Glenn Beck is dangerous, argues Media Matters' Eric Boehlert in The Huffington Post. Since 2009, the Fox News host has used his bully pulpit to foment fears of a "nefarious cabal" of progressive organizations that are supposedly "determined to destroy democracy in America." Earlier this month, Beck's rabble-rousing rhetoric led Byron Williams, a "government-hating, gun-toting nut," to stock a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off on a crusade to "open fire" at the offices of the Tides Foundation, a California non-profit. Fortunately, Williams was pulled over by the state police en route. But if Beck's "unequivocal" calls for a right-wing insurrection aren't quickly silenced, says Boehlert, it's only a matter of time before innocent blood is spilled. An excerpt:
[T]he sad truth is we're going to see more like Byron Williams. We're going to see more attempts at vigilante violence during the Age of Obama simply because the right-wing media, led by Beck, continue to gleefully (albeit irresponsibly) stoke dangerous fires with the kind of relentlessly incendiary rhetoric that has no match in terms of modern day, mainstream use in American politics or media....
Note that 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.
Read the full story at the Huffington Post.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
Subscribe to the Week