American Renaissance Objects to “Anti-ZOG” Claim

From Fox News:

A law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS and obtained by Fox News suggested strong suspicion linking Jared Loughner, the man accused in the Tucson shooting on Saturday, to what it called an “anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government) and anti-semitic” group known as American Renaissance.

…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.”

It does indeed appear to have been sloppy work from the DHS; Taylor focuses on racial issues rather than anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Here’s some relevant background on the group from the SPLC:

One issue that has proven problematic for Taylor and his foundation has been anti-Semitism. Taylor, unlike many on the radical right, is known for his lack of anti-Semitism and for including racist Jews in his events…. At one point, he even banned discussion of the so-called “Jewish question” from American Renaissance venues, and, by 1997, he had kicked Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis off his E-mail list.

…Despite Taylor’s best efforts to keep the internal peace, this long-smoldering issue finally burst into the open when David Duke, the former Klan leader and author of Jewish Supremacism, grabbed the microphone at the 2006 American Renaissance Conference and went on a thinly veiled anti-Semitic rant about “a power in the world that dominates our media, influences our government and that has led to the internal destruction of our will and spirit.”

… Taylor issued what was seen as a weak-kneed statement by his Jewish supporters condemning anti-Semitism but stating clearly that all would be welcome at his conferences regardless of their views and so long as they maintained the proper decorum… Regardless of the dispute, the 2008 American Renaissance conference was well attended, missing from its audience ranks only some former Jewish supporters such as Michael Hart.

(I blogged on a rival event established by Hart here)

Max Blumenthal reported on the 2006 American Renaissance conference for the Nation, and noted the participation of the BNP’s Nick Griffin:

Though Taylor scrubbed all traces of explicit anti-Semitism from the conference’s official program, there were signs of it elsewhere. Besides the ubiquitous Duke, whom Taylor permitted to register for the first time in his conference’s history (“Jesse Jackson can come if he pays his fee,” Taylor grumbled), anti-Semitic literature was in ample supply at the display tables in the back.

…Speaking on the conference’s first day, Griffin suggested his move away from anti-Semitism was purely tactical. “The proper enemy to any political movement isn’t necessarily the most evil and the worst,” he advised. “The proper enemy is the one we can most easily defeat.”

Hoax Jared Loughner Facebook Profiles Created

A number of Twitter feeds and forums are trumpeting what purports to be information from Jared Loughner’s Facebook page – e.g. here:

Although Jared Loughner’s Facebook page has been scrubbed, leave it up to some extremely proactive folks who are on top of the situation. Look very closely at the people Loughner admires: Kenyan-born Muslim Barack Hussein Obama, Saul Alinksy, Noam Chomsky, Hugo Chávez and Che Guevara…ALL COMMUNISTS! What did I tell you?

These names supposedly existed on a list of “People Who Inspire Jared”.

An accompanying photo shows that a Facebook page did exist, created in the name of “Jared Laughner” (and with a photo of Obama as the profile pic!). According to someone who saw it before it was removed, it had no posts and there were no friends. “Laughner”, of course, was the incorrect spelling initially reported in the media. The list of left-wingers is so stereotyped as to be absurd – Saul Alinsky in particular is primarily famous these days as a figure in conservative demonology rather than for anything else.

One site that cut and pasted the Facebook profile was a blog called Bruce Political Watch. The author reported excitedly:

Pulled this from Facebook before it was taken down, there were 4 more “inspiring people” that I could not picture of which were also Mao Tse Tung, and Joseph Stalin.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to check out his love for the Tea Party.

Gilding the lily even further, the information “pulled” included the quote:

Fight the Right! Obama and the Progressives will overcome the tyrrany of big business and the racist Tea Party.

The entry has now been deleted; instead, there’s this:

This post was based on (unknown at the time) erroneous information, I have removed it.

It can still be found on other sites, though.

Meanwhile, another since-deleted Facebook profile – again in the name of “Jared Laughner” rather than “Loughner” – listed as his “likes” “Sara Palin” [sic] and “Tea Party Patriots”. There was also reportedly a third bogus profile, in which he supposedly enthused over Fox News.

Presumably anyone creating hoax information about Loughner for whatever reason is liable to get into some trouble for interfering with a police investigation?

UPDATE: Media Matters covers the story here, noting in particular how Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has promoted the fake “left-wing” profile:

Hoft headlines his latest post “Whoops! This Changes Things- Loughner’s Hero Was Barack Obama,” then proceeds to breathlessly exclaim that “Killer Jared Loughner idolized Barack Obama.”

He sources this scoop to “The Examiner” “via Free Republic” and links to a blog post by Anthony Martin at

Once Hoft became aware of the mistake, he deleted the post and is now whining that

Unfortunately I had it up long enough for Soros-fundedMedia Matters to capture some screen grabs.

But “screen grabs” are only an issue because Hoft wanted to bury his mistake rather than to issue a correction. As I noted when Robert Spencer pulled the same stunt a couple of weeks ago, we all make mistakes – but what distinguishes a responsible blogger from a ideologue hack out to manipulate is how one deals with them.