April 28, 2014

They just can't stop themselves. Fresh on the heels of making complete fools of themselves with their praise of wingnut rancher Cliven Bundy, Faux "news" has found yet another far-right extremist to prop up as their hero of the week.

Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy welcomed anti-government extremist Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. onto the set this Monday morning and heaped praise on him for his speech at the NRA annual meeting this weekend, where Clarke stated that the seven words he would add to the Second Amendment were “Keep your hands off our guns, dammit.”

I wonder how long it took him to come up with that one? As Timothy Johnson at Media Matters pointed out, there were a few things missing from the interview with Doocy: Conservative Media's Latest Ill-Advised Hero Is Sheriff Who Warned Of Second American Revolution:

On April 28, Clarke joined Fox & Friends for a laudatory interview that co-host Steve Doocy introduced by saying, "He is one law enforcement officer doing more than protecting you on the streets, he's standing up for all of our constitutional rights as well."

While Fox has been praising parts of Clarke's address, they haven't mentioned his warning to NRA members during the same speech that, "If you're going to stand with me, you have to be willing to resist any attempt by government to disarm law-abiding people by fighting with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog. For it says in the Declaration of Independence that it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for our future security."

Also unmentioned by Fox is Clarke's close with relationship with Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), a hard-right group that ascribes to the fringe Posse Comitatus philosophy that dates back to post-Reconstruction efforts by southern states to avoid oversight by the federal government. The central tenet of Posse Comitatus is the belief that the county sheriff is the ultimate legal authority in the United States.

In 2013, CSPOA recognized Clarke as sheriff of the year, a distinction Clarke said he was "both honored and humbled to receive." After Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article scrutinizing the group behind the award, Clarke said that the paper disparaged CSPOA, "a group of honorable Sheriffs and officers who vow to uphold their oath of defending the U.S. Constitution," and had published a "hit piece" on CSPOA leader Richard Mack. For his part, Mack has praised Clarke as "a modern-day hero."

At the 2013 CSPOA convention, Clarke shared the stage with Stewart Rhodes, whose Oath Keepers organization the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as "a fiercely antigovernment, militaristic group." Also in attendance was Larry Pratt, head of the far-right Gun Owners of America, Michael Peroutka, an active member of Neo-Confederate hate group League of the South, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "chief birther" Mike Zullo.

In his remarks at the CSPOA convention, Clarke called those in attendance "the modern founders" and referenced revolutionary times, stating, "What's happening today is what was happening then and a courageous group of grassroots individuals, that's what they Founding Fathers were, they were grassroots people, [who] said enough and started to push back. And that's what I started to do and that's why I started to become more outspoken." During his speech Clarke also labeled government "the common enemy" of the people.

CSPOA was most recently in the news because of Mack's intervention in the dispute between Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Read on...


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