fondness of Al Gore did him in? Will the government issue warnings and memos to watch out for leftwing organizations as they have done with conservative groups? I doubt it.
On Wednesday, police shot and killed James J. Lee who held three hostages for several hours “at the Discovery Communications building in Silver Springs, Maryland.” Police ended up shooting and killing the gunman, and all three hostages were unharmed. The Washington Times reports:
The standoff began about 1 p.m. when Lee burst into the building with canisters strapped to his body and waving a gun.
Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said an explosive device may have detonated, and the gunman may have brought other devices into the building. He said as far as he knows, the 1,900 people who work in the building were able to get out safely.
The real story is the gunman himself. Lee is what’s known as an “eco-terrorist,” although you will surely not see that phrase used by any of your typical left-leaning news outlets. The Washington Times accurately uses that phrase, because they are more concerned about reporting the news that putting a liberal spin on things:
The emerging portrait of the gunman – identified by authorities as 43-year-old James L. Lee – is one of an extreme environmentalist who was obsessed with the Discovery Channel and wanted to force the network to air programs that sought solutions for global warming, posited the view that humans should stop reproducing and generally saving nonhuman forms of life.
“Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture,” Lee wrote in an 11-point manifesto outlining his demands for the network. “For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition … THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!!”
So… will Lee’s actions lead to a federal warning? Remember the memo that was issued by the Obama administration warning against “radical rightwing groups”? Take a look at this video as a reminder:
As noted by NationalTerrorAlert.com back in April, 2009, “The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement agencies that recent news is helping ‘right-wing extremist groups’ recruit new members and could lead to violence, and warns about the possible recruitment and radicalization of returning veterans.” The official government report read, “Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.”
It may take time for the left-leaning media to find a way to portray Lee, but the leftwing web sites have already started. As noted in a report on NewsBusters.org, “the left will be working overtime in the next few days to spin this event any way they can. It began with this astoundingly dishonest Think Progress headline: Purported Eco-Terrorist Angered Over ‘Immigration Pollution And Anchor Baby Filth.'”
That’s right, of Lee’s thousand-word manifesto in which he stated his demands of Discovery, Think Progress chose to highlight not the radical, militant environmentalism he espoused, but rather an obscure claim (in terms of overall message and word count) that immigrants to developed nations make the pollution situation worse.
Notably, Think Progress thought it was worth comparing Lee’s position on this single issue to other groups that have made similar claims, but did not see fit to liken him groups of environmental activists who also think overpopulation is the problem (Tom Friedman, please call your office). Lee also said war was bad for the environment. Will Think Progress condemn anti-war groups that make similar claims?
On the CBSNews.com report on Lee, the reader has to get more than halfway through the story before the phrase “environmental extremist” is used. Even then, the report simply focuses on Lee and his ramblings, but doesn’t tie him into larger leftwing groups. Would a rightwing looney get the same assessment? The ABCNews.com report actually uses “Environmental Militant” in its headline. The story talks about Lee’s web site — savetheplanetprotest.com — but again does not imply that he was part of some larger “conspiracy” as is often reported when a conservative is the subject of a news report.
Equal treatment? Equal coverage? Let’s see how fast this story disappears from the news outlets. How many reporters do you think would have been dispatched for research and background purposes if the gunman were politically conservative? I guess if you are a leftwing wacko, you are a wacko… but if you’re a rightwing wacko, you’re part of a conspiracy. Go figure.