How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

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mrcommonsensenow
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How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

David Neiwert's Book "The Eliminationists" Warns of the Radicalized Right Wing's Violent Potential Through the Shills of Hate

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Hate-talk radio is all about Manichean dualism: Dividing the world into good and evil, black and white, conservative and liberal. And I’m convinced that it actually services a significant bloc of the American public that craves this kind of explanation of their world, because it has a comforting value to them. These are the people Robert Altemeyer calls “the authoritarians” –- the people who actively seek authoritarian rule.

-- David Neiwert, author

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http://blog.buzzflash.com/interviews/156" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It is not logical to believe that the same God who has allegedly endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
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Humanist
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Humanist »

Free speech is a double edged sword, it cuts both ways.
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
Idesigner
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Idesigner »

No one listens to radio unless he is driving or living at remote place where he does not get TV signals, newspapers etc.

Since I quit my oil filed traveling job, I have not listened to any radio. Ilearnt lot on roads listening to all kind of creationist nuts advocating Intelligent design teaching in school.

They have to be very provocative , most of them are full of rear gas!! :D

No woneder we have lots of road accidents. When deparate white guy listens to that pumkin head Rush Limbag, sure he is going to run over quite a few innocent homeless guys or guys who are standing on the street corner to soliciting odd jobs. :D :D
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

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Shock jocks: Voice of unreason
Glenn Beck is the fastest-rising star on American TV. He's part of a right-wing broadcasting boom that's become the most powerful opposition to the President. Guy Adams reports

At 5pm, last Friday. America was winding down for the Bank Holiday weekend: blowing the tops off Budweisers, barbecuing hotdogs, driving SUVs into sun-drenched ball-parks, and enjoying the myriad benefits of daily existence in the most prosperous nation on God's green Earth. It's a "slow news day", when the treadmill of current affairs grinds to a halt, and average Joes everywhere feel happy just to be alive.

Everywhere, that is, except in the New York TV studios of Fox News. Here, a man called Glenn Beck is 10 seconds into his daily talkshow, and already he's reached a rolling boil. "What are the mainstream media missing?" he wonders, bounding onstage like the Duracell Bunny. "I mean, besides EVERYTHING? You are not going to BELIEVE some of the crap that's going on in the world today!"

And so it begins: a fresh dose of outrage from the latest "hot" voice in US conservatism. In a live TV career spanning just four months, Beck, a 45-year-old radio jock, author, and occasional stand-up comedian has turned what was previously Fox's "graveyard shift" – between 5-6pm each weekday, when offices are emptying, but punters aren't yet home – into something close to required viewing.

Since launching in mid-January, Beck has increased the audience for his time slot by more than 150 percent, to 2.3 million regular viewers. This makes him the third most-watched person on US cable news. To quote a recent New York Times profile, the chubby, grey-haired impresario, who first appeared on America's TV screens in a pre-recorded CNN programme in 2006: is "suddenly one of the most powerful media voices for the nation's conservative populist anger."

Today, Beck is talking economics. He huffs and puffs about public finances, scrawling figures on a chalk-board which suggest that President Obama's fiscal regime has set the United States on a path to Third World status. Then he interviews some Reaganite pundits, who mostly agree with him. Finally, he introduces his daily "hot list" – news stories the "mainstream" news media has been wilfully ignoring.

This is Beck-land, where things tend to be black and white. Taxes are bad; guns are good. Abortion is bad; God is good. Gays are "faggots," torture is "enhanced interrogation", public healthcare should actually be called "socialised medicine," and so on. Global warming, of course, is a myth cooked up by left-wing scientists in a conspiracy to prevent Americans fulfilling their patriotic duty to guzzle gas.

He is, of course, the consummate showman: like a heterosexual Graham Norton, albeit with a mildly psychotic demeanour and a talent for speaking to the frustrations and prejudices of the disaffected. The show's opening credits consist of a dramatic countdown ("3-2-1... Beck!"), announce "the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment", and are often evangelical. "If you believe this country is great and the Government is trying to make us slaves, break open the shackles and stand up!" viewers were told last week. "Come on! Follow me!"

Anywhere else in the world, this kind of schtick might seem overblown; verging on the comic, even. But, in Barack Obama's America, it strikes a noisy chord. With an alleged socialist in the White House, and amid a financial collapse that has thrown much the traditional media into crisis, Beck and a small breed of TV and radio commentators just like him, working in supposedly outdated mediums, are at the centre of a vibrant growth industry.

It's an influential one, too. In January, Barack Obama's incoming Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, told CBS that the nation's heavyweight champion of right-wing radio controversialists, Rush Limbaugh, had now become firmly established in one of the most important political roles in the land: as "the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."

