Christian Science Monitor: "Did Glenn Beck's rhetoric inspire violence?"


An October 16 Christian Science Monitor article headlined, "Did Glenn Beck's rhetoric inspire violence?" reported:

Glenn Beck's attacks on the Tides Foundation are being linked to a heavily-armed man's attempt to assassinate the progressive organization's employees. Rhetoric has consequences, critics say.


Tides itself is calling on advertisers to drop their business with Fox News because of what it charges has been "hate speech leading to violence."

"While we may agree to disagree about the role our citizens and our government should play in promoting social justice and the common good, there should be no disagreement about what constitutes integrity and professionalism and responsibility in discourse - even when allowing for and encouraging contending diverse opinions intelligently argued," Tides founder and CEO Drummond Pike wrote. "This is not a partisan issue. It's an American issue. No one, left, right or center, wants to see another Oklahoma City."

To some observers, the episode involving Glenn Beck and alleged attacker Byron Wilson is reminiscent of the 1991 film "The Fisher King."

"What was prescient about the film is that the main character, Jack Lucas, played by Jeff Bridges, is an arrogant, self-serving, egocentric shock jock talk radio host who enjoys baiting his callers and indulging in personal ideological comments that often have no basis in fact," writes Mark Axelrod, professor of comparative literature at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., on Huffington Post. "The upshot of all of that 'free speech' is that an off-handed, on air comment prompts one of his regular callers to commit multiple murders at a popular Manhattan bar."

None of this seems to have turned Beck away from rhetoric that implies violence.

Railing about a hypothetical situation in which children would have to take flu vaccine or be removed from their families, Beck said this week that his response would be "meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson," a reference to the gun manufacturer.

Fox News Channel
Glenn Beck
Byron Williams
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