Forbes just published a piece about LAX shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia connecting him to the new “Patriot” movement that has re-emerged since President Obama’s election in 2008. He wore the fatigues that are popular with “patriots”, used an AR-15, the weapon of choice for “patriots”, and in the letter found in his bag spouted the same nonsense about the mythical New World Order and even referred to himself as a “patriot”. In this weird counter culture, “patriots” consider the government and police as the enemy, and gun wielding weirdos who murder innocents “patriotic”.
Making matters worse, media figures like Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and a whole raft of hate talkers on the radio make millions while contributing to the growing insanity among fringe groups who actually believe in black helicopters, a secret group of international executives who control the world, and that life saving vaccines somehow are used by the government to control populations. The real tragedy, though, is that through screwballs like Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and any number of other politicians who are collectively unqualified for elective office, this fringe insanity has been dragged to the center of our political discourse. And when we need them the most, the press, which has abdicated its responsibility to report the facts, instead run to the safety of false equivalency and laziness, giving these crazies legitimacy. That’s how a clown like Bill Kristol gets a regular gig on NBC’s Meet the Press. Kristol, of course, was so wrong and so bad during the 2012 elections that even Fox News fired him, but now he spouts his radical partisan drivel virtually unchallenged on national network news. We can only hope that the program’s ratings continue to suffer, and host David Gregory finally gets relegated to something harmless like the Today show.
Even as our politicians shirk their duty to govern, more and more violence plagues our society. Now a mass shooting at one of our largest airports is only good for a couple of hours of coverage before return to The Biggest Loser and who’s in rehab. Until the press, and our politicians do their damn jobs, we have little hope of this getting any better before it gets a lot worse.