The Other McCain

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How Wrong Was Michelle Goldberg About Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Bombing? UPDATE: ‘I Lit Up the Clinic,’ Suspect Told Police; Offers Guilty Plea at Hearing

Posted on | April 4, 2012 | 45 Comments

“Typically, we see an upsurge in anti-abortion violence . . . when the anti-abortion movement kind of thinks it was on the verge of victory, and then finds itself somehow thwarted. . . . When there’s frustration among the anti-abortion forces, violence often results.”
Michelle Goldberg on MSNBC, April 2, 2012

What do we know about Francis Gerald Grady, the man police have charged with Sunday’s firebombing incident at a Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute, Wisconsin? Not a whole lot yet.

The main thing we know about Grady, 50, is that he has a lengthy criminal record dating back at least to 1999, when he was charged with failing to pay $2,128 in taxes. In May 2000, Grady pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, Three years later, Grady was accused of violating a restraining order taken out by his extranged wife, Sally. Five years ago, in June 2007, Grady pleaded guilty to felony bail-jumping and failure to pay child support.

In July 2008, Grady was arrested for reckless driving with a revoked license — he had apparently been twice convicted of DUI — and pleaded no contest in April 2010. He was represented in that case by a public defender. In August 2010, Grady was charged with “resisting or obstructing an officer,” and pleaded guilty a year later, when he was sentenced to a year on probation.

Grady’s most recent offense, prior to the Planned Parenthood incident, was when he was arrested on Dec. 26 with resisting or obstructing an officer. The district attorney formally filed that charge on Friday — Grady was scheduled for a May 3 court appearance on the charge — and two days after the charge was filed, Grady is alleged to have attacked the Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute.

Grady’s  “bomb” was reportedly “built of a plastic bottle and chemicals that included an incendiary agent,” and was described in news accounts as a “small device” that did “minor damage” to the empty office. About an hour after that Sunday evening incident, Grady got into a traffic accident. He was subsequently identified as a suspect in the Planned Parenthood attack based on surveillance video.

This is most of what we know so far about Francis Gerald Grady, whose address is N4110 Highway E #1, Kaukauna, Wisconsin. If I had at my disposal the resources of a major news organization — such as MSNBC or the Daily Beast/Newsweek, which employs Michelle Goldberg — I believe I could dispatch a journalist to Outagamie County, Wisconsin, with an assignment to produce an in-depth feature on Grady, whose lengthy career as a petty criminal has finally brought him national notoriety.

In fact, unless I start seeing some such in-depth reporting PDQ, I might even be tempted to make that trip myself, and I guarantee you within 72 hours of my arrival in Outagamie County, I could produce a few thousand words with photos and videos that would be well worth the effort. But I’ve got other matters to attend to now. My wife and I still haven’t filed our taxes, and figuring up the travel expenses is going to be a time-consuming headache. Plus, there’s still a presidential campaign underway in nearby Pennsylvania, not to mention the fact that I’m going to have to deal with the hassles related to my recent campaign-trail encounter with the vigilant police officers of Livonia, Louisiana.

Michelle Goldberg and MSNBC, however, have no such excuse. On Monday night, MSNBC turned this Wisconsin incident into a politicized drama, with Goldberg contextualizing it as the “anti-abortion movement” feeling “thwarted,” with “frustration among the anti-abortion forces” leading to an “upsurge in anti-abortion violence.”

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Really, Michelle? Now that police have a suspect in custody, are you going to follow up on that angle, and explain how Francis Gerald Grady exemplifies the phenomenon you described? Have the producers at MSNBC booked you for tonight, so you can talk about Grady as part of the “anti-abortion movement” and the Republican “War on Women”? Or have you already booked your flight to Wisconsin, so you can give Newsweek and MSNBC exclusive coverage from the scene of the crime?

Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to get any of that kind of actual journalism from Michelle Goldberg or Lawrence O’Donnell or anybody else in the liberal media who was so eager to jump to a preordained conclusion about this incident, playing a primetime propaganda game of pin-the-tail-on-the-Republican.

Hell, no, they won’t follow up. Goldberg, O’Donnell, MSNBC, Newsweek — now that there are actual facts to report, these worthless lying scoundrels are going to drop this story and flush it down the Memory Hole as if it never happened. They ought to be indicted for fraud merely for calling themselves “journalists.”

UPDATE: While I was working on this post, Nick Martin of Talking Points Media reported:

Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson said investigators in the case learned that Grady may have been involved in past protests at the office. The information was so far unconfirmed, Peterson said, but it is being looked at closely by the team of local and federal investigators handling the case.
“There was some indication that surfaced at some point that he has been involved in some of the demonstrations,” Peterson told TPM. But the chief described the information as coming from “someone who didn’t have direct knowledge,” so there was still more work to be done.

