Saturday, February 20, 2010

WaPo "PostPartisan" Writer is a Partisan Hack

Writing for The Washington Post opinion page under the banner "PostPartisan," Jonathan Capehart wrote this:

Joseph Stack was angry at the Internal Revenue Service, and he took his rage out on it by slamming his single-engine plane into the Echelon Building in Austin, Texas. We now know this thanks to the rather clear (as rants go) suicide note Stack left behind. There's no information yet on whether he was involved in any anti-government groups or whether he was a lone wolf. But after reading his 34-paragraph screed, I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.

Additionally Capehart left out the final two lines of Stack's "manifesto," which included the following:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Rather glaring omissions, especially considering that these final sentences might make Stack look like a left-winger as opposed to a right-winger.

After being called out for his clearly partisan hackery, Mr. Capehart attempted to cover himself by offering this piece and a clearly partisan hit-piece at The Daily Beast entitled "Wingnut Rage Boils Over" to show he wasn't "the only one to make the connection between Stack's alienation from government and the anti-government extremists who have latched on to the broader Tea Party movement."

To be fair, I'm going to disregard the Daily Beast article, because that website is a blog and is proving itself to be less newsworthy than my own rants. They entrust Meghan McCain with their reputation, after all, allowing her to write for them from time to time. Need I say more?

With regards to the attempted tie to the Fox News page, however, I must take issue. I read the article at Fox News looking for the glaring statement of "Joseph Stack must be a Tea Party member" or something along those lines, but found instead this:

Experts are pointing to the incident as further evidence of what they say is a proliferation of anti-government militia groups.

"There is a real rage out there, and this terrible attack may be a reflection of that," Mark Potok, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, said in a statement to The SPLC has been studying the resurgence in anti-government militias and groups, which it attributes to a perfect storm of economic, political and social factors.

"There's been an explosive growth of anti-government militias and so-called Patriot groups over the past year, and the central idea of many of them is that taxes are completely illegitimate," Potok said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center? Really?

Is this the same Southern Poverty Law Center that attempted to cash in on the Department of Homeland Security report that called everyone right of Nancy Pelosi a possible terrorist?

Are we discussing the same Southern Poverty Law Center Representative who admits he knows nothing of Joseph Stack, yet attributes his actions and beliefs to militia and "The Radical Right" in this discussion with Chris Matthews on MSNBC?

The fact is that this was not an act of left wing or right wing politics. This was a man who was so distraught by his own financial crisis he felt he had no other choice than to take his own life and attempt to destroy the lives of as many as possible as possible. Partisan politics was not a direct part of Stack's motivation.

We've come to expect as much from Chris Matthews, but in my opinion Jonathan Capehart should be ashamed of himself for such irresponsible journalism.


One Ticked Chick said...

Great post, Sol. I wanted to write about this myself yesterday but couldn't organize my thoughts. =) This is the new talking point from the Left. It's being said in different ways at different news magazines and blogs, but the ultimate message is that the Tea Party movement fosters violence and supports terrorism. In the case of Joseph Stack, this was a deeply disturbed man. Craziness isn't bound by ideology or party affiliation.

Meadow said...

Joseph Stack not only caused us all to 'see' what he did, but with his posted missive let us know his feelings.

Yes, this was one po'd gentleman.
Yes, he tried to take many of his fellow citizens with him.

I read his writing and could feel his anger and his helplessness. Much like a parent who kills their offspring then commits suicide, Joseph Stack (in his own way, I think) wanted to wake people up to 'his' world.

I choose to not call him names, and I don't pretend to understand exactly what caused him to feel he needed to finish his life in this manner.

All I can do is offer a prayer for his soul and for comfort for his family and the victims of his act.

Snarky Basterd said...

Hey, why facts get in the way of a good story?

Soloman said...


I didn't say so as much as I posted this one, but I do believe this guy was a terrorist.

Let's look at it this way - he flew a plane into a government building because he had issues with the government.

Anyone else on September 11th take the same actions that we know of?

He's a domestic terrorist.

He was also greatly disturbed, which you must be in order to perpetuate such an act.. but I see no straight ideological line he followed. He was all over the board.