Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"You Lie" Is Worse Than "You're Dead"

Bozell: Who Is James Eric Fuller?

OK, so conservatives have to be accused of fostering hatred with our alleged vitriol, the kind of vitriol that fuels the flames of violence, like we witnessed in Tucson except — well, except there wasn’t and isn’t a shred of evidence that the killer was influenced by any conservatives since a) he didn’t listen to or watch conservative programming and b) isn’t a conservative.

There is the hypothetical question: What if the perpetrator of violence were liberal? How would the media react then? How many would put Chris Matthews, Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann and Co. on trial for creating the “atmosphere” of “hatred” so often ascribed to conservatives only?

In fact, it happened. One of Jared Loughner’s shooting victims was a local leftist activist, James Eric Fuller, who last week was invited to ABC’s taping of “An American Conversation.” There, in front of all the cameras, he interrupted a local tea party activist by uttering what should be considered in this atmosphere to be a blood-curdling threat: “You’re dead!” Police considered these words serious enough to have him removed and involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

The very same media outlets that had spent seven days pounding conservatives with no evidence didn’t find this threat worth more than a perfunctory mention, an asterisk. The same people who turned the words “You lie!” from Rep. Joe Wilson to Obama into a week-long scandal for conservatives now heard a man proclaim “You’re dead!” to a tea party activist at a national news taping — and they yawned.

Which is not to say that the press wasn’t interested in the pronouncements of this man. In fact, Fuller had been featured in an interview on the radical-left Pacifica Radio network the day before, and they dutifully broadcast his either dishonest or insane rant: “It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target. Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even 9-year-old girls.”

So let’s look at the coverage. The first responsibility to report this was ABC’s, since they invited this crank to their special episode of “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour. ABC did a big story previewing their “healing” event on “World News Saturday.” At first, they pretended that no one made a death threat, and no one was dragged away by police. Anchor David Muir, who co-hosted the town hall meeting, declared, “Wasn’t it something to see this community together? … They want consensus.” Amanpour agreed: “Today we saw them wanting to carry on an honest dialogue … but a reasonable and rational one.”

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