Monday, July 28, 2008

Chickens Coming Home To Roost

This is sadly not surprising:
Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

When news came out that Knoxville church shooter Jim Adkisson targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist congregation because of its liberal views, I wondered if he was a consumer of right wing hate media. Michael Savage is the king of these clowns, and I'm not surprised to learn Adkisson had his book. He probably listened to his show every day.

Calvin Rye at Progressive Nashville has an excellent post up about this. Rye writes:

To those who demonize liberals… It’s not that I blame you for these murders. It’s that I want you to recognize them as a warning sign. When someone that sick and violent finds your message that appealing, it should make you stop and think. Do you realize how hate-filled your rhetoric has become? Do you recognize the bile you’re spewing?

Hatred is a strong motivator. It’s very effective in politics. If you can fill the voters with fury at your opponent, they’ll show up at the ballot box in a stampede. You can choose hate and fury as political weapons, if that’s what you want. It’s a free country. And it works.

But remember what it is you’re inspiring. Not murder -- a sane person won’t go that far. But anger. You’re fanning the flames of outrage. You’re filling people with hatred. The kind that would appeal to a madman.

The damage you do to our nation is greater than losing an election.

I'd only add that the corporate media which profits handsomely from this hate speech shares a huge amount of responsibility. The people at Talk Radio Network, which allows Michael Savage to spread his anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal hate speech to an audience of over 10 million nationwide, should take a long hard look at the monster they've created. The news show bookers who bring Ann Coulter on to hawk her books so she can hurl insults at 9/11 widows and call liberals "godless" -- you share part of the blame too. CNN, which allows Glenn Beck to compare Al Gore to Hitler and call Hurricane Katrina survivors scumbags--you've just been lucky. One of these days some wackadoodle is going to go off on a crowd of people because he heard Glenn Beck say something about turning Mexican immigrants into fuel. Everything's a joke until someone gets hurt.

Every one of these media-created monsters has their fans. In these crazy, pushed-to-breaking world we live in, it was only a matter of time before someone acted on the hate spew they hear on the radio every day. And in an office building somewhere, someone is making money off of it.

It should make us all sick.