In an October 11 post on their Hate Watch blog, the Southern Poverty Law Center highlighted Media Matters's interview with Byron Williams, noting that "Beck's breathless demonization of Tides and other liberal groups has not occured in a vacuum." From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
The interview and the accompanying article, by Pacifica Radio producer John Hamilton, illuminates the role Fox News and specifically Fox host Glenn Beck played in turning Williams' attention toward the groups and convincing him that they were at the center of a vast plot to destroy the country.
Beck's influence seems especially salient with regards to Williams' strange obsession with the Tides Foundation, a low-profile group that dispenses grants to liberal causes. According to Hamilton, Beck had attacked Tides 29 times on his Fox News show in the year-and-a-half leading up to the shooting, often placing it at the center of fantastical diagrams depicting liberal-socialist plots to wreck America.
Beck's breathless demonization of Tides and other liberal groups has not occurred in a vacuum. The rhetoric that helped inspire Williams to pack his car with guns and ammo and head toward San Francisco finds echo throughout the rightwing media world.