There are 7,383 state legislators spread across our 50 states. Why have the leftist pundits and reporters of the “mainstream” media gone especially apoplectic over one particular representative from Washington State? And why did they time their alarmist smear attacks to appear strategically in the days and hours immediately preceding the November 6 election?
Like most conservative Republicans, Representative Matt Shea (shown) has faced adversarial coverage from much of the regional and statewide media from the get-go. However, Shea’s outspoken leadership on a host of issues — abortion, Second Amendment, property rights, homosexual “rights,” limited government, federal usurpation, strict adherence to the Constitution — have earned him the attention of the big guns of the national media. They have responded with an all-out push in the last days before this year’s critical midterm election to oust him from office. The Associated Press, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The Hill, and New York Daily News (to name a few) have targeted Representative Matt Shea in a barrage of stories aimed at branding him as “dangerous,” “extremist,” “racist,” “anti-government,” “homophobic,” “Islamophobic,” “xenophobic,” and a “conspiracy theorist.”
These attacks are in addition to an onslaught by the Seattle Times, the Spokesman-Review, The Olympian, The News Tribune, and other Washington State print and broadcast organs. Even the international press have gotten into the Shea bashing, with articles in The Guardian (UK), Al Jazeera, and the Irish Times.
An October 23 Rolling Stone article, entitled “Something’s Brewing in the Deep Red West,” helped kick off the pre-Election Day media bombardment. Shea represents Washington State’s eastern divide of what is often referred to as the “Cascade Curtain”: the Blue Democrat coastal areas versus the Red Republican side of the Cascade Mountains; the liberal-left Seattle-Olympia-Microsoft-Starbucks urbanites versus the more conservative rural and small-town populations of the eastern end of the state, which is dominated by Spokane.
Rolling Stone reporter Leah Sotille is obviously disappointed when Representative Shea doesn’t provide her with the fire-breathing responses she was hoping for to reinforce the negative stereotype her media allies have crafted for him.
“Downtown Seattle just does not represent the values, traditions, cultures and beliefs of those folks in Eastern Washington,” Shea reportedly told her during a rally in Spokane. “Downtown Seattle comes out with a carbon-tax increase, or a sugar tax, or a property-tax increase, or an employee head tax.... A lot of folks over here are having a hard time getting by — they don’t need more tax increases.”
Sotille is sure that these reasonable-sounding objections are merely cover for a much more “extremist” agenda. “He gives me the boilerplate answers that are likely what have allowed him to get re-elected time and again,” she writes. “On the surface, there’s nothing shocking. But scratch a little deeper into Matt Shea, and you see an extremist hiding in plain sight.”
And, of course, the Rolling Stone writer is there to scratch and scratch ... and scratch until she finds something warranting the extremist label. Matt Shea, a five-term state representative, is on track for winning a sixth term, and in addition to his growing stature among liberty-loving patriots nationwide he is also well positioned for possible future advancement to a seat in the U.S. Congress. That has a lot of liberal-left Democrats and mushy, establishment Republicans very alarmed.
Like most of the other media smears of conservatives, patriots, and constitutionalists, Sotille invokes the supposed authority of the discredited far-left smear merchants of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This is the same serious Rolling Stone that features on its current cover a naked Zoe Kravitz in a Playboy-style pose.
On November 4, the Associated Press came out with a story that was carried on the Huffington Post and many other “news” outlets under the title “GOP Lawmaker Shares Document Calling For ‘Holy Army’ To Kill Men Who Flout Biblical Law.” Now, that sounds pretty serious, no?
Here’s the opening salvo in the article:
A Republican lawmaker in Washington state denied Friday that he is racist or a white nationalist for distributing a document describing how a “Holy Army” should kill people who flout biblical law.
State Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley in conservative eastern Washington has been under fire since he acknowledged in a Facebook video last week that he had distributed the four-page document titled, “Biblical Basis for War” to some of his supporters.
The document condemns abortion and same-sex marriage and describes how those who don’t follow biblical law should be punished. At one point, the document says, “If they do not yield, kill all males.”
News of the document prompted several of Shea’s political contributors to demand refunds of their donations.
“I have consistently and unequivocally condemned racism, anti-Semitism and white nationalism and do so again,” Shea said in a Friday tweet.
