The label for Obama goes from “Socialist” to “Fascist.” It’s going to get somebody killed.
Actually, it already has. More than once.
As annoying as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are, it’s Glenn Beck, recently arrived from CNN, who’s completely over the top.
That’s not to say that CNN no longer has its own share of demagogues left after the departure of Beck. Lou Dobbs was frantically sounding an indignant cry of alarm just as loudly as Fox the other night about the Department of Homeland Security’s recent warning regarding right wing extremists. On Dobbs’ show and on Fox they wanted the Department to provide the names of the people they were worried about or to shut up… Did anyone know Timothy McVeigh’s name before Oklahoma City?
OK, to be as fair as I can here… This does go both ways to a certain extent. There have been plenty of cases over the last eight years of people on the left calling George Bush an idiot and an incompetent, and calling him and Dick Cheney war criminals. Plenty of people have pointed out their opinion that “W” drove the country into a ditch. Ruined it, in fact. But there’s something about the new desperation and stridency, the absolute declaration of war on this administration by Fox and other conservatives that is especially troubling. All pretense of objectivity has been dropped, as if there was much of one to begin with… Do they even bother with the “Fair and Balanced” tag-line anymore? They’re more partisan than they were during the electoral campaign. During the campaign it was all talk of impending socialism. Now, in the wake of the election, it’s shifted to hysterical warnings of impending fascism. How did they get there? What do they want? An actual civil war?
Granted, I admit I don’t watch FOX, CNN, or MSNBC as often as many people do. I happened to be cleaning the basement on Sunday and I had Fox on in the background. All of a sudden Glenn Beck came on with four authors with a show called Destined to Repeat(?)
I had to sit down. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears as Beck, surrounded by authors who presumably should have known better than to be involved with something like this (what some people will do for fame and a buck), explained to the audience that the people who started the movement to drive The United States of America onto the road to ruin, who betrayed the Constitution as laid out by the founding fathers, were none other than Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, of all people! They were champions of American Progressivism, you see…
Wow. If Fox is turning on Republican heroes like Teddy Roosevelt now, we’re really in for a bumpy ride.
Next came a diatribe by Beck on Obama’s budget and stimulus plan, and how it will certainly lead to hyper-inflation. This harangue turned to the example of Weimar Germany’s skyrocketing inflation in the 1920s and 1930s which led directly to… you know… fascism.
Never mind the fact that it was an effort to keep up with the crippling and unpayable war reparations laid upon the Weimar Republic by the victorious allied powers, and not financial ruin brought on by unregulated speculators, which led to the printing of excess money and hyper-inflation. Never mind that it was not the supporters of the Weimar Republic itself that turned to fascism, but alienated, autocratic military men and bigoted, resentful lower middle-class thugs who provided the muscle for the brownshirt movement. The very types who are appreciative of, and susceptible to, the kind of demagoguery that Beck provides.
See AlterNet’s article The Rise of Glenn Beck’s Bizarre Media Militia.
During a March 18 Webcast of FoxNews.com’s proudly paranoid “Freedom Watch,” Andrew Napolitano introduced a segment about “what the government has done to take your liberty and your property away.” And with that, he welcomed onto the show “the one, the only, the great Alex Jones,” who began ranting about “exposing” the New World Order and the threat posed by an emerging “global government.”
“I appreciate what you’re exposing,” Napolitano assured his guest.
Waving around a copy of his Obama Deception, Jones warned Fox News Webcast viewers about Obama’s “agenda” for gun confiscation and the new president’s plan to “bring in total police-state control” to America.
Jones also noted with excitement that Fox News’ Glenn Beck had recently begun warning about the looming New World Order on his show, just like Jones had for years. “It is great!” cheered the conspiracist. (Like Jones, Beck recently warned viewers that the Second Amendment is under fire.) Concluding the interview, Fox News’ Napolitano announced “it’s absolutely been a pleasure” listening to Jones’ insights.
We don’t know if Poplawski tuned in to watch Jones’ star turn for Fox News last month. But is there any doubt that Fox News is playing an increasingly erratic and dangerous game by embracing the type of paranoid insurrection rhetoric that people like Poplawski are now acting on?
By stoking dark fears about the ominous ruins that await an Obama America, by ratcheting up irresponsible back-to-the-wall scenarios, Fox News has waded into a territory that no other news organization has ever dared to exploit.
What Fox News is now programming on a daily (unhinged) basis is unprecedented in the history of American television, especially in the form of Beck’s program. Night after night, week after week, Beck rails against the president while denouncing him or his actions, alternately, as Marxist, socialist or fascist.
He felt entirely comfortable pondering whether the federal government, under the auspices of FEMA, was building concentration camps to round up Americans in order to institute totalitarian rule. (It wasn’t until this week that Beck was finally able to “debunk” the FEMA conspiracy theory.) And that’s when Beck wasn’t gaming out bloody scenarios for the coming civil war against Obama-led tyranny. In just a few shorts months, Beck raced to the head of Fox News’ militia media movement…
It’s true that Beck, in response to mounting criticism, made this statement on his show:
“Let me be clear on one thing. If someone tries to harm another person in the name of the Constitution or the truth behind 9/11 or anything else, they are just as dangerous and crazy as those people we don’t seem to recognize anymore — you know, the ones who kill in the name of Allah.”
But look at the very next two lines of his monologue: “There are enemies both foreign and domestic in America tonight. Call it fearmongering or call it the truth.” That doesn’t sound like Beck was backing away from his rhetorical call to arms to fend off the Marxist — no, wait — fascist, Obama administration.
And let’s drop the idea — pushed hard by Beck himself — that he’s simply a modern-day Howard Beale, from the classic film Network, just an angry, I’m-mad-as-hell everyman lashing out at the hypocrisies of our time. Nonsense.
Beale’s unvarnished on-air rants from Network targeted conformity, corporate conglomerates and the propaganda power of television. (“This tube,” he called it.) Beale’s attacks were not political or partisan. Beck, by contrast, unleashes his anger against, and whips up dark scenarios about, the new president of the United States. Big difference.
Here’s a sampling of what Beck has 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 is concerned that the “Big Brother” government will soon dictate what its citizens can eat, at what temperature their houses can be set and what kind of cars they’re allowed to drive.
Beck is 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…”
I wonder if Beck knows who Jim Adkisson is? Adkisson made headlines on July 28, 2008, when he took his sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., 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, a 58-year-old unemployed truck driver, brought 70 shotgun shells with him 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 ain’t 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, Beck?