Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette offers "Suspect in officers' shooting was into conspiracy theories" (link) about the recent shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh by an obviously deranged 22-year-old. He takes advantage of that tragedy to smear his or his paper's opponents:
Mr. Poplawski's view of guns and personal freedom took a turn toward the fringes of American politics. With Mr. Perkovic, he appeared to share a belief that the government was controlled from unseen forces, that troops were being shipped home from the Mideast to police the citizenry here, and that Jews secretly ran the country.
...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.
He was also a member of Stormfront. Ergo, in Roddy's mind, Alex Jones = Stormfront. And, whatever Jones' ideology, I don't think "far-right" is accurate. And, while Jones is "out there" a good part of the time, he's also had a couple scoops about things that sounded loony but which turned out later to be true.
Regarding the troops, see December's "20,000 U.S. military troops to help with "homeland security" in U.S. by 2011", which links to a Washington Post article about such a scheme. That was also discussed in September; the Army Times and the underlying documents included the possibility of using troops for crowd control.
One of the shooter's friends alludes to media bias regarding the MSM not covering states recently declaring sovereignty with the implication that there is no such bias. There's a round-up here from the Christian Science Monitor; Google News wasn't exactly filled with similar MSM articles. A smaller paper covered the movement in Pennsylvania here, a story that I couldn't locate at the Post-Gazette's site.
In case you think Roddy is just presenting facts without attempting to smear, he continues with this:
"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."
Over to Ed Morrissey at the same site (hotair.com/archives/2009/04/05/kos-conservatives-like-to-shoot-cops):
Those who would use such horrifying tragedies to smear their political opponents are completely unworthy of engagement, and utterly despicable to boot, regardless of which side they’re on.
UPDATE: Also, as discussed at the last HotAir link, Kos said on twitter that "Conservatives, apparently, prefer to talk "revolution" and shoot cops." He may have just been "joking".
UPDATE 2: The Anti Defamation League has also gotten involved in the smear; that and the other issues above are answered in "Poplawski Smear Debunked: Cop Killer Held Opposing Views To Infowars" (link).
UPDATE 3: Both RawStory and a DailyKos blogger have retracted Alex Jones-related smears (link). However, Sean Hamill of the New York Times and Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America continue the smear (link, link).
Sun, 04/05/2009 - 14:12 · Importance: 4