On Anderson Cooper’s CNN blog, we read “Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news.” They forgot the caveat: “except when they want to slam conservatives.”
While doing my cardio today at the gym (the only time I ever watch CNN), Cooper was reporting with a straight face on the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.
After reviewing that document, Ed Morrissey asks us to engage in a little thought experiment:
Imagine, if you will, what the Left would say if we took this entire document and replaced all references to “military veterans” with “Muslims”, and all references to “abortion” with “universal health care”, and then predated this DHS report to 2008, during the Bush administration. They’d be screaming about being smeared as traitors for their political beliefs, and they’d be right to do so. That’s exactly what the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano has done here.
Rand Simberg has done just that and second Ed’s assessment.
Yet, it didn’t even occur to Mr. Cooper to go beyond the headlines and wonder about a left-of-center Administration releasing a supposedly damning report about those on the opposite side of the political aisle.
Yeah, I realize there are some right-wing kooks of whom we need to be wary. But, there are likely just as many such folks on the left. If DHS released a report that focused on left-wing extremist groups, do you think Cooper would feature it on his show?
Readers insist the report is focused solely on violent groups, and they’re probably right that this is the authors’ intent. But that isn’t how it reads necessarily. Indeed, it goes out of its way to note that many of these groups haven’t done anything violent. The concern is that because they are right-wing they might be violent as if there is causation between being right-wing and being violent.
And it’s simply amazing, but not surprising that Anderson Cooper, a man who boasts a commitment to going behind the headlines wouldn’t bring anyone on to look behind its overheated language.
those past reports have always been veryspecific in identifying the exact groups, causes, and targets of domestic terrorism, i.e., the ALF, ELF, and Stop Huntingdon wackos who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism, and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.
By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear. As the two spokespeople I talked with on the phone today made clear: They both pinpointed the recent “economic downturn” and the “general state of the economy” for stoking “rightwing extremism.” One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report — which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified “resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity” is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and…the historical presidential election.
John Hinderaker finds the report short on specifics:
Weirdly, however, the report makes no effort to document any such increased recruitment or extremist activity of any sort. As far as one can tell from the report, “right wing” militias and similar groups may be dying out rather than growing.
In this, perhaps the best analysis I have read of DHS document, John concludes, “this Homeland Security report is politically motivated, and reflects the authors’ political prejudices more than an objective evaluation of a significant terrorist threat. ”
If Anderson Cooper really wanted to go beyond the headlines and tell this story from “many points of view,” he could have done a quick google search, uncovered those posts cited above (or others like them) and invited their authors onto his show.
It would have helped him live up to the blurb his network uses to describe his show.
Or maybe he had other goals in mind, like distracting us from the tea party message.
For some reason, I think there will be more people at today’s tea parties than who watch Cooper’s show.