The killings are chilling enough -- as evidenced by the 911 recording of the mother as she witnessed the execution of her 9-year-old daughter and husband. But what's even more infuriating is the way many prominent right-wing media pundits have made this group the darlings of 21st century patriotism.
Remember how all those right-wing pundits proclaimed the Minutemen as being just like a neighborhood watch? Michelle Malkin called it "the mother of all neighborhood watches." Lou Dobbs labeled it "this country's biggest neighborhood watch program". Bill O'Reilly declared: "Talking Points applauds the Minutemen. They are in the great tradition of neighborhood watch groups."The accused ringleader is Shawna Forde, who is the executive director of Minutemen American Defense and often served as spokesperson for the Minutemen movement. Here she is in that role, dishing up the hatred in a video for German television.
Frank Rich's most recent New York Times column explains how crimes of this sort are part of a bigger problem egged on by right-wing media:
This homicide-saturated vituperation is endemic among mini-Limbaughs. Glenn Beck has dipped into O’Reilly’s Holocaust analogies to liken Obama’s policy on stem-cell research to the eugenics that led to "the final solution" and the quest for "a master race." After James von Brunn’s rampage at the Holocaust museum, Beck rushed onto Fox News to describe the Obama-hating killer as a "lone gunman nutjob." Yet in the same show Beck also said von Brunn was a symptom that "the pot in America is boiling," as if Beck himself were not the boiling pot cheering the kettle on.We have a real right-wing media accountability moment. Ask yourself how this compares to the mainstream media's current obsession over David Letterman's apology to Palin.
Shouldn't they be more concerned about the harm caused by the shrill pundits of the right?
I would say there's a strange double standard in effect, but this crime (and the rhetoric that fueled the murderers) is so horrible that it's silly to have to compare it to the Letterman-Palin affair.
And yet the mainstream media seems to think that one deserves more attention than the other.