Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama Conspiracy Theories and Fear Mongering Go Mainstream : The Consequences Could Be Dire

Glenn beck, Michelle Bachmann, Fox News , Sean Hannity , Lou Dobbs attacks on Obama
Republican and Conservative Obama Conspiracy theories go Mainstream
Fear-Mongering and rousing the masses to Hate

This just in : a funny bit from Rachel Maddow. Unfortunately there are those who believe this sort of nonsense about Obama as the AntiChrist. But this sort of over the top rhetoric and conspiracy theories are hitting the mainstream.Or at least Fox News and CNN .

Rachel Maddow: "Obama Has Pledged Himself to Satan" -April 6, 2009

Others on the right make false claims about Obama claiming Obama is a socialist, a fascist, a new Hitler, that he is a part of the New World Order, that he is about to take guns away from American citizens and that he is setting up Fema Concentration camps or that he wants to indoctrinate young Americans in Re-education Camps etc.

Most of this sort of conspiratorial nonsense could otherwise be ignored but it is not so easy to ignore when such accusations are made by those in the media with a large audience such as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Lou Dobbs , Rush Limbaugh , or Newt Gingrich or Michelle Bachmann etc.

Cenk Uygur points out the hypocrisy of the Republicans and the Conservatives in their characterizations of Obama versus their eight years of defending everything the Bush administration did.

Newt Gingrich Says Obama is Starting Dictatorship-April 7, 2009
The Young Turks- Cenk Uygur

Rep. Michele Bachmann Supports Violent Opposition to Obama- Armed & Dangerous
The Young Turks March 24, 2009

And whom do these right wing Obama haters inspire:

" Glenn Beck and the Rise of Fox News's Militia Media by Eric Boehlert", Media, April 7, 2009(

After a night of drinking, followed by an early-morning argument with his mother, with whom he shared a Pittsburgh apartment, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues.

In the wake of the bloodbath, we learned that Poplawski was something of a conspiracy nut who embraced dark, radical rhetoric about America. He was convinced the government wanted to take away his guns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Specifically, Poplawski, as one friend described it, feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." (FYI, there is no Obama gun ban in the works.) The same friend said the shooter feared America was "going to see the end of our times."

We learned that Poplawski hosted his own (failed) Internet radio show and that he visited the website of 9-11 conspiracy backer Alex Jones, who has been hyping the threat of a totalitarian world government for years. More recently, Jones has been warning listeners like Poplawski about The Obama Deception (that's the name of Jones' new documentary DVD) and how President Obama is bound to destroy America.

Who's Alex Jones? Even according to some conservative bloggers, the anti-government, anti-Obama talker is a "freak" who's popular with "the tin foil hat crowd." Like with Poplawski, apparently.

Jones might be a "freak," but he has recently been embraced -- and mainstreamed -- by Fox News, as part of the news channel's unprecedented drive to push radical propaganda warning of America's democratic demise under the new president.

During a March 18 webcast of'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.

But Glenn Beck & Hannity & Beckmann etc. take no responsibility for their overheated Hate Mongering Rhetoric. Surely they claim that no matter how extreme their talk is even when they compare Obama to Hitler or Mussolini or Stalin that this will not have any effect on American citizens who are as they say " Mad as Hell" or just Fed Up.

Glenn Beck on the defensive -
Glenn Beck on Pittsburgh Shooting

odd that Beck claims that liberals , progressives supporters of Obama put all those who criticize Obama into the same group as being violent extremists- But when Bush was in power Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Hannity etc. were always attacking anyone who dared criticize Bush's policies as being UnAmerican , Anti-American , Anti-God , Anti-Christian and pro-terrorists who shouldn't be allowed to speak freely in America see Ann Coulter, Michelle Backmann, Michael Savage, Fox News or CNN and Lou Dobbs.

PITTSBURGH Police shooting; the killer "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." 4-04.2009

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANYA News report confirm that a 3rd police officer was shot and killed this morning (April 04.2009) and that the killer was a very well-known & vocal opponent of feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." The suspect -- identified as Richard "Pop" Poplawski, 23 According to Harper, the officers were responding to a call about a domestic dispute

CNN & lou Dobbs touting the conspiracy theory that Obama is expected to Ban all guns in America - Are they just fanatically anti-Obama or is it that they are getting kick backs from the NRA-. What we see is that even to speak about some sort gun control as in banning the sale of assault rifles is seen as being evil.

