Did Paranoid Right-Wing Media Fuel the Pittsburgh Cop Killer

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Did Paranoid Right-Wing Media Fuel the Pittsburgh Cop Killer

Postby yathrib » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:31 am

Just a thought: Maybe these people (Alex Jones, et al) *aren't* our friends.
--Y



AlterNet
Did Paranoid Right-Wing Media Fuel the Pittsburgh Cop Killer's Rage?
By Max Blumenthal, The Daily Beast
Posted on April 8, 2009, Printed on April 8, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/135592/

On April 6, two days after the 22-year-old Richard Poplawski allegedly murdered three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a radio host named Alex Jones settled in before a microphone in his studio in Austin, Texas to do some damage control. "The mainstream media has certainly enjoyed tying me into this story," Jones complained. "They're attacking me and saying I'm delusional and there's no New World Order The Second Amendment, what the country's founded on--it's all my fault!"

Poplawski was a neo-Nazi wannabe who railed against blacks, Jews, "Zionists," and gun control. And like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones' Web sites and posted alarming reports by Jones' writers on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront. (Poplawski's posts are here, authored under the handle, "Braced For Fate.") While Alex Jones generally avoids overt racism, he has found an eager audience on Stormfront by conjuring dark visions of an impending New World Order, claiming FEMA is secretly building a national concentration camp network, and announcing that President Barack Obama has planned mass gun seizures on his way to establishing a leftist dictatorship. "Remember, the first step in establishing a dictatorship is to disarm the citizens," warned a March 13 commentary on Jones' website, Prison Planet.

In the wake of Poplawski's alleged murder spree, the killer's friends and family members painted a portrait of a paranoid young man whose worldview was informed almost totally by the kind of conspiratorial themes entertained by Jones. Poplawski's best friend, Edward Perkovic, who also spouted white supremacist rhetoric, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his friend "grew angry recently over fears Obama would outlaw guns." Poplawski's mother remarked to police investigators that her son targeted cops "because he believed that as a result of economic collapse, the police were no longer able to protect society."

But hysterical warnings of government gun grabs and a socialist takeover of the U.S. are no longer the sole proprietary interest of fringe players like Jones. In the Obama era, Jones' conspiracy theories have graduated to primetime on Fox News. And radicals like Poplawski are tuning in. Indeed, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the alleged killer posted a YouTube clip to Stormfront of top-rated Fox News host Glenn Beck contemplating the existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps. ("He backed out," Poplawski wrote cryptically beside the video.) Three weeks later, Poplawski posted another Youtube clip to Stormfront, this time of a video blogger advocating "Tea Parties," or grassroots conservative protests organized by Beck and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich (see here and here) against President Barack Obama's bailout plan.

Jones has gradually come to be accepted by the right-wing media. In September 2007, Jones interrupted a live broadcast by Fox News host Geraldo Rivera (Rivera was reporting at the time on "the secret world of restroom gay sex") by shouting into a megaphone, "9-11 was an inside job!" He was hauled away by NYPD officers soon after. On March 18, however, Jones became a guest of honor inside Fox studios, introduced as "the great Alex Jones" by Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano during a lengthy segment on the online show, The Strategy Room. Towards the end of his spot, Jones celebrated his sudden and dramatic influence on the conservative movement's biggest media personalities.

"I've never seen an awakening this big. I'm seeing Glenn Beck talk about the New World Order on Fox, I'm seeing you talk about it," Jones told Napolitano. "We're seeing Lou Dobbs talk about it, we're seeing mainline hosts--Limbaugh's even talking about global government. Michael Savage is talking about how Obama may stage crises to bring in martial law. So all the things that I was talking about in the wilderness ten plus years ago are now hitting mainstream, and it is great!"

David Neiwert, a veteran reporter on right-wing militia movements and author of the forthcoming book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, explained that by co-opting conspiratorial rhetoric from the farthest shores of the right, mainstream conservative talkers can inflame the passions of paranoiacs like Poplawski to a dangerous degree. "It's always been a problem when major league demagogues start promulgating false information for political gain," Neiwert told me. "What it does is unhinge fringe players from reality and dislodges them even further. When someone like Poplawski hears Glenn Beck touting One World Government and they're gonna take your gun theories, they believe then that it must be true. And that's when they really become crazy."

For Jones, whatever bad publicity he incurred from a fan's alleged killing spree paled in significance to the sudden cachet he has gained among conservative media bigwigs. During his April 6 broadcast, two days after the murders, he boasted, "Now, if you listen to [Sean] Hannity's show, if you listen to Savage; you listen to Limbaugh, it's almost like Alex Jones is hosting the show."

Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at maxblumenthal3000@yahoo.com.
© 2009 The Daily Beast All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/135592/
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:39 pm

Summing up the article:

Let's bitch about this kid listening to Alex Jones (who we admit is not an "overt racist") rather than the fact he was a member of Stormfront.

I'm not a big fan of Jones. Listening to his radio show right now he sounds like he has a fucking Christ complex. Nonetheless I still have the decency not to lay the blame at Jones for this incident. Blumenthal does not.
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Postby OP ED » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:43 pm

indeed.

Alex Jones bad. lets focus on him instead of the actual admitted nazis.
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Postby Jeff » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:07 pm

The story Blumenthal actually wrote, regarding the new Jones/Fox symbiosis, is more interesting than the one suggested by the headline.

