After the Fire

I would rather be writing about something else, but I spent the entire day today giving interviews and responding to well-wishers with regard to the arson attack on Center of the American Experiment and two allied conservative organizations last Saturday night. A few observations:

* The national interest in this story is high. Today I was interviewed by two radio shows in Boston, one in Chicago, one in Phoenix and one in Minneapolis; by a Twin Cities television station; by Minnesota Public Radio; by a Greater Minnesota radio network; and by a reporter from National Review. Tomorrow evening I will be on television in Australia. On Monday I have scheduled a video with Liz Collin of Alpha News, Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and Bill Bennett’s podcast. On Tuesday I will be on the Dennis Prager Show. And no doubt more will be scheduled between now and then.

* By contrast, the local media response has been rather muted. I believe all but one of the local TV stations have done stories, and the Star Tribune finally came through with a decent story this afternoon. It seems odd, though, that they never called me. They just took a quote from our press release, which I originally gave to Sheila Qualls of Alpha News, over the phone from the Superior Court building in Washington, D.C. There was a time when the Star Tribune might have been embarrassed to recycle a quote from Alpha News, but those days are gone.

* Liberals have given up on questioning whether the fires were caused by arson. That has been obvious from the very beginning–there was one fire on the ground floor, and a completely different fire on the third floor. I believe that the ATF investigation has also found physical evidence of arson, probably the use of accelerants at a minimum, and the FBI tells me that the arsonist or arsonists were captured on video shot from my office through a window. It was obvious to the police and firemen who responded to the fire that it was arson, which is why the FBI was immediately brought into the case.

* Liberals on Twitter are now suggesting that we started the fires ourselves, to collect insurance money. What a genius scheme, to cash in the depreciated value of your furniture! Of course, they are just trolling.

* Governor Tim Walz has condemned the arson:

A cynic might suspect that Walz is distancing himself from whatever perpetrators may eventually be arrested, since they–whoever they turn out to be–are on his team. But, not being cynical, I take the governor at his word.

* I think there may be a good possibility of catching the perpetrators. I haven’t seen the video that was recovered from the camera in our office, but I doubt that anyone who may be captured on it would be recognizable. But there were cameras on the frontage road that you pretty much have to take to get to our building. (There is a small lake behind the building, and it can’t be approached from the rear.) At 2:00 in the morning, the number of vehicles on that road would be a handful, at most. So if the cameras were good enough to read license plate numbers, as they should be, the FBI may well be able to identify a very small number of suspects.

* We are all used to being attacked on Twitter, and so on, and I have gotten a few death threats over the years. But having someone actually try to burn down your office is something completely different.

* Finally, here are some additional photos that show the extent of the destruction.

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