Spanning the globe, to bring you the wide world of wingnuts, we kick off our Martin Luther King Day celebration with the one thing every holiday needs to succeed in America: a martyr.
Meet Brett Reese, small town entrepreneur, who, with only a local radio station, a throwaway newspaper, and the power of his own fierce belief in the ennobling influence of free and open debate, has challenged the gray and faceless battalions of political correctness. Oh, and he also has the power of an editorial ghost written by a white supremacist, entitled, "The Beast as Saint: The Truth About 'Martin Luther King.'"
Armed with these few weapons, Brett has taken on the looming figure of Dr. King, like David slinging stones at Goliath, determined to prove that "a sexual degenerate" should not be permitted a seat at the hallowed pantheon of American heroes; and certainly not allowed to order lunch. Here, again, Brett's ghost writer provides unimpeachable, weaponized insider knowledge
, because "[i]n 2008, he pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography in a plea bargain. He served slightly less than two years in prison for the conviction."
So let's join Brett and his martyrdom, already in progress at WorldNetDaily:
Fierce backlash against MLK critic
'You can't pee on the altar of political correctness'
Death threats. Character assassination. Public repudiation. Demands to quit the local school board. Infringement on his right to bear arms. A pressure campaign against his advertisers. All for daring to broadcast a commentary acknowledging the smudges on the character of Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Spoiler Alert: the "death threats" turn out to be exactly as real as the "smudges," giving the whole story a nice symmetry.]
Greeley, Colo. businessman Brett Reese, a real estate investor and owner of radio station KELS and the Greeley Gazette newspaper, has been weathering the storm since last Friday, when he began twice-daily broadcasts of a listener's commentary questioning whether America should celebrate Martin Luther King Day.
"To me it's a First Amendment right, but apparently in our society you can't pee on the altar of political correctness. That is enough to get you death threats," Reese told WND.
KELS, better known as 104.7 Pirate Radio, devotes most of its programming to music, but the station also routinely runs commentaries related to upcoming events like the Jan. 17 MLK holiday. Reese airs such commentaries for up to two weeks at a time.
Here's a sample of the kind of programming the station advertises (the ad appears on the website of Brett's "newspaper," the Greeley Gazette
If you'd like to read more, the Greeley Gazette is available (for free!) at the following locations:
Flamingo’s Liquor (the old Bubba’s BBQ)
Nuway Cleaners-on 35th ave)
Laundromat on 10th St (next to Dairy Queen)
Culver’s (29th St/35th Ave on drive through side)
U-fill It (8th St/Hwy 85)
The controversial five-minute commentary...
Which Brett has been broadcasting twice a day for several weeks.
...raises a set of historically accurate but rarely acknowledged facts about King, including his repeated sexual infidelities and plagiarism. The commentary refers to King as an "America-hating communist," a charge that is disputed.
"Disputed"? In my day we called it "debunked," or "total bullshit." You know, the wingnuts are right -- this politically correct language is
getting out of hand.
It also describes King as a "sexual degenerate."
By which Brett means he imagines Dr. King having sex with white women. Alas, even greeleyreport.com ("THE EYES AND EARS OF THE TRUTH-SEEKING, FREEDOM-LOVING COALITION OF NORTHERN COLORADO") acknowledges, more in sadness than in anger, that "it was not proved that King had extramarital sexual affairs with white women, but with black women instead.)"
Recovering from this historical inconvenience, Brett soldiers on to declare that King is also "a criminal betrayer of even the interests of his own people," and looking at these two accusations (suburban fever, race treason) in context it's clear that Brett is just looking out for the ladies and the Negroes. Even the Negro ladies.
The commentary initially referred to a website that Reese subsequently discovered was linked to a racist organization. After Reese found out about the racism, he removed any mention of the website.
Well, after the racism was found out, Reese removed any mention of the website. Didn't seem able to do much about removing it from the commentary, though. Some stains, as Household Tips expert Lady MacBeth would say, don't wash out.
Greeley Gazette writer Jack Minor noted that Reese has been broadcasting the commentary for three years, but encountered no complaints until this year.
I wonder if this was the year when someone noticed the commentary was driving traffic to a white supremacist website? As it turns out -- yes, apparently so, judging by this opinion piece
, written by "leaders of Greeley’s faith community."
[W]e would like to voice our deep concern and sadness at the continued broadcast of Mr. Reese’s inaccurate commentary on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As suggested, we did our own research and found the website he referenced is owned by Stormfront, the Internet’s largest forum for racists, white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
It's a little hard to believe that two years or so went by before Brett noticed he was touting a White Power website. I mean, it's not like Stormfront is coy about their agenda, and if he'd just done a Google search, he wouldn't have even had to get out of the boat, since these are the first four hits:
However, we like to give people the benefit of the doubt around here, so I suppose it's always possible that "Stormfront" is Brett's favorite Billy Joel album, and he just go so excited about sharing his love for "I Go to Extremes" and "We Didn't Start the Fire," that he accidentally promoted white supremacy. (Our Colorado readers will remember a similar mix-up occurred in 1977, when Denver drive-time DJ Bob Meursault got so worked up about a rave review of Joel's album The Stranger
that he killed an Arab.)
"This year the only thing that's different is the Gazette," Minor told WND. The conservative-leaning paper is a new publication, and Minor said Colorado politicians have told him the Gazette's presence has forced the rival Greeley Tribune to provide more balanced political coverage.