He said his critics were involved in a “ridiculous smear” to derail his election to a sixth term in the state House, where he has served since his election in 2008.
The AP smear has been repeated in other articles that make it appear that Representative Shea has authored a “manifesto” that advocates killing people who disagree with his Biblical view. One of the worst examples of this misrepresentation is a New York Daily News story by Nancy Dillon that appeared on October 31, entitled “Spokane GOP leader authors ‘Biblical Basis for War’ manifesto calling for end to abortion, same-sex marriage and death of enemies who disagree.”
The “manifesto,” writes Dillon, “includes multiple biblical citations and says vanquished enemies must ‘stop all abortions,’ disavow Communism, prohibit same-sex marriage and ‘obey Biblical law.’ ‘If they do not yield — kill all males,’ the document reads.”
All of these statements are misquotes or have been ripped totally out of context, Representative Shea told The New American in a telephone interview. The so-called manifesto, he says, is actually text from a talk he delivered on the Christian doctrine and theory of “Just War” practices. In the course of his address, he quoted the harsh Old Testament injunctions. He was not, he says, advocating the same application, and his media opponents know that.
Shea charges that they are using his citations from Deuteronomy and other books of the Old Testament to make it appear that he advocates murder of homosexuals, abortionists, and others with whom he disagrees. “They’re using Deuteronomy to make it sound like I’m a domestic terrorist,” he told The New American, “but they’re not going to silence me on this.”
We note that Representative Shea’s media ordeal in this regard is a repeat of the many media/SPLC attacks on pastors, preachers, and other Christian leaders who have cited the strict Old Testament penalties against homosexuality, not to advocate the same punishment today, but to demonstrate the severity of God’s condemnation of perversion.
Like the Rolling Stone piece and many of the other recent broadsides against Shea, the New York Daily News hit piece quotes Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who has become Shea’s full-time critic and nemesis. “This document is not a sermon, this is a ‘how to’ manual for what they plan to do if there’s ever civil war or a government collapse,” he says, referring to what the media are calling Shea’s manifesto. “These people are focused on the apocalypse. And quite frankly, they’re happy to push that into happening.”
According to Shea, Sheriff Knezovich has been trying to characterize him as a “white nationalist” and a “domestic terrorist” for some time now. Many of Knezovich’s early supporters have been increasingly concerned about his leftward drift, and particularly his virulent opposition to Shea.
When this writer delivered a speech exposing the Southern Poverty Law Center in Spokane in 2012, Representative Shea introduced me. Sheriff Knezovich was in attendance. After the presentation, the sheriff asked to speak to me. We met in the forum vestibule, and in a brief conversation, he complimented me on my lecture and said he agreed with what I had to say. However, in recent years, he seems to be more and more regurgitating the SPLC propaganda and adopting the politically correct tones that are playing so well with the establishment media.
Another charge that appears in many of the recent attacks is that Representative Shea associates with the Marble Community Fellowship, a rural Christian congregation in Stevens County. He has been a featured speaker at their annual Fourth of July God and Country Celebration. The media “throw around this ‘white nationalist’ label concerning Marble, but they have two black pastors, American Indians, and at least one Jewish member, I believe, so the charge of ‘white nationalism’ falls on its face,” he told The New American.
“They claim I am inciting violence, but the media’s constant attacks and lies are what’s stirring up hatred and violence,” Shea points out, noting that he has been the victim of death threats, insults, and calumny, as a result of the ongoing media bombardment. But, he notes, the inordinate media attention must mean that he has hit some of the right targets. “You know you’ve arrived when even Al Jazeera and the Guardian are blasting you,” he joked.
Jim Robinson, a longtime Shea supporter (and former aide) in the Spokane area, says the current media onslaught “shows they’re afraid Matt’s message is gaining four-wheel-drive traction with an expanding constituency.”
“The media titans can see he has struck a nerve,” he told The New American. “They know there is a large segment of America that is on the same moral frequency, and they’re afraid that he will educate, motivate, and activate that segment. They’re doing everything they can to stop and defeat him. Some voters may buy into the media propaganda. But all of these attacks and false charges are also motivating Matt’s volunteers to work harder and providing more incentive for his voters to come out to the polls. In some ways, it will backfire in Matt Shea’s favor.”
Photo: Washington State Rep. Matt Shea