Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sorry, Ted: You're only a make-believe cop

Ted Nugent is best known as a rock musician, a bow hunter and an ardent supporter of gun rights. But his recent description of President Obama as a "subhuman mongrel" eclipses all of that. Those words are rooted in Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda and the writings of white supremacists.

The uproar drew a terse apology from the singer, but in an interview last week with CNN's Erin Burnett, he insisted that he had not drawn on the rhetoric of racist literature. At least for the word "mongrel," Nugent said the word was used in his time in law enforcement.

"I've been a cop in Lake County, Michigan, since 1982 thereabout. I conduct federal raids with the DEA and ATF and U.S. Marshals and the FBI and Texas Rangers and heroes of law enforcement.

"And we are re-arresting fugitive felons let out of their cages after murdering and raping and molesting children, carjacking. And we keep going after these guys ... Our hearts are broken that we have to face these monsters. We call them mongrels. We call bad people who are destroying our neighborhoods mongrels."

Is Nugent really a cop? Does he go on raids with the DEA, Texas Rangers and others?

Lake County, Mich., is 90 miles north of Grand Rapids. It has 11,500 residents and describes itself as "an outdoor recreation paradise."

Nugent is a reservist for the county Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Robert Hilts told PunditFact.com. But, "He's never joined us for any raids.''

The only activity involving Nugent that Hilts could recall was raising money on behalf of the department. "We're always searching the woods for a hunter that's lost or hurt," Hilts said. "He helped us buy a four-wheel-drive, off-road vehicle so we could reach people faster."

So Nugent does not seem to be a cop in the way most people would understand that word. The picture was about the same for the federal agencies Nugent named. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told us, "We are not aware of him conducting any raids with us." Same with the Texas Rangers and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The FBI said it could neither confirm nor deny Nugent's participation in a raid.

When we reached out to Nugent, an assistant did not provide evidence that Nugent participated in raids with any agency. Instead, Nugent's assistant Linda Peterson wrote, "Ted has been active in the following: U.S. Marshal Service FALCON fugitive task force arrest raids in Texas."

That's not quite what it sounds like, either. Nugent and a film crew "went on a ride-along with a U.S. Marshals-led task force in Waco, Texas, in 2005," agency spokesman Dave Oney said. Oney believes they were shooting footage for Nugent's television show Spirit of the Wild.

With the U.S. Marshals, observers work under clear limits. "They cannot go with us into private residences," Oney said. "So, he would have had to remain in the vehicle or on the sidewalk or some other public area."

We did find an article by Nugent describing his visiting an FBI handgun training facility built around video simulations. The article is undated, but in it Nugent wrote that he found the training experience very realistic.

"Let me tell you, when the room goes dark and the video begins to roll, you become so totally engulfed in the scenario that you are 100 percent psychologically living the event as if it is real life," he wrote. "It is no longer a video as far as your mind tells you."

It is possible this may have shaped his recollections.

Nugent may have been passionate but his words take him far beyond the facts.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire.

Comments
Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Acquired Saturday night from the Angels (for a player to be named – a minor-leaguer, and not a top prospect), 1B/DH C.J. Cron is expected to join the Rays today in Port Charlotte.Here are 10 things to know about him:1. Full name: Christopher Jo...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Guess here is, USF will break ground on indoor facility in ’18

Guess here is, USF will break ground on indoor facility in ’18

While I don't like attaching disclaimers to forecasts, it's only fair to note my projections occasionally have gone askew.Initially, I wasn't sold on Quinton Flowers as a starting quarterback, and wasn't crazy about the hiring of baseball coach Mark ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Florida sheriff’s solution to campus shootings: Arm the teachers

Florida sheriff’s solution to campus shootings: Arm the teachers

Grady Judd believes he's found a solution that would help stop future school shootings: prepare teachers to shoot back.The Polk County Sheriff touted his department's "Sentinel" program — which it developed in 2016 — during a Saturda...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Florida education news: #HB7055, school safety, turnarounds and more

Florida education news: #HB7055, school safety, turnarounds and more

#HB7055: Today the Florida Senate takes up the House's priority education omnibus bill, which includes a wide range of issues from expanded tax credit scholarships to state testing changes. Committee chair Sen. Dorothy Hukill has filed a strike-...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Donald Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of probl...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Photos: Dozens honor Parkland shooting victims at Tampa vigil

Photos: Dozens honor Parkland shooting victims at Tampa vigil

DIRK SHADD | Times Adelina DeChard (center) is consoled by her daughter Gianna (right), 16, a sophomore at Gaither HS, during a vigil to remember and honor the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Curt...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Survey reveals bipartisan support assault weapons ban; St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to difficult climate; commandos come to Palm Harbor; Bucs address pass rush woes

The Daystarter: Survey reveals bipartisan support assault weapons ban; St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to difficult climate; commandos come to Palm Harbor; Bucs address pass rush woes

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• We...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition cancelled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under Preside...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Republican Senate candidates to debate in Indianapolis

Candidates in Indiana's raucous Republican U.S. Senate primary are set to participate in their first debate
Updated: 1 hour ago
Times/Herald survey: Florida Legislature still divided on assault weapons ban. But compromise could be possible.

Times/Herald survey: Florida Legislature still divided on assault weapons ban. But compromise could be possible.

After the shock of the Parkland school shooting began to set in, and the nation began to comprehend the 17 murders committed Wednesday, there was a crescendo of noise from the Florida Legislature.First it was tweets of "thoughts and prayers." Then ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago