Monday, June 13, 2011

But don't blame Beck for inspiring violence ...

From Glenn Beck's show today:

Did you catch that? That was Glenn Beck, after a few minutes of conspiracy-mongering, pointing to photographs of President Obama and Cass Sunstein as reasons to own a gun.

From Democracy Now (Oct. 12, 2010)

JOHN HAMILTON: I think this is one of the most important points, that, no, Glenn Beck doesn’t advocate explicitly for violence, but in Byron Williams’s mind, Glenn Beck gives you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need.

BYRON WILLIAMS: You know, I’ll tell you. Beck is going to deny everything about violent approach, deny everything about conspiracies, but he’ll give you every reason to believe in it. He is protecting himself, and you can’t blame him for that. So, I understand what he’s doing.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Byron Williams, recorded by you in the Santa Rita Jail. Go on with what he’s saying.

JOHN HAMILTON: I think Dana Milbank of the Washington Post put it best. He has a compendium of Glenn Beck quotes. Here is some of the rhetoric that you’ll hear on Glenn Beck’s radio program or see on his TV show: “The war is just beginning," "Shoot me in the head if they try to change our government," "You have to be prepared to take rocks to the head," "The other side is attacking," "There is a coup going on," "Grab a torch," "Drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers," "They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered.” I mean, these are quotes, and I could go on. I mean, there’s any number of these from Glenn Beck.

So, I think we have to ask ourselves, if this is the level of discourse on the Glenn Beck program, and if the statements about, for example, George Soros, you know, starting the Tides Foundation thirty-five years ago, which wasn’t the case, or that he’s laundering money through “his” Tides Foundation, when he’s given less than five percent of the funds, of the foundation’s total funding, those two things in tandem beg the question, does Glenn Beck bear culpability for the actions of his audience?
Legal or ultimate culpability, no. An ethical and intellectual culpability, a culpability of personal responsibility for normalizing and encouraging paranoid hate, very much so.

Byron Williams was arrested and accused of plotting to kill ACLU workers and Tides Foundation employees.

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