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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fox News and O'Reilly - 'we don't need no stinking facts'

Shawna Forde is a former Minuteman member now convicted of two counts of first degree murder in Arizona. The Minutemen are the self appointed border patrol vigilantes who police the Arizona border with Mexico. For the most the controversial organization have avoided violence. Forde is a former Minuteman member who was convicted earlier this week after invading a house near the border and killing Raul Flores and his nine year old daughter, Brisenia in the belief that she could find money to finance her vigilante operation from money stolen from alleged drug dealers.

The killings happened on May 30, 2009 but the mainstream media was slow to cover the murders. Fox news remained silent all this time until Bill O'Reilly finally covered the story earlier this week. O'Reilly has often blasted other news networks for not covering stories but this one reflects rather badly on a group and issue that Fox nation normally supports. True to form when Fox finally covered the story it was packed with lies, errors and a concerted effort to distance Forde from the organization.

O'Reilly started with a report of an 'illegal immigrant' committing a murder and then he waded into the Shawna Forde story.

O'REILLY: Now -- exact opposite on the political spectrum, in Arizona. A woman member of the Minutemen breaks into an illegal alien house? GUILFOYLE: Right.

One minor problem. Both Flores and his daughter were American citizens, born here. From there it went downhill. Both O'Reilly and his guessts then misrepresented and outright lied about her connection to the group, maintaining that she had been kicked out of the group afterr 40 minutes. While she was undoubtedly a loose cannon, she maintained a close relationship with Jim Gilchrist, the leader of the Minutemen until well after the murders.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. The organization she belonged to was Minuteman American Defense, otherwise known as MAD. But I did a lot of research on this case, and essentially she was using this organization to say, 'I'm gonna do rip-offs of drug cartels to fund my group.

O'REILLY: Ohhh, so she joined the group to find out where illegal aliens who might be dealing narcotics.

It's true that she didn't 'join' the group, she founded it. One wonders what 'research' Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox legal expert actually did.

Long after the murders Gilchrist was still running updates on their website about Forde's patrols. Until it was obvious Forde had committed the murders he and the organization still maintained that the murders were the work of 'illegal immigrants.'

The murders while not political per se are the result of right wing vigilantism gone amuck but you wouldn't know that by watching Fox News.

Crooks and Liars has the full story here including video of O'Reilly's show.

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