His point, which inspired a welter of debate, was simple: with conservatism apparently on the ropes, and many voters unable to name a single truly inspiring Republican figure, the so-called "shock jocks" have taken the place of politicians. A group of talented, opinionated commentators – all of them conforming to the stereotype: white, angry and male – are driving Republican politics.

It's a valid argument, if the ratings are anything to go by. On TV, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, both proud conservatives, are the nation's two most-watched cable anchormen. On Radio, Limbaugh pulls in up to 20 million weekly listeners, only marginally less than the audience American Idol. Hannity manages another 15 million. Meanwhile, there's barely a single committed left-wing voice at the top table of radio talk hosts.

On TV, Fox News has achieved an almost unprecedented dominance of the cable news marketplace. Rupert Murdoch's right-leaning network (with the provocative motto: "fair and balanced") boasts more than twice as many viewers as any of its rivals, giving it a status much like the Daily Mail during the Blair era: the leading voice of opposition in a nation bereft of any coherent political leadership on the centre-right.

The rise of the talking class is also noisily evident in the headlines that it constantly attracts in the "mainstream media" (the phrase almost every conservative pundit uses to describe supposedly liberal US newspapers and TV networks). Beck and his peers do not just discuss the news: they have also now become the news.

Last week, Glenn rocked-up on The View, a popular daytime TV chatshow along the lines of Loose Women, and was promptly called "a lying sack of dog mess", to his face, by co-host Whoopi Goldberg. His crime: telling a very minor fib about a recent meeting they'd had to listeners of the radio show he broadcasts each morning. In a somewhat grovelling manner, he admitted to having "mis-spoken". But his ratings soared.

Hannity, meanwhile, is at the centre of controversy after welshing on an agreement to undergo waterboarding, to prove his thesis that the practise doesn't amount to torture. Then there's Michael Savage, the country's third most-popular radio talk host, who Jacqui Smith recently stuck on a list of 22 undesirables and extremists banned from Britain for having allegedly "fallen into the category of fomenting hatred."

Savage, whose dog-whistle right-wingery doesn't actually extend to advocating violence, responded by launching a defamation lawsuit against the Home Secretary. Its success (or otherwise) remains to be seen. But his 10 million listeners (no doubt more, now he's been properly name-checked) enjoyed the poetic pleasure of hearing him describe Smith as a "lunatic," "witch", "monster", "lowlife", "tin-pot dictator" and "beer swilling mutt".

Here, in three kerfuffles, is right wing shock-jockery at its best. Its advocates are loud and provocative. They intersperse bar-room insult with occasional wit, and extraordinary rhetorical flourishes. They also speak directly to the heart of an alienated sector of Middle America, of currently indeterminate size.

Beck and his colleagues are alternately noble sages, over-opinionated rabble-rousers, and extraordinarily talented entertainers. On the attack, they are formidable. In large doses they can be overbearing. And at present, their importance revolves around a billion-dollar question: will they shape the shattered Republican Party's route back to power, or condemn it to a generation of obscurity?

There is an old showbusiness saying, beloved by agents, box-office managers, and the sort of populist stars critics hate but middlebrow punters adore, which dictates that to find out exactly what's going on in the rich and endlessly varied world of entertainment, all you ever need to do is to follow the money.

By that token, the biggest and most important pay deal struck by any star, in any medium – from sports, to pop music, to Hollywood films, to broadcasting – in the last 12 months was the eight-year, $400m (£251m) contract that committed Rush Limbaugh to the syndication firm Clear Channel and was signed in July 2008.

The deal saw Limbaugh, a notorious, cigar-chomping 57-year-old, whose daily talkshow is syndicated to 600 US radio stations, garner a pay rise of $10m annually and a signing bonus of around $100m. As he inked the agreement, he announced: "I am not retiring until every American agrees with me."

One thing the nation does agree on is the scale of Limbaugh's success. He boasts perhaps the most committed, and certainly the most lucrative following of any news commentator in the history of humanity. Though his reach is limited by his reluctance to appear on television, he is the big beast to whom all other conservative pundits aspire. And the cornerstone of his success is simple economics.

Talk radio's business model has its roots in two developments that arrived in the US in the late Eighties. The first was political. In 1987, the Reagan administration scrapped the Fairness Doctrine, a government policy requiring broadcasters to report political issues in a manner that was deemed "honest, equitable and balanced." So began Limbaugh's rise.

The second change was technical. During the Sixties and Seventies, music stations began shifting en masse to FM broadcasting, with its superior sound quality. By 1987, the AM airwaves were remarkably uncluttered. In a vast country, full of major conurbations, new talk stations were able to buy up local broadcasting licences for a song. Operators like Limbaugh started being syndicated to local networks across America.

