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Tuesday, July 19, 2016
WND Censors Baton Rouge Shooter's Links to Sovereign Citizen Movement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily knows how to pander to the fears of its audience: make black men, especially if they've committed horrible crimes, as scary as possible with as many trigger buzzwords as possible, like "Islam."

Here's WND began its initial, unbylined story on the alleged shooter of police officeers in Baton Rouge, La.:

The shooter who gunned down three Baton Rouge law-enforcement officers and injured three more has ties with the Nation of Islam.

Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City, Missouri apparently coincided his 29th birthday – July 17, 1987 – with his rampage. In his extensive online presence, which included tweets, self-published books, YouTube videos and a website, he said he was once a member of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, but said he had no affiliations with outside groups.


However the Daily Caller reports YouTube videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5. Phone numbers on buildings in the video show that it was filmed in Baton Rouge.

Yes, WND would like you to think Long was an Islamic terrorist, even though he really isn't.

Bob Unruh reinforces the meme in a July 18 follow-up article that begins, "The Nation of Islam-linked Gavin Eugene Long, dead after a weekend shootout with Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers in which he allegedly killed three and injured three more, was 'targeting' law enforcement, according to a report today." Unruh also dutifully repeats that Long claimed he had been "a Nation of Islam member."

But WND won't tell you about a more relevant affiliation that's much closer to WND's heart.

The Kansas City Star reported that Long was a member of the sovereign citizen movement, extremists who don't recognize the authority of the federal government. Long had filed sovereign citizen documents in Kansas City -- saying he was with the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation, Mid-West Washita Tribes, a sovereign group -- and reportedly had a sovereign-related card on him when he died in a police shootout.

WND has long been symathetic to the sovereign citizen movement. In 2009, WND managing editor David Kupelian complained about increased governemnt scrutiny of conservative groups that are "Christian, patriotic, gun-rights, pro-life, sovereignty and so on." He suggested that the Obama administration was trying to provoke sovereign citizens and other right-wingers into committing violence to justify "a massive official crackdown on 'domestic terrorists' and a severe assault on freedom in America."

In 2013, it tried to deny the FBI's assertion that sovereign citizens can be violent, and it also tried to whitewash the tax-related crimes of a creationist pastor who was also a sovereign citizen activist.

WND tried again in 2015 to deny sovereign-citizen violence, distorting a governement report on the sovereign citizen movement to falsely claim that "The Obama administration has named a national security threat it believes is more dangerous than even the Islamic State terrorists beheading, crucifying and burning innocent human beings: Right-wing extremists." WND columnist Pamela Geller screeched that through the report, "Obama and his appointed thugs have made the good guys the enemy." Um, no, Pam, sovereign citizens who murder cops are not "good guys."

And not too far from Baton Rouge, two sheriff's deputies were killed in a shootout with sovereign citizens in 2013.

So WND is a lot closer to the views of Gavin Long than it wants you to believe. Do Joseph Farah and Co. have the guts (and journalistic integrity) to tell their readers that? (Highly unlikely.)

UPDATE: In a brief, sudden outbreak of journalism,'s Melanie Hunter reported that Long "considered himself a 'sovereign citizen,' part of a group that believes government and law enforcement does not hold any authority, which the FBI considers 'a domestic terrorist movement.'" What say you, WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 9:38 AM EDT

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