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Feb. 22 2010 - 9:36 am | 477 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Mainstreaming Joe Stack: Daughter takes to the airwaves to call him a ‘hero’

AUSTIN, TX - FEBRUARY 18:  Smoke billows from ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Some of the responses to Andrew Joseph Stack III, the anti-tax crazy who crashed an airplane into the Austin, Texas building where the IRS had a service center, have been pretty awful. I already called on Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts to apologize for quipping that “no one likes paying their taxes” when Stack’s case came up. And then there was Human Events editor Jed Babbin’s tasteless joke at CPAC about Grover Norquist flying a plane into a federal building because he was feeling testy.

But you can’t just seize on those Republican stalwarts for making light of Stack’s craziness when ABC News lets his daughter, Samantha Bell, take to the airwaves on morning TV and tell the world he was a hero:

Joe Stack’s adult daughter, Samantha Bell, spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” from her home in Norway. Asked during a phone interview broadcast Monday if she considered her father a hero, she said: “Yes. Because now maybe people will listen.”


“But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished,” she told ABC. “But I do not agree with his last action with what he did. But I do agree about the government,”

via News from The Associated Press.

Bell can’t have it both ways. Only now will people listen, in her stunted logic, because of the terrorist act she disagrees with that her father committed that killed IRS employee Vernon Hunter. I also don’t know a lot of heroes who set their homes on fire with their wife and step-daughter inside. You don’t call someone a hero after they’ve committed a heinous act of terrorism that kills one person, injures others, and puts hundreds more at risk. It kind of detracts from their heroism of speaking out (especially when it appears that they were speaking out about nothing other than being a tax cheat who got caught).

But Stack’s daughter Bell is only a symptom here. The disease-ridden source is ABC News and their producers who think that a person like Bell is entitled to tell her side of the story. Her side of the story is pretty irrelevant. Stack is a man who killed a person and tried to shed the blood of many more. We don’t need to hear about what kind of person he was. And however much blood got shed in Austin, Texas’s terrible moment last week, ABC’s Good Morning America just had to find a few more drops. All they’ve done is worked to mainstream Joe Stack and transform him into some kind of anti-tax folk hero. He wasn’t, and he never will be, but by giving his daughter air time, they help bring him a little bit closer to that status in the eyes of a few people.


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    If she isn’t a case study for the term “chip off the old block,” I don’t know who is.

    I find her comments slightly less offensive than Scott Brown’s. “Everyone hates paying taxes.” And then Cavuto goes, “Now people are going to try and peg this on the tea party (teabagger) movement. Isn’t that a little extreme?”
    And Scott says, “Well yes, that is extreme.”

    You know you’re through the looking glass when a television personality (or in this case Mr. Cavuto)and an elected official use the word “extreme,” to describe not the criminal act but rather the “left-wing, drive-by media’s” potential analysis.


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