Ed Driscoll

Stack's Manifesto Versus The One-Size-Fits-All MSM Template

It’s template-mania today! earlier today Stephen Spruiell  predicted the MSM’s template for framing the plane crash by Joseph Andrew Stack into the Austin IRS building:

There is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that we are T-minus fifteen seconds from Mr. Joseph Andrew Stack being renamed “The Tea-Bag Terrorist!” or some such by the media and his crime being laid at the feet of the Right, but I thought it might be worth mentioning anyway that his political views don’t fit comfortably into any category I’m aware of, if he really is the author of this manifesto.

For one thing, he curses the government for failing to enact universal health care:

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?  Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies.  Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”.  It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

For another, he despises organized religion:

… Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions.  In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy….

… The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living.  However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

As one reads on, one learns that Stack’s festering rage at the IRS was highly personal in nature, with the ideology forming fractally around his maddening encounters with the agency. Then there’s this line:

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone.  The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government.

And the manifesto ends with this:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

I am not suggesting that Stack was motivated by leftist ideology, only that attempts to link his lashing-out to “right-wing anger” at the government would be misguided indeed.

UPDATE: I was only off by a few thousand seconds.

UPDATE II: More MSM reactions here.

Meanwhile, JammieWearingFool notes how remarkably versatile this particular template can be!

Update: Newsbusters rounds up the list of legacy media sources pushing this meme:

The liberal press is determined, it seems, to tie Joe Stack’s apparent suicide in Austin today to the Tea Party movement. NewsBusters has reported on three such attempts, and now New York Magazine has thrown its hat in the ring.Like Time Magazine, MSNBC, and the Washington Post, New York Magazine cherry-picked portions of Stack’s apparent suicide note, which he posted online, in order to support the contention that he was acting out of a radical hatred of the IRS and the federal government in general.

Also like the those three bastions of media liberalism, NY Magazine did not include the final two lines of Stack’s note. They are perhaps the most politically consequential lines in the entire note, yet they were suspiciously absent from the piece. They should also put to rest any notion that this man was in any way affiliated with the Tea Party movement.

This sounds like a job for a certain senior media Alpaca