After a scheduled appearance by the pro-war veterans’ group Vets for Freedom at Forest Lake Area High School was canceled early last week, bloggers and talk radio denizens on the right reacted with outrage — much of it directed expressly at Stillwater blogger, activist, and military veteran Karl Bremer for his role in a letter-writing campaign that contributed to the cancellation of the event. Republican U.S. Rep Michelle Bachmann, of Stillwater, was to appear as well.
Voices: Thug radio: Are Jason Lewis and KTLK now in the jihad business?
The websites Look True North and Minnesota Majority posted letter generators for writing to Bremer that include his photograph and, for a time, included his home address and home and work phone numbers as well.
On Tuesday evening, right-wing KTLK-FM talk host Jason Lewis had the following exchange with a caller (emphasis added):
Caller: Back to this Bremer. To put a little fight back into the Republicans, what you need to do is get Karl Bremer’s address, phone number, and his other members of this little Democrat underground that protests, and let’s get a little protest going on his front doorstep so he can get a little taste of his own medicine. Hold his feet to the fire. Make him responsible for some of the actions he does…
Jason Lewis: I don’t lead a jihad against individuals unless they happen to be in the public arena. Of course, you could make the argument this guy’s now in the public arena. But if citizens are truly fed up with a small minority of socialist kooks in Stillwater, led by this Karl Bremer character who’s got a bizarre obsession with Michele Bachmann, I can’t be held accountable for what citizens might come up with. If you want to let this guy know you think he’s a bum, that’s up to you. I’m just saying that people ought to know his name, because he’s the guy, the ringleader, in Veterans for Peace and all this, that literally are censoring veterans.
Caller: Right, right. Well, or maybe a website. If they have a website, they could crash the website. You know, if you don’t want any legal repercussions for what might happen. Because he would probably get some kook fringe lawyer to come back and sue you or K-Talk. I can understand that, not wanting to have any legal repercussion or responsibility…
Lewis: Yeah, right. Well, the problem with these protesters–the problem they’ve got is, they entered the public arena. They are out there. What is it, democrat underground dot org or something? Democratic underground dot com. They are out there in the ether. Karl Bremer has been out there putting his name in the papers in his letters to the editor bashing Michele Bachmann. So he is now a public person, and hence he’s going to take the slings and arrows just like he hands them out. Long overdue, to be sure.
I phoned KTLK, a Clear Channel station, intending to ask program director Steve Versnick if this harangue fits the station’s programming policies. He has not yet returned the call. If and when he does, I’ll update with his response.