WASHINGTON POST: It’s not fair to blame Beck for violence committed by people who watch his show. Yet Williams isn’t the only apparently disturbed character with a seeming affinity for the Fox News host. In April 2009, a man armed with an AK-47, a .22 rifle, and a handgun killed three cops in Pittsburgh. The Anti-Defamation League reported that the accused killer had, as part of a pattern of activities involving far-right conspiracy theories, posted a link on a neo-Nazi website to a video of Beck talking about the possibility that FEMA was operating concentration camps in Wyoming. The killings came after Beck told Fox viewers that he “can’t debunk” the notion that FEMA was operating such camps – but before he finally acknowledged that the conspiracy wasn’t real. Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it, warning that “it is only a matter of time before an actual crazy person really does something stupid.” Broadcasts frequently have some violent imagery: “The clock is ticking. … The war is just beginning. … Shoot me in the head if you 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. … They are putting a gun to America’s head. … Hold these people responsible.” MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: Nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck referred to survivors of Hurricane Katrina who remained in New Orleans as “scumbags.” Also, after acknowledging that nobody “in their right mind is going to say this out loud,” Beck attacked victims of the disaster in general and the families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying: “I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.” MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: On the October 22 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, host Glenn Beck stated, “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.” Beck’s comment came as forest fires ravaged parts of Southern California, leaving one person dead, four firefighters wounded, and forcing about 1,500 people from their homes, according to The New York Times. MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: During an interview with then-Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, Beck said: “I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies,’ ” a comment he later stated was “poorly worded” and “wish[ed]” he “could take back and rephrase.” MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: Beck has claimed that there are three reasons that an illegal immigrant “comes across the border in the middle of the night”: “One, they’re terrorists; two, they’re escaping the law; or three, they’re hungry. They can’t make a living in their own dirtbag country.” MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: Here’s a sampling of what Beck’s been drumming into the heads of viewers, a portion of whom likely (and logically) hear his rhetoric as a call to action. That the government is a “heroin pusher using smiley-faced fascism to grow the nanny state.” That it’s indoctrinating our children; that we have “come to a very dangerous point in our country’s long, storied history.” Beck’s concerned that the “Big Brother” government will soon dictate what its citizens can eat, at what temperature their house can be set, and what kind of cars they’re allowed to drive. Beck’s sure “[d]epression and revolution” are what await America under Obama, and fears moving “towards a totalitarian state.” The country today sometimes reminds Beck of “the early days of Adolf Hitler.” Beck thinks that Obama, who has “surrounded himself by Marxists his whole life,” is now “addicting this country to heroin — the heroin that is government slavery.” MORE
MEDIA MATTERS: I wonder if Glenn Beck knows who Jim Adkisson is. Adkisson made headlines on July 28, 2008, when he brought his sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and, after whipping it out of a guitar case, opened fire on parishioners while a group of schoolchildren performed songs up by the altar. Adkisson killed two people and wounded several others.
Adkisson [PICTURED, BELOW RIGHT, IN HANDCUFFS], a 58-year-old unemployed truck driver, brought 70 shotgun shells with him to the church and assumed he’d keep killing until the police arrived on the scene and shot him dead as well. Instead, some members of the congregation were able to wrestle him to the ground and hold him for police.
When investigators went to Adkisson’s home in search of a motive, as well as evidence for the pending trial, they found copies of Savage’s Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Let Freedom Ring by Sean Hannity, and The O’Reilly Factor, by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. They also came across what was supposed to have been Adkisson’s suicide note: a handwritten, four-page manifesto explaining his murderous actions. The one-word answer for his deed? Hate. The three-word answer? He hated liberals.
The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just Kill yourself. Do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals!
What Adkisson especially hated about liberals (”this cancer, this pestilence”) and what he hated about candidate “Osama Hussein Obama” was that they were marching America toward ruin: “Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they’re Marxist, socialist, communists.” Adkisson seethed over the way liberals were “trying to turn this country into a communist state” and couldn’t comprehend why they would “embrace Marxism.” Sound familiar, Glenn? MORE
RELATED: In the build-up to America’s 2003 war on Iraq, Beck countered anti-war protests by using his radio show to organize dozens of pro-war rallies across the nation, and he has promised he will never question the cause, no matter how unpopular this war gets.” He has described Jimmy Carter as “a waste of skin”, Cindy Sheehan as “a pretty big prostitute”, and fantasized on the air about strangling to death Michael Moore. MORE
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