Suddenly talkshows made by one, noisy man in a small room, with a couple of producers manning the telephones, began to reach audiences of millions. It was a lucrative model: low costs, but high income, since advertisers loved the fact that talk radio's listeners were fiercely loyal, with a high disposable income (they were, after all, conservatives).

Today, the result is a vast meritocracy of talent: thousands of pundits, working for hundreds of stations, compete for share in one of the biggest marketplaces in global broadcasting. It's a cut-throat medium, in which the strong thrive and the weak are killed off. To make it, above all, you must be blessed with singular abilities to keep viewers and listeners from switching over.

"There's really only one rule in talk radio, and that is that, whether you're on the left or the right, you can never be uninteresting," says Dennis Prager, a syndicated conservative host based in Los Angeles. "You can be an idiot. You can be a moral fool. You can be primitive. But you cannot be boring. Every sentence must hold the attention."

This led to the rise of the Nineties "shock jock" – men (it was always men) who would push at extremes, or maintain a constant wattage of outrage, to keep their followings. The Christian right, traditionally obsessed with tribal social issues, like abortion and gun control, and latterly gay marriage, made an ideal audience for their fodder.

In Prager's eyes, there are further reasons why the most popular talk pundits have always been drawn from Republican ranks. "Firstly, there's much less need for left-wing hosts, because everything else is left wing. You've already got liberal commentary in the mainstream media, in TV news, newspapers, movies, so the thirst for yet another left-wing voice does not go all that deep."

"Secondly, and this is my own opinion, I think that left-wing voices tend to be emotive rather than thought through. Left-wing radio is far more emotion driven, calling opponents by names for example, than conservative radio... They're always calling people bastards and bitches, and it just gets boring after a while."

The icing on the cake, for any controversialist, is someone to rail against. The most successful right-wing voices of the modern era emerged during the presidency of Bill Clinton, which also spawned The Drudge Report, the right-leaning website that's still one of the world's most influential news aggregation mediums. Little surprise, then, that the fortunes of conservative talk radio are again buoyant.

"For me, this is the best of times, and the worst of times," says Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host from Orange County, whose afternoon show is syndicated on 120 US radio stations. "The Republicans are out of power, and I wish I didn't have so much to talk about, but our audiences are snowballing. The TSL [time spent listening] figures are through the roof. People who used to tune in for five to 10 minutes are now staying for an hour."

Hewitt, a relatively-moderate voice, is confident that the ebb and flow of politics mean that he and his colleagues, with their uncanny ability to tell viewers how to think and why to think it, will inevitably shape the Republican Party's future success: "We were part of the cycle that led to the ascendancy of the red majority from 1994 until 2008," he says. "And we will have our time again."

There is, however, a very large potential spanner in the works. It revolves around demographics. Put bluntly, right-leaning talk's audience is dying off. A recent profile of Limbaugh by Vanity Fair claimed that the average age of his listeners is 67 and rising. Fox's average viewer is said to be in their seventh decade. In a changing world, against a President catapulted to power with a staggering majority of the youth, they may (in the long term) turn out to be onto a losing bet.

.........

???

A telling demonstration of the lie of the Republican party occurred in February this year, when Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and supposedly one of the party's most powerful elected figures, attempted on CNN to distance himself from Rush Limbaugh, describing him as an "incendiary" figure who should not be taken seriously, since: "his whole thing is entertainment."

It took 48 hours for Steele to be hauled back onto the airwaves, issuing a fulsome apology to Limbaugh, whose listeners had bombarded his office, and those of Republican donors, with angry complaints. The incident quite naturally raises serious questions about who, exactly, is running the show. Steele is elected. Limbaugh is not.

Some Republicans believe the party needs a strong conservative hand on the tiller, now more than ever, arguing that no political organisation can capture the middle ground from which elections are won until they are in touch with their ideological soul. People such as Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of the conservative news organisation Newsmax, touts Glenn Beck, and others, as part of the solution to the party's woes.

"There's an old saying that Democrats fall in love but Republicans fall in line," he says. "The party will fall in line eventually, but there's no particular hurry for them to do that now," he says. "Reagan had this saying that 'you've got to preach to the choir first'."

It's difficult not to wonder, however, if Barack Obama's Democrats aren't also cheering the rise of conservative talk. Rahm Emanuel was, after all, hardly subtle in talking up Limbaugh on the airwaves. So long as their opponents are perceived as shouty ideologues – rather than say the moderate, Colin Powell Republicans of this world – they pose no serious threat.

