Washington, DC (TFC) – Abby Martin, one of the alternative media’s darlings, sported a shirt decrying “American Sniper” Chris Kyle. She was promptly threatened with rape, torture, and murder at the hands of people who believe Kyle to be an American hero. She spoke at length with Mint Press about the situation.
Obviously, threats of death, rape, and torture struck a chord with me. I always thought that death threats were common place for journalists and that maybe Abby was trying to capitalize on the situation. Journalists are threatened and slandered all the time. Another of the alternative media’s female mainstays had nude photos of herself that were leaked by someone she had angered. One of The Fifth Column’s own journalists had his address, phone number, and a false personal history leaked because he refused to interview someone. If you’re going to speak out, you have to be willing to accept the consequences, right? But, I’m a gossip columnist that is too much of a chicken to show her face and who writes under a fake name. So what do I know? I decided to ask real journalists what their experiences were and what they thought of death threats in general.
Through other TFC journalists, I reached out to several of the alternative media’s most aggressive journalists without telling them the article was about Abby, even though some of them guessed. Here’s what they had to say:
P.M. Beers of the Anti-Media, whose friend made the offending T-shirt:
“I expect to go to jail for no good reason. I expect that jealous haters are going to tell lies about me and do their best to ruin my reputation. I expect that people I’ve never met will believe lies about me and hate me without fact checking. I expect that people will take the ugliest screenshot of me and manipulate it in photoshop to make me look even uglier and make mean memes about me. I expect that people watching live stream will call the cops and make false reports. These are all things that have happened so far. I don’t expect death threats. That’s a line that should never be crossed.”
TFC’s own Alex Freeman was little bit more relaxed about them:
“The first time I got a death threat, I asked if they were going to buy me drinks and kiss me softly first. Once a troll, always a troll. Now, for the most part, I just ignore them. I’ll let elected representatives worry about public opinion. The truth is more important.”
S.M Gibson is a radio show host and journalist for the Anti-Media. He also spoke out against the movie and had this to say:
“Threatening death because someone whom you’ve never met pointed out a truth that breaks down some grand lie you’ve allowed yourself to buy into, just goes to show how brainwashed and insecure people are in their belief system.
I got all the death threats people get when you dare speak the truth about the Republican deity, Chris Kyle. With that said, I was never threatened with rape, which women journalists have to deal with for some sick reason. It just goes to show how twisted people really are.”
Baran Hines of wtfrly.com and The Anti-Media commented:
“Women get it worse, the threats always trend to rape.”
Justin King, journalist for TFC and The Anti-Media said:
“Martin Luther King said that ‘the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony.’ Death threats are part of the game. It doesn’t make it right, but if you’re going to call out a core belief system of someone, you kind of have to expect it. Death threats are part of the game. Getting doxed is part of the game. Getting slandered is part of the game. I have to admit nobody has ever threatened to rape me, and I’m not saying these things are right, I’m just saying they’re expected. We live in a world where violence is the preferred method of solving problems. Governments do it. Upset people do it. If we aren’t upsetting people, we aren’t doing our jobs. Besides if everybody agreed on everything it would be a pretty boring place.”
So it seems that all journalists say that the threats are wrong, but that they certainly happen. While researching for this article I found websites dedicated to calling for the deaths of or slandering journalists, heard stories of journalists getting false police reports called in so a SWAT team would attack them, saw the memes Beers talked about, saw tons of leaked information about various journalists, and so much more.
Being in the public eye opens you to public scrutiny. As a society we accept people being threatened daily. So why did this threat become such a big deal? Why do we all want to defend Abby? Are we falling into the team mentality that we hate in sheeple and the mainstream media? Why blame Chris Kyle for a movie made after his death? Why was Kyle not immortalized for how he died instead of for who he killed? Why not say “F*ck Clint Eastwood?” Why play into such a media spectacle that only serves to show war propaganda to more people? Why play into the hands of people that would resort to violence because of their own nationalism? I’m not blaming Abby for it; I’m doing the same thing. This is a non-story when you really think about it. This is the sort of fluff piece that drags people away from real issues. Has the movement grown so large that we need our own scandals? If we fall into personality worship, are we any better than Kyle’s fans?
Some interesting facts for Kyle’s fans since most of them never read the book and watched a movie that was loosely based on the book:
The evil Afghan sniper “Mustafa” that the character in the movie kills was never even seen by Kyle. He certainly didn’t kill him with a 2,100 yard shot.
“The Butcher” that is tracked by the characters in the movie is never even mentioned in the book.
The character that is blinded and proposes to his fiancé in the hospital before tragically dying in the movie, was actually discharged, got married, went to college, and even became a mountain climber before dying from surgical complications on the operating table.
Kyle did not find out he was deploying at his wedding.
Kyle never had a $180,000 bounty on his head.
He was arrested several times in the United States, though.
Remember that crazy scene where he finds a giant stash of weapons in a house he was staying in? Never happened.
If you read the book with any sort of objective mind and realize that this was the image he wanted to project, you realize that Kyle’s wartime experiences haunted him. He stops exercising, drinks too much, and becomes depressed. These are all common symptoms of PTSD. That might have something to do with his death.
Obviously, nobody should be threatening Abby for her opinion. Obviously, Kyle’s fans probably don’t even know much about Kyle beyond a glorified version of someone’s own projected image. Obviously, I never should have fed into this and published this article. Obviously, this will continue to be in the news cycle and distract us all from the things that matter.