Yesterday I began to see blog posts spring up declaring that Jarrod Laughner may have attacked Gabrielle Giffords because she was Jewish. Those posts were based on a Fox News report saying that they had seen a DHS memo saying that Laughner was associated with an Antisemitic, anti-Black group called the American Renaissance. Besides the hatred this Renaissance group has similar positions to Laughtner in terms of currency and gold.
According to a law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS and obtained by Fox News, Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, may have been influenced by a pro-white racist organization that publishes an anti-immigration newsletter.
No direct connection, but strong suspicion is being directed at American Renaissance, an organization that Loughner mentioned in some of his internet postings and federal law enforcement officials are investigating Loughner’s possible links to the organization. The organization is a monthly publication that promotes a variety of white racial positions.
“The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic,” according to the memo which goes on to point out that Congressman Giffords is the first Jewish female elected to high office in Arizona. A recent posting on American Renaissance’s website on January 7 begins with an article entitled: “Exit poll: Whites are Different.” The site goes on to list anti-immigration articles. Investigators are also pursuing Loughner’s alleged anti-Semitism.
Later in the day Fox spoke to the head of the American Renaissance Jared Taylor, who said they never heard of the term ZOG and had never have thought in those terms. He wasn’t saying the group didn’t hate Jews, just that ZOG isn’t a term they use.
Jared Taylor called DHS’ views “scurrilous” and took especial issue with the reference to his group being “anti-ZOG.”
“That is complete nonsense,” he said. “I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term ‘ZOG.’ We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us.”
Taylor …says he had never heard of Loughner until yesterday. Taylor says he checked his organization’s records going back twenty years and Loughner never subscribed to AmRen’s publications.
Taylor says he also has no indication that Loughner ever attended any of AmRen’s events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.
Despite the denial, my twitter feed was inundated with the news that Loughner’s act was the result of Antisemitism. At the beginning I responded to them all saying that there was no evidence that Jew-hatred had anything to do with the shooter’s actions. Eventually I tired of responding and erased what I received.
Today Greg Sargent of WAPO decided to pick up the phone and actually ask a contact in the DHS who is correct Fox or Taylor.
DHS has not officially provided any such information to any law enforcement officials, the DHS official says.
“We have not established any such possible link,” the official says.
The official cautions it’s conceivable that a law enforcement official got unofficial info from a DHS official somewhere along the lines of what Fox reported. But he emphasizes that DHS has not even concluded in any official way that even the possibility of such ties exists. The official adds that it wouldn’t be DHS’s place to reach any such conclusion in the first place, since the FBI is leading the investigation.
Shame on Fox News, even by their own reports (one on each side), there was no real evidence that this Jarred Loughner/ American Renaissance connection. This new Greg Sargent post puts their initial report in further doubt. Stories such as the Giffords shooting change very quickly and it is more important to be right, than first. Certainly all of the reports of a Right Wing/Loughner connection should have proved that.
Fox blew this one, and they should have known better.