Fox News has suddenly forgotten its accusations that #BlackLivesMatter rhetoric endangers police lives. Now that the white, racist Bundy clan is actually threatening law enforcers with guns, Fox uncritically quotes one Bundy son saying they plan to “come together and unite” against government “overreach.” UPDATED.
In a brief report today, Fox News anchor Eric Shawn described what would surely be characterized as a terrorist assault if Muslims had taken over a federal building with weapons or dangerous lawlessness and thuggery if it were Black Lives Matter protesters.
SHAWN: Armed protesters are vowing to occupy a federal building in Oregon for as long as it takes. The protesters taking over a federal wildlife refuge building in a remote area near the town of Burns. They’re upset about the prosecution of a father and son who are facing arson charges for allegedly burning 130 acres of land. Leading the protesters there are three sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. You may remember him. He clashed with the feds two years ago.
AMMON BUNDY (son of Cliven Bundy) clip: It is the people’s facility, owned by the people and it has been provided for us to be able to come together and unite and making a hard stance against this overreach, this taking of the people’s land and resources.
SHAWN: This is the same group that back in 2014 protested the federal government’s decision to round up those cattle from the land that Bundy claimed to own.
The report is accurate in that Shawn did not relay any falsehoods. But Shawn left out all the ways that the militia have made not-so-thinly-veiled threats to law enforcers - information that would have undoubtedly been included if the protesters weren’t white right-wingers that Fox has previously championed, despite previously threatening law enforcers.
From The Guardian:
One of the occupiers, Ryan Payne, said by telephone that they did not intend to resort to violence, but that when local and federal authorities arrived “whatever else is going to happen will happen”. The men had faith in God and intended to uphold the constitution, he said.
From The Dallas Morning News (with my emphases):
Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page asking for militia members to come help him. He said "this is not a time to stand down. It's a time to stand up and come to Harney County," where Burns is located. Below the video is this statement: "(asterisk)(asterisk)ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED."
In an interview with reporters late Saturday night that was posted on Facebook, Bundy said he and others are occupying the building because "the people have been abused long enough."
"I feel we are in a situation where if we do not do something, if we do not take a hard stand, we'll be in a position where we'll be no longer able to do so," he said.
Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely. "We're planning on staying here for years, absolutely," Ammon Bundy said. "This is not a decision we've made at the last minute."
Even the actions before the takeover were threatening: “As marchers reached the courthouse, they tossed hundreds of pennies at the locked door,” The Dallas Morning News noted.
Do you think that if Black Lives Matter protesters pelted a courthouse or a police station with coins, it would have gone unremarked by Fox? We know the answer.
From a FoxNews.com article about a recent Chicago protest over the police killing of unarmed African American Laquan McDonald that Fox acknowledged was basically peaceful, law-abiding and restrained:
… Later, along Michigan Avenue, at least one person was detained, which led to a tense moment as protesters tried to prevent police from taking him away. Some threw plastic water bottles at officers and sat behind a police vehicle, refusing to move. Officers pulled them away, and the vehicle sped off. The Chicago Tribune reported that at least three people were detained by police, while one officer was taken to an ambulance with minor injuries.
Fox has even suggested a police officer was murdered because of the “the anti-police rhetoric, we have been hearing, in particular from some of the Black Lives Matter protests.” It turned out to be a suicide. But there was no such concern from Shawn about the Bundy gang's rhetoric.
Just today, Fox & Friends demanded President Obama speak out against a Mississippi councilman who urged residents to throw debris at police from other communities engaging in high-speed chases over misdemeanors. But don’t hold your breath for anyone on Fox to be demanding denunciations of the Bundy family.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, America’s News HQ held a pretty decent discussion on the Oregon occupation with two guests who blatantly acknowledged the threats to law enforcement and offered no excuses for the Bundy lawbreaking. However, you may note that the news report that preceded it once again played down the threats.
Will the Fox prime time hosts similarly condemn this behavior? Stay tuned.
Watch the coverage below and see the bias in Fox's so-called straight news reporting.