Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fox Reporters Reassess DHS Report On Right-Wing Extremism Following Recent Murders

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report warning of a rise in right-wing extremist activity and recruitment. The report was criticized by conservatives such as Joe Scarborough and Pat Robertson, especially regarding its finding that some veterans may be susceptible to extremist groups.

The past two weeks have seen two murders allegedly by right-wing extremists: the shooting of Dr. George Tiller by Scott Roeder at a Kansas church and, on Wednesday, the murder of security guard Stephen T. Johns by James W. von Brunn at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Fox News' Shephard Smith and Catherine Herridge believe that the DHS report issued a warning that should be heeded:

Smith: Catherine, for the second time in as many weeks, a crime scene reminds me of a memo which you broke on the Fox Report from the government warning, look out for crazy extremists out there about to go do weirdness and here we are. 

Herridge: Well, this is an excellent report to bring up because I think we have to now see those two intelligence assessments that were released by Homeland Security earlier this year, one dealt with left-wing extremists, the other dealt with right-wing extremists, you have to see them in a somewhat different light. It would appear, and I emphasize appear, based the evidence that is available to us, that it does seem to be an act of an individual who had extremist views and if it is indeed von Brunn, someone who did have a military history and, as you remember, that was the element of the right-wing intelligence assessment which was so controversial and there was a lot of blowback on Homeland Security for that assessment.

In April, Herridge contradicted her colleagues at Fox who were critical of the DHS report. While Fox anchors and guests viewed it as an attack on conservatives by the Obama administration, Herridge said that the reports on both left- and right-wing extremists were requested by the Bush administration.

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