Friday, August 14, 2009

A Picture Says More Than a Thousand Words.

"Death to Obama". That's what this nutter is holding up.

He's not to blame. He's stupid. Stupid enough to hold this poster up in broad daylight.

There are others manipulating this stupid man. Filling his head with "Nazi eugenics" and "dead grannies" and lots of other nonsense.

Of course, Fox News would say that they have nothing to do with this mans actions. How can they be held responsible for every nutcase who is out there?

But, it is they who are inflaming these nutcases, and they know what they are doing. Fox must know that their audience are spectacularly uninformed; it's what they do best. In fact, it's what they exist for.

The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news. Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions. Those who receive most of their news from NPR or PBS are less likely to have misperceptions. These variations cannot simply be explained as a result of differences in the demographic characteristics of each audience, because these variations can also be found when comparing the demographic subgroups of each audience.
Every time Glenn Beck speaks of Nazi eugenics, he angers these people, he makes them afraid - every time he tells them to rise up and "take back" America, they believe him - and every time anyone speaks of Obama's birth certificate, they stoke the latent racism which underlies this belief that America's first black president can't possibly be a real American.

I have watched with horror as the town hall meetings have turned into exercises in hysteria. And worse, have watched as the right wing media applauds this hysteria as if it is the height of diplomatic discourse.

Now, the lunatics are openly making death threats against the president.

And yet, still, the Becks of this world continue to spout their inflammatory nonsense.

I have said for a long time that I think the game Beck is playing is dangerous in the extreme. But, when people start turning up in public carrying signs calling for the death of the president, then the Becks of this world really need to ask themselves what it is that they are doing.

Beck has been insisting for a long time that it would be better if Obama just shot him in the head. The implication of this is that Obama is a clear and present danger to many Americans.

I know that this is hyperbole and that this is theatre. But, there is a percentage of Beck's uninformed audience who take this stuff seriously. And some of them are on the streets calling for the death of the president.
Experts who track hate groups across the U.S. are growing increasingly concerned over violent rhetoric targeted at President Obama, especially as the debate over health care intensifies and a pattern of threats emerges.

"I don't think these are simply people who are mentally ill or off their rocker," Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told ABC News of those behind the threats. "In a very real sense they represent a genuine reaction, a genuine backlash against Obama."

"It's certainly a scary time," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant. Garrett said the Secret Service "cannot afford to pass on anyone," and he believes "they really do fear that something could happen to [Obama]."

Garrett said statements like one recently made by controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh comparing a logo for the White House plan to a Nazi symbol "legitimizes people who are on the edge to go do something or say something."

Beck is, of course, claiming that this is the left wing trying to silence him. No-one is trying to silence him, rather people are trying to make him aware of the awesome responsibility that goes with carrying a megaphone as large as the one he currently holds.

This isn't now something which only left wingers like myself are saying, this is now starting to worry the very people who track the hate groups. It's starting to worry the FBI.

Insane buggers like Glenn Beck need to take their foot off the crazy pedal right now, before they get someone killed.

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