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Buffalo Talk Show Host: al Qaeda better than the Government

On January 24th, during the 11am hour, Entercom’s WBEN talk show host Tom Bauerle and his guest, Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-147), discussed what they consider to be constitutional jurisprudence, the supposed coming confiscation of all guns, how Obama has destroyed America, and the fact that armed citizens must be ready and willing to assault and murder law enforcement when they come to take your guns. All of this semi-informed nonsense culminated with Tom Bauerle exclaiming, “I regard the [US] government as a greater enemy than al Qaeda”. Because? Because guns. 

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Tom Bauerle and al Qaeda: besties.  This guy is a never-ending compendium of lowest-common denominator derp. 

Buffalo’s ultra-right wing is always lurching from manufactured outrage to conspiratorial fever-dream, and has WBEN’s morning host Tom Bauerle to act as its lurcher-in-chief, spokeschampion, and ur-patriot. Last week’s outrage involved the New York State gun legislation that was recently passed by overwhelming state senate and assembly majorities. Signed by Governor Cuomo, New York’s gun regulations rank among the toughest in the United States, and people who take issue with them promise to fight them through litigation. 

That is, after all, how our system of laws; our representative democracy with its checks and balances, is intended to work. 

It’s the sort of thing that gets a particularly uninformed and ignorant part of the community angry and riled up. These are people who bastardize Martin Niemoller’s famous quote about encroaching fascistic tyranny into, “first Hitler came for the Germans’ guns” and “then Stalin came for the Russians’ guns” and they were just given up willingly, and so Europe endured genocide and war. This is all part of the “fight tyranny” falsehoods that people have built into the 2nd Amendment, whose true purpose was to ensure that the United States – which did not have a standing army at the time – could call up militias who would already be armed, in order to defend the country against its foes. Nothing in the Constitution, nor in the case law, nor in the vast volumes of statutes of the United States gives citizens the right to take up arms against the government. 

Being the constitutional scholars that they purport to be, one would expect Mr. Bauerle and Assemblyman DiPietro to be somewhat familiar with the 5th Amendment’s Taking Clause and its interplay with the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which together stand for the proposition that the government cannot arbitrarily take one’s private property without due process. Instead, derp. 

At one point, Assemblyman DiPietro alleged that his legislative colleagues have no respect or understanding for the constitution; that they consider it to be a nuisance. Such inflammatory talk from someone who is himself so fundamentally ignorant of Constitutional jurisprudence is despicable. Perhaps the 5th and 14th aren’t taught as part of the BBA program at Wittenburg University, nor must they make up part of the communications or history curriculum at UB, however this doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Derp. (Hey, what part of “shall not be infringed” does Antonin Scalia not understand, AMIRITE?)

Turning to the radio program in question, lest anyone think I heard it live, here’s how I found out about it on Thursday, January 24th: 

Here is the clip, within its context, with Assemblyman DiPietro’s comments immediately preceding it: 

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And this wasn’t some fluke: 

183 people like that. Several more left encouraging comments, (all [sic]) like Richard Wheeler, who suggests that this is “counterrevolution. The dems drew first blood”. Laurel Krupski thinks it was “Well said !!” Kale Crum says, “The one thing thats preventing a full on revolution is the air cover the US military currently has. The only way thats mitigated is if there is a secession and the leaving states claim ownership of airbases and military equipment in state. I see it coming and hopefully can get a shot in before i myself am taken out. Snipers Unite!!!!” At least one commenter, Jim Walczak, brought up a discredited, false quote from Josef Stalin. Because guns go with derp. 

Here we have a talk-show host, employee of a multimillion-dollar public corporate entity, taking to the publicly owned airwaves and to a corporate-sponsored Facebook page to talk about armed insurrection, and to favorably compare al Qaeda to New York and the United States. Wow. 

I know that Bauerle is a conspiratorial birther, but I have yet to see the proposal to turn America into a part of al Qaeda’s global caliphate.

In fact, Obama comes under much criticism for maintaining a “war on terror” policy whereby unmanned drones are used to target suspected al Qaeda terrorists. I am not, however, aware of any government policy encouraging or permitting the deliberate or indiscriminate targeting of civilian non-combatants. When you see Governor Cuomo or Hillary Clinton post a video to the internet wherein he and some cabinet henchmen behead a captive, you let me know. When the state sets up a paramilitary training camp to train terrorists to mass murder civilians, you let me know. When Shelly Silver hijacks a plane or three to hurl it into some landmarks, you give me a holler. When Harry Reid or John Boehner dons a suicide bomb and detonates it in a crowded shopping area, text me. 

As for Assemblyman DiPietro, he was perfectly content to stay on the line and talk with Bauerle through another several segments after Mr. Bauerle expressed his comparative admiration for al Qaeda. But he didn’t hear that; Mr. DiPietro released this statement: 

I was interviewed via telephone Thursday by WBEN’s Tom Bauerle. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Bauerle and I am a fan of his show. I did not hear him compare the New York State government to al Qaeda. As a legislator, I am a member of the New York State government and I do not believe we are the moral equivalent to the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization.

