During Wednesday morning’s episode of Fox & Friends, Peter Johnson, Jr. and Tucker Carlson said the Department of Justice investigation into Michael Brown’s death was discredited because they “sought advice” from radical Ferguson protester and livestreamer Bassem Masri. On Christmas Eve, and hours after another black teen was shot by a white cop in the St. Louis area, the two conservative pundits decided it was a good time to demonize the protest movement and run a hit piece on Masri in such a way to tie him to the White House and DOJ.
Masri has become a somewhat notorious figure and a convenient boogeyman for the right due to his unapologetic nature and inflammatory comments about police. Whenever a conservative blogger wants to criticize protests against police brutality, they tend to turn to Masri and point to an anti-police statement he has made. To many on the right, Masri is THE FACE of the current movement, and they feel his actions completely discredit all of it. This was essentially what Johnson and Carlson were doing on Wednesday morning.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Fox News:
The timing of the hit piece is somewhat curious, considering Masri tweeted about the meeting with the Department of Justice in early November.
Department of Justice called me yesterday invited me2a meeting today at 6pm on Police Reform want2 hear my ideas I’ll be updating #Ferguson
— Bassem Masri (@bassem_masri) November 6, 2014
Based only off of a handful of tweets from Masri in early November, conservative bloggers, such as the ‘Dumbest Man on the Internet’ Jim Hoft, labeled Masri a ‘consultant’ with the DOJ. One of the sites that reported on the meeting in a negative light was Carlson’s own The Daily Caller. Perhaps Fox News decided to do a segment on Masri and the DOJ nearly two months later is due to an InfoWars article earlier this week that featured Masri saying “pigs in a blanket” at a protest.
Regardless of the reasons or timing for the segment, it was apparent that Johnson and Carlson not only wanted to disparage Masri, but intended for their viewers to believe that Obama and Eric Holder sympathized and were perhaps in cahoots with the Palestinian activist. The tone of the segment was something you’d expect from Alex Jones or a late-night basic cable conspiracy host, not from the largest cable news network in America. Of course, this is how Fox rolls and their viewers lap it up.
So, it appears that Masri was invited to attend an organized meeting by the DOJ early last month. From him attending that meeting, he has now been declared a consultant to Obama on police reform. Therefore, the White House really needs to answer the question, “Why are you engaging with anti-cop terrorists to assist with policy?” Yep, that sounds about right.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).