Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CNN's Campbell Brown to Prof. Robert Churchill -- What?!? You don't believe the divinations of the demi-gods of SPLC?

Link here.

CNN's Brown Touts 'Rise in Right Wing Extremism;' Guest: SPLC 'Exaggerates'

By Matthew Balan
Tue, 04/20/2010 - 16:26 ET

On her CNN program on Monday, Campbell Brown forwarded one of the Left's talking points about the tea parties by stating that "it does appear that we are seeing a rise in right wing extremism recently." However, her guest, historian Robert Churchill of the University of Hartford, downplayed her claim and claimed that groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center were "exaggerating" the threat.

Brown brought on Churchill at the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, she made her "right wing extremism" claim and cited "a number of studies that have looked at this. The Department of Homeland Security came out with a study last year saying that, perhaps, it's the economy, or possibly the President's race." The anchor then asked, "What do you see as driving recruitment right now, beyond just sort of the generic more- or not generic, but more general libertarian view?"

The historian gave a careful answer to her question:

CHURCHILL: Well, I think we have to really be careful to distinguish what's going on on the right end of American politics right now. It is absolutely correct that there's a lot of activity in what I'd call the Christian patriot public sphere, that is to sort of say, that part of the political spectrum that kind of casts out beyond the mainstream. There's lots of political organizing going on. There's lots of groups that are emerging or old groups that are getting stronger again.

One of the new groups is... [the] Oath Keepers. One of the older groups that, apparently, is picking up steam again is the John Birch Society, which has been around for a long time, but apparently is enjoying a resurgence. All of this is political organizing and I don't see it as being particularly threatening.

Brown reacted to Churchill's answer with some surprise: "You don't? That was going to be my question. Are there examples- I mean, there aren't real examples but we- you know, this is also the anniversary of the- you know, bombing in Oklahoma City. So that has a lot of people thinking about this....Does that worry you?"

The University of Hartford historian replied by indicating the recent uproar over the apparent revival of militias was a bunch of hype:

CHURCHILL: Well, I mean, I guess there are things to be concerned about, but I think we have to pay attention to the right things. We have had a tendency in the last 10 years to be really very concerned about insurgent violence, and sometimes what we forget is that state-sponsored violence can be much more devastating. It seems to me that we do have some degree of revival in the militia movement, which emerged in the 1990s, and then really went dormant during the Bush administration. We do see some increase in the numbers of militia groups, but nothing close to what was happening in the 1990s. So, there again, I think that although there are- you know, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center that are sort of ringing the bells of warning, I think they're exaggerating the actual degree of what's happening out there.

This is quite a statement from a CNN guest, as the network regularly turns to the Southern Poverty Law Center to forward their claims about the supposed revival of "right wing extremism." cited the SPLC less than a month ago on March 30 after the arrest of the members of the Hutaree militia in Michigan. In November 2009, correspondent Jim Acosta rehashed a study from the liberal organization during a report about militias. Earlier that year, on August 20, anchor Rick Sanchez brought on the group's Mark Potok, and the two agreed that there was a "disconcerting" infiltration of militia groups into the tea party protests.

Earlier in the segment, after Brown asked about the appearance of firearms at tea party and other conservative protests, Churchill stated there was a historical precedent for such activity:

BROWN: It is striking...[at] one rally in Virginia, demonstrators were carrying guns openly, which is legal there, but very much an in- your-face kind of demonstration- not the first time either that we have seen this kind of thing.

CHURCHILL: Well, and that's right- I mean, and I think there's a couple of things going on there as well. It seems to me that for some folks in the gun rights movement, they're really trying to bring back an earlier era in American politics in which guns were actually a normative part of the practice of politics. If you look at this country's history in the late 18th century and the early 19th century, a lot of politics revolved around militia musters where guns were present. Guns were a part of political festivity....and I think they're trying to bring that back.

—Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.


Temnota said...

"a lot of politics revolved around militia musters where guns were present. Guns were a part of political festivity....and I think they're trying to bring that back."

Trying, hell. It's back.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there's hope yet.

DM said...

While I wholeheartedly support the cause, I wonder why these people weren't fired up when GEORGE BUSH made the first big rights grab with the passage of the USA patriot act.

Either way, I'm glad that the sleeping Republicans have finally woken up.

Son of Sam Adams said...

What kind of historian did she think she was talking to, Michael Bellesiles? "Facts" are these strange, inconvenient things that historians work with, that are not part of current journalistic practice. Churchill's "last appearance on CNN" was a doozy.

Justthisguy said...

