The conservative radio host who staged an interview with an armed protester near the president's town hall in Phoenix has long ties with hard-core fringe groups, reports Talking Points Memo. Ernest Hancock allied himself with a group called the Viper Militia in Arizona in the 1990s, many of whose members were convicted of a plot to blow up government buildings. He told TPM's Justin Elliott that he still believes the government cooked up the case, along with Waco.
"I've been feeling this coming again," he said. "It's the same people. It's Rahm Emanuel, it's Janet Napolitano. It's Hillary Clinton. All these were the same people that were doing it back then." At the Obama event, Hancock wielded a video camera and conducted a seemingly random interview with a man strapping a semiautomatic rifle. Turns out, Hancock—himself armed with a 9mm—had known the man for years, and they had hatched a plan ahead of time to air their anti-reform views in the interview.