07/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fox News Reporter: Scandalized DHS Report Needs Second Look

Nine days ago, I joined Greg Sargent in wondering if the murder of George Tiller should prompt a "second look" at the DHS report on homegrown right-wing extremists that was so scandalized by pundits who insisted it was some sort of high concept government crackdown on mainstream conservatives, despite the fact that it was a report initiated by the Bush administration in which the word "conservative" never appeared. In the wake of today's recent tragic events at Washington DC's Holocaust museum, that second look seems even more appropriate. Catherine Herridge, reporting for Fox News, agrees:

GALLAGHER: It's a fair admonishment to us Catherine, to be careful of the facts here. But as you look at these, these types of groups that the FBI may or may not be investigating in the hours and days to come, we often forget about homegrown groups, and as you were saying in a report just a few days ago, one of the big concerns now about terrorism is from within.

HERRIDGE: Well that's right; for some context I think we need to look a the incidents today and see the warning from Homeland Security, about left-wing and right-wing extremist groups in this country, in a somewhat different light. I know from having interviewed every homeland security secretary who's come through that office that their primary concern has always been the lone wolf attacks. As I mentioned earlier today, the lone wolf attack is the most difficult to thwart because it is a conspiracy of one, an individual who is not sharing information with other people. The broader the conspiracy, as you can imagine, the more likely it is that information will leak and law enforcement will be able to intervene. So again it's a lone wolf attack, during the inaugural period, right up to today, I know that is the number one concern. And whether this is in fact the case, this would appear, and I would emphasize appear to fit that profile. And again I think we have to consider that these warning from Homeland Security that became so controversial earlier this year about left-wing and right-wing extremist groups, we have to now see them in a different light because they did specifically talk about the spread of white supremacy groups--[CROSSTALK]

GALLAGHER: Catherine hold on we're going to hear from the mayor of DC.

NOTE: Herridge and Gallagher were cut off by the beginning of Washington DC's Mayor Adrian Fenty's remarks.

Greg Sargent reminds that the report was "chock full of warnings about 'lone wolf extremists' capable of violence."

It should be noted that she is merely echoing her own consistent and sane line of thinking on this matter. As Think Progress noted back in April, Herridge's reporting on the matter was often at odds with other personalities from her network.


And, later on in Fox's coverage this afternoon, Shepard Smith gives Herridge the opportunity to restate her position on the matter. Recalling the controversy, a rueful Smith pointedly remarks, "Yeah, there was blowback, and here we are."

UPDATE: Shep Smith drives home the point on that DHS report: "It was a warning to us all, and it appears now they were right."

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]