- David Edwards and Muriel Kane
June 11, 2009
While providing breaking coverage of Wednesday’s fatal shooting by a white supremacist at the Washington, DC Holocaust Museum, Fox News host Shepard Smith connected the crime with both the recent killing of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller and last April’s report on right-wing extremism from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“For the second time in as many weeks” Smith stated, “a crime scene reminds me of a memo … from the government, warning, ‘Look out for crazy extremists out there about to go do weirdness.’”
Reporter Catherine Herridge agreed that “it does seem to be the act of an individual who had extremist views and … 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.”
As it happens, a number of Fox News hosts and commentators were among the leaders of the attacks on the DHS report. For example, Sean Hannity claimed on April 15 that “if you disagree with that liberal path that President Obama’s taken the country down, you may soon catch the attention of the Department of Homeland Security. Now the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis has issued an intel assessment that warns of a rise of what they’re calling right-wing extremism. But critics of the report say their definition of a right-wing extremist sounds awfully close to somebody who might simply just disagree with the Obama administration.”
“A lot of hate kicking around these days,” Smith remarked later on Wednesday’s program. “The hate being ratcheted up from so many different quarters. … It sometimes feels like it’s a very dangerous thing.”
By that point, Smith was speaking with former CIA officer Mike Baker, who commented, “There’s an element out there that is, for whatever reason, very disturbed, very unhappy. … The man obviously had problems for some period of time, and then something snapped in him, and he went out and he committed this act.”
“We got this warning from Homeland Security,” Smith responded, “and at the time — I mean, the right went absolutely bonkers.” He quoted from an email he had just received, saying, “Shame on you and Catherine Herridge for perpetrating the obscene Department of Homeland Security report on military extremists.”
“This is a former military guy, and he’s gone extremist,” Smith said firmly, shaking his head. “They were warning us for a reason. They see signs that this sort of thing is bubbling up.”
“There was something to it,” concluded Smith. “It was not obscene … and it appears now that they were right.”
This video is from Fox’s Studio B, broadcast June 10, 2009.