This is off-topic, but I think it might encourage some people.

I was noodling around on Jerry Pournelle's site and came across "Lays of Ancient Rome."

This is from "Horatius at the Bridge":

In yon straight path a thousand
May well be stopped by three.
Now who will stand on either hand
And keep the bridge with me?

Anonymous said...

'militia musters', ... 'political rallies', ... and 'festive' -- what is not to like?

The Wretched Dog

johnnyreb said...

Probably the last time that guy will be on. didn't he get the memo?


Dedicated_Dad said...

Well, he'll now be denounced as "racist" and lose whatever cash he'd been earning as a "guest" on such shows. If he's lucky that'll be ALL he gets.

I admire him for speaking truth even though it will cost him. I just wish he'd managed to get enough truth in to make it worth the price - like pointing out that it's PATRIOTS DAY, for example, instead of letting the "McVeigh" lie stand unchallenged.

One little tidbit for my fellow patriots to add to their arsenal: Rabid Madcow is just one among MANY of them who live in MA -- where Patriots Day is a STATE HOLIDAY and has been for some 2 centuries. No way in hell they can claim to not KNOW this fact - yet they continue to trumpet the "McVeigh" lie!


PS: WV="Pooearian" -- so many good interpretations of this that I've decided to let you guys run with 'em...

Joel said...

Heh - nice to hear that somebody spoke a little sense on one of those shows, if only to get a rise out of the airhead anchor.

Personally I think the country'd be a better place if elections were fought with guns - strictly between the candidates, you understand. But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

That is his LAST appearance on network "NEWS". He spoke truth and logic............


Uncle Lar said...

Be a cold day before he gets invited back. And a pity too, as he sounds about as fair and even handed a historian as we could ask for.
Too bad about his name though. My first thought is always that bastiche Ward Churchill, who is not by any stretch of the imagination either fair or even handed. Poor Winston must be spinning a treat over having to share the family moniker.

patriot_ohio said...

Good, guns do belong in patriotic political expressionism of whichever kind. That's sort of the sum of the First and Second Amendment- as our Founders pointed out. And yeah, I agree with the idea of guns being festive as well, people who see guns carried responsibly around them are less apt to cower in the corner and cling to their security blanket than sheep who only see guns when the government wants to intimidate them.

Good article.


idahobob said...

I'm really surprised that they did not edit his comments out of there.

My word, they cannot have someone being interviewed telling the truth!



Kerry said...

Mike, my compliments on your words at the rally. Now one can see you and hear your voice when reading the written words. To be sure they extrapolate from their own lack of principles and cannot understand another person's willingness to sacrifice life itself for something greater, some greater love..
And I've added to my lexicon, in reasonably good Alabamian, "Oh Hell no!" Keep your powder dry, and have lots of powder.

Unafraid to be politically incorrect- Dennis N. said...

Somewhat on a tangent but, how the hell is it that they make such a big deal out of the "militias" when there are still at least 30 islamic communities where they're doing the same PLUS more but only aimed at mass American casualties and we still dont talk about it? How many American "patriot" groups will fall before an Islamic Terror Group rises? Deception and using our system against us.

skybill said...

Hi Mike,
Son of Sam Adams here in the comments' first sentence,"What kind of Historian did she think she was talking to, Michael Bellesiles?" Yup, what a guy!! Remember him!! He "was" a prof. of History at Emory Univ. He wrote a book,"Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture." James R. Peterson interviewed Bellesiles in "The Playboy Forum" page 69 JAN2001 issue of PLAYBOY magazine. If you believed Bellesiles there were no guns to speak of in the Colonies and the ones we did have were rust buckets and didn't work!! When I first read the article I thought Bellesiles information was out of tune with everything else published on the subject. Not much later Bellesiles was censured by his peers, literally "defrocked' as a Historian! His peers were also upset at the "Black eye" his twisting the truth gave their disipline! Beware of the "Bellesiles" out there they are many, far and wide!! BTW, beware of PLAYBOY's anti 2A stance,"Gun nuts make lousy lovers!!" but that's another story.


Kyle said...

I know this is off topic, but I just read an article;_ylt=Av_HxunqDG0oJdWSh_hVxj9H2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTMxdjU2NGpnBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNDIyL3VzX29iYW1hX3RheARjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzIEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNvYmFtYXN1Z2dlc3Q-
that stated that Obama is leaving the VAT on the table. In addition to active dissent against Fed mandated health insurance; if the VAT goes through, I will start shoplifting everything I possibly can with relish. "I stands all I can stands and I can't stands no more!" ~ Popeye