When the right wing talks, spree killers listen

Unknowingly, the officers walked into a deadly trap. Mr. Poplawski, wearing a bullet-proof vest, was armed with an AK-47 rifle, a .22 long rifle and a pistol. Officer Sciullo was the first to the door, with his partner, Officer Mayhle, standing behind him and Officer Kelly just coming onto the scene. When the door opened, Officer Sciullo was “immediately met with gunfire” and fatally shot in the head, Chief Harper said. Another shot struck Officer Mayhle in the head, also killing him.

Richard Poplawski was screaming at his mother again, whom he lived with, when the cops were asked to drop by. But he was convinced the government had come to take his guns, so he decided to fight it out by grabbing his AK and shooting empty-handed police officers.

Richard Andrew Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry . ..

“We recently discovered that 30 states had declared sovereignty,” said [Andrew’s friend] Mr. Perkovic, who lives in Lawrenceville. “One of his concerns was why were these major events in America not being reported to the public.”

Because they weren’t true? That would do it.

Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s.

Around the same time, he joined Florida-based Stormfront, which has long been a clearinghouse Web site for far-right groups. He posted photographs of his tattoo, an eagle spread across his chest.

Ah, yes, the internet. More forthright than Mom, right? Violent wingnut #2:

. . Byron Williams, an anti-government zealot, loaded up his mother’s truck with firearms, put on body armor, and headed to San Francisco with the intention of starting a violent rampage. He didn’t reach his destination — Williams initiated a shootout with police in Oakland after being pulled over for driving erratically — but his goal was to “start a revolution” with bloodshed at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation.

The nearly invisible Tides Foundation? Glenn Beck’s whipping boy?

“I would’ve never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there,” says this friend, Byron Williams. “And it was the things he did, it was the things he exposed, that blew my mind.”

“I do enjoy Glenn Beck,” Williams also says, “and the reason why I enjoy that is because… no other channel will speak about the same things that he’s talking about, and if you go and investigate those things you’ll find out that they’re true.”

No. You’ll find out that a pile of media right-wingers, far less crazy than keen to make a buck, are screaming about something preposterous, driving it into susceptible minds. Then it’s up to the spree-shooters of the world to connect the whisper-dots.

. . Williams did more research and concluded that Soros and Obama had sabotaged the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico to cause the oil spill and thereby help Petrobras.

This, Williams said, was his main source of anger before the alleged shoot-out. “With the exception of Beck, not once did even Fox report on things like Soros investing a billion dollars in Petrobras, or not once did they mention the fact that Obama sent them $2 billion,” he noted.

Because it’s boring? Other than when Glenn Beck sees it as a Holocaust?

“Beck will not say it was a contracted hit” on the BP well by Obama and Soros, Williams said, “but he’ll give you every ounce of evidence you can possibly need to make that assumption yourself.”

Thus, Williams got convinced of a conspiracy fronted by a national cable outlet, Fox News. By their star, Glenn Beck. So Williams armed himself and then struck out, but not to take his wrath out on any of the masters of the oil spill genocide: Barack Obama. Petrobras. George Soros. British Petroleum.

No, he was out to get the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. It’s as if Glenn Beck were haunting the Stanley Hotel in his brain.


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