Fox News host Sheppard Smith has provoked a bit of a civil war over the Holocaust Museum shooting today by saying that the Homeland Security report about right wing extremists was a warning and that it was right. He said the right went bonkers over the report, and then Ralph Peters went on Neil Cavuto’s show to attack Smith for defending the report.
Here is the video of Smith from Media Matters:
Smith said, “You know at the time we got this warning from Homeland Security, and at the time, I mean the right went absolutely bonkers. I mean the wording on it. They’ve all come back on it and said our wording should have been better on that, that was a little weird.….They were warning us for a reason, not for something political, social, or anything else except that they see signs that this sort of thing is bubbling up, they saw the signs, and now it has begun.” Smith called the report a warning to us all and said that DHS was right.
The other side of the coin is Ralph Peters who was on Your World with Neil Cavuto, where he blasted Smith. Here is the video from Media Matters:
Peters said, “Neil, I have got to say something. On Fox News of all places, in the last hour I heard that this tragic incident at the Holocaust Museum somehow validates the disgraceful report from the Department of Homeland Security warning about a terror threat from our returning veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan…It had nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security report.”
Peters is using the same bad apple defense that the Bush administration used in Abu Ghraib. These are the same statements that were used after the murder of abortion provider George Tiller. In the mind of Peters, Von Brunn was a lone nutcase, but as FNC and the GOP adopts more extreme language, can the bad apple defense still be valid?
Peters tried to falsely frame the DHS report as targeting military veterans. This isn’t true. The report is linked on this page. The report was a warning about the growing threat of right wing extremist groups. Sheppard Smith characterized the report and the right wing’s reaction to it correctly.
Smith also broke with FNC on torture, and I am really starting to question if it isn’t time for him to go find a new job. If he isn’t willing to tout the company line all of the time, then he probably doesn’t belong at Fox News anymore.