Well, it forced the Tribune to run an article by local faith leaders correcting the lies and sins of omission in Brett's commentary, so I guess
Minor's statement is true, as long as we define "more balanced political coverage" as "achieving moral equilibrium between a Methodist and a son-of-a-bitch."
None of this might make a whole lot of difference, except to certain sensitive souls who don't care to have their Brenda Lee interviews leavened with white nationalism, but Brett got himself elected to the school board back in November.
The Greeley District 6 School Board reacted harshly to the commentary, issuing a statement castigating Reese and affirming celebration of MLK Day.
The school board statement calls Reese's words "unfortunate," "inflammatory" and "detrimental." It defended his right to express his views "as a private citizen," but also noted he is " … an elected member of this board of education."
"As such his behavior has the unfortunate effect of being linked to our board and school district," declared the board.
"Timed as they are, Mr. Reese’s words demean the existence of the Martin Luther King holiday and its honoring of not just Reverend King but of his messages of equal rights, peaceful demonstration, civility and respect," wrote the board, which adopted the statement unanimously after Reese walked out of a Monday meeting.
Brett did not take this criticism lying down, and while he didn't throw around terms like "pogrom," or "blood libel," because they're a bit too Jewish, he did apply a full-Palin to his opponents:
"They're all a bunch of flaming radical lefties," said Reese, who said he is the only conservative on the board. "I've had my character assassinated."
Jack Minor, the writer for Brett's website cum Pennysaver believes that the Greeley Gazette (motto: "Relitigating the Lost Cause since Third Quarter 2010") has become too powerful, too influential, and the dusky elites who hold sway in this country will see it destroyed.
Minor suggested the MLK tempest is not inspired by genuine outrage over the commentary, but by a desire to discredit the Gazette by smearing Reese. In addition to influencing local news coverage, the Gazette covers the Obama presidential eligibility issue extensively.
But just because you're a birther who can't stop thinking about civil rights leaders despoiling the flower of white womanhood, that's no reason for figments of your imagination to threaten your life.
As a consequence of airing the commentary, Reese told WND he has received death threats, in person, to himself and his family. He added that numerous death threats have been posted on discussion boards of Denver-area news websites.
Reese declined to describe the threats in detail.
He also declined to report
the death threats to the authorities, since the "Greeley Police say they can't find any written reports."
"I don't want to put any ideas into the mind of some lunatic," he told WND.
That seems like a harsh way to describe local law enforcement. Anyway, Brett's solution is to arm himself, and bring the fight to his enemies! Or, more accurately, to stick a Glock in his pants and spend District 6 board meetings re-enacting the scene from Red Dawn
where Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen fight their way out of Wolverine High just as it's being attacked by Russian paratroopers.
Reese told his fellow school board members he has decided to carry a gun to school board meetings, which are normally held in administrative buildings.
“If you have someone threaten to put a bullet in your head like Martin Luther King had, what would you do?” Reese told the Greeley Tribune.“Would you still bring a gun?”
Apparently, the lesson Brett took from Dr. King's doctrine of non-violence, and his many inspirational writings and speeches was, "shoot first, preferably while taking cover behind members of the local school board."
The board "freaked out" about Reese's announcement, said Minor.
In response to Reese, the school board convened an emergency meeting Wednesday night in an elementary school, where carrying a gun is illegal, to discuss ways to deny Reese the right to carry arms to board meetings even while he's facing death threats.
Death threats so serious that Brett has been forced to bypass the police and the FBI and go straight to the top -- WorldNetDaily!
Critics have also launched a campaign to drive Pirate Radio's sponsors away from the radio station.
Here we have another example of misleading political correctness, so for "critics" read "rival conservative talk radio station," which is reportedly trying to filch Brett's advertisers on the premise that they can attract a similar audience, but with only half the racism. Brett responded
by calling the station owner and challenging him to a "shootout," presumably during a school board meeting, since that's when Brett usually has a gun on him, and it would just be more convenient for everybody.
On the bright side, the station owner not only took Brett at his word, he took out a restraining order against him, and the County Sheriff revoked Brett's concealed weapon carry permit. So the Greeley District 6 School Board can breathe a sigh of relief, unless Brett decides to attend the next meeting in camo, carrying a shotgun or assault rifle in plain sight, and insists on delivering a 5-minute editorial by David Irving about the "profitable legend" of the Holocaust, just to add a little much needed pee to the altar.
Advertiser Matt Arguello, owner of Gwen's Salon, confirmed that he has received threatening phone calls, but he refuses to knuckle under.
"We're going to continue to advertise on Pirate Radio," Arguello told WND. " I compare it to being strong-armed by the mob. I'm not going to be strong-armed because somebody wants to silence somebody. I think that's wrong."
Well, that's pretty courageous, fighting for the free speech rights of another, especially when you have no personal interest in the matter. If this were combat, Arguello is the first hairdresser I'd like to share a foxhole with.
Arguello also works at Pirate Radio as a disc jockey.
"Even if I wasn't employed at Pirate Radio I would still stick with my sponsorship," said Arguello. "Pirate Radio has worked for us, it has drawn people into the shop."
Sure, this may look self-serving to a socialist, but in capitalism it's called "synergy," or "ouroboros." Anyway, Employees Must Wash Hands After Using Altar.