OK, so there is at least some secondhand hearsay pointing toward a connection between Grady and pro-life protests. I’ve made some phone calls, and intend to follow up on this angle. And it is with tremendous chagrin that I admit the necessity of hat-tipping . . . Charles Johnson.

Integrity: I got it. Like Paul F–king Anka, baby.

UPDATE II: Mark Leland of WLUK-TV reports that in his first court appearance today, Francis Grady offered to plead guilty and “also asked the judge if he knew how many babies were being killed at the clinic”:

According to the criminal complaint, Grady used a hammer to break a window of the clinic and then poured gasoline inside, lighting the room on fire.
After being arrested, the complaint states Grady admitted to officers, “I lit up the clinic.”
Grady appeared in court wearing a neck brace, and offering to plead guilty “today.”
The judge set a preliminary hearing for April 19.

UPDATE III: OK, there was no “bomb,” and this Grady character seems slightly deranged, judging from this account of his court hearing from Paul Srubas of the Green Bay Gazette:

Francis Grady, 50, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Sickel he planned to plead guilty, but Sickel ignored the statement and scheduled Grady for an April 19 preliminary hearing.
At one point, Grady interrupted him to ask, “Do you even care at all about the 1,000 babies that died screaming?”
Grady told his lawyer, public defender Tom Phillip he was fired for interrupting Sickel, prompting a woman from the back of the courtroom to call out, “Shut up, Frankie.”
“My sister told me to shut up,” Grady said to Phillip. . . .
Outside the courtroom, Grady told a Green Bay Press-Gazette photographer, “I just want to give one wink to my girlfriend.” When a reporter asked him why he had planted a bomb at the clinic, Grady corrected him, saying, “There was no bomb, it was gasoline.” He said he did it because “they’re killing babies there.”

I just got off the phone with the Grand Chute police chief. I’ll have more news about this case later.





45 Responses to “How Wrong Was Michelle Goldberg About Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Bombing? UPDATE: ‘I Lit Up the Clinic,’ Suspect Told Police; Offers Guilty Plea at Hearing”

  1. Adjoran
    April 4th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Goldberg’s favorite subjects are abortion “rights” and the Scary Christians Are Coming!   She is only a “journalist” in the sense that having opinion pieces on “reproductive freedom” and “The  Scary Christians Are Coming!” in TNR, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Beast makes you a “journalist.”

    Expecting her to veer away from her narrative is folly – not only won’t she, she isn’t capable of it, any more than the mighty Mississippi will reverse its flow.

  2. ThePaganTemple
    April 4th, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

     Believe it or not, that actually happened once as the result of an earthquake in Western Kentucky, and resulted in a lake being formed. So you never can tell.

  3. robertstacymccain
    April 4th, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    I actually know Michelle Goldberg. I’ve got her cellphone number and e-mail address and thought briefly about contacting her privately about this.

    But you see, what she did on MSNBC was public — primetime TV news — and such a public disgrace requires a public response. Therefore, I called her out, and Goldberg wants to make it right, she needs to do so publicly.

    If journalism is to be an honorable profession, then an old-fashioned sense of honor is certainly appropriate to such disputes, and if my peers have not studied the code duello, this is not my fault.

  4. Brian D Paasch
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    Anything in WI voter records to show the guy (obviously!) votes republican?

  5. McGehee
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

     What — research!? Did you flunk Narrative 101 or something???

  6. Shelleys Playtime
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I wonder what Sally has to say about her x-hubby…

  7. robertstacymccain
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    Exactly. And what do his neighbors say about him? What kind of community is N4110 Highway E #1 in Kaukauna? Where did Grady work? Where did he go to school?

    Is Grady part of the 1 percent? Was he on the payroll of the Koch Brothers? Did he frequently attend church? Was he involved in the local Tea Party?

    If this guy was part of the “anti-abortion movement” and an active agent of the Republican “War on Women,” I would think questions like that would be kind of important. But so far as I can see, nobody at Newsweek or MSNBC is asking those questions. It’s almost as if they had no actual interest in the story, except insofar as it had value in terms of partisan politics, and once the suspect turned out to be a poor fit for that template, they lost interest altogether.

    But … that’s just crazy-talk!

  8. Passablyaffable
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    Anyone think they’ll let lack of facts stand in the way of the narrative?

  9. Adjoran
    April 4th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

     What she does in the privacy of her own home with her Trojan Vibrating Touch™ is her own business.

  10. Adjoran
    April 4th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

     Yeah, but if you call her out, it’s her choice of weapons.

    Are you prepared to do battle with Double-edged Liberal Fallacies?