"One of the reasons you keep seeing Rush touted at the moment is because the folks who support the current administration want to keep him out there," says Jason Linkins, who writes on media affairs for the liberal Huffington Post website. "If you look at polling, his ideas aren't that popular, and he doesn't have a strong personal approval rating. His show gets huge ratings because it's great entertainment, not because people necessarily agree with him."

In other words, the angry white men are part of the problem. Their greatest gifts – their communication, showmanship, and fabulous lines of attack may be exaggerating a potential built on shaky foundations. They could be convincing the Republicans' remaining believers that an ideology made for a different era may one day win back power, without any need for a makeover.

This problem was perfectly captured a month ago, by none other than Glenn Beck. Broadcasting a special edition of his brilliantly Barnumesque programme from an anti-tax "tea party", he finished another hour-long broadcast by breaking down in tears at the size of the middle-class crowd who had turned out.

"I'm sorry... I just love my country," he explained, apparently overcome by emotion. "And I fear for it... It seems like the voices of our leaders, and the special interests, and the media... like they're just surrounding us. And it's intimidating. But you know what? Pull away the curtain and you'll realise there ain't anyone there. There's just a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are really weak. The truth is. They don't surround us. We... surround... them."

Fighting talk: In their own words
On Obama: "We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds... because his father was black." Rush Limbaugh

On the Presidency: "Can we pray for the re-election of George Bush?" Sean Hannity

On religion: "It doesn't say anywhere in the constitution this idea of the separation of church and state." Sean Hannity

On climate change: "If you believe the mainstream media hype, you'd think that every time you drive your SUV, the Earth's temperature rises six degrees." Glenn Beck

On waterboarding: "I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." Sean Hannity

On the UN: "I just wish [Hurricane] Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn't have rescued them." Bill O'Reilly

On weapons of mass destruction: "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologise to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?" Bill O'Reilly

On race: "I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." Bill O'Reilly

On Islam: "I have a number of things that I am gonna demand and one of them is that no more Muslim immigrants come into this country. No more mosques be permitted to be built in this country...and yes we need racial profiling immediately..." Michael Savage

On immigration: "You don't have the right to protest. You're allowed no demonstrations, no foreign flag waving, no political organising... you're a foreigner, shut your mouth or get out." Rush Limbaugh

On politics: "Good for you, you have a heart, you can be a liberal. Now, couple your heart with your brain, and you can be a conservative." Glenn Beck

On homosexuality: "The gay and lesbian mafia wants our children. If it can win their souls and their minds, it knows their bodies will follow. Of course, it wants to homosexualise the whole country, not just the children" Michael Savage

On feminism: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." Rush Limbaugh

Compiled By Enjoli Liston
In video: America's right-wing commentators
gupsfu wrote:When someone uses the "taken out of context" argument without explaining what it's really supposed to mean, you know he's lying.
Muslims are so secure in their faith that they need to kill those who don’t share it.
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mrcommonsensenow
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

Humanist wrote:Free speech is a double edged sword, it cuts both ways.
Freedom of Speech vs. the Public Airways
I highly recommend to anyone who can find a copy, that you watch the Bill Moyers' documentary Free Speech For Sale. He reviews three instances of the freedom to say whatever you like enjoyed only by those who can afford it. In particular, the Telecommunications reform act of 1996 (a monstrosity signed into law by President Clinton, for those who are keeping score of Republican v. Democratic misdeeds) consolidated a still growing monopoly of broadcast media in the hands of a few billionaires. You can say what you like, but in many cases, you can not even Pay to be heard.

The most notorious of the examples of an advertisement that could not get on the air was in 1993 when a group of non-profit healthcare advocacy organizations could not find a network to air a 15 second spot in which a grandmother sitting in a rocking chair asked simply how much more money we would have for health care if we did not have to pay for marketing, advertising and the high salaries of top management of HMOs and other insurance companies. The do-gooders had the cash to pay for the commercial to air, but no one would take it. At the time the Nation reported that the networks feared antagonizing the Health Insurance industry and lose much more advertising revenue (you know, all those commercials telling us how wonder Kaiser or some other HMO is) than just the few hundred thousand dollars it cost to show a 15-second spot only once. (Beltway bandits: Banned in Boston The Nation. New York: Jun 14, 1993.Vol.256, Iss. 23; pg. 824, 1 pgs)

