MEDIA REFORM: WORDS DO MATTER
Remember: Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber was a Rush Limbaugh follower, a "Dittohead."
This kind of violence inciting rhetoric and dishonesty… is WORSE… than yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater. Yes we absolutely, most definitely beg YOU to stop _ Glen Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity — before any more of our fellow citizens die for your dishonest and deadly rhetoric.
First, I'd like to say that I believe in the inherent goodness of people, in the most powerful force in the universe, LOVE, the higher law of harmony. To me, we make our enemies stronger by fighting them. It's good to shine a light on "evil" — this right-wing hate media — but ultimately, we are each responsible for our own mental state, the thoughts we allow in, and the reaction we have toward our fellow man. I do not believe we should be engaging with these buffoons in the media. But my co-host Doug Basham feels we urgently need to call them out. I subscribe to a higher method of working in my spiritual writings, and I've had absolute spine-tingling miracles through prayer. Prayer to me is the invisible transfer of love to one another. That said, we do need to expose the corruption of the banking industry (caused by deregulation and manipulation by lenders and financial CEOs) and we do need to stop all the hate speak.
I mentioned above that Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber, was a Rush Limbaugh follower, a "Dittohead." And then there's Jim D. Adkisson… the right wing aficionado who took his 12-gauge shotgun into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee last July 28, 2008… and started killing people… cuz’ he "hated liberals." Just another graduate of right wing hate-media.
Adkisson, a 58-year-old unemployed truck driver, brought 70 shotgun shells with him to the church and assumed he'd keep killing until the police arrived on the scene and shot him dead as well. Instead, some members of the congregation were able to wrestle him to the ground and hold him for police.
When investigators went to Adkisson's home in search of a motive, as well as evidence for the pending trial, they found copies of Savage's Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Let Freedom Ring by Sean Hannity, and The O'Reilly Factor, by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. They also came across what was supposed to have been Adkisson's suicide note: a handwritten, four-page manifesto explaining his murderous actions.
The one-word answer for his deed? Hate. The three-word answer? He hated liberals.
"The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life aint worth living anymore don't just Kill yourself. Do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals!"
What Adkisson especially hated about liberals ("this cancer, this pestilence") and what he hated about candidate "Osama Hussein Obama" was that they were marching America toward ruin: "Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they're Marxist, socialist, communists." Adkisson seethed over the way liberals were "trying to turn this country into a communist state" and couldn't comprehend why they would "embrace Marxism."
Sound familiar, Glenn Beck?
John Bohstedt was one of the Unitarian church members who tackled Adkisson after the first round of gunfire went off inside the sanctuary. Two months ago, Adkisson pleaded guilty to the murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison. At the hearing, Bohstedt told the Associated Press he didn't think the killer had been insane, but rather had been manipulated by anti-liberal rhetoric.
Please listen in the archives to Eric Boehlert on today's show (Thursday, April 9 Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. Author and journalist Eric Boehlert discusses his article "Glen Beck and the Rise of Fox News' Militia Media." BRILLIANT ARTICLE, which I have posted below.
The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. Again, all shows are simulcast worldwide on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Radio
Eric is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, and a former senior writer for Salon. In past appearances, Eric discussed his first book “Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush.” Tomorrow, we’ll be discussing Eric’s new column, titled, “Glenn Beck and the Rise of Fox News' Militia Media.”
In his column, Eric addresses 22-year-old Richard Poplawski, who just recently put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues.”
In the wake of the bloodbath, we learned that Poplawski was something of a conspiracy nut who embraced dark, radical rhetoric about America. He was convinced the government wanted to take away his guns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Specifically, Poplawski, as one friend described it, feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." (FYI, there is no Obama gun ban in the works.) The same friend said the shooter feared America was "going to see the end of our times."
"Glenn Beck and the Rise of Fox News' Militia Media” by Eric Boehlert
After a night of drinking, followed by an early-morning argument with his mother, with whom he shared a Pittsburgh apartment, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues.
In the wake of the bloodbath, we learned that Poplawski was something of a conspiracy nut who embraced dark, radical rhetoric about America. He was convinced the government wanted to take away his guns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Specifically, Poplawski, as one friend described it, feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." (FYI, there is no Obama gun ban in the works.) The same friend said the shooter feared America was "going to see the end of our times."
We learned that Poplawski hosted his own (failed) Internet radio show and that he visited the website of 9-11 conspiracy backer Alex Jones, who has been hyping the threat of a totalitarian world government for years. More recently, Jones has been warning listeners like Poplawski about The Obama Deception (that's the name of Jones' new documentary DVD) and how President Obama is bound to destroy America.
Who's Alex Jones? Even according to some conservative bloggers, the anti-government, anti-Obama talker is a "freak" who's popular with "the tin foil hat crowd." Like with Poplawski, apparently.
Jones might be a "freak," but he has recently been embraced -- and mainstreamed -- by Fox News, as part of the news channel's unprecedented drive to push radical propaganda warning of America's democratic demise under the new president.
During a March 18 webcast of FoxNews.com's proudly paranoid "Freedom Watch," Andrew Napolitano introduced a segment about "what the government has done to take your liberty and your property away." And with that, he welcomed onto the show "the one, the only, the great Alex Jones," who began ranting about "exposing" the New World Order and the threat posed by an emerging "global government."
"I appreciate what you're exposing," Napolitano assured his guest.
Waving around a copy of his Obama Deception, Jones warned Fox News webcast viewers about Obama's "agenda" for "gun confiscation" and the new president's plan to "bring in total police-state control" to America.
Jones also noted with excitement that Fox News' Glenn Beck had recently begun warning about the looming New World Order on his show, just like Jones had for years. "It is great!" cheered the conspiracist. (Like Jones, Beck recently warned viewers that "the Second Amendment is under fire.") Concluding the interview, Fox News' Napolitano announced "it's absolutely been a pleasure" listening to Jones' insights.
We don't know if Poplawski tuned in to watch Jones' star turn for Fox News last month. But is there any doubt that Fox News is playing an increasingly erratic and dangerous game by embracing the type of paranoid insurrection rhetoric that people like Poplawski are now acting on? By stoking dark fears about the ominous ruins that await an Obama America, by ratcheting up irresponsible back-to-the-wall scenarios, Fox News has waded into a territory that no other news organization has ever dared to exploit.
What Fox News is now programming on a daily (unhinged) basis is unprecedented in the history of American television, especially in the form of Beck's program. Night after night, week after week, Beck rails against the president while denouncing him or his actions, alternately, as Marxist, socialist, or fascist. He felt entirely comfortable pondering whether the federal government, under the auspices of FEMA, was building concentration camps to round up Americans in order to institute totalitarian rule. (It wasn't until this week that Beck was finally able to "debunk" the FEMA conspiracy theory.) And that's when Beck wasn't gaming out bloody scenarios for the coming civil war against Obama-led tyranny. In just a few shorts months, Beck raced to the head of Fox News' militia media movement.
Just prior to the Pittsburgh massacre, Beck's often bizarre on-air performances, in which his rants against the Obama administration's dark forces were mixed in with his tearful proclamations of love of country, had turned him into a highly rated laughingstock. "That is a shaky cat," Dennis Miller recently giggled while describing Beck. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough broke into hysterics after a montage of Beck's most weepy moments. And TV satirists have had a field day at the Fox News host's expense. (Stephen Colbert: "Crank up the crazy and rip off the knob!")
But I'm not sure people should be laughing.
The consequences of Fox News' doomsday programming now seem entirely predictable. As Jeffrey Jones, a professor of media and politics at Old Dominion University, recently explained to The New York Times in regard to Beck's rhetoric, "People hear their values are under attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand up and do something."
People like Richard Poplawski? FYI, weeks before his deadline shooting spree, Poplawski uploaded a video clip of Beck ominously referencing the FEMA camps on Fox News.
It's true that Beck, in response to mounting criticism, made this statement on his show:
BECK: Let me be clear on one thing. If someone tries to harm another person in the name of the Constitution or the truth behind 9-11 or anything else, they are just as dangerous and crazy as those people we don't seem to recognize anymore -- you know, the ones who kill in the name of Allah.
But look at the very next two lines of his monologue: "There are enemies both foreign and domestic in America tonight. Call it fearmongering or call it the truth." That doesn't sound like Beck was backing away from his rhetorical call to arms to fend off the Marxist -- no, wait -- fascist Obama administration.
And let's drop the idea -- pushed hard by Beck himself -- that he's simply a modern-day Howard Beale, from the classic film Network, just an angry, I'm-mad-as-hell everyman lashing out at the hypocrisies of our time. Nonsense. Beale's unvarnished on-air rants from Network targeted conformity, corporate conglomerates, and the propaganda power of television. ("This tube," he called it.) Beale's attacks were not political or partisan. Beck, by contrast, unleashes his anger against, and whips up dark scenarios about, the new president of the United States. Big difference.
Here's a sampling of what Beck's been drumming into the heads of viewers, a portion of whom likely (and logically) hear his rhetoric as a call to action. That the government is a "heroin pusher using smiley-faced fascism to grow the nanny state." That it's indoctrinating our children; that we have "come to a very dangerous point in our country's long, storied history." Beck's concerned that the "Big Brother" government will soon dictate what its citizens can eat, at what temperature their house can be set, and what kind of cars they're allowed to drive.
Beck's sure "[d]epression and revolution" are what await America under Obama, and fears moving "towards a totalitarian state." The country today sometimes reminds Beck of "the early days of Adolf Hitler." Beck thinks that Obama, who has "surrounded himself by Marxists his whole life," is now "addicting this country to heroin -- the heroin that is government slavery."
And it's not just Beck. Appearing on Fox News, Dick Morris recently made a wildly irresponsible comment that looks even worse in light of the Pittsburgh law-enforcement slayings: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case."
And it's not just Fox News. Radio nut Michael Savage recently claimed that "we have a naked Marxist for president." And high-profile conservative blogger Erick Erickson contemplated the beating of politicians: "At what point do [people] get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?"
Of course, the right-wingers at Free Republic ("Freepers") are way ahead of Erickson as they fantasize about something much worse. You can read it here, but I won't publish this kind of evil right-wing rhetoric. Horrifying! Freepers Cross Threshold: Call for Violence
I wonder if Glenn Beck knows who Jim Adkisson is.
"There are a lot of people who hate liberals, and if we stir that around in the pot and on the airwaves, eventually there will be people (like Adkisson) ... who get infected by the violent rhetoric and put it into violent action," Bohstedt said.
He remained worried about future violence: "Do you think there are other Jim Adkissons out there listening to hate speech? I do."
About Glenn Beck's Extremist Rhetoric
Media | Tue, Apr 7, 2009 Little Green Footballs
Michael A. Cohen has a piece in Politico today about the over-the-top irresponsible extremism and conspiracy theories promulgated by weeping Glenn Beck: Extremist rhetoric won’t rebuild GOP.
(article) "He’s right. This turn toward the extreme right on the part of Fox News is troubling, and will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP—unless people start behaving like adults instead of angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution."
Doug Basham: A MILD attempt at nobility, perhaps, but one that I think… completely understates the problem… shooting cops to death in the head is a FAR cry from behaving like angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution, am I wrong?
I actually heard right-wing radio host Mark Levin yell to his audience on more than one occasion, "Arm yourselves against Obama!" What kind of American is this man?
Is Rush Limbaugh a sociopath? Is Bill O'Reilly a megalomaniac? Is Glen Beck just blowing hot air? Why are these buffoons who make upwards of $30 million dollars a year in salary? Why do they spread fear and hatred?
Below is a transcript of a call from a veteran to Rush Limbaugh's show. And today, Bill O'Reilly started attacking the Chicago Sun Times because they dropped his column. He told his viewers to stop reading the newspaper! Roger Ebert Slams O'Reilly: "Losing Touch With Reality." And Michelle Bachmann said that Obama Wants "Re-Education Camps For Young People." Does she know what a "re-education" camp is? In Vietnam,
What she was trying to say is that she is in fear of young people doing volunteer work (that horrible liberal crime of helping those less fortunate.)
The Dixie Chicks had their careers ruined at the hands of these and other unpatriotic so-called "Americans." The most unpatriotic, dangerous, self-serving buffoons in the media appear to be: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Glen Beck, Michelle Bachman, Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and more. I wouldn't mention it if there weren't so many crazies running around shooting people, who are admittedly provoked by these shock-jocks.
RUSH LIMBAUGH IS FINALLY PUT IN HIS PLACE
Republican Caller Tells Limbaugh: "You're A Brainwashed Nazi"
LIMBAUGH: We're going to go to Chicago. This is Charles. Charles thank you for waiting and for calling. Great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks Rush. Rush listen, I voted Republican and I really didn't want to see Obama get in office. But you know Rush, you're one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing. First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue was the torture issue. I'm a veteran. We're not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, North Korea. There's other ways of interrogating people, and you just kept harping about, it's okay, or it's not really torture. And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners will killed under torture.
And it was crazy for you to go on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It's like you're all brainwashed. And my last comment is, no matter what Obama does, you will still criticize him because I believe you are brainwashed. You're just -- and I hate to say it -- but I think you're a brainwashed Nazi. Anyone who can believe in torture has got to be -- there has got to be something wrong with them.
Story continues below
LIMBAUGH: You know --
CALLER: And I know Bush wanted to keep us safe and all of that but we're not supposed to be torturing these people.
LIMBAUGH: Charles, if anybody is admitting that they are brainwashed it would be you.
CALLER: No, no, Rush. I don't think so. You, Hannity, and Levin are all brainwashed --
LIMBAUGH: Charles, you said at the beginning of your phone call that you didn't want Obama in there. But you voted for him because of me.
CALLER: I didn't vote for him. I voted for McCain. I voted Republican.
LIMBAUGH: Oh, so you're saying I turned people off --
CALLER: You turned people off with all this vote for Hillary and all this BS.
LIMBAUGH: That was Operation Chaos. That was to keep the chaos in the Democrat primaries --
CALLER: It didn't work and what we have with you Hannity Levin and Hewitt is sour grapes. That's all we have. And believe me, I'm not -- I'm more to the right than I am to the left.
LIMBAUGH: Oh, of course you are.
CALLER: I am.
LIMBAUGH: Of course you are. You wouldn't be calling here with all of these sour grapes if you weren't.
CALLER: Well I'm tired of listening to go on and on with this --
LIMBAUGH: I don't know of anybody who died from torture.
CALLER: We're not supposed to torture people. Do you remember World War II, the Nazis? The Nuremburg trials?
LIMBAUGH: Charles, Barack Obama --
CALLER: What's the matter with you? You never even served in the military. I served in the Marine Corps and the Army.
LIMBAUGH: Charles, Barack Obama is president of the United States today because of stupid, ignorant people who think like you do. You pose - you and your ignorance are the most expensive commodity this country has. You think you know everything. You don't know diddly squat. You call me a Nazi? You call me someone who supports torture and you want credibility on this program? You're just plan embarrassing and ludicrous. But it doesn't surprise me that you're the kind of Republican that our last candidate attracted. Because you're no Republican at all based on what the hell you just said right here.
The Basham and Cornell Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at The Basham and Cornell Show
If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives for MP3 podcasts. We have interviewed Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader; Presidential candidates, Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage; MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, former Reagan advisor; CNN's Paul Begala, former Clinton advisor; Bill Press, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Sen. John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, John Dean, NBC Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv Martin Fletcher, Congressman Charlie Rangel,Valerie Plame, Vincent Bugliosi, Christine Pelosi, Dahr Jamail, Senator Mike Gravel; Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman.... and many more.
HATE-RADIO MUST STOP. IT IS ANTI-AMERICAN, DANGEROUS AND TREASONOUS Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage ... and in a category by herself — Michelle Bachmann