  11. Adjoran
    April 4th, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

     Facts are the mere paving stones over which The Narrative rolls like the Juggernaut of Ratha Yatra, crushing everything in its path, using the blood and bones of its own believers to grease the axles.

  12. JeffWeimer
    April 4th, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

    OT: Stacy, Mark Levin read your Spectator piece on Wisconsin on the air a few minutes ago.

  13. Obama’s Eligibility, the Gwatney Murder and the Planned Parenthood Attack
    April 4th, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

    […] appears already to have pleaded guilty, is one Francis Grady from the nearby town of Little Chute. Stacy’s been on top of the case, and refers to him as a “career criminal,” though his career is hardly stellar. He has […]

  14. Adobe_Walls
    April 4th, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    Partisan politics is the only interest they have in anything.

  15. Adobe_Walls
    April 4th, 2012 @ 7:57 pm


    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

    I love how this has gone from “How wrong was Michelle Goldberg…?” to “OK, so there is at least some secondhand hearsay pointing toward a connection between Grady and pro-life protests.” to “He said he did it because “they’re killing babies there.”

    Now…how wrong were YOU?

  17. paft
    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

    So Goldberg was right. This was yet another example of anti-abortion violence.

  18. paft
    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:47 pm


    She seems to have been right.

    You going to publicly admit it?

  19. Jason Biggs
    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    LOL…Goldberg was correct, and you look like a fool Mr. McCain. FAIL.

  20. ThePaganTemple
    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

     Want to know an example of pro-abortion violence?


  21. paft
    April 4th, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    No obstetricians shot down in the lobbies of churches? No obstetric clinics bombed?

    How odd. It’s almost as if pro-choicers weren’t violent at all.

  22. ThePaganTemple
    April 4th, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

     Really? Wow, that’s a relief. Why, it would be awful to leave your obstetric clinic and have a Pro-Choicer stab you in the brain with scissors and then dismember your body. Thanks for clearing that up pally.

  23. Kenneth Whitmore
    April 4th, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    Useless fail troll is fail……and useless.

  24. Kenneth Whitmore
    April 4th, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Yes, because setting fire to an empty office with the intent to damage inanimate objects used in the slaughter of humans….is violent.

  25. nvrbl
    April 4th, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

       So what is your point? You criticize people for assuming it was an anti choice fanatic when it was an anti choice fanatic. Who’d a thunk?

  26. narciso
    April 4th, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Well the fact, that he is a criminal, probably has a little more to do with his ideology,

  27. nvrbl
    April 4th, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Goldburg was right and you were wrong. Since you have her phone number, maybe you could call her and apologize. Or maybe do so publicly, you know because of honor and the code and all.

  28. nvrbl
    April 5th, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    ” Double-edged Liberal Fallacies?”Otherwise known as facts. Ms. Goldburg was right. Mr. Mccain was wrong. This is like reading postings from the insane asylum.

  29. wsorrian
    April 5th, 2012 @ 1:33 am

    I believe that was a reference to the Liberal proclivity to do the opposite of what they claim or to cause the exact thing they said they were trying to prevent (i.e. in soaking the rich, who provide all the jobs, in order to ‘help’ those people who just lost their job due to ‘budget cutbacks’ caused by those extra taxes or by implementing policies that institutionalizes racism in order to ensure no racism takes place). You win this one, as meaningless as it is, but you still fail on a much broader scale.

  30. wsorrian
    April 5th, 2012 @ 1:38 am

    If ever there were a cause to set fire to an empty office…

  31. paft
    April 5th, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Yes, arson is violent. So is planting bombs.  So is shooting to death doctors and clinic workers. 

  32. paft
    April 5th, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    So do you consider setting fire to a clinic and shooting to death a physician a valid response?

    And was Michelle Goldberg wrong?

  33. paft
    April 5th, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    So you guys are shifting over to justifying it. Typical. 

  34. paft
    April 5th, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    That’s the most pretzel shaped attempt to make this blogpost “right” that I’ve seen so far. 

  35. ThePaganTemple
    April 5th, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    Number one-I don’t consider abortion mills “clinics”.

    Number two-I don’t consider baby killers “physicians”.

    Number three-Michelle Goldberg is just another Pro-Choice fanatic so she’s no better or worse than the Pro-Life fanatic.

    Number four-Nobody with a brain will be influenced by this bullshit one way or another. Anybody convinced to vote for Obama or any other traitorous, socialist Democrat piece of shit over this issue is going to do it anyway, because that’s what traitorous, socialist pieces of shit do. 

