Fox News divided on whether Holocaust museum shooting validates DHS report

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Following the shooting at the Holocaust Museum allegedly by a white supremacist, Fox News commentators disagreed about whether the shooting validates a recent Homeland Security report alerting law enforcement to an increased threat from "rightwing extremists."

Following the shooting of a Holocaust Memorial Museum security guard allegedly by a white supremacist on June 10, Fox News commentators disagreed about whether the shooting validates a recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report alerting law enforcement to an increased threat from "rightwing extremists," including "white supremacists." Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters rejected the notion "this tragic incident at the Holocaust museum somehow validates the disgraceful report from the Department of Homeland Security," saying: "It had nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security report. What it did have to do with is this: We're seeing a very dangerous convergence between the extreme haters on the right and the extreme haters on the left -- those on the extreme right who have always been anti-Semites, and now the anti-Zionism sentiment on the left." Additionally, after referring to the DHS report, Fox News host Glenn Beck said: "This is not the work of right-wing conservatives. This is the work of somebody today who is racist, crazy, or most likely both. Common sense tells you there are very hateful people on the right and the left."

By contrast, after reading a message from a viewer saying, "Shame on you and [Fox News correspondent] Catherine Herridge for perpetrating the obscene Department of Homeland Security report on military extremists," anchor Shepard Smith stated: "[T]his is a former military guy and he's gone extremist. They were warning us for a reason -- not about something political or social or anything else -- except they see signs that this sort of thing is bubbling up. They saw the signs, and now it has begun." Smith later said of the DHS report: "It was a warning to us all. And it appears now that they were right." Later that evening, Herridge said of the DHS report: "[Y]ou have to see those reports or assessments in a somewhat different light. I know from having interviewed every person who's been the secretary of Homeland Security since 2001 and also the FBI director that it's this type of lone wolf attack, which frightens the most, because of course it's a conspiracy of just one."

As Media Matters for America has documented, when the report was released, several Fox News hosts and contributors -- including Beck -- advanced the claim that the Obama administration was targeting conservatives and others simply because they disagree with administration policies and proposals, a claim Smith and Herridge previously debunked.

From the June 10 edition of Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith:

SMITH: You know, we got this warning from Homeland Security, and, at the time, I mean, the right went absolutely bonkers. I mean, the wording on it -- I mean, they've all come back and said our wording should have been better on that. That was a little weird.

But, now, like, Savannah Stover has just written me from Colorado, "Shame on you and Catherine Herridge for perpetrating the obscene Department of Homeland Security report on military extremists. Shame on you." Is this a -- this is a former military guy and he's gone extremist. They were warning us for a reason -- not about something political or social or anything else -- except they see signs that this sort of thing is bubbling up. They saw the signs, and now it has begun.

I just wonder if there's really a way to put a hold on it. Maybe sending out a -- you know, it's like when they used to raise the threat level in the United States: "Oh, we've gone to code red." I'm like, so, what does this make me do? You know, do I put double bolts on the lock when I go in to use the bathroom? You don't really change anything.

But this warning as it turns out, there was something to it. It was not -- it was not obscene by Department of Homeland Security, Savannah Stover in Colorado. It was a warning to us all. And it appears now that they were right.

From the June 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

PETERS: Neil, I've gotta say something. On Fox News of all places, in the last hour, I heard that this tragic incident at the Holocaust museum somehow validates the disgraceful report from the Department of Homeland Security warning about a terror threat from our returning veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Neil, this guy served in World War II. He's been out of the military 64 years. He wasn't career military; he was a career nut. Ten million Americans served in World War II. Of the millions who survive, are we going to put them all on a terrorist watch list?

It had nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security report. What it did have to do with is this: We're seeing a very dangerous convergence between the extreme haters on the right and the extreme haters on the left -- those on the extreme right who have always been anti-Semites, and now the anti-Zionism sentiment on the left.

For instance, you just saw an American Muslim convert shoot an innocent young soldier outside of a recruiting office. Now, you've got this absolutely screaming nutcase right-winger, who's made a career of hate, attacking the Holocaust museum.

I'm afraid that a couple of things are happening: One, hate is back in fashion, if it ever went out; and two, anti-Zionism is getting a little too fashionable for my taste in the United States.

From the June 10 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security reports about right-wing extremists -- remember that came out a few weeks ago? Left-wing and -- left-wing bloggers and some in the media have blamed conservative hosts like me or Bill O'Reilly for just stirring the pot. I'm not stirring the pot. I am pointing out that the pot is boiling and there is trouble in America.

Since when -- have you ever heard of "don't blame the messenger"? This is not the work of right-wing conservatives. This is the work of somebody today who is racist, crazy, or most likely both. Common sense tells you there are very hateful people on the right and the left.

I'm going to show you some of them in great detail here in a second. The world will use any excuse to come after those people that they now deem unpopular.

From the June 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

SMITH: And through all of this, a reminder -- this and other instances of late -- a reminder of the Department of Homeland Security's warning to us not but a couple of months ago.

HERRIDGE: Hmm-mm. Well, I think you have to see those two assessments -- one that dealt with the extreme left and the other that dealt with the extreme right; the extreme right was the most controversial of the two -- you have to see those reports or assessments in a somewhat different light. I know from having interviewed every person who's been the secretary of Homeland Security since 2001 and also the FBI director that it's this type of lone wolf attack, which frightens the most, because of course it's a conspiracy of just one.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Glenn Beck, Ralph Peters
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
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