Reality Show Celebrates Hate Group Leader as American Patriot
This displays the glaring lack of vision and desperation for content of today’s reality TV producers.
The 30-minute episode intersperses footage of Spencer cruising his ranch on an ATV and demonstrating his high-tech gizmos with “re-enactments” and dramatizations of dark-skinned men leaping from the backs of pickup trucks, aiming high-powered rifles and skulking about menacingly, all backed by music worthy of an episode of “24.”
Breaking for commercials advertising ATVs, rifle components and testosterone supplements (really), the show lionizes Spencer as a man “set on a personal crusade by the unchecked lawlessness he witnesses on the U.S.-Mexico border.” His views, the voiceover concludes, “are based on stark reality.”
Er, not really. In fact, Spencer is a vitriolic Mexican-basher who may have done more than anyone to spread the myth of a secret Mexican conspiracy to re-conquer the Southwest (an effort supposedly known as “la reconquista”).
He believes that “Jews do, in fact, control the media,” which they use to spread “clever pro-illegal alien propaganda.” And in the past decade, he’s had two run-ins with the law, both of which were based on paranoid fantasies.
In 2003, thinking he was hearing noises outside his Sierra Vista, Ariz., home - presumably the sounds of “illegal aliens” heading north - he grabbed a gun and started shooting into the dark outside. He managed to hit a neighbor’s garage, among other things, and was charged with four felonies. (The charges were eventually reduced to a single misdemeanor.)
In Feb. 2011, he was convicted of disorderly conduct, threatening and intimidation, and assault after he threatened to unleash his dogs on a man he took to be a drug smuggler because he was parked on the side of the road and talking on a cell phone at a supposedly “famous pick up spot.” The man turned out to be the son of a neighbor Spencer accuses of having a “religious vendetta” against him or possibly being involved in illegal activity himself. (The source of Spencer’s accusation of religiously motivated “hate” is that the neighbor and his son are Baptist, and some Arizona Baptist churches have outspokenly opposed Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant SB 1070.)
The Outdoor Channel did not respond to requests for comment about its decision to showcase Spencer. Presumably, it doesn’t much care: After all, American Border Patrol isn’t the only radically anti-immigrant group to be featured on “Border Battles.’