What does this have to do with some [edit]no.no. no...[/edit] in a cowboy hat making racist comments about a women's college basketball team? I find most the discussion about free speech implications of this incident somewhat absurd. The loud-mouths like Imus or Howard Stern or others have little or nothing to say of any interest to anyone. But they prove entertaining in their pointless rants and pursuit of cheap laughs. They sell advertising. I read this morning that CBS has pulled the plug on Imus' radio show. Does this constitute censorship? No more than Me not having a radio show constitutes censorship. If Imus thinks he has something important and/or entertaining to say he can do his own podcast, just like the rest of us. Imus comes under the same sort of rules that govern the rest of us. We can have a radio or TV show if we can find advertisers to sponsor us. Both inflicting Imus on the airwaves as well as removing him from broadcast media resulted from business decisions.
The networks have a government enforced license to broadcast at a given power level on a given frequency in a given geographic area. Our tax money pays for the FCC and other law enforcement agencies to kick down doors (sometimes literally) to shut down pirate radio stations that "step" on the license holder's frequency. In order to keep the airwaves usable, and not a constant buzz of static as a mass of heterodynes cancel each other out, the FCC and some sort of orderly system for allowing a given party to use a given frequency in a given place must exist. But because the airwaves belong to the pubic, the license holders must provide some form of public service. In theory we should receive a variety of views and investigative reporting that actually reveals something important. Instead they gave us Imus. That the networks pulled the plug on Imus does not constitute censorship. That they inflicted him on us in the first place was the censorship. The empty place in the airwaves that should contain some better service to the public, the empty place in the airwaves where the commercials such as the one mentioned above should have run, the empty space in the airwaves where the public good demands investigative reporting -- they have to fill that empty space in the airwaves with something. If Imus had ever said anything worth listening to in the first place the networks would have pulled the plug on his show ages ago. No one would mention any content or comment as the cause, only "declining advertising revenues." The same reason they have pulled the plug on him now.

The excuse that the networks only give us what we "want" remains absurd on its face. GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out. If sponsors refuse to advertise on Air America or Hightower Radio then how can we know what we are missing? Does the world lack dynamic speakers who call attention to aspects of the day's news that others do not? Does the world lack people who can speak eloquently about issues of interest to most of us? How can we know if no one will sponsor a radio show for them? A media monopoly has effectively filtered out anyone who in any way challenges or does not support the corporations that control the airwaves. For the rest of us there are podcasts and blogs. Some asinine shock-jock got his racist ass kicked off the corporate media gravy-train. Imus is nothing more than a monkey who sh!t on one welcome mat too many. The real problem we have is with the organ grinder.
Posted by Steven

"No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence."
Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:406

"Our printers raven on the agonies of their victims, as wolves do on the blood of the lamb." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1811. ME 13:59
It is not logical to believe that the same God who has allegedly endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
iandonlyhim
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by iandonlyhim »

Hate is such an amazing thing, isnt it? Or is it the bad thing?

Sometimes it comes as a response to something bad. Sometimes it comes from a belief which makes people blind. And for many reasons but everytime, hate is an output because of a bad input in our minds. BUT who will decide what is a bad input? Oh sorry human race.
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Humanist
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Humanist »

"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy," said Winston Churchill.
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
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mrcommonsensenow
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

Humanist wrote:"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy," said Winston Churchill.
WTF? Socialism? I’m afraid I don’t speak crazy. Could you translate to English so I can understand how this relates to the topic at hand?
It is not logical to believe that the same God who has allegedly endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Idesigner
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Idesigner »

mrcommonsensenow wrote:
Humanist wrote:"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy," said Winston Churchill.
WTF? Socialism? I’m afraid I don’t speak crazy. Could you translate to English so I can understand how this relates to the topic at hand?
Let me be the unsolicited advocate for my Friend Humanist!! :D

Who is that Bill Moyer of PBS & guy from Johnson era? Socialist . Right? :lol: And what is PBS? Socialist outfit getting govt's money.
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Equestrian »

"As usual the liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas are original and none of original ideas are sound."
~ Harold Macmillan
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan
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Chiclets
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Chiclets »

Equestrian wrote:"As usual the liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas are original and none of original ideas are sound."
~ Harold Macmillan
Image

I read this the other day, someone should make a bumper sticker out of it
The Republicans are much angrier about a Black man spending money, than about thousands dying in a war based on lies.
gupsfu wrote:When someone uses the "taken out of context" argument without explaining what it's really supposed to mean, you know he's lying.
Muslims are so secure in their faith that they need to kill those who don’t share it.
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Equestrian
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Equestrian »

Chiclets wrote:I read this the other day, someone should make a bumper sticker out of it
The Republicans are much angrier about a Black man spending money, than about thousands dying in a war based on lies.
To the Liberal all is race...there is no other truth.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan
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mrcommonsensenow
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

Idesigner wrote:
mrcommonsensenow wrote:
Humanist wrote:"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy," said Winston Churchill.
WTF? Socialism? I’m afraid I don’t speak crazy. Could you translate to English so I can understand how this relates to the topic at hand?
Let me be the unsolicited advocate for my Friend Humanist!! :D

Who is that Bill Moyer of PBS & guy from Johnson era? Socialist . Right? :lol: And what is PBS? Socialist outfit getting govt's money.
I see. :lol:
It is not logical to believe that the same God who has allegedly endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
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mrcommonsensenow
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

The Murder of Dr. Tiller
Did Rightwing Talk Radio Make Him a Target?
By DEBRA SWEET

A hero who wore a button saying “Trust Women,” was shot down and killed today, in a devastating attack on the right of women to control our own bodies. Dr. George Tiller began providing abortion care in 1973, as soon as it was legal in Kansas, and continued until yesterday. He endured, and rose above, the constant picketers of his clinic and home; the vandalism; the baseless lawsuits and political/legal trials. He survived being shot by another anti-abortion would-be assassin in 1993. He gave compassionate care to thousands of women, and mentored colleagues and medical students, and was a source of last resort for women with fetal/maternal complications in his Wichita, Kansas clinic.

George’s murder is a heavy, almost unbearable blow, and not only for his family and friends, who deserve our deep gratitude for supporting him in his life’s work.

A wonderful person by all accounts, he is not at this time replaceable as a highly skilled teacher and courageous physician who knowingly took the risks he did to do what we believed in. The anti-abortion movement, from its origins in with “abortion is murder” in the 1970’s, through the clinic-bombing 1980’s, and the murderous attacks of the 1990’s, has successfully shrunk the ranks of doctors and hospitals who are willing to risk providing abortions. They’ve poisoned the minds of a generation of women, permeating them feelings of shame over unwanted pregnancies and for having the audacity to want to control when and if they bear children.

Having been nose to nose with anti-abortion leaders in front of clinics, and sometimes between them and doctors, for decades, I know them as the active base of a deeply dangerous, Christian theocratic, and fascist movement. They believe, as Randall Terry screamed in my face in 1987, that women must be kept subservient to men. Their god is a vengeful god, they remind us, and we deserve death for not obeying him. They’ve got the scripture, memorized from both the Old Testament and the New, and the worldview to enforce that male supremacy in their homes and in their movement. They believe that this country’s laws should be based on their interpretation of their God’s law, so you, too, would have no choice in the matter. And they want to kill us; the women who aren’t subservient, and the doctors who foster our agency.

For 8 years, these groups had easy access to the levers of power in this country, right into the White House, and not just through the smug political operative, Karl Rove. The whole Bush regime, from the “Decider” who believed he was on a mission from God, to the thousands of political appointees who re-wrote government websites, rules and laws restricting abortion access, is responsible for a leap in the way government stopped women from accessing abortion. These legal and political attacks on women’s access to abortion – and birth control – changed life for millions of women. They gave the mainstream media the idea that it’s OK to quote anti-abortion organizations as a legitimate voice in the matter of what women have the legal and moral right to do with their lives.

The Rush Limbaughs, Pat Robertsons, and Ann Coulters have responsibility for Dr. Tiller’s murder too, by creating a political climate leading to his murder. 9-11 was the fault of “abortionists” according to Pat Robertson. The clever Rush comment “Tiller the Killer,” drawn straight from the constant street protesters around George’s clinic, and Coulter’s comment that previous abortion doctors were killed by a “gun used in a procedure” all fuel the climate that it’s OK to murder doctors.

But it’s not only the ravings of the right wing that are dangerous to womens’ rights.

What about the “leaders” of the Democratic Party who counsel us to find common ground with these fascists and religious fanatics? You have a president who invites an outspoken homophobe to give his inaugural prayer, citing “common ground” with this as somehow a step forward. You have a president who won’t come out in favor of gay marriage, tacitly encouraging many of his supporters to vote FOR Proposition 8 in California. You have a president who bends over backwards to give legitimacy to the anti-abortion cause, to the honesty of their leaders’ convictions.

If you watched the scene developing in May, weeks before Barack Obama’s appearance at the Notre Dame commencement, as Randall Terry and hundreds of others were getting arrested on the campus, and working themselves into a frenzy – all carefully covered by the national media – and you saw Obama give a speech that didn’t confront them for being wrong, you knew a murder like this would happen. The “pro-choice” movement, for its part, has surrendered its activism and resources almost completely to the Democratic Party and its “common ground” strategy.

This will inevitably get our abortion doctors killed, and drive others from practice. A courageous woman physician, who provides abortion care to rural, young and poor women, even if they have no money, is one of the successors of Dr. Tiller. She wrote today:

“Abortion has been legal in this country for 36 years and it is harder for a woman to access this vital medical care now than it was when I started providing abortion care 21 years ago. The combination of fewer feminist women’s health clinics, restrictive laws and the hijacking of the rhetoric surrounding abortion has made for an empty promise of “choice” for many women. Even our pro-choice President in his speech at Notre Dame said that “abortion is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make.”

I so strongly disagree. For the bulk of my patients it is a moral, responsible decision to make. The most common emotion expressed directly after an abortion and again at the follow up exam is one of relief. If anything, they express guilt for not feeling guilty. Why is the “pro-life” movement so intent on putting out a message to women that they should feel guilty and remorse and shame for taking control of their lives? Why do we LET them define who we are and tell us how we should think?

And then there is the issue of “common ground” between those that support and those that oppose legal abortion. I say this; until those that oppose abortion will agree with and support the notion that the best way to PREVENT unintended pregnancies in the first place (isn’t that the goal?) is to provide ALL women of childbearing age with scientifically accurate, comprehensive information about, and ready access to birth control of all types, there is no common ground. The notion that sexual relations can and will happen only between married, heterosexual couples that wish to conceive is absolutely ridiculous. Abstinence-only education results in higher STI rates, more teen pregnancies, more teen births AND more abortions. Letting religious based individuals and organizations with a totally unrealistic view of teen sexuality into our schools has been a huge mistake. It must stop.

Unfortunately, there is not, to my knowledge, a single “pro-life” organization that supports women using any method of birth control except natural family planning. And what do I call couples that rely on natural family planning? Pregnant.”

This woman gives me hope. We—everyone who cares about the humanity of women—should form a solid wall of support around her and other abortion providers.

But I am very angry, and sad, today at the utter injustice of Dr. Tiller’s death.
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

O'Reilly vs. Joan Walsh . Hateful obsession vs. Reason

And I will say, you know, I do hope that some conservatives stand up. I don‘t blame them. I don‘t blame mainstream Republicans, by any means, for this. I want to be clear. But they could help in ratcheting down some of the rhetoric. When Bill O‘Reilly goes on TV every night and calls Dr. Tiller a baby killer and a Nazi and a Mengele, and shows where he works, why do we put up with that? Why is that entertainment in our culture? It‘s demonizing a private citizen for doing a lawful job? Why are people doing that? Why is that acceptable? I would like to see a debate about that.
-Greg Pollowitz
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Humanist »

mrcommonsensenow wrote: And I will say, you know, I do hope that some conservatives stand up. I don‘t blame them. I don‘t blame mainstream Republicans, by any means, for this. I want to be clear. But they could help in ratcheting down some of the rhetoric. When Bill O‘Reilly goes on TV every night and calls Dr. Tiller a baby killer and a Nazi and a Mengele, and shows where he works, why do we put up with that? Why is that entertainment in our culture? It‘s demonizing a private citizen for doing a lawful job? Why are people doing that? Why is that acceptable? I would like to see a debate about that.
-Greg Pollowitz
Is aborting a viable embro/fetus murder? At the moment it is legal in Kansas; however, the Kansas law has restrictions, but Tiller never bothers with those. Anyone wanting a late term abortion even after the fetus was viable Tiller would do if you brought enough money.

Anyone who apposes late term abortion has the first amendment right to rail against it. So we have to put up with it because it is legal, just like abortion.

You cannot parse your rights. Tiller had the right to be a baby killer and O'Reilly has the right to report on it.

What gets me is that is if fine if a liberal wants to practice his rights, but on the other hand a conservative instantly loses his right to the first amendment of the Constitution. If it is fair for the goose it is fair for the gander.
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
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mrcommonsensenow
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

Humanist wrote:Tiller had the right to be a baby killer and O'Reilly has the right to report on it.
O'Reilly did not simply “report” it. :roll: He carried a four year personal vendetta against a private citizen performing a legal service. Why should he be allowed to do that?

BTW, O’Reilly is an entertainer under contract, broadcasting over public airways thus he is subject to censorship from his employers, his sponsors, and the FCC.
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by Humanist »

mrcommonsensenow wrote:
Humanist wrote:Tiller had the right to be a baby killer and O'Reilly has the right to report on it.
O'Reilly did not simply “report” it. :roll: He carried a four year personal vendetta against a private citizen performing a legal service. Why should he be allowed to do that?

BTW, O’Reilly is an entertainer under contract, broadcasting over public airways thus he is subject to censorship from his employers, his sponsors, and the FCC.
Oh, the first Amendment does not apply to Bill O'Reilly? Where is the constitutional restriction written?

You need to take a course on first amendment rights. Fox News and his sponsors can restrict Bill O'Reilly; however, he has the highest rated show on cable for the last 8 years, so why would they want to do that?

