Debate Magazine

Right Wing Media: Wrong! AGAIN. Still.

Posted on the 20 November 2011 by Mikeb302000
Fox News has been circulating the disinformation that the failed assassin last week who shot an AK-47 at the White House was part of the Occupy DC protests.  Minnesota-born and raised Morning show host Gretchen Carlson has been eager to be part of the right wing propaganda machine in promoting that factually inaccurate claim, as have other talking heads, including clearly their news anchors, not just their entertainment idiots, in referring to Hernandez as the Occupy shooter.
He was not. Hernandez appears not to ever have been part of or at Occupy DC protests.
From the Washington Post local news coverage ON WEDNESDAY:
In trying to determine why he recently traveled to the nation’s capital from the western part of the country, investigators searched the Occupy D.C. campground near the White House but have found no connection between him and the Occupy protesters, according to three law enforcement officials familiar with the case.
One of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said the motive for the gunfire might have been simple anger: Ortega-Hernandez “hates the president, he hates Washington, he hates society,” the official said.
Ortega-Hernandez fired shots with an AK-47-style assault rifle about 9:30 p.m. Friday — his 21st birthday — while in a car at 16th Street and Constitution Avenue, police said.
As I write this, the Fox website has this on it; NOTE the size of the bold headline font:

Man Linked to 'Occupy' Protest Charged With Attempted Assassination of Obama

Fire it up 600Share Right Wing Media: Wrong! AGAIN. Still. (AP/U.S. Park Police) Idaho Man Charged With Attempted Assassination
An Idaho man accused of firing two shots at the White House last week has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama or his staff.
Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, made his first court appearance before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on Thursday, one day after he was arrested at a western Pennsylvania hotel. He will be taken back from a federal court in Pittsburgh to face the charges in Washington, D.C.
Ortega will remain in federal custody at least until a magistrate in Washington can determine if he should remain jailed until his trial on the charge, which carries up to life in prison.

'Occupy Wall Street' Connection to White House Shooting?
ABC News has learned authorities are increasingly concerned that a man sought in connection with a bizarre shooting incident on the Washington Mall last week may pose a threat to President Obama.
The Secret Service now suspects that a bullet fired in this incident may have hit the White House after a bullet round was found in a White House window, though the round had not yet been conclusively linked to the incident.
further down in the piece, it states this:
Authorities suspect Ortega has been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall.  Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house. U.S. Park police say Ortega may have spent time blending in with Occupy D.C. protesters.
and then continued with these paragraphs:
Secret Service Searched Occupy D.C. Camp For Person Who Shot At White House
The Secret Service announced the suspect was taken into custody in Pennsylvania.
The Secret Service searched Occupy D.C. on Monday for a man suspected of firing bullets at the White House on Friday, one of which was stopped by the building’s ballistic glass.
Protestor Ralph Wittenberg told TPM on Tuesday evening that authorities came through “searching for a so-called terrorist who shot at the White House, with no warrant, they went into everybody’s tents.”
Nothing in this piece acknowledges that the authorities were searching, EQUALLY, the entire area surrounding the White House, and that there was absolutely NO evidence that Hernandez was EVER at the location - all of which are factually accurate about the Occupy protest site.
We also have right wing blog sites like this one which try to emphasize a non-existent connection between Hernandez and Occupy DC, and which is also conspicuously not making any updates or corrections:
Kyle Drennen's picture Updated [11:02 ET]: More analysis added.
As reports started coming out on Wednesday on the search for White House shooting suspect Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, one common detail was mentioned, including in The New York Times: "Late on Friday, the police searched the Occupy DC protest camp...after reports that the suspect might have spent time there." NBC, ABC, and CBS left that fact out of their evening and morning coverage of his arrest.
All three network evening news programs made the Wednesday afternoon arrest of Ortega-Hernandez their lead story. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Shots fired at the White House, prompting an urgent manhunt for the gunman, now under arrest amid questions about his motive." ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer declared: "Caught. The man accused of tiring an AK-47 at the White House, apprehended." On CBS's Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley reported: "Bullets strike the White House. Bob Orr on the man in custody."
Right Wing Media: Wrong! AGAIN. Still.Update:
On Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, anchor Bret Baier took note of the shooter's reported connection to the Washington D.C. Occupy protest: "Hernandez reportedly spent time with the Occupy D.C. protesters and may be mentally ill, according to officials."      
CNN on Tuesday was thrilled with the idea that Occupy D.C. had "rules and regulations," including registration of all protesters. Anchor Brooke Baldwin excitedly proclaimed:
"This is what you actually have to fill out if you want to occupy have your name, you have your emergency contact have to sign 'I won't carry weapons, I won't vandalize property, and I'll respect quiet hours between 11 at night and 7 in the morning.'"
One wonders if Ortega-Hernandez filled out such a document if he did spend time in the encampment.
On Thursday, the network morning shows began to delve deeper into Ortega-Hernadez's background, but still avoided his possible time spent at Occupy D.C. On CBS's The Early Show, correspondent Bob Orr reported:
Investigators looking into his background say that it appears that Ortega-Hernandez is a bit mentally unstable. Now, he's been telling friends of a deep dislike for President Obama. Sources say he often refers to the President as the antichrist. So the theory is, he may have targeted the White House as a way of acting out on that anger.

