The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

News Media Ambush Cliven Bundy

…and
sucker-punch “conservatives.”
First,
the purpose of this column is neither to confirm nor deny that I agree with
Cliven Bundy’s purported “racist” remarks, as reported in the New
York Times. That is a fabricated issue, and in a court of law would be an objection-rich
leading question. Unlike many politicians and media names who supported Bundy’s
defiance of the Bureau of Land Management’s paramilitary raid on Bundy’s ranch
and the theft and slaughter of many of his cattle, I’m not going to
“distance” myself from the man and what he stands for, which is the
courageous stand he has taken against a looters’ government. There is no good
reason to sneak off and hide in a corner.
No,
the purpose of this column is to castigate all those supporters who turned tail
and beat a hasty retreat in order to placate those who are the true
“racists” of our time: the liberal/left. After all, no one can risk
criticizing any facet of the welfare state or the political establishment
without now being called “racist” by the liberal/left.
Tom
Roten, who interviewed me on his radio
show
on April 25th, observed that it took the New York Times
several days to concoct its “racist” charges, which were insinuated
on its April 23rd article, “A
Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side
,” because
Bundy’s remarks were made and recorded on April 19th.
Rand
Paul, Sean
Hannity
, Greta Van Susteren, and other “conservative” voices –
such as the “Young
Conservative”
site – ought to have known better. They speak often
enough on the subject of how the liberal/left media look for a chance to smear
and denigrate individuals whose ideas go counter to the prevailing received liberal/left
wisdom ,and will stoop to any tactic to accomplish the marginalization or even
elimination of opposing viewpoints. They ought to have been able to spot a
set-up and call it for what it was.
No,
they ran like rabbits. You wonder if they’re as smart as they claim to be.
Instead, they fell for it as well as did Cliven Bundy, but not as innocently. Paul,
Hannity, Van Susteren, and the others have the luxury of crafting their
statements. Bundy’s remarks were rambling, unguarded, and un-crafted, and, in
many respects, ill-chosen. One really wishes one could give him a crash course
on how to deal with the venal news media largely in the government’s pocket as
a poorly paid shill for its collectivist agenda.
Perhaps
the “conservatives” need a refresher course in the slimy tactics of
the news media.
Erik
Wemple of the Washington Post, for example, stuck his tongue out at Hannity in
his April 25th article, “No,
Sean Hannity, you can’t distance yourself from Cliven Bundy
,” and went
juvenile on his readers, effectively snorting, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nya,
nyah, nyah!”
No, Hannity: You don’t get this
Cliven-Bundy-a-la-carte option. Either you embrace Cliven Bundy in toto or you
reject him.
Despite Hannity’s protestations,
this is all about a man named Cliven Bundy. How many other Western
ranching freeloaders are there who have stiffed the government for two decades
with specious arguments and then rally with gun-toting protesters when the feds
move in to round up his cattle?
Hannity
deserves the snickers, even from a liberal cretin named Erik Wemple.
Look
at it this way: Cliven Bundy is not an intellectual. He is not a political
innovator. As I remarked in the first
of my two Rule
of Reason
columns, Bundy’s views on the BLM and federal power are disparate
and lack rational cohesion. He is an average man attempting to unload the
unarticulated anger that has built up over decades. He went off-topic when he
ought to have stayed on point about what he knows best. Daniel Greenfield (Sultan
Knish
), treated Bundy rather harshly for not realizing that his words could
be deliberately taken out of context and used against him and his cause.
As a private citizen, you can say
anything you like. But once you get people invested in your cause, you have an
obligation to them. Not just to yourself. And failing to recognize that is
selfish behavior.

I wrote last week that there was no reason to expect Bundy to be perfect. The
key players in the Boston Massacre certainly weren’t. But if you’re going to
play a role in a movement, you have to be willing to think about the
consequences of your actions to the people who support you….

