Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Conservative Media Respond To #OregonUnderAttack (With Surprising Results!)

So with the news of YallQaeda taking over a bird sanctuary in Oregon over the weekend, I was curious to see how the right-wing media were covering this story (if they were covering it at all). Let's see what we got, shall we?


This article was written by friend of the blog, Caleb Howe. He doesn't seem to be enthusiastically supporting the Yeehawdists (which he refers to as simply "trespassers"), rather preferring to minimize the severity of the situation, and that the real problem is the left being mean by using mocking hashtags.

To his credit, he does point out that the militia folk did say they plan on possibly killing people:

Still, whatever the numbers, no one has been shot nor has anything been set on fire, although the mainstream media cites “reports” that some of the militia-members (which is how the men referred to themselves, we are told) have vowed that they are prepared to kill or be killed in defense of their strong belief in remaining in the shack.
Why the word "reports" is in quotes, is not exactly clear. Does Caleb think that the quotes from the militia members are fabricated by the evil liberal media? Cause if that's the case, one of his conservative buddies in conservative media could possibly ask them to clarify that whole killing thing, which could probably do a lot to make this story go away. Just a thought.

Hot Air

This one was written by Jazz Shaw, and he seems to be fully against what's going on.

But… with all of that said, I’m with John Hawkins on this one. This is crazy. (And I know that’s not going to sit well with those regularly spoiling for a fight with the feds.) Taking armed troops in to seize control of a federal building and essentially daring the government to come get you is pretty much the course of last resort. This is the fight you choose to draw the line in the sand over? If the Hammonds aren’t seeking protection and are planning to continue their appeal through the normal legal channels, this armed insurrection isn’t being done for their benefit. If you’re doing it to try to stop the feds from exercising control over a wildlife refuge, well… nope. Sorry. Still crazy.

There is that bit about the whole "last resort" thing we could quibble about, but I won't.

Shaw's colleague, Taylor Millard, however has an unfortunately, less agreeable take on the situation. He doesn't seem to mind the idea of killing federal workers, so much as he seems to mind how "the media" would "spin" it. Check this out:

There’s a lot going on as regards the standoff in Oregon involving three of Cliven Bundy’s sons and the federal government. Jazz has already offered his opinion on the matter, and I mostly agree with him. But I’m not sure the term “armed troops” is appropriate to describe Bundy’s group because that suggests they’re in tactical gear. That doesn’t appear to be true based off what Ammon Bundy’s video posted on Facebook.
See, they don't have "tactical gear", they just have lethal firearms, which therefore means they're not truly "armed". Good to know.

Millard takes issue with the way The Oregonian's portrayed one of the militia members, a guy named Ryan Payne:

Among those joining Bundy in the occupation are Ryan Payne,  U.S. Army veteran, and Blaine Cooper. Payne has claimed to have helped organize militia snipers to target federal agents in a standoff last year in Nevada. He told one news organization the federal agents would have been killed had they made the wrong move.
He has been a steady presence in Burns in recent weeks, questioning people who were critical of the militia’s presence. He typically had a holstered sidearm as he moved around the community.
But here's how it should have been reported, according to Millard:

The problem is The Oregonian is overblowing what Payne actually told Missoula Independent about what the “militia snipers” were doing during the Bundy Ranch situation last year.
“We locked them down,” Payne says. “We had counter-sniper positions on their sniper positions. We had at least one guy—sometimes two guys—per BLM agent in there. So, it was a complete tactical superiority. … If they made one wrong move, every single BLM agent in that camp would’ve died.”
That’s a lot different than the vague term “federal agents,” and suggests Payne was just making sure his men could beat the Bureau of Land Management if it came to that.
See, the problem was that The Oregonian claimed that Payne was setting up sniper positions to kill federal agents, when in fact, what he was trying to do was specifically kill BLM agents. Totally different! Nice try, liberal media!

So what happens if Bundy’s group decides to stick around and won’t leave the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge? Hopefully, not violence. This is where authorities need to show patience, and not do anything which ends up endangering the lives of anyone. Bundy’s group isn’t hurting people, and, at worst, is guilty of trespassing. Yes, they’re armed but that doesn’t mean SWAT needs to go rolling into the refuge or a drone be used to end the standoff.
Sure, they claimed that they're prepared to kill anyone who tries to stop them, but hey, that's just another colloquialism for trespassing.

He then finishes his column by saying that everyone should remain calm and that there's no need to resort to violence, and that the authorities just need to wait them out, all civil like and such. Which I'm sure is the exact same reaction he would have had if the people in question were either Black, Hispanic or Muslim. Obviously.


Okay, now this one legitimately surprised me. Considering that even within conservative media outlets, Breitbart happens to be uniquely terrible, it was delightful to see them come out with one of the most solid rebukes so far:

While it may appear to be a severe overreaction to a criminal justice matter, such episodes are deeply embedded in certain pockets of western states where local property owners and government officials regularly clash over land usage rights and restrictions. Like some progressive activists capitalizing on officer-involved urban shootings, the Bundy family is now leveraging its experience in fomenting illogical protests across state lines.
Standing up to the federal government and protecting private property rights both can be noble pursuit that inspires the hearts of conservatives, but was the Bundy standoff really about private property rights? The answer is largely no.

Credit where credit's due, I guess.


Okay, this has got to be strangest one on this list. News Max's Mike Garcia wrote a column entitled "12 Things the Media Won't Tell You About the Militia Occupation in Oregon". Ooh, sounds rather interesting and juicy, eh?

Well, no. Not only is it not interesting in any way whatsoever, but it's downright bizarre. Not only has every bullet point (no pun intended) on the list been actually mentioned by the media, but hardly any of them actually paint the Oregon militia goons in any positive light whatsoever. I mean, just look at some of these:

1. Two ranchers were convicted of arson

6. A militia took over a federal building after the march

9. Bundy said he is willing to use violence to maintain the occupation

10. The Hammonds distanced themselves from the Bundys

11. A local representative distanced the community from the Bundys

12. The sheriff distanced the community from the Bundys
Just so we're clear, these are supposed to be Garcia's attempts at defending the militia. How the hell do any of these details put them in a flattering light?! Whatever, I'm not complaining.

Also surprisingly, not much here to chew on. Looks like they just copy/pasted the AP's original report. BORING.

Honestly, I'm legitimately surprised at how the response has been throughout most right-wing media outlets. Conservatives will normally defend anything their side does, so it's heartening to see that even they appear to have limits (for the most part). This makes the Bundy family seem like even bigger losers than they already were.

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