Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert, a Republican who proposed a bill to install a Ten Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds, now says a reporter he doesn’t like is “as dangerous” with his pen as “a terrorist with a weapon.”
The reason? Arkansas Times reporter Max Brantley pointed out that Rapert was sharing videos on Facebook that called for violence against Muslims. That’s all.
I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that exactly what reporters do?” Yes. Yes it is. Their job is to investigate and bring new information to light, especially controversial facts about our elected officials. In this case, Rapert actually called for all Muslims and Muslims “sympathizers” to be “rounded up” and “deported.”
Following a bomb attack in New Jersey, Rapert wrote — in a now-deleted Facebook post, “Regardless of who is responsible for these events today — we need to round up every single Muslim extremist sympathizer and other anti-American crazies and detain them or deport them. And for goodness sake — stop bringing more Muslims into this nation.”
Earlier this week, Rapert posted a video from Fox News contributor Todd Starnes complaining about a school designating two rooms into prayer rooms for Muslim students. Rapert went well beyond “simply sharing” — adding his own commentary to the Facebook post.
“It should be highlighted and understood why they are encouraging Islam which is a cult of death and violence against all non-Muslims,” Rapert wrote before adding, “America in distress.”
Rapert’s extreme anti-Muslim language went largely unnoticed until some reporters drew attention to it — and it’s that spotlight that the politician is now protesting. Specifically, Rapert said that Brantley was “careless and malicious” with his tweets merely pointing out statements Rapert had made.
To be clear: Rapert isn’t upset because a reporter is making up “fake news” about him. He’s mad at Brantley because he quoted actual words the senator said, and it caused Rapert to become a “target” of Muslim groups. Given the nasty things he’s said about Muslims, I’d guess they have more of a reason to be afraid of him than the other way around.
Here’s Rapert’s note to Brantley:
“You persist in being careless. You played fast and loose with the truth… So now the national support group for all things Islamic has put a target on me as a result of YOUR messaging. I hold you personally responsible if ANY threats come against me and my family as a result of this.”
It’s now the reporter’s fault that a politician’s public posts and statements are made… more public? If Rapert doesn’t like reporters quoting him verbatim, he should stop saying indefensible things. This would be shocking if it weren’t part of a much larger observable pattern in American politics. The media used to play an important role in that beautiful process, but now, to many conservatives, they are to be distrusted, body-slammed, and attacked.
(Screenshot via YouTube)