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California Gunman Admits Glenn Beck Influence; Both Beck and the Tides Foundation Double Down

Reported by Guest Blogger - October 22, 2010 -

By Auntie Em

Back in July, News Hounds reported the story of Byron Williams, who allegedly had a wild gunfight with California police. Little was known about Williams at the time, other than police saying he was on his way to the San Francisco offices of the ACLU and the Tides Foundation to “start a revolution.” His mother was quoted as saying that he was angry at “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items” and that he felt “the people of this country are being raped by our government and politicians.” Immediately after it happened, the speculation—and that’s all it was at the time—was that Williams may have been influenced by Glenn Beck’s continued and constant demonization of the Tides Foundation. Soon after the Wild West shootout, Beck began to insulate himself from the very notion that he could possibly influence anybody to do anything, “So I expose the Tides Foundation and show you what it is, and I am now responsible for terrorist attacks,” he said 10 days later. (At least Beck agreed it was a terrorist attack.) However, last week we learned a lot more about Williams and what motivated his alleged shooting spree. We can now remove the word “speculation” and state emphatically that Byron Williams was not only influenced by Beck, but feels that Beck “is like a schoolteacher on TV.”

It must be the chalkboard that confused him.

John Hamilton, from Media Matters, did what any journalist worth his salt would do. He gained 2 jailhouse interviews with Williams in order to find out what motivated him. The story he came away with leaves no doubt about why Williams allegedly chose to target Tides and he owes it all to Glenn Beck and Fox News.

“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. I said, well, nobody does this.”

Nobody does it because no one but Beck is willing to spin wild conspiracy theories, without evidence, connecting the Tides Foundation with everything evil in the world, past, present and future.

Hamilton came away with a long, well-researched article, that also quotes Williams’ mother and neighbors. It’s well worth reading in full, but here are just a few more relevant quotes from the article:

“There's only one conservative channel,” he [Williams] adds. “That's Fox. All the other ones are all liberal channels.”


Throughout the interview -- and in a letter I would receive later -- Byron tells me I need to watch Beck's programs from June. He says that's where I can learn about the Soros-Obama-Petrobras conspiracy he heatedly described in our earlier conversation.

“You need to go back to June -- June of this year, 2010 -- and look at all his programs from June. And you'll see he's been breaking open some of the most hideous corruption,” Byron says. “A year ago, I was watching him, and it was OK, he was all right, you know? ... But now he's getting it.”

According to Media Matters, Beck has vilified Tides on 29 shows and George Soros, whom Beck claims is the evil mastermind behind Tides, on 85 shows since moving to Fox News. But to Byron Williams, it’s not a conspiracy theory at all.

“Our media accepts the false reports and downplays the conspiracy theories," he says, arguing that they should be called "conspiracy truths.”

After Media Matters posted the interview with Williams, Beck doubled down by devoting several entire shows to the George Soros-Tides Foundation nexus of evil.

Meanwhile, Drummond Pike, founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation has doubled down on his own. Last Friday (11-15-10), Pike sent a letter to all of Fox’s major advertisers suggesting they boycott the entire “news” network and stop advertising on Fox:

On July 19th of this year, I arrived at our San Francisco office to learn that a misguided person carrying numerous guns and body armor had been on his way to start a "revolution" by murdering my colleagues and me. The Oakland Police Department called to tell us that, following a 12 minute shootout with the California Highway Patrol, law enforcement officials arrested an assailant who had targeted the Tides Foundation, an organization which I founded and currently serve as CEO, and the ACLU for violence. To say we were "shocked" does not adequately describe our reaction. Imagine, for a moment, that you were us and, had it not been for a sharp eyed highway patrolman, a heavily armed man in full body armor would have made it to your office with the intent to kill you and your colleagues. His motive? Apparently, it was because the charitable, nonpartisan programs we run are deemed part of a conspiracy to undermine America and the capitalist system, which is hogwash.

Pike goes on to talk of the recent sponsor boycotts of Beck’s show, but adds, “Despite the campaign's success, Fox insists it has had no impact on the channel's profitability because the overall demand for advertisements on Fox has remained stable. Companies are still paying to advertise on Fox News, but their ads are simply moved to a different time of day. Thus, businesses that pay to broadcast commercials on Fox News are subsidizing Glenn Beck's television show by continuing to pump money into the network. It has become clear that the only way to stop supporting Beck is to stop supporting Fox News.”

Pike ends his letter with a chilling warning:

The next "assassin" may succeed, and if so, there will be blood on many hands. The choice is yours. Please join my call to do the right thing in this regard and put Fox News at arm's length from your company by halting your advertising with them.

As Kurt Vonnegut says, “And so it goes.”

Be my facefriend. It’s all the rage.

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