There you have it – a sitting Assemblyman appearing on a radio program in Buffalo, NY, having to issue a statement disavowing the radio host’s statement that the United States is a terrorist organization? These sorts of discussions didn’t, interestingly enough, take place when, e.g., the government made up stories about Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons in order to start a war.

You can disagree with the new gun laws the state passed. You can protest them. You can move to another state. You can file a lawsuit to challenge it. You can do just about whatever you want, within the law. You can even go on the publicly owned, privately licensed airwaves to favorably compare al Qaeda to New York State, if you’re a complete mental defective who spends time on the radio advocating secession and civil war, riling up every gun nerd with a micropenis and an AM radio. 

Indeed, to the extent Bauerle’s political speech doesn’t make the shift into armed insurrection or outright treason, he has every right to say or write whatever idiocy he wants to. But you can’t get away with saying it in a vacuum, and I – you – have every right to expose it, criticize it, and hate it. And frankly, his speech is perilously close to the kind of speech that is expressly prohibited by Article III, section 3 of the Constitution

It comes full circle – the people who remained silent during the run-up to the Iraq war tainted anyone who opposed it with the “treason” brush. But now, with a duly elected Democratic government, treason and armed insurrection is all the rage. 

I don’t quite understand why Entercom (ETM) or WBEN thinks it’s a good idea to have its commentators make stuff up about confiscation (as if Albany was going to pass a law to reimburse people for the confiscation of their guns), but Bauerle and his corporate parent Entercom are whipping gullible, already angry gun owners into a much bigger frenzy.  If they keep it up, I fear one of them will hurt someone. Maybe a cop. Maybe you. 

Nary a word was spoken about the fact that a lunatic stole his mother’s militaria in order to massacre almost two dozen first graders. Mssrs. Bauerle and DiPietro make stuff up about the Constitution and denigrate the patriotism of those who think that gun violence is a problem in this country, but they cavalierly reject any notion that people – that parents – have a right to be free from gun violence that is at least equal to their right to arm themselves against some fantasyworld. Assemblyman DiPietro argued that humans have always been violent; after all, Cain killed Abel. 

Constitutional questions should rarely be settled with allusions to Biblical allegories. 

In the meantime, who will protect us from the tyranny of the angry, violent, and misinformed 2nd amendment revisionists? 


  • Jesse Griffis

    Now, I know you hate Bauerle and he’s a blowhard, but really, how many of these fans of the 2nd Amendment have gone around shooting people, Alan? They’re not the ones you need to be scared of.

    So hyperbole is okay for you but not for right wing pontificators, is that it?

    • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

      Do you think it’s reasonable to (a) misstate what the 2nd Amendment says; and (b) threaten to murder law enforcement over some fantasy based on the misstatement? 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629060174 Mark Schnitzer

        I agree Alan, and I do not think it is hyperbole to say that if a fringe element gun owner hears enough of the crap Bauerle  and others say on an almost daily basis, that he or she might not feel it is their duty, or calling  to set things right.

      • vb14086

        And the complete hypocrisy of WBEN paying homage to the late Police officer after she succumbed to her terrible  gun shot injuries and yet, at the same time, not saying a word when Bauerle states that if they (the Police) come for his guns (!), that ‘he’s a very good shot and he’s going to take a few with him’.  I didn’t believe my ears the first time I heard it, but he’s repeated the same sentiment several times. I do think that this is very close to the border line of inciting or advocating violence and as such, would not be protected speech. Most of the Nation was, of course, horrified at the Newtown tragedy. One wouldn’t know it listening to the likes of Bauerle and his substitute host David Bellavia. It’s all gun craziness for 3 hours a day as best I can tell. And lastly, one has to wonder what Entercom’s policy of guns in the workplace is as Bauerle reminds folks often that he has a conceal carry permit that he uses. Were I a co-worker, I ‘d be more than a bit worried knowing that and having some one who’s wound as tight as Bauerle carrying a gun around the office.

      • http://twitter.com/GibberJ Jeremy

         based on which specific case are you claiming the correct interpretation of the second amendment?
        and do you think an unjust law is to be followed?

      • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko

        DC v. Heller and its 14th Amd state-expansion counterpart. 

  • peteherr

    Hey…easy on Wittenberg University….

  • townline

    Deleted

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.eager Colin Eager

    Yes, Bauerle and his ilk are cretins.  But let’s not make that argument by whitewashing state violence:

    “In fact, Obama comes under much criticism for maintaining a “war on
    terror” policy whereby unmanned drones are used to target suspected al
    Qaeda terrorists. I am not, however, aware of any government policy
    encouraging or permitting the deliberate or indiscriminate targeting of
    civilian non-combatants.”

