Justice

People Are Furious Over Media Hypocrisy Toward Oregon's Militiamen

January 3rd 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

People are calling out major news outlets for their lack of coverage of a growing crisis in Oregon, where a group of armed right-wing militiamen broke in and occupied a remote federal wildlife refuge building in southeastern Oregon on Saturday night.

Reactions on social media focused on the media's hypocrisy over the standoff, describing it as a double standard compared to the coverage other recent high-profile news events, such as mass shootings, and protests over police violence, have received.

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Others decried calling the militiamen behind the armed takeover anything but domestic terrorists. On Twitter, hashtags such as #OregonUnderAttack were used to contextualize the takeover.

Other hashtags used humor to describe the group of self-described "patriots" and ideologues holed up in a federal government building, who said they would be willing to "kill and be killed" to fight the "tyranny" of the government's land use laws.

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Militia members told the Oregonian they were prepared to occupy the building "for years" in order to protest the federal prosecution of two ranchers from the nearby town of Burns, who are facing jail sentences after being accused of burning federal land. The two ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, had not specifically asked for the help of the extremists.

The militiamen are also calling for the federal government to turn over the vast swaths of land it controls in the west so that local loggers, miners, and ranchers can make use of it, the Oregonian reports. The members claim the government's control of the land is illegal.

"The constitution, man. That’s what we’re up here for," one militia member told KOIN 6.