Commentary by Brian Fitzpatrick, Senior Editor, Culture and Media Institute

November 19, 2008 ( – A wave of quasi-fascism has descended upon California and touched several other states. But instead of exposing the abuse, the media are ignoring it.

On November 4, California voters approved Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment declaring that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid in the Golden State. Since then, militants have vandalized property, threatened individuals and mailed white powder to Mormon churches. Most Americans probably are not aware of this fascistic behavior, because the media – the people who are supposed to be the first line of defense against domestic tyranny – are absent.

Fascism is a powerful word, but often used imprecisely, so let’s define our terms. The following definition comes from former Columbia historian Robert O Paxton, author of The Anatomy of Fascism:

“A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

How does the term “fascism” apply to America? A national network of angry gay rights demonstrators is screaming for the use of force – judicial force – to nullify Prop. 8. They’ve committed numerous acts of verbal abuse and physical violence (check out the account and video of Christian evangelists being hounded out of San Francisco’s Castro district) and are openly seeking revenge against churches and businesses that supported Prop. 8. As they did previously in Massachusetts, they have uncovered lists of citizens who supported marriage and targeted them for abuse and boycotts. Is this a form of Paxton’s “internal cleansing?”

This network of homosexual protesters is far from nationalistic, but otherwise it’s quite similar to Paxton’s definition. It’s easily seen as a “mass-based cult of unity or energy,” motivated by perceptions of victimhood, and abandoning “democratic liberties” to pursue its goals without the ethical and legal restraints customary in American politics.

This mass movement is also collaborating effectively, but not at all uneasily, with traditional elites. First, the politicians. Same-sex “marriage” has been imposed in three states by rogue courts and governors who ignored the rule of law—Massachusetts, California and most recently Connecticut. Prop. 8 was a popular backlash against the California Supreme Court edict. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for the court elite to strike back by declaring Prop. 8 unconstitutional. California Attorney General Jerry Brown, an outspoken supporter of gay “marriage,” is calling for the court to issue a new decree quickly. California’s top elected officials want the court to overrule the clearly expressed will of their own citizens.

Maybe “citizens” is the wrong word. Citizens govern themselves. Golden State elites seem to be turning Californians into subjects.

On to the news media elites. Democracy itself is under attack in California, and what are the supposed watchdogs of freedom, the free press, doing about it? When they’re not applauding, they’re strategically averting their eyes.

Within two days of the popular passage of Prop. 8, the media began defining the story as gay civil rights denied, rather than civilization defended. Media outlets began to caricature supporters of Prop. 8 as bigots, and refused to allow them to tell their side of the story. The prevailing media attitude toward legalizing same-sex “marriage” is exemplified by a five minute, on-air editorial by MSNBC’s resident attack dog, Keith Olbermann. Olbermann called the Prop. 8 vote “horrible, horrible.” The poor guy was so emotionally distressed, he forgot to shout.

The moral credibility of homosexual agitators is based on public perception that they are “victims,” so the media have virtually ignored numerous examples of gay activists victimizing their political adversaries. Broadcast television networks have failed to show gay protesters hurling racial and religious epithets at African-Americans and Mormons, two groups largely responsible for Prop. 8’s victory. Normally, such outright bigotry would be front page news.

The media are even ignoring sacrilege and violence. Until Bill O’Reilly showed a video clip on Nov. 17 on Fox News, only one major newspaper, and no broadcast networks, covered the carefully planned Nov. 9 assault of Mt. Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, by homosexual activists during a worship service. No national networks, to the best of our knowledge, have shown the dramatic footage at Palm Springs City Hall of screaming protesters roughing up an elderly counter-protester, tearing a cross from her hands and stomping on it.

Even a reprise of the anthrax scare has gone almost unreported. Only a handful of newspapers and NBC’s Today show have noted that domestic terrorists have sent packages containing white powder to Mormon churches.

Entertainment media elites are getting their licks in, too. CNN reported yesterday that Roseanne Barr, for example, said African-Americans are “as bigoted and ignorant as their white Christian white right wing counterparts.” Ah, the sweet sound of tolerance.

America hasn’t yet seen political violence of the kind that led to takeovers of Germany and Italy by Fascist thugs before World War II. But if media outlets don’t investigate these incidents, expose the perpetrators, and pressure the government to press charges, we can only anticipate greater political violence.

Eventually, the media themselves will be the targets.