Maybe the only thing to come of Obama's election about which I'm genuinely hopeful is that the "patriot" conspiracy industry will show its true, far-right face, and fool fewer consumers with the Bush-era bullshit of "post-partisanship."
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Postby professorpan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:08 pm

In an answer to the post's question, yes. While the author does put too much emphasis on Mr. Megaphone, Jones is a master manipulator and fear-monger. I suspect the emphasis on him is due to his recent embrace by FOX and other "mainstream" media blowhards.

I have a strong suspicion that Poplawski frequented Jeff Rense's site. Rense is much more overt in his Jew-hating than other popular conspiracy mouthpieces, and is frequently linked to from St*rmfront postings.
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Postby professorpan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:12 pm

Maybe the only thing to come of Obama's election about which I'm genuinely hopeful is that the "patriot" conspiracy industry will show its true, far-right face, and fool fewer consumers with the Bush-era bullshit of "post-partisanship."


It's starting to look like the 90s all over again. Get ready for increasing reports of black helicopters.
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:20 pm

Jeff wrote:The story Blumenthal actually wrote, regarding the new Jones/Fox symbiosis, is more interesting than the one suggested by the headline.


No, it's not.

Jone is friendly with Andrew Napolitano. So what? Today he was bashing Beck, Limbaugh, and Savage as neocons and fake conservatives. There's no symbiosis. There's a small connection with Napolitano and that's it.

I just emailed Blumenthal about this. Hopefully he'll respond.
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Postby nathan28 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:24 pm

Jeff wrote:The story Blumenthal actually wrote, regarding the new Jones/Fox symbiosis, is more interesting than the one suggested by the headline.

Maybe the only thing to come of Obama's election about which I'm genuinely hopeful is that the "patriot" conspiracy industry will show its true, far-right face, and fool fewer consumers with the Bush-era bullshit of "post-partisanship."


I don't think the "patriot" movement is all bad--at least they'll admit that the reason weapons are around is to devolve political power, not "home defense"--although it certainly does harbor a strong white nationalist / racist element. I do, however, think it's been totally co-opted and probably serves or served in part as a recruitment scheme (e.g., the OKC/WTC93 connections) for the criminal state element.

That, though, is never going to get outed.

Jeff, I think this vein of inquiry is going to blow the fuck up. I wouldn't be surprised if we start hearing some more of those Clinton-era calls, and more of that same domestic paranoia and the ensuing political problems. For the state, this is a perfect storm: they can warrantless wiretap because of threats from both within and without.

Likewise, listening to Jones's flunky interview Peter Dale Scott the other day, it struck me: those guys are in such a symbiosis with the PTB that I'm starting to wonder just how explicit that is.
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:32 pm

professorpan wrote:It's starting to look like the 90s all over again. Get ready for increasing reports of black helicopters.


I wouldn't make light of it (although I have in the past myself). Remember OKC? These people aren't kidding around.

Given the current economic situation these scumbags have an upperhand - the time is ripe for recruiting.

THESE PEOPLE MAY BE EVIL, BUT THEY ARE NOT STUPID.
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Postby professorpan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:40 pm

T4Y, I'm not making light of it at all. Hard times are scary times.
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Postby beeline » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:57 pm

To answer the original question, yes, right-wing media did influence this guy.

Can we lump Jones in with that group? Yes and no. Yes, because people hear what they want to hear. So if Jones had a discussion of say, FEMA camps on his show, and Poplowski heard it, and then Poplowski makes the jump from FEMA camp to NWO, then yes, he has been influenced by Jones, regardless of Jones' intentions.

Is Jones overtly racist? No, not that I have heard. But I've never heard Rush Limbaugh say anything overtly racist, either. That doesn't mean he isn't.

T4Y brings up an interesting point. But at this point, doesn't the NSA already warrantlessly wiretap? I assume they have been. Regardless of the legality of it. They don't need another OKC to do it--they are.

The law isn't meant for institutions such as the NSA, or the elite, who can afford the best attorneys money can buy. It's meant for regular people, such as you and I, so when we jaywalk, steal, or drive recklessly, we pay our 'debt' to society.

Funny how the word 'debt' got in there.
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Postby yathrib » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:21 pm

My take is that what people like Jones, et al want (and I have no prob. lumping him, Rense, Stormfront, etc. together as at least objectively on the same side) is quite different from what most of us at RI want. As such, we have to carefully consider whether we want to help them toward achieving their goals in any way. Personally, I would go so far as to say that anything they oppose deserves at least a second look. In any case, we shouldn't be accepting anything from them uncritically, whether info or spin. Nazis are uncool, and they'll always be uncool.
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Postby Luposapien » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:52 pm

I think I'm more concerned with the way the paranoid right-wing media has been fueling the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If you can't laugh at yourself, then everyone else will.
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Postby 2012 Countdown » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:58 pm

I listen to AJ a couple times a week. I'm not going to defend him in total for all his views, but in NO WAY is he in league with the likes of Stormfront, or is racist in any way. In fact he is annoying on how much he mentions how the Stormfront people attack him and call him a jew lover, or secret catholic, etc., etc.. He is antagonistic and very vocally against them. Just listen to his show a few times, i promise he will go off on a tirade against them. Hearing it so much, it gets old.
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:46 pm

beeline wrote:T4Y brings up an interesting point. But at this point, doesn't the NSA already warrantlessly wiretap? I assume they have been. Regardless of the legality of it. They don't need another OKC to do it--they are.


I'm not talking about the NSA or any of the tentacles of the state. I'm talking about hardcore, far-right, neo-nazis and militia nuts who may or may not have connections to certain hands of power.

Times are dark. And in darkness people search for a guide. My concern is that that guide may be the devil himself.
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