A Census Worker Gruesomely Murdered in Kentucky

September 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in American politics | 9 Comments

No connection at all to the hateful rhetoric against Census workers by the likes of Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman. There is a consequence to hateful words. Innocent people die.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Now I’m no fan of Beck and I don’t even know Bachman. Of what I have heard from Beck, I have never heard his tirades against census workers but I don’t doubt that such tirades exist. But in your short statement on this post, I really want to know if you think that distasteful rhetoric only comes political commentators on the ‘right’. If you really want to pin down specific crimes to broad-based rhetoric on the radio and on TV, be my guest. Just don’t be as shallow as to think that such a broad paint-brush won’t color yourself as well.

  2. Edward.

    I shared a link there under Glenn Beck’s name of him speaking ill of Census workers. He’s not as bad as Michelle Bachman (a sitting US Congresswoman), and it is clear from the video that even she pushes boundaries he won’t, but it’s pretty clear he doesn’t think well of Census workers.

    As for distasteful commentators, clearly the right does not have a monopoly on the matter. there are plenty of leftist commentators who are quite distasteful. And one of the things that liberals will have to be careful of as they gain more and more power, is not to fall into the same trap as conservatives. Right now, the level of vulgarity is not even comparable. There is no equivalent Glenn Beck on the left. Don’t forget, it’s not just Glenn Beck. It’s Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Mark Levin, Mike Savage, Sean Hannity, and on occasion Bill O’Reily (it’s tough to admit that Bill O’Reily is a somewhat reasonable man compared to the insanity of those others to his right). There is no equivalent to the left. Sure, you get bloggers who press the lines, but they are not taken seriously. Glenn Beck has millions of followers, as does Rush Limbaugh, and so on. They dictate the policy and strategy of the entire Republican party. There is no equivalent on the left.

    • Well on the left you have Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Cenk Uygur, etc. They’re just as bad.

  3. political memo,

    You’re naming leftist pundits, but there are not the equivalent of Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin in terms of lunacy.

  4. I apologize, I hadn’t read your links. I have to admit though, what Beck and Bachman said was not “distasteful” and certainly not hateful even if it was inaccurate. By the way you are writing about this I really did expect that Beck had said something else stupid about needing to tell Census workers off or something. But really other than the mention of Acorn workers, they didn’t even talk about the Census workers. They talked about the census.

    The murder of Bill Sparkman is truly a tragedy. But I’m telling you, you don’t want to enter this arena of blaming commentators for what crazy people do. Unless there is a clear line of hateful rhetoric resulting a listener or fan choosing to commit a crime, I remain utterly unconvinced–whether it is a Census worker being killed or a madman opening fire in the Holocaust museum. The blame game will always ensue, but I don’t want to be a part of it unless hate is truly being preached by those on the ‘pulpit’. As wrong as Beck and Bachman are on the issues–what they said was not hateful.

  5. Edward,

    Michelle Bachman has been speaking ill of Census workers for some time now. This isn’t a new topic for her. Clearly we don’t know enough of this particular story to make definitive statements, but I will suppose if the evidence points in one direction fairly clearly.

    Look, right wing pundits are decrying the Democratic rule as a front against freedom. People are buying up weapons and ammo like never before. It really isn’t that hard to see a correlation. American right-wing terrorism seems to only show up when Democrats are in charge. Take the dude who shot up the Holocaust Museum. Take Timothy McVeigh. And a number of other incidents. I challenge you to show me equal incidents of right-wing American terrorists striking American targets whilst Republicans are in charge. To this point I know of none, though I leave it open to be surprised if you find an incident.

  6. One last point, conservative pundits ought to be careful of their language, because whether or not their words actually lead others to violence, because their words are so full of hate, it gives others (like me) an excuse to do whatever possible to silence their words because their words become a threat to American security and liberty. Much like you are not allowed to yell Fire! in a movie theater, or say that you want to kill the president, there are limits in this country to free speech. You get enough of these kinds of incidents that seem to correlate fairly well, and the game can be up for some kind of hateful rhetoric.

  7. Sorry, but your classification of who is “right” vs. “left” is laughable. You see yourself as being on the left, so you naturally try to throw all the loony groups into the “right” category. Ever consider that categorizing 300 million Americans into one of two groups is a pretty narrow way to look at the world?

    There are a whole array of crazies that are just that–crazy. Alex Jones for one–during the Bush years he was labeled a Leftist, now under Obama he is a Right-winger. Anti-semites? Sorry but the consensus (the premise of which I’ve already explained I don’t accept) is that anti-semites are leftists. You’ll never find more of a blind agenda to give Israel whatever they want than you will on the “right”.

    Yeah, I’ve never tried yelling “fire” in a movie theatre but it is honestly a pretty poor analogy for how you think you’re going to shut down Glenn Beck. I want Beck to keep speaking just as much as I want Olbermann to keep speaking. I want Rush Limbaugh to keep yelling (as wrong as he is) as much as I want Bill Maher to continue his rants. What you acknowledging (as one who only seems to see “right” or “left”) is that whatever power you give a Presidency or a congress will come back and bite you hard when the opposition gets in power. If you try shutting down Beck now, when the tides turn it will be someone on the “left” that gets shut down. You probably didn’t like the Patriot Act under Bush–do you suddenly like it now under Obama? You didn’t like the War in Iraq under Bush–is it suddenly all okay with a new President? Afghanistan? Guantanamo? Is everything okay now that the “left” is in power? No, of course not. What power we gave to the right is now in the hands of the left. Whatever more you want to give to left is only going to swing back to the right when people are mad at Obama when the economy doesn’t improve and he doesn’t end America’s imperialist pursuits.

  8. Edward,

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for limiting hate speech. I’m simply saying that the more there is a correlation between hate speech and actual violence, the more justification there is to limit that hate speech. I was merely stating, not sharing an opinion one way or the other.

    And furthermore, speaking just of myself, I’m a centrist (though with the hard right push by conservatives, I’m certainly viewed by them as a total leftist), and find much good in both major ideologies. I do believe the conservative movement has been taken over by lunatics, and I think that is bad. The Democrats need a party of opposition that is sensible and smart, not what we see from the Republicans today.

    Alex Jones? No clue who he is. A quick wikipedia look shows me that he’s a Republican. Don’t know who considered him a liberal.

    Whatever more you want to give to left is only going to swing back to the right when people are mad at Obama when the economy doesn’t improve and he doesn’t end America’s imperialist pursuits.

    Clearly. I’m not a fan of the Patriot Act or torture or the war in Iraq, no matter who is in charge. I felt in 1998 that Clinton’s position vis a vis Iraq was stupid, and he was generally on board with the invasion in 2003. I stand for certain principles, regardless of who keeps them or violates them. That said, at the moment, I am of the opinion that the Republican party must be destroyed, and such, I will side with Democrats until that is accomplished, or at the very minimum, the crazies from the Republicans are purged. Fire Glenn Beck. Fire Rush Limbaugh. Fire Anne Coulter. Fire Sarah Palin. Don’t let these people speak for the Republican brand. They are destroying it. And I will help them destroy the Republican brand by constantly playing up how they speak for the Republican brand. For Republicans to survive, they must not play into this trap; they must not defend the crazies. Remove them from your midst if you wish to survive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: