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How Long Until Beck Incites Murder?

Reported by Ellen - July 28, 2010 -

As we've recently posted, Glenn Beck's incendiary rhetoric may have influenced the actions of a would-be assassin on his way to one of Beck's regular targets for fear mongering. Now Media Matters' Eric Boehlert suggests that the way things are going, it's only a matter of time until the Beck-inspired body count begins.

It's true that Beck has recently urged his audience to "reject violence." But his urging seems little more than a disclaimer to avoid responsibility for any messy consequences should any of his followers get too riled up.

Boehlert notes:

The radical right's media rhetoric is no longer even political in a partisan sense. Instead, it's purely revolutionary. It isn't, "We think taxes should be lower" or "Obama should be more hawkish overseas." It's, "There's an insidious and deadly plot afoot by Democrats and progressives to strip Americans of their freedom and this country of its greatness." Obama is now the incarnation of evil (the Antichrist?), and his driving hatred for America, as well as for democracy, runs so deep that he ran for president in order to destroy the United States from inside the Oval Office.

...And this summer, the latest toxic twist to that line of attack is that Obama is destroying America on purpose in order to exact revenge from white America for the historic sin of slavery. (Think: Black Manchurian Candidate.) The GOP Noise Machine is now mixing a vile cocktail by stirring revolutionary rhetoric with hateful race-baiting.

It's impossible to argue that today's avalanche of insurrectionist rhetoric doesn't have a real world effect. Or that those on the fringes don't find comfort in seeing and hearing their worst fears legitimized on AM radio and Fox News.

The consequences of the doomsday programming seem entirely predictable.

We can hope that Fox will find some sense of decency at long last before a tragedy occurs. But I see no sign that will happen.


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