    Invading a country, firing missiles into a city, and even supposedly surgical predator strikes are bound to produce civilian deaths. It’s not a surprise that they happen. Obama (and others) know that they’ll happen, and give the go ahead anyway. This is especially true since the government’s definition of “suspected terrorists” actually seems to mean “people we attacked with predator strikes” — the fact that they were attacked is the proof that they were attackable.

    Bauerle’s claim is ridiculous, but not because our government is squeamish about killing foreign civilians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkresse Kevin C Kresse

    you should not confuse what he said with what in fact, the us government does do. and it does have a track record of training paramilitary death squads. or did you miss that part of recent american history in, say central america, as a well documented case study. criticize the right wing radio host, but try not to bury the track record of american foreign policy in the process.

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleffe Nicole Ferguson

    I love finding Randian codewords lodged in Facebook rants about taking back this country. You just know someone read Atlas Shrugged a few months ago and is really jazzed about imagining himself as John Galt or Hank Rearden, like some talk show host is really a maker of anything besides steaming piles of BS.

    Keep *~~**dreaming of revolution*~~*, Tom!

  • kozzzer219

    Obviously, I do not think this was Mr Bauerle’s point, but I think there is a legitimate case that, from a leftist perspective, the United States government, under both Obama and Bush II, has been more destructive and dangerous than al Qaeda has been. 

    and, while the US govt may not be using drones that include “targeting of civilian non-combatants.”  The use of signature strikes, where the targets are unknown individuals, and the use of secondary strikes, where rescuers are attacked trying to help previous drone targets, gets very close to willingly targeting civilians.

    • http://twitter.com/nicoleffe Nicole Ferguson

      I agree that we have done plenty of unnecessary damage to ourselves by spending obscene amounts of money, tarnishing our reputation abroad, and creating a culture of surveillance at home in the name of fighting terrorism. I read a while back that that was actually OBL’s goal: to drain us economically and make us weaker by using relatively low-cost attacks to trigger sweeping, expensive security responses.

      But yeah, I don’t think that’s what Bauerle was talking about. He thinks the government is his enemy because of the “collectivism” of “New America” (though Social Security / Medicare / Medicaid and other programs are decades old) and because elected representatives are trying to address a problem that kills many more people each year than any terrorist organization.

  • UncleBluck

    Thats what you get when the village of East Aurora elects the town laundry man to ……

  • UncleBluck

    I never realized that Baurele was such a big fan of Curt Cobain that he decided to emulate his look…

  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    Does anyone else not find it ironic that Entercom also owns Buffalo’s only left leaning commercial station wwkb 1520?  There’s times I can’t help but wonder if all the sturm und drang that gets stirred up is at the behest of the Entercom big wigs and bean counters.  Get those listener numbers up at both ends of the political spectrum, it all adds to the Entercom bottom line.

  • Mike_Chmiel

    The arguments about the US Government’s use of drone strikes, while valid in and of itself, are beside the point here.  When Bauerle rants about the US Government being more dangerous than Al Qaida, I hardly think his concern is for the citizens of the Middle East.

    Don’t worry, all this right wing hysteria about government tyranny will end the day a white person regains control of the White House.

    • http://www.facebook.com/colin.eager Colin Eager

       No it won’t. Birchers claimed that Ike was a commie dupe. Right wing paranoia predates Obama by decades.

      • Mike_Chmiel

        In the same numbers, or with the same mainstream publicity?  I strongly doubt it.

        I don’t recall the John Birch Society dominating AM radio, or having its own news network.

      • http://www.facebook.com/colin.eager Colin Eager

         Well, the media landscape is obviously very different. AM radio was full of music, and nobody had their own news network. The particulars of the message change, and so does the method of delivering it, but there’s been a strong streak of paranoia in the activist right for decades.

  • Carl Gorney

    Is it too late to, once again, put Mr. Bauerle…and Mr. Beach…and in fact, the higher ups at WBEN, on the latest list of the 25 Most Loathsome Buffaloians?

    Just in case you missed the list when it came out many years ago…

    http://www.buffalobeast.com/81/loathsomebuffalonians.htm

  • tonyintonawanda

    Conservatives angry at Republicans for allowing vote on gay marriage.  Marriage bill passes and world doesn’t end.
    Conservatives take out anger on Republicans who voted yes in the State Senate, costing GOP one if not two seats.  Republican Senate Majority is gone and GOP is forced into coalition with Democrats.
    No longer having an outright Majority, Republicans can’t prevent gun legislation from coming to the floor and passing….not that they would have anyway, but their power is diminished.
    Conservatives, who costs the GOP the Majority, rant and rave about this and threaten retributions at election time.

    Summary:  Conservatives must be the dumbest fucks walking the earth. Keep running primaries against moderate GOP legislators and hand the seats across the aisle to Democrats who are far more to the left.  Ignore the fact you live in a left leaning state that is getting more blue by the day.  In another two years, center/right coalitions will be obliterated in NYS and then we’ll see the really good stuff get passed.  As a Republican, I can’t believe the hills you assholes die on knowing we barely have any influence left in this state.