This body of work is from when I met with a group led by Ammon Bundy responsible for a 41-day armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon. I photographed and interviewed a cross section of the people representative of those supporting the takeover and those against it. 
Mainstream media, led by opinions of the Southern Poverty Law Center describing the group as an “all-white militia” and group of “white supremacists,” was co-opted for a dialogue on race. This obscured the reasons driving the takeover (cows and grazing rights) and the diversity of those across the western states in ranching communities supporting it.
The podcast interview of the northern Paiute tribal chairperson offers a unique indigenous perspective on the tragic history of their tribe at Malheur that sharply contrasts with the group or government.
The footage filmed is part of the documentary  “No Man’s Land” directed by David Byars and David Osit, which was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for Best Documentary Feature. RT News, Ruptly, and Israel’s state news agency originally aired the interviews.
On a personal note as a photographer, I observed media would not film, black protestors participating in the armed takeover. Photographing photographers not photographing people because of their race was ...strange. Witnessing subsequent US reportage become divisive along areas of race, with talk show host comments Twitter "what if a black person did this", was in my opinion symptomatic of the challenege journalism faces. Race relations in this country is a serious subject that has not been given its due nor has the justice system that ignores abuse been examined enough, but ranching and lands rights are a different subject. 
Malheur had nothing to do with race, but media coverage influenced initially by SPLC, and MSNBC’s “ all-white militia” language deeply alienated the group and their supporters in the Patriot movement from trusting the media. This divide deepened after most of the men were acquitted in a federal trial in Oregon earlier this year. Jason Patrick who represented himself was an exception. He was found guilty of conspiring to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs at the refuge through intimidation, threat or force and acquitted on a charge of possessing a firearm in a federal facility (Patrick plans an appeal). Duane Ehmer was found not guilty of conspiracy in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and his horse "Hellboy" returned safely.
This spring the Paiute (Wadadökadö ) tribe will be conducting a ceremony to bless the land and animals that is known as the Malheur wildlife refuge and is where hundreds of their ancestors were left to die at Harney lake one winter by the area's ranchers. This will include a prayer for the loss of Arizona rancher and Mormon bishop Lavoy Finnicum's life, who was killed by the FBI in the armed takeover.
One of the most colorful individuals at the wildlife refuge later arrested and charged with conspiracy was Pete Santelli who is a self described "citizen journalist" that operates a you tube channel " The Pete Santelli Show". 
Santelli advocated protesting the presence of the FBI by amassing a crowd of protestors to "put flowers in the their gun barrels" and "run them out of the county". 
Discounted by most in the mainstream media, I observed Santelli cleverly prompt answers by Bundy and Finnicum to questions as this allowed the group to put information forth information what they felt was not being reported on. The FBI and US Attorney felt the evidence they had to prosecute Santelli as being part of the conspiracy ( to plant flowers in federal agent's gun barrels) had been excluded by the judge. The ACLU and other groups,  traditionally liberal leaning, came to Santelli's defense citing free speech. 
In the video below you can see an example of how Santelli pushes the boundaries of journalism and what it means to be a member of the press. I'm not sure anyone really knows at this point when a journalist leads an assault on the FBI with flowers. A citizen, or self described journalist such as Santelli, can legally claim he is a journalist which gives them substantial protection under reporter's shield laws. Whether the intent of the laws were to cover opinion-activist journalism like this is up for debate. 
I'm still exploring the idea of whether I believe when one group pushing back against what they feel is a controlled narrative in the media should be arrested like Santelli. But I acknowledge the result is chaotic and leads to further divisiveness in the country and an atmosphere that becomes a vacum of critical thought for journalists.  
News becomes spectacle and issues about cows become confused with racial politics, and tragically Mormon preachers are shot to death with their hands up.