CNN Obama attempting To BAN Guns starting with the destruction of ammo-April 2, 2009

CNN Rick Sanchez 'SLAMS' FOX News's Gun Fear Mongering-April 8, 2009

Keith Olbermann Demonizing NRA Glenn Beck-April 8, 2009

also note:

" Glenn Beck and The Consequences of Crazy Talk " by Bob Cesca at Huffington Post , April 9, 2009's becoming increasingly evident that the recent shooting sprees aren't just isolated incidents, but are actually part of a dangerous trend. And regardless of whether or not there's a direct connection with the usual cable news and talk radio suspects, broadcasters like Beck ought to take responsibility for some of their more incendiary remarks -- remarks which appear to be ginning up the darker, uglier, fanatical tendencies in an already militaristic, jingoistic, reactionary audience.

I don't think I'm alone in this. For example:

" this day and age where we have a lot of fanatics out there, I find the whole concept unbelievably irresponsible. Did you not think that there are people that are going to see this and maybe take an idea like that and run with it? Did you think about that? [...] You've got to -- do you not have a responsibility to think of the impact, the impressions that could be made on people?"( Sean Hannity )

That was Sean Hannity on October 26, 2006 interviewing the director of the mock-documentary The Death of a President, a film that dramatized the potential aftermath of a successful assassination attempt against George W. Bush. Hannity was saying in no uncertain terms that merely discussing a violent act might encourage a viewer to do something crazy, and so the purveyor of such a discussion is being dangerously irresponsible.

Oddly enough, I agree with Hannity in theory, though not in terms of context. Hannity and others on the far-right seem to crap their cages only when it comes to works of make-believe. Video games, Teletubbies, Spongebob. Yet real-life cable news networks, according to Beck and others, should be allowed to broadcast whatever insanity happens to achieve the biggest ratings regardless of taste, standards, ethics or professional responsibility.

To wit: on the Monday edition of his FOX News show, Glenn Beck was outraged that anyone would look to his militaristic rants and crying jags -- specifically his Obama-is-coming-for-our-guns hysteria -- as a possible contributing factor in last weekend's Pittsburgh shooting spree during which an ultra-far-right maniac murdered several police officers in cold blood because he feared his guns would be taken away by President Obama:

Blaming anyone except the nut job for what happened in Pittsburgh is crazy.

Okay, but here's the problem. The Glenn Beck who said this on Monday is clearly at odds with the Glenn Beck of Spring 2008 who blamed the video game Grand Theft Auto for "training our kids to be killers" and "our sons to treat women like whores."

I'm confused. I thought that blaming anyone except the "nut jobs" would be "crazy."

Although to be fair, maybe he wasn't really blaming video games after all. Glenn Beck of 2008 said:

I wanna make one thing clear before we go any further. I am not blaming all of society's problems on video games. That would be stupid to do.(Glenn Beck)

Phew! That was close. For a second there, I thought he was going to say something really stupid.

It is the entire pop culture. It's music, it's movies, it's radio, it's television, it's all of it!(Glenn Beck)

All of it! Not the "nut jobs." All of pop culture. In fact, Glenn Beck of 2008 didn't even mention "nut jobs" or the like during this particular rant. The entire pop culture is to blame for all of society's problems -- including the two forms of media in which Glenn Beck (both of them) works. Beck of 2008 went on to cite an American Medical Association report indicating that television alone caused a doubling of the homicide rate in America.

So I wonder what Beck 2008 would say about the following pre-scripted statement by Beck 2009 on his FOX News Channel television program:

There's only two ways for this movie to end. Either the economy becomes like the walking dead, or you drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.(Glenn Beck)

For the sake of clarification, prior to calling for the "bloodsuckers" to be figuratively murdered, Beck showed a graphic of President Obama and other Democrats photoshopped to look like vampires. President Obama, according to Beck 2009, ought to have a stake driven through his heart. Figuratively, of course.

Responsible television indeed.

Now, I know it's a stretch to assume that Glenn Beck understands the difference between reality and fantasy but if we take him at his word, he seems to be suggesting that fictional video game characters and the people who design them ought to be held to a higher ethical standard than, you know, Glenn Beck. And the news. Most of us, however, understand the direct opposite to be true.

...It's no secret that Beck fancies himself as a real-life Howard Beale. He's deluded himself into cherrypicking just the heroic "mad as hell" rant while conveniently overlooking that Beale was a tragic, suicidal man who was suffering from an extended nervous breakdown. Beck has to know on some level that Paddy Chayefsky's eerily prescient screenplay for Network wasn't written to glorify people like Beck -- it was a warning to us about the emergence of people like Beck. It was a warning to us about how the line between fantasy and the news was beginning to blur in the face of ratings and profit.

This anything-goes attitude appears to be the source of Beck's wildest rants. After all, the most dangerous aspect of Beck's show isn't necessarily what he says, it's that he appears to be inclined to say anything while encouraging his viewers to believe anything "even if it's wrong." Fine, if he's going that far out on a limb, then he needs to seriously consider taking responsibility for his nonsensical, inflammatory statements. And perhaps once he accepts the potential consequences of his words, he'll reconsider some of the more incendiary ones...

and so it goes,

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