Tiller was a private citizen and so is Bill O'Reilly. Yet you have one set of laws for a baby killer and another for a conservative talk show host. Should the FCC equally restrict Chris Matthews? After all Chris is a good lefty, but his rhetoric is more hostile than O'Reilly's, so in your view should he get a free pass? Or does the First Amendment protect him and not O'Reilly?

The FCC cannot restrict free speech. They operate under the Constitution just like everyone else. But you appear to grant first amendment rights only to the left wingers and not conservatives. Why? That does not make “commonsensenow”.
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by mrcommonsensenow »

James Von Brunn Apparently Part Of Obama "Birther" Movement
What a surprise. :lol:

Among the myriad of disturbing qualities of James Von Brunn, the 88-year-old man who shot and killed a security officer inside the Holocaust Museum on Wednesday, is his apparent belief that Barack Obama is not a citizen of the United States and therefore has no right to the presidency.

The reason it sticks out is that, even among Von Brunn's other characteristics -- including heavy streaks of anti-Semitism, disdain for the federal government, and threads of white supremacy -- being a "birther" has a modicum of political credibility.

Certainly, the vast majority of people who are skeptical of Obama's birth in the state of Hawaii tend to be harmless conspiracy theorists. And there has been no suggestion that Von Brunn's distrust of the president's citizenship solely drove him to this violent act.

"In addition to being a birther," said Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, "he also believed that Hitler didn't kill enough Jews. He had a history of anti-Semitic, hateful views."

Indeed a "birther" mindset is more a symptom of extremism than a cause.

That said, the extent to which the birther ethos has been driven into the political narrative by legitimate figures, and subsequently picked up by extremist elements, is noteworthy. In an obvious reference to questions about Obama's birthplace, Rep. Bill Posey, R-FL, has introduced a bill in the House requiring presidential candidates to file a copy of their birth certificates. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-V.A, has joined him as a co-sponsor of that measure.

Several weeks ago, conservative reporter Lester Kinsolving, asked Robert Gibbs why the president would not "respond to the petition to requests of 400,000 American citizens by releasing a certified copy of his long-form birth certificate listing hospital?"

Outside political circles, but still within the national spotlight, the view is much more widely articulated. As late as two weeks ago, for instance, Fox News was running a headline on its website, asking: "Should Obama Release Birth Certificate? Or Is This Old News?" On Wednesday morning, moreover, talk show host Rush Limbaugh sardonically compared President Obama to God, noting that, "God does not have a birth certificate either."

Remarks like these aren't inherently violent. They can be picked up, however, by individuals who are.

"I think it is perfectly obvious that the birther movement has gained a large following on the radical right," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "It may have emerged form the right wing of the Republican Party. But the reality is that it has been adopted by the most noxious elements out there and certainly John Von Brunn represents that element."

Neither Posey nor Goodlatte's office returned request for comment.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/1 ... 14006.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

Post by McGee »

The Liberals are amazing creatures. They can not stand their own selves or their own ideas for they are well aware they make no sense. If this very tolerant group of unhappy people would actually listen, and actually be the very tolerant people they say they are, then perhaps we could actually have a dialogue and come to some common sense conclusions( at least on some matters). When a liberal mind has no answers toward what is good and right they have to demonized those who can actually think and reason. We can count on this mind set coming up with names such as "Hate Radio), when if the truth be known their whole thought life is brewing with hate and anger towards anyone of a different way of approaching an issue. They have no answers for why they believe what they believe. Many outspoken Liberals have had their own pathetic radio shows. But they always FAILED. Do you know why? No one would listen.

What do they do then? They come up with things such as the fairness doctrine.(this as been tossed around for years) Can you say Soviet Union? Personally I wouldn't mind, for in discussions of policy they always crumble under the load of making sense. The liberals are never satisfied because the dissenting view is so real they just can not deal with it.

ABC, NBC, CBS, MSMBC, CNN, are great examples of biased broadcasting stations that are losing viewers by the thousands. The New York Times, the L.A. Times and all of the liberal papers are loosing readership also by the thousands. Why ? Because everyone knows they are heavily biased. Fox News lets both sides have their say and the liberals claim they are in the tank? Why ? Because they are so filled with hate that they can not even see when both sides are presented. When both sides are presented they still scream, "unfair and biased". (Can you say blind biased bat ? three times real fast)? Actually it is pretty easy. What do ya think?

Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Glen Beck, Michael Savage, are a few of the well known conservative talk shows that people are clamoring for, Why? Because people know that these guys know what they are talking about, and they can trust them to be truthful. So to summarize "Hate Radio" is just a synonym for "the left has no answers and what we are doing we know is crap for everyone but those in charge".
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