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Intro: "A Fox Orlando affiliate described Neo-Nazis as 'a civil rights group' on a television broadcast and online. The group of Neo-Nazis, known as the National Socialist Movement, has been conducting armed patrols of the streets of Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Martin was shot dead."

Neo-Nazis have been patrolling Sanford, FL, where Trayvon Martin was killed. (photo: Violent Extremism)
Neo-Nazis have been patrolling Sanford, FL, where Trayvon Martin was killed. (photo: Violent Extremism)

Fox Affiliate Calls Neo-Nazis 'A Civil Rights Group'

By Judd Legum, ThinkProgress

09 April 12


Fox Orlando affiliate decribed Neo-Nazis as "a civil rights group" on a television broadcast and online. The group of Neo-Nazis, known as the National Socialist Movement, has been conducting armed patrols of the streets of Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Marting was shot dead.

The Fox Orlando affiliate, WOFL, aired a shockingly uncritical report of the group’s activities. The Fox reporter introduced the group by saying, "There’s another civil rights group in town." She also conducts an interview with the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep, without challenging any of his claims about the nature and mission of the group. Watch it (via Little Green Footballs):


An article with a brief summary of the segment first appeared online with the headline: "Civil rights group patrolling Sanford." (It was subsequently removed without explaination.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center has more details about the group:

The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The group is notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric, its racist views and its policy allowing members of other racist groups to join NSM while remaining members of other groups. Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms, now traded in for black "Battle Dress Uniforms." [...]

The group openly idolizes Adolf Hitler, described in NSM propaganda as, "Our Fuhrer, the beloved Holy Father of our age … a visionary in every respect." NSM says only heterosexual "pure-blood whites" should be allowed U.S. citizenship and that all nonwhites should be deported, regardless of legal status. As Schoep put it: "The Constitution was written by white men alone. Therefore, it was intended for whites alone."

The Fox reporter, Jennifer Bisram, includes none of the group’s Nazi ties or incindiary history in her report. She concludes: "They say they are just a civil rights group tyring to protect people in case things get out of hand. They say they intend to follow all the Florida laws while patrolling." your social media marketing partner


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-15 # MidwestTom 2012-04-09 09:46
If we are not careful the events in Florida and Tulsa could lead to a very hot summer. When civilian groups start putting bounties on people's heads, and people start taking revenge in the own hands. The Media jumped all over the Trayvon shooting and started stirring the pot. The Tulsa situation could be far worse if given the same exposure. With the economic conditions, the belief in entitlements, the political divisions, the inequality enforced by our government, and homeland security with their growing supply of hollow point bullets, we have the makings for a new civil war here.
+19 # 666 2012-04-09 10:35
you mean the nazis are NOT a civil rights group? And I thought Fox was all about fair & unbalanced accuracy. Besides, they didn't say what kind of civil rights group it was: one that wants more civil rights or one that wants to destroy all civil rights...
+19 # Robert B 2012-04-09 10:54
Nazis are a civil rights group, huh? The Party of Lincoln must be so proud.
+13 # hankgeorge 2012-04-09 12:16
Actually, the party of George LINCOLN Rockwell is delighted. He, of course, is the late "fuehrer" of the Amnerican Nutzy Party
-44 # Martintfre 2012-04-09 10:57
Great (sarcastic) more fools.

What do you expect?

When government permits a gang of thugs like the Black panthers to intimidate voting places or put up million dollar bounties with out getting prosecuted as they deserve - your giving cart blank for other a*holes to do the same.
+17 # panhead49 2012-04-09 12:21
Quoting Martintfre:
Great (sarcastic) more fools.

What do you expect?

When government permits a gang of thugs like the Black panthers to intimidate voting places or put up million dollar bounties with out getting prosecuted as they deserve - your giving cart blank for other a*holes to do the same.

Dude - a group of 5 guys that can only afford 3 uniforms does not a party make. Coffee clatch is their best case scenario. Nice try at deflection - but no ceegar. Blaming the victim is sooo yesterday, can't you guys come up with a new mindless meme?
+25 # Feral Dogz 2012-04-09 11:05
There is nothing the right wing would like more than civil unrest. A largely ignorant and frightened populace will gravitate toward "strong leaders" (events following 9/11 clearly prove this).

Promoting racism along with the proliferation of gun ownership is a recipe for disaster.

Blaming the victim is Dr. Goebble's finest contribution to the art of propaganda.

