Richard Andrew Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry.
Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s.
Around the same time, he joined Florida-based Stormfront, which has long been a clearinghouse Web site for far-right groups. He posted photographs of his tattoo, an eagle spread across his chest.
“I was considering gettin’ life runes on the outside of my calfs,” he wrote. Life runes are a common symbol among white supremacists, notably followers of The National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group linked to an array of violent organizations.
“For some time now there has been a pretty good connection between being sucked into this conspiracy world and propagating violence,” said Heidi Beirich, director of research at the Southern Poverty Law Center and an expert on political extremists. She called Mr. Poplawski’s act, “a classic example of what happens when you start buying all this conspiracy stuff.”(via LGF)
The other day, Poplawski – who had been collecting and storing weapons in anticipation of the inevitable day when New World Order stooge Barack Obama would take them all away – shot and killed three police officers.
The ritual blaming of conservative talk radio is well under way, but Jones’s shtick – noted many, many times on this site – is a very different animal than the Limbaughs and O’Reillys (though you have to wonder about Glenn Beck). His beliefs are at the point where extreme left and extreme right become almost indistinguishable – which might explain the likes of Naomi Wolf, KRS-One and Willie Nelson appearing on his show, sandwiched between the survivalists, white supremacists and Jerome Corsis.
Note that one of the bloggers blaming “Fox News” for the shootings is the same guy who’s been talking up one of Jones’s most frequent guests for the last two years. Then again, Jones has indeed appeared on at least one Fox News online show – introduced as “the great Alex Jones,” no less – so maybe Sully’s onto something, though not the way he intended.
Update: stay classy, Markos.
Update II: the New York Post, in its inimitable style, profiles the Binghamton killer. (Among other failures, he flunked out of English-language classes – rarely showing up, in fact – at the immigrants’ center where he went on his shooting rampage.)