Right after the Twin Towers came down, Jerry Falwell went on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club television program and explained that Osama Bin Laden’s attack was a ‘sign from God’ because America had strayed from a righteous path. Falwell then said, “The pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ― you helped this happen.”
Falwell quickly withdrew his remarks when someone from the White House called and told him to either apologize or crawl back under his rock, since the last thing that George Bush needed was a half-cocked evangelical minister insulting just about everyone except the folks who watched him on TV. Falwell didn’t really apologize but claimed that his remarks had been taken ‘out of context,’ which is about as much of an apology as one could expect.
But that was then and this is now. Now we have a president who would never tell anyone to withdraw a remark tying a terrorist attack to any lifestyle attacked by Breitbart, Infowars, or any of the other alt-right media polluters who now get credentials to join the White House press. And increasingly, media pollution is being generated by the NRA in its video releases, the latest by a loudmouth named Grant Stinchfield who ran for Congress in 2012 (he lost in the primary) and now hosts an alt-right radio show out of Dallas which promotes the usual mélange of conspiracy theories, pro-Trump propaganda and other far-right bromides that somehow all end up sounding like a pale version of Rush.
To make sure that he could explain the Manchester terror attack, Stinchfield dragged out another so-called expert, Chuck Holton, whose knowledge of world affairs is based on having been a cameraman for Fox News, assigned to follow an international arms dealer named Ollie North. On Stinchfield’s show the day after the attack, Holton explained the situation like this: “They are taking advantage of this multiculturalism and the, you know, gender-bending ― we could go on and on about this. The European male is disappearing in Europe ― the actual men who will stand up and fight for their country.”
After Stinchfield agreed with Holton, the latter went on to say: “In places like Germany, 30 percent of German women have no children and will never have children. In England it’s something like 20 percent, but that’s rising. And so when you’re not making babies, you need people to come in and work and pay taxes to support your massive social welfare programs. So this is, in some ways, this wave of violence that we’re seeing across Europe is a symptom of the broader problem of multiculturalism and socialism.”
I had to read the above quotes four times in order to understand what they were trying to say. And I couldn’t figure it out. But as I was reading and re-reading their remarks, I felt myself going back in time to 2001 when Falwell offered his explanation for the 9-11 attacks. And I felt the same way about Falwell’s comments then as I felt about Stinchfield and Holton now. Could a single, solitary person actually be walking around with such a jumbled mess in their brains?
Cydney Hargis at Media Matters wrote a detailed and valid refutation of the ‘facts’ presented by Stinchfield and Holton, referencing credible research which shows that the availability of guns is, in fact, a risk rather than a benefit for community safety. But with all due respect to Cydney’s excellent reportage, she’s barking up the wrong tree if she believes that anyone watching NRA-TV is going to be influenced by data or the evidence-based research. Sorry Cydney, but the comments by Stinchfield and Holton prove that Gun-nut Nation decided long ago that they don’t need no stinkin’ facts.
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