Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Museum Shooting

You probably already know that a white supremacist named James Von Brunn shot up the Holocaust Museum Shooting In Washington D.C.

You may also know that he was a violent, crazed anti-semite with ties to the white power movement:

We've been tracking this guy for decades," said Heidi Beirich, director of research for the law center's Intelligence Project, which tracks hate crimes. "He thinks the Jews control the Federal Reserve, the banking system, that basically all Jews are evil."

The Rev. David Ostendorf, executive director of the Center for a New Community in Chicago, a national civil rights group, said von Brunn has described in his own writings a long relationship with Willis Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby, the Spotlight Newspaper and a well-known white supremacist and anti-Semite.

But what you may not know is that, yep, he's a Freeper, as you can see from a cached posting to the site about the birth certificate thing posted on Huffpost. Among many others.

So what does that mean? Well, judging by their past behavior, I doubt the Freeps will moderate much. They have no reason to exist except as the barely-acceptable face of the psychotic right. They will probably become more extreme, if only as a defensive reaction.

But the mainstream right, the Fox News types, have a rather nasty conundrum on their hands. They can't condone this. They must condemn it. But in condemning it, they're just going to reinforce the arguments of those who claim that Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck 'n Co. have gone too far. They'll need to change their behavior somehow.

How could they do it, though? If they keep going as they are, it'll be easy to associate them with Von Brunn and the rest of the hatemongers. That won't affect their audience, but will discredit them in the eyes of hte public and poison their relationship with the rest of the media community. If they moderate, the vital center of discourse in America will shift radically to the left; it's their presence on the far right that has helped keep things as they are. They have to thread the needle between the two, and that's a subtle game that their type has never been especially good at.

All this is temporary, of course. They might just wait out the cycle and go right back to it. But right now, they're in a dilly of a pickle.

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