The media did not jump all over the Trayvon Williams story. It was brought to public attention by a few obscure but persistent journalists.
+19 # jayjay 2012-04-09 11:14
Kudos to FOX "news"..if the NSM is a civil rights group, then Hitler must have been the greatest civil rights leader of the 20th century. Do any of these FOXites actually have journalism degrees? Or do they just repeat from interviews whatever they're told, like some sort of ventriloquist's puupet. This message brought to you by a journalism grad, Michigan State University.
+8 # John Locke 2012-04-09 12:12
They just read a script, or make it up as they go! Unfortunately that is how journalist report the news today... Government prepared scripts, or fabricated news for shock!
+5 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-09 21:13
Actually they get their stuff from Murdoch and Ailes.
+12 # RSN rocks 2012-04-09 11:29
Makes no sense why the Repubs in Florida would allow the "National SOCIALIST Movement" to patrol their streets and in the next minute criticize Obama for his "Socialist" policies!!!
+16 # Majikman 2012-04-09 11:43
Terrific! Nice job, Faux, stoke up more fear and hate. These vigilante crazies are breeding like maggots on road kill. Are there any sane people in Sanford? If so they don't appear to be in the justice system.
+10 # Capn Canard 2012-04-09 11:50
No kidding, NAZIs in Florida? Really? Boy those defenseless white people. Just so weak and pathetic. The poor things...
+16 # Scott479 2012-04-09 11:53
That's like calling fox a news channel.
+8 # John Locke 2012-04-09 12:13
It is a channel, it channels from Hitler
+2 # Montague 2012-04-09 13:55
In Britain Nazis are gaining ground - the leader of the top far-right party was even a panel member on BBC TV's political discussion show! The reason, sadly, is that unfettered immigration, illegal and otherwise, is overwhelming benefits, schools and hospitals, and the white poor feel the mainstream parties are too busy infighting to listen to their concerns. Fear is going to give these nutjobs an opening.
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-04-09 14:26
The rehabilitation of Nazis begins, of course, with Fox.
+8 # xflowers 2012-04-09 14:36
What's wrong with the Sanford, Florida police? Apparently neither George Zimmermen nor the Neo Nazis find them capable of doing their job. If they can't get it together, I can envision a scenario with dueling gangs of protectors, all with the backing of the NRA to "stand their ground." This law upholding lawlessness is absurd. I wonder how the townsfolk down there feel about all of this extra "protection" they're getting.
+1 # Montague 2012-04-09 15:09
RSN rocks: Sadly language often appears to be nonsense in politics. Hitler was a socialist yet hated communism, and today Nazis are thought to be opposite of socialism. The biggest group for black rights is National Association for Advancement of Colored People, yet in UK blacks and whites were screaming for the sacking of a TV soccer pundit for daring to refer to "colored" players. Go figure.
+6 # jwb110 2012-04-09 16:21
Well, it is FOX and it is Florida.
+3 # Montague 2012-04-09 16:34
On reflection, I feel my earlier comments may be miscontrued. I'm not a right-winger - just aware of the fact that uneducated whites are ripe for exploitation by Nazis when our tiny island of UK in particular is unable to deliver services to an ever-growing population and mainstream politicians seem to ignore the concerns for fear of being called racist. Like the football guy I noted: he didn't say anything racist, just used "colored" instead of "black" and was vilified. All this is giving an opening to the extreme right. We can't bury our heads in the sand. Hope that clarifies my views.
+1 # xflowers 2012-04-09 20:35
I agree. We've got to talk about what's happening if we're going to find any kind of solution that offers stability. Otherwise, as Yeats wrote, the widening gyre may spin out of control. You point to what a friend and I were talking about: too many people and too few resources. I'm interested in hearing more about Great Britain. Is anyone proposing remedies? Is your population as adversely disposed to science or scientific analysis and solutions as ours seems to be?
0 # Montague 2012-04-09 23:00
Xflowers: Our mainstream parties talk about stricter border controls, but are hampered by European Union free movement rules and the huge queues at entry points that staff can't handle. It was recently found controls were relaxed illegally due to that and politicians are arguing over whose fault it was etc. A clergyman has just been jailed for conducting false weddings to get folks UK residence, and we're told this will be stopped when found. We also have quite wealthy foreigners coming for health tourism when they need an operation, getting compassionate treatment on our socialised medical service, then going home without paying the bill a foreigner should meet. Again action is promised, but... This is what the extreme right uses to gain votes. Thankfully, they've not made huge strides. Yet.
0 # Valleyboy 2012-04-10 07:10
The 1% are so clever at shafting us then directing our rage at others weaker than ourselves!

It's essentially Divide & Conquer for the domestic population. Think about it - whenever you see secretarian violence on the news, it's a direct result of colonial policy, be it the British (Northern Ireland, the Partition of India, Palestine) or America (Iraq, Columbia). Now the plundering is moving onto the people at home, why wouldn't they use the same tactics??
0 # Montague 2012-04-10 09:00
Correct most of the time. But the European Union of joining states has caused its own hassles. E.g. Poland insists that all arrest warrants on its citizens in UK be enforced, even if only for minor motoring offenses. Which meant Brits paid £50million (!)last year flying Poles home in chains. Often they're back in the UK in as little as 3 days. This insanity will only cause racism with people feeling wrongly that Poles are bad. It's not always about black/whites or colonialism these days. With the low quality of leaders we have, and an unelected coalition govt in UK, I don't see things improving. And that's enabling far right to appeal to some. Worrying.
0 # RMDC 2012-04-12 06:00
and FOX calls itself a news channel. They have a problem with labeling. They don't understand truth in labeling.

The really funny part is that most of Fox News viewers are probably now calling the neo-nazis a civil rights movement. White racists need rights too -- don't they. How else are they going to spew out all that hate and violence?

Sometimes I wonder what America is coming too.

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