The once-liberal network continues its rightward shift.
There has been a modest debate about what to call Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and the 20 or so armed "militiamen" who on Saturday broke into and are now occupying a federal building in Oregon, the headquarters of theÂ Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The actions of the group, which are now calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, based on a misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution, have caused local county residents fear, anger, and unwanted national attention. Schools were ordered closed for the week almost immediately upon news of the siege. The county courthouse has been shuttered, as have nearby federal buildings, and even some local businesses out of safety concerns.
â€œIf this goes on any longer, it will have an even greater impact on our tourism and local economy,â€Â County Sheriff David Ward on Tuesday warned.
Some have chosen to call the group protestors, but that is insufficient. Some call them a militia, an armed protest,Â "constitutionalists,"Â or "patriots." Some, anti-government extremists. In reality they are fringeÂ Mormon extremistsÂ and anti-government domestic terrorists.Â Even one CNN security analyst has labeled them domestic terrorists, which is far more accurate.
But on Monday, MSNBC decided to label the group "citizen activists."
"The leader of the armed band of protesters locked in a government standoff in Oregon is asking for more people to join the group's cause as the clash between citizen activists and the federal government reaches a fever pitch," Tamron Hall, a well-respected MSNBC anchor, reported.Â
It is the first reference to an armed militia of domestic terrorists we could locate that has been labeledÂ "citizen activists," and hopefully the last.
A few who caught the label on Monday voiced opposition:
â€” Brian Gryphon (@bgryphon) January 4, 2016
â€” Erich S. Bloodaxe (@ErichSBloodaxe) January 4, 2016
â€” Bazooka Joe (@SmittyMyBro) January 4, 2016
Image: Screenshot via MSNBC