  36. paft
    April 5th, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    From PaganTemple: 
    Number one-I don’t consider abortion mills “clinics”. Number two-I don’t consider baby killers “physicians”. Number three-Michelle Goldberg is just another Pro-Choice fanatic so she’s no better or worse than the Pro-Life fanatic. Number four-Nobody with a brain will be influenced by this bullshit one way or another. Anybody convinced to vote for Obama or any other traitorous, socialist Democrat piece of shit over this issue is going to do it anyway, because that’s what traitorous, socialist pieces of shit do. 

    And you’re in favor of shooting to death all us “traitorous socialist piece of shit.” Got it. You’re on the side of this criminal nutjob who tried to burn down a clinic.

    You guys are so predictable. You start by denying something, then, when it become undeniable, shift into justifying what you were earlier claiming wasn’t true.

  37. ThePaganTemple
    April 5th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

     I didn’t deny a damn thing. Look back over this post and point to where you see ME denying anything.

    As for how I feel about dealing with traitorous socialist pieces of shit, I have my own method when it comes to this very issue. Ask anybody that’s been reading this blog’s comments pages for any length of time what that is.

    They’d probably say “he’s a barbarous idol worshiping pagan who thinks it would be a good idea if we allowed leftist socialist pieces of shit to abort their numbers out of existence, or at least down to manageable levels. We might pray for him, but he’s too far gone, consumed in his hatred for leftist socialist pieces of shit.”

    I don’t know that they would say that, but if so, they would be right. I’m so far gone I don’t know when to keep my fucking mouth shut. I can’t even pretend to like a fucking murderous baby killer posing as a “physician”.

    But shoot him? Hell, as long as he keeps aborting leftist babies I might be tempted to help pay for his so-called “medical” training. Murderous slimeball that he is, he is performing a vital public service. Ridding the world of leftists, one rotten, putrid fetus at a time.

    My only problem is you fucktards insane belief that the taxpayers should be forced to pay for it (though admittedly it is money damn well spent) and that the courts should be able to force the states to allow it against the wishes of their own citizens and legislatures.

    One thing I can damn well promise you is you will never see me marching outside the doors of one of your so-called “clinics” or interfering with its “business” in any way.

    But shed tears over somebody bombing it, or killing one of your “doctors”. Nope!

  38. MSNBC Jumps the gun, and then the Shark, on Another Controversial News Story, and is Wrong » Conservative Hideout 2.0 « The Daley Gator
    April 5th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    […] Stacy McCain has more on this “Typically, we see an upsurge in anti-abortion violence . . . when the anti-abortion movement kind of thinks it was on the verge of victory, and then finds itself somehow thwarted. . . . When there’s frustration among the anti-abortion forces, violence often results.” – Michelle Goldberg on MSNBC, April 2, 2012 […]

  39. photo111
    April 5th, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    Yes, it’s not like there’s any history of right wing religious fanatic’s attacking abortion clinics, murdering doctors, or intimidating women and staff? How could the “liberal media” believe this man is even a conservative? {sarc} spin all you want but this is a primary example of what we’ve been talking about. 

  40. photo111
    April 5th, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    That a right wing religious fanatic tried to blow up an abortion clinic? What more facts do you need? It’s not like he’s the first person from the pro-life movement to do such a thing or anything. This should be self evident, much like Nazis are a right wing movement and George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. 

  41. Gxruiz
    April 6th, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    How about you just say “I was wrong and you were right. Sorry Michelle”. just a thought…

  42. Tennwriter
    April 6th, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    You’re not helping yourself.  Nazis are Socialists aka Leftwingers, despite what your lord and master Comrade Joe told you.

    And it looks as if Mr. Zimmerman is innocent although we will try this weird old Anglo-Saxon concept….Trial By Jury and even Innocent until Proven Guilty.  I know, I know, we should simply agree with your massive skills at precognitition, but we have this tedious desire to follow the Facts. 

  43. Tennwriter
    April 6th, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    Now, now PT, that’s unchristian.  Oh, wait, you’re not a Christian.  Well, I guess we should just let you get back to the looting and pillaging then, eh?As for me, let me put it this way, my dear, darling little trolls….If I wanted your opinion cluttering up my little space of sanity in a world run by Amoral Socialist Nitwit Tyrants, I’d give you my opinion.  Since I haven’t, do go away.  I’m not really interested in your opinion of our morality here.

  44. Tennwriter
    April 6th, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    Have you apologized for being a racist homophobe and voting for Obama yet?  No?  Because I think we need to deal with your sin first.

  45. wsorrian
    April 6th, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    I never tried to make theis “right” you idiot. I was explaining what someone really meant about that term and not once in that post did I try to justify the article.

    try reading my post slowly and more than once next time if you’re too stupid to get it on the first pass…