And if you find yourself in a position where you have become the image of a
particular cause, stick to that cause instead of venting your thoughts on other
issues because the media landscape is polarized and there are teams searching
through everything you say and have said to spot one sentence they can blow up
into a scandal.
Talk show hosts have gone through
that ring of fire and know how to handle it, though they still make mistakes. A
random person doesn’t. If the issue is property rights, don’t talk about race.
Let someone like Ben Carson do it.
Harsh,
but true advice which Cliven Bundy and his friends should heed. Because otherwise
we get celebratory chortling like this, as reported in another New York Times goal-post
victory dance, from April 24th, “Rancher’s
Views on Race end Supporters Fleeing
,” penned by Lynnette Curtis, and Adam
Nagourney, who incidentally wrote the original New York Times piece that
“exposed” Bundy as a “racist.”
Republican leaders and television
commentators who had rallied to Mr. Bundy’s cause in the days since the Bureau
of Land Management tried to round up his herd and then backed down in the face
of armed opposition denounced him after his racially charged comments were published
online
Wednesday night in The New York Times.
Mr. Bundy reiterated many of
those thoughts at a news conference near his farm here on Thursday. Senator
Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and a likely presidential candidate in 2016,
who had been one of the most prominent people offering support for Mr. Bundy’s
cause, said Thursday that his remarks on race were “offensive, and I
wholeheartedly disagree with him.”
Commentators on Fox News, which
had championed Mr. Bundy’s cause, also expressed distress at his remarks.
“Let me make this plain: I
condemn what Cliven Bundy said about African-Americans,” Greta Van Susteren of
Fox News said in a headline of a post on her
blog
above a link to the Times article. Her fellow commentator Sean Hannity
reiterated his distress about government overreach — “armed agents,
sharpshooters, snipers, dogs, stun guns” — even as he denounced the leader of
the standoff for his remarks.
“So people that, for the right
reasons, saw this case as government overreach, now are like branded because of
the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments of Cliven Bundy,” he said
on his radio show Thursday. For his part, Mr. Bundy held the news conference on
Thursday to deal with the uproar his remarks on Saturday had caused, then
repeated those remarks.
So,
without context, without bothering to examine the circumstances, and without questioning
the motives and the purpose of the New York Times in broadcasting Bundy’s faux pas, these leading lights of the
conservative movement echo the “horror” of Bundy’s remarks. Because
Bundy expressed his sentiments in less than judicious terms, his remarks are automatically
“racist, repugnant, and despicable.”
The
motive and purpose of the New York Times – and the Washington
Post
and other mainstream news media silently, implicitly concur – is to
link the man with his ideas, and if the man can be found to have “feet of
clay” – if something unsavory can be found out about him – then that
automatically discredits his ideas and we needn’t pay him any more serious attention.
And the last idea the New York Times wishes to see become popular is that the
federal government is a destructive, insatiable monster. The New York Times is
getting away with its fallacy of distraction – away from the issue of arbitrary
government power, which it has endorsed for decades – coupled with an argumentum ad hominem, a charge against
the man unrelated to his position on a specific subject, but which serves to
bring the man down in the eyes and minds of everyone the New York Times wishes
to dupe.
Mark Steyn wrote some
justifiably acerbic words about the new Bundy vigilantes in his April 25th
column, “How
Now White Cowman
?”
Like everyone else, Gavin McInnes has weighed in on
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s observations on “the Negro”. Mr.
McInnes concludes:
This
isn’t about some old guy’s views on slavery. It’s about government control.
We’re not saying Bundy is the messiah and we accept him as our personal savior.
We’re saying the government is wrong.
Let’s stipulate that Cliven Bundy is a racist.
Let’s also assume, if only to save time, that he’s Islamophobic, homophobic and
transphobic. So what? Does that make criticizing the Bureau of Land Management
“racist” or “homophobic”?
I’m not quite certain Steyn
actually believes that Bundy is a “racist”; he isn’t clear on that
point, but the point is taken. Let’s concede, for argument’s sake, that Bundy is
a closet racist. And? Is he wrong to defy the government for the right reasons?
No. Steyn observes:
In other words, the purpose of the federal
bureaucracy’s “grazing fee” was never to provide a fair-market value
for the cost to taxpayers of permitting grazing on public land but simply to
drive those cattle off the land, and their owners out of the ranching business.
As a form of coercion, it worked. But it is not a “law” that should
command any respect.
I think it’s absurd and obnoxious that an obscure
and unaccountable government agency should rule an
area the size of France, Germany and Italy combined
. What for? Why should
