Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Evolution Of What It Means To Be Patriotic: WingNut Edition

For 8 years liberals and progressives were told by the FoxNews crowd that to question the President was unpatriotic. For at least 6 years we were also told by these same people that questioning the War on Terror equated to hating America and wanting her to lose. For the 7 years after 9-11 we were told that we were in the middle of a crisis so everyone should support the President. Funny how time and a few elections changes things.

Glenzilla knocks it out the park again today, taking FoxNews and Glenn Beck over his knee and giving them an old fashion ass whupping for the fearmongering they are trying to stoke with their "report" on the possibly/probably coming civil war in the United States. This "report" by Glen Beck with FauxNooz's tacit approval is truly reprehensible. At a time of great crisis in this country they choose to try to exort our citizens to take to the streets and engage in violent acts against their government primarily because President Obama is now in charge. I know that the media is afforded wide latitude with our country's protection of free speech but how this "report" isn't the very definition of an act of treason I will never know. There is absolutely no acknowledgement that there are people in this country who aren't right in the head and will take this "report" as a sign that they need to act. And my question is if and or when that happens will FoxNews and Glen Beck be held liable?

Recently it was revealed that Jim David Adkison, the guy who shot up a church killing several members had written a suicide note before hand. In the note, in his own words, he described the motivation to go out and murder these people as being because another conservative talking head and frequent FoxNews guest, Bernard Goldberg had written of 100 people (mostly liberal Democrats) who were ruining America and this guy thought it his duty to go out and violently do his part to stop them. According to his note he felt he couldn't actually kill any of the 100 people on Goldberg's list so just killing any liberals he could find would have to do.

"This was a symbolic killing," Adkisson wrote. "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate and House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me.

"I couldn't get to the generals and high-ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chicken (expletive) liberals that vote in these traitorous people."

Now was this guy already mentally ill? I would have to say probably so. But still would he have gone out and murdered these people if he hadn't been convinced by right wing media that they were a threat to our country? I don't believe that for a second. But Goldberg continues to walk around a free man and as far as I know no civil lawsuits have yet been initited against him. We arrest people in this country for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. When are we going to do the same to right wing media figures who encourage violence against other people in the name of "patriotism"? At some point 1st amendment rights have to have some responsibility attached to them just as in the theater scenario and our media figures have to be held account for their words and actions.

I have absolutely no problem with conservatives opposing President Obama over ideological differences. I think its good and healthy to debate the pros and cons of his actions and that is something our country has been founded on. But when that opposition turns into over the top fear mongering based on lies and propaganda in order to advance a poltical party a line has been crossed in my opinion. When you get on cable news and tell more than 3 million viewers that a civil war is coming and they need to "prepare" that line has been obliterated. I really hope that no one is moved by beck to carry out an attack on their fellow citizens but if they do we must demand that he and FoxNews are held liable so this kind of bullshit stops. This is not an example of free speech, this is an example of hate speech. And whether protected by the constitution or not, actions should have consequences. When a white supremecist tells his followers to go out and do harm to minorities and they go out and do so, we arrest that guy. I would expect nothing less for Glenn Beck and his FoxNews cohorts.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice if the rest of the media covered this for what it is. Shine a bright light and all.

    Never gonna happen.


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