On NBC's Today, correspondent Pete Williams similarly informed viewers:
His father told NBC's Spanish language network Telemundo that Ortega had recently become obsessed with the date 11-11-11, the day of last Friday's shooting, and worried that's when the world would end. Investigators are also checking into reports that Ortega made threatening and bizarre comments about President Obama.
In a news brief on ABC's Good Morning America, Josh Elliot simply noted: "Police say he is mentally ill and obsessed with President Obama."
What this shows is NOT that the main stream media is biased, it shows that the main stream media is more objective and accurate than the right wingers.
And then of course, we have Rush Limbaugh, who doesn't bother to get his facts straight but who influences millions of people on the right, who had this on his web site, dated November 17th 2011:

Guy Who Shot at White House Lived in Occupy DC Camp

November 17, 2011
Listen to it Button BEGIN TRANSCRIPT
RUSH:  It's not just the milling around stage of the Occupy Wall Street day of action.  It's the milling around stage while the media tries to find a way to pin the Tea Party on this shooter at the White House.  They're trying to find out who this guy is, said he never had any known radical ties.  Really?  What's he doing at Occupy DC?  They're doing everything they can.  It was once reported the guy hated Obama but now he just hates government.  And they're doing everything they can to try to find a way to pin this guy on the Tea Party. 
and ended with this:
RUSH:  Yeah, and what they're hoping to find out is that he's actually a Tea Partier.  That's what they're hoping.  That's why they're waiting.  That's why they're saying, "We can't find any evidence this guy's ever been involved in radical --" they only found him as part of Occupy DC running around with a weapon, an AK-47.  But they can't find out where this guy's come from and what he's all about and what his motivation is.  They're just hoping, they're praying, any link whatsoever to the Tea Party they can drum up, and they will stop the presses.  In fact, remember what they tried to do with the guy that shot Gabby Giffords.  Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, tried all that.  They'll try the same thing here with this guy.  That's what they're waiting on.
 I don't care if Rush wants to manufacture a persecution of the right, particularly the demented tea partiers.  He is welcome to hold any point of view he likes, regardless of how lacking it may be in a factual foundation or objective reality.  What he is not entitled to do, without being called on it, is to be factually inaccurate.  Limbaugh is chronically factually inaccurate, Fox news is chronically inaccurate, Michele Malkin is chronically inaccurate, Ann Coulter is chronically inaccurate, most of the right wing blogosphere is chronically inaccurate, the right wing politicians in Congress are chronically inaccurate.  The laundry list is too long to write about here.  The above are representative samples of the cross section of that larger right wing media.
We will remain badly polarized and divided, paralyzed from coming together in any kind of unity, any kind of consensus, so long as we do not begin with the common ground of objective, reliable fact.
I would argue here that the right doesn't want that kind of coming together and that they actively discourage and oppose objective fact.  Why? Because the facts are not their friends; the facts do not support their views or their opinions or their policies and actions.  The facts would erode their iron grasp on power.  Their base is the low information, non-fact-checking voter.
The best push back against them in the world is to promote the facts, accurately and objectively.  I can understand it taking up to 24 hours for a so-called news organization to make a correction; I can understand it taking a little longer for current events 'entertainment' to catch up.  But I'm writing this on Sunday, November 20th, FOUR DAYS later.  There have been no corrections made, and I doubt there will be any corrections made by those on the right; it doesn't fit their ideology, the facts be damned.  
That's not entertainment.
That's propaganda.

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