the 26th largest country on earth (which the Bureau of Land Management is) be
maintained in perpetuity as the world’s biggest nature preserve for the desert
tortoise? The seven-eighths of the United States that isn’t under the iron rod
of the BLM is the Brokest Nation in History: it wouldn’t hurt to have a little
more productive land.
Canada Free Press
also weighs in on the absurdity of the “racist” charges against
Bundy, and offers a double screen video of what Bundy said and what was edited
out of his comments, as does InfoWars.
One interesting angle on
Bundy’s alleged “racism,” one not mentioned by anyone else as far as I
can determine, is the revelation that one of his bodyguards is “black.”
The Daily Mail (London) published this interesting article on April 26th
(today), “Cliven
Bundy’s black bodyguard claims rancher is not racist and he would ‘happily’
take a bullet for him.
Despite a collection of seemingly racist rants about
‘negros,’ slavery and ‘picking cotton,’ not everyone thinks Nevada rancher
Cliven Bundy is a racist, and one of the people defending the one-time
far-right-wing folk hero is one of his bodyguards – who happens to be black.
Jason Bullock has been at Bundy’s side since his
battle with the federal government began heating up in late March. According to
Bullock, the man he’s come to know over the last month is not a racist. In
fact, Bullock says he would take a bullet for Bundy….
Bullock was recently interviewed by CNN and asked,
‘You’re protecting this man and he’s wondering whether African-Americans would
be better off as slaves. How does that strike you?’
‘It doesn’t strike me any kind of way,’ Bullock
answered. ‘This is still the same old Mr. Bundy I met from the first day of all
this happening.’
Bullock says the things Bundy has been saying –
‘wondering’ if ‘negros’ were better off under slavery, and comparing himself to
civil rights hero Rosa Parks, for example – don’t offend him.
‘Mr. Bundy is not a racist. Ever since I’ve been
here he’s treated me with nothing but hospitality,’ Bullock told the reporter.
‘He’s pretty much treated me like his own family.’ He goes on to say that ‘I
would take a bullet for that man, if need be,’ and that he ‘look(s) up to him
just like I do my grandfather.’
The Daily Mail article
goes on to report that Bundy is attempting damage control.
On Friday, he invoked the heroic actions of
Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon who was arrested in 1955 after refusing to
give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her actions sparked
the Montgomery bus boycott and were a defining moment of the civil rights’
movement. 
On the Bundy Ranch Facebook page on Friday, he
wrote: ‘I am doing the same thing Rosa Parks did – I am standing up against bad
laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom. Just like the Minutemen at
Lexington and Concord, we are saying no to an oppressive government which
considers us to be slaves rather than free men. ‘I invite all people in America
to join in our peaceful revolution to regain our freedom. That is how America
was started, and we need to keep that tradition alive.’
Bundy earlier said that if people were offended by
his use of the word ‘negro’ or ‘slave’ then ‘Martin Luther King hasn’t got his
job done yet’.
And that’s as much as I will
say on this subject. The conservatives’ cowardly and timid words and actions in
response to Bundy’s remarks are largely “ignorant, racist, repugnant, and despicable.”
The liberal/left’s words and actions on those remarks, however, are
“repugnant and despicable,” but not so ignorant, while the
liberal/left has an unbroken record of crying “racism” and
“white privilege” the first time anyone utters anything that
contradicts the welfare-statist, “we want all of you, black and white and
whatever else, on the government’s plantation of dependency” agenda. Race
is on the collective mind of the liberal/left.
It was never on Cliven
Bundy’s.

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4 Comments

  1. Teresa

    Excellent article, Ed. The hideous crime of the 18th and 19th centuries was slavery. The even more hideous crime of the 20th and 21st centuries is welfare. Both evils are debilitating but the latter one is totally debilitating. There is no vestige of self respect possible for adult welfare recipients.

    Irregardless of how he said it Bundy realizes that.

  2. Tom

    Very good, Ed. If anyone should be on trial here, it's the New York Times for their utterly dishonest editing of the interview. Bundy is gloriously free of any obeisance to crypto-Marxist censorship (also known as political correctness), but, judging from that interview, he is not by any stretch of the imagination a racist. If there is a story here, it is not Bundy but the corrupt New York Times. Shame on those on the right who continue to take them seriously.

    Tom

  3. Edward Cline

    Thank you, Tom.

  4. bratzid

    I understand land owners feel like slaves to government coercion and then see that coercion whitewashed through welfare. Clive feeling do have a connection in reality.
    The liberals are aghast someone of such little intellectual prowess could undo all they have worked to hide from simple minds like landowners.
    I applaud all who defend property rights Ed.

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