At a press conference for this weekend’s big gun-rights rally in Washington, D.C., Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced that he’s thinking about suing us over Justine Sharrock’s profile of his organization, a fast-rising right-wing group that is recruiting men and women in uniform to resist the Obama administration. Rhodes is upset that we featured Oath Keepers supporters who talk openly about taking up arms against the government, and says that instead we should have focused on the Navy officer who sits on his board (and who seems in unshakeably good cheer when answering questions like, “That’s the ultimate cost of freedom, isn’t it—blood?”).
The thing is, talk of armed resistance is what our reporter, Justine Sharrock, heard over and over during the months she spent reporting on Rhodes’ organization—going to Oath Keepers conferences, spending time in Oath Keepers chat rooms, and meeting as many of the group’s supporters as she could. She wrote the story she found, not the story she was directed to. That’s what good reporters do, even when it earns them angry comments, threats of litigation, or worse. (Last year, another one of our writers, Anna Lenzer, was detained and not-so-subtly threatened with rape while investigating Fiji Water).
Some MoJo reporters are working on in-depth exposes—on the industry that stands in the way of housing relief, for example, and on a mysterious birth-defect cluster near a toxic-waste landfill—right now. Others are in Washington, keeping tabs on folks like the Congressman who calls other lawmakers “domestic enemies.” The reason they can stay on the beat is… well, you. MoJo relies on our readers’ help; hundreds of you have pitched in to get us to the goal of $25,000 for our current drive, but we’re not there yet. You can give 50 cents, $5, or $50, via credit card, PayPal, or check in the mail. Try it! It’ll feel good to be part of one of a very few reader-supported news organizations in America.