Fox News Hardly Mentions Bundys' Latest Armed Standoff, Go Figure
Ammon pissed off Megyn. You do not want to piss off Megyn.
[contextly_sidebar id="AJNRGFbbQaMCSuvJCkbWA23sw7QeodBC"]So here we are in Day Three of the Bundy Bird Sanctuary Armed Standoff and not much has changed. The brave gun-fondling protectors of freedom are still holed up in a wildlife refuge in Oregon, law enforcement continues to give them a wide berth and nothing to shoot at, and we're learning some interesting background facts on some of the players:
- In 2010, Ammon Bundy, that fierce opponent of Big Government, happily took a loan for $530,000 from the Small Business Administration, a government body that is definitely not mentioned in the Constitution. We The People subsidized the loan to the tune of about $22,000.
- Here's some stomach-turning history about Dwight and Steven Hammond, the ranchers whose five-year federal prison sentence for arson on federal land was the ostensible reason for the militia standoff. Turns out they weren't merely clearing brush! One of the fires endangered nearby campers, and the other was in violation of a no-burn order meant to protect firefighters fighting a large range fire nearby. To top it off, how about some allegations of child abuse? The Hammonds admitted to having forced a teen boy in the family to eat a can of snuff, to teach him that tobacco is bad. And after the kid "used a paper clip to carve the letter 'J' into one side of his chest and the letter 'S' onto the other side," the family decided together that the appropriate punishment was to use sandpaper to sand the letters off the boy's chest. Somehow, no charges were filed against the family. Those are your plucky frontier heroes, wingnut America.
- The Hammonds turned themselves in Monday to begin serving their terms in a federal prison in California. Back in Oregon, Harney County Sheriff David Ward suggested that since the guys the militia nuts were supposedly protecting are in jail, maybe it's time to end the stupid:
"You said you were here to help the citizens of Harney County,” Ward said. “That help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed and unlawful protest.”
“The Hammonds have turned themselves in. It is time for you to leave our community. Go home, be with your own families and end this peacefully,” the sheriff said.
He then presumably looked in the general direction of the wildlife refuge and asked, "Anyone? Anyone? Bundy? Bundy?"
We also set our TiVo to catch all of Fox News's Monday night programming, that we might give you, the reader, a sense of what the Official Network of Rightwing America thinks about these goings-on. After all, during the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, Cliven Bundy spent so much time sucking face with Sean Hannity that he could have been an anchor, except Roger Ailes didn't care for his legs. So we bet there's just OODLES of Bundy coverage this time around, huh? Here's what we found in Fox's primetime lineup:
On the Record With Greta Van Susterenenenen
A 3-minute update near the end of the show. News only, no commentary.
The O'Reilly No Spin Fuck It We'll Do It Live Zone Factor
Not a single word.
Oh The Huge Hannity
Not a word from Sean; a one-minute story during Fox's breakaway news update. On his radio show, Hannity has been downright critical of the armed insurrection. It's one of those spurned BFF things, probably.
The Kelly File
Finally some Big Bundy Love! Megyn Kelly led with a segment on whether the new Michael Bay Benghazi movie will destroy Hillary Clinton's hopes for the presidency (YES IT WILL), but eventually got to the topic of the Many Moron Militia's takeover of a federal facility. We actually learned a thing from the segment, which is that the Klown Kampout has a new name for itself: "Citizens for Constitutional Freedom." Exciting! In her interview with Ammon the Great Patriot, Megyn Kelly got right to the nitty: "How is what you are doing not lawlessness?"
Bundy said we'd "have to go to the Supreme Law of the Land to answer that question." You could hear him pronouncing the capital letters. He explained that under the Constitution:
the federal government does not have the authority to come down into the state and to control its land and resources. That is for the People to do, and that is clearly stated in Article One Eight Seventeen of the Constitution.
This is, of course, the purest refined Patriot Poopy, going back to a weird John Birch Society claim that the Constitution empowered Congress to buy land for the District of Columbia, for forts and armories, and nothing else. Despite its popularity with the sovereign citizen crowd, it's bullshit, pure and simple. We're surprised Bundy didn't also complain to Kelly about gold fringe on courthouse flags.
Kelly also noted that Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of arson fair and square. This led to Bundy trying to get cute with her. Megyn doesn't like it when guests try to get cute with her:
Kelly: You know the argument on the other side, which is these ranchers ... had their day in court. And they were found guilty, and it went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied their appeal. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work in our country when it comes to the rule of law?
Bundy: Yeah, well let me ask you -- and I’m sure you know the answer -- who was the plaintiff?
Kelly [after a stare that could freeze vodka]: Keep going.
Bundy: No, I'm asking, who was the plaintiff, against the Hammonds?
Kelly [Not suffering a fool gladly]: I’m waiting for you to make your point. Generally I don’t answer the questions on my show; I ask them.
Bundy: Oh. Well, uh, I mean it actually was intended to be answered. The plaintiff is the federal government. And yet, they're also the prosecutors are the federal government [sic]. And those who want their land is the federal government.
Why, yes. Courts actually work that way during appeals. And no, the case did not involve an attempt to seize the Hammonds' land, either.
The other best moment of the interview came when Kelly asked if a quote attributed to Ammon's brother Ryan was accurately reported by Oregonian reporter Ian Kullgren:
Bundy had a simple explanation: "That statement was taken way, way out of context." Sadly, he didn't explain what the proper context for "willing to kill and be killed" should have been; instead, Ammon claimed that Ryan hadn't said anything of the sort. Pressed on whether he would disavow violence, Bundy explained, in a trainwreck of empty phrases worthy of Sarah Palin, there won't be any trouble. Probably:
I'm not here to die. I'm here to defend my freedoms and my liberties, and will I? Yes, but it's not gonna come to that. There's good things that're going to come from this, and things are going to get straightened out, and that's what we're here, and we're confident that that is gonna happen, and, uh, it'll be a benefit for many, many people across this nation, and I can pass a lot of what I've enjoyed in this life on to my children.
Notably absent from his optimism salad was any promise not to kill any feds. Hell, what's the point of armed rebellion if you aren't ready to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants?
And that was that. No Bundy pimping from Fox this time; it wasn't quite the total Bundy silence the network imposed in 2014 after Cliven Bundy shared what he knew about the negro, but it's clear that Fox has learned: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ... you can't get fooled again.
Surprisingly, the strongest statement of support for BundyPalooza 2016 we could find was on MSNBC. At the end of an interview with Rick Santorum, who is still, unaccountably "running for president," Chris Hayes asked the Frothmeister what he thought of the standoff, if you can even call it that when only one side is standing around with guns and the other side is just waiting for them to get bored and/or hungry.
Santorum, his sense of reality sharp as ever, proclaimed that "nobody's threatening any violence," despite all the talk of revolution and maybe killing (if necessary). Digging in, Santorum insisted, "Just because they have those guns doesn't mean they're threatening to do anything with those guns." He added that he supported the protest, because yes, the federal government is completely out of control and making it impossible for people to make a living. So if you're an insurrectionist gun-humper looking for a sympathetic ear, Rick Santorum is definitely your guy.
[Mother Jones / Think Progress / Oregon Public Broadcasting / HuffPo / RawStory / MSNBC]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.