Numerous conservative media figures have called for a "revolution" or have invoked violent rhetoric while discussing the Obama administration or government in general. In addition to encouraging violence, such violent rhetoric has also included suggesting Obama's policies were doing violence to the American people and depicting Obama as a rapist, spousal abuser, or mobster.
Since President Obama's inauguration, numerous conservative media figures have called for a "revolution" or have invoked violent rhetoric while discussing the Obama administration or government in general. In addition to encouraging violence, such violent rhetoric has also included suggesting Obama's policies were doing violence to the American people and depicting Obama as a rapist, spousal abuser, or mobster.
Media Matters for America has previously noted that since Obama's inauguration, conservative media figures have made ominous, even apocalyptic claims about the impact policies pursued by Obama and other progressives might have on the United States; warned of impending socialism, fascism, communism, Nazism, McCarthyism, or Marxism under the Obama administration; asserted or suggested that under Obama, U.S. sovereignty may give way to a one-world government; and warned their audiences that Obama's administration will seize their guns. Media Matters has compiled the following examples of revolutionary or violent rhetoric:
- During the April 9 edition of his Fox News program, Glenn Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an "average American." Beck said during his demonstration: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic."
- In an April 9 NewsBusters.org post, associate editor Noel Sheppard repeatedly used the acronym WACO -- which he wrote stood for the "War Against Conservative Opinion" -- in discussing how "liberal bloggers blamed right-leaning media members -- in particular, Fox News's Glenn Beck -- for the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."
- On the April 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity, nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin said of "the Obama plan" for the economy: "I view it as economic child abuse. I've been calling it that for the longest time because our children are being compelled to work for generations that will be dead for money that's already spent. Their opportunities will be limited. Their liberty will be limited. And we're enslaving them to a future that our ancestors didn't create for us."
- In a March 31 post on RedState.com, while discussing a Washington county's ban on certain kinds of dishwasher detergent, managing editor Erick Erickson wrote of politicians: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" Erickson later added: "Were I in Washington State, I'd be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation."
- During the March 31 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, while discussing Obama's foreign and economic policies, Fox News contributor Dick Morris said: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case."
- During the March 30 edition his Fox News program, Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said, "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers."
- On the March 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson hosted Michael Franzese, the former caporegime of La Cosa Nostra's Colombo crime family, to discuss similarities in the way Democratic leaders and progressive figures are "operating" and "the way we used to operate on the street." Kilmeade began the segment by asking, "So, is this a big stretch to think that, all of a sudden, the Washington, D.C., has become our Godfather?" Asked by Carlson what he would "call" Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Franzese replied that Geithner is "like an underboss to me. I mean, he's doing the work of, you know, the whole family, and he's kind of the guy out front, and looking to exercise control." When Kilmeade later asked how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) would fit "in the mob," Franzese replied that Pelosi and Frank are like "the lady and the guy that Obama is kind of stuck with to appease the rest of the family," and he also referred to Obama as "the boss."
- During the March 25 edition of Sean Hannity's radio program, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told Hannity she is calling for "an orderly revolution" so that Democrats can't "achieve their ends any longer." In response to Bachmann's statement, Hannity said: "Well, I'm inspired by what you're saying, Congresswoman, and I only hope that your fellow Republicans get as energetic and as outspoken as you are here." From Hannity's radio program:
BACHMANN: At this point, the American people -- it's like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. We are at the point, Sean, of revolution. And by that, what I mean -- an orderly revolution, where the people of this country wake up and get up and make a decision that this is not going to happen on their watch. It won't be our children and grandchildren that are in debt. It is we who are in debt. We will be bankrupt in this country inside of 10 years if we don't get a grip. And we can't let the Democrats achieve their ends any longer.
HANNITY: Well, I'm inspired by what you're saying, Congresswoman, and I only hope that your fellow Republicans get as energetic and as outspoken as you are here.
Bachmann later stated: "[W]e can never forget that the Founders were rebelling against a governmental authority that abused their taxation power. And that was the tyranny. That's exactly what's happening right now. And we have to -- we have to rise up and say, 'No more. Not on my watch. No more.' " At the conclusion of the interview, Hannity encouraged Bachmann to "keep going, and I promise you, as they attack you, you're going to have conservatives like myself in your corner, I promise you." Hannity then added: "Boy, that was inspiring."
- In a March 12 column for the conservative news site WorldNetDaily.com, Erik Rush wrote that Obama is a "closet communist" and "pathological liar." Rush then compared Obama to a rapist, writing: "A few weeks ago, a television commentator in the alternative press suggested that Obama seemed to be attempting to 'ram it through,' in reference to the urgency with which he promoted the stimulus bill. Indeed -- like the proverbial cellblock rapist, our president is 'ramming' as much of his Marxist agenda down our collective throats as quickly as he can. One would think he fears that someone might come around the corner at any second and catch him." Rush's column was noted on Media Matters editor Terry Krepel's ConWebWatch blog.
- In a March 9 post on FoxNews.com's Fox Forum, Sheppard defended Rush Limbaugh's repeated statements that he hopes Barack Obama fails by invoking secessionists during the Civil War, writing:
Is it really wrong or even unpatriotic to want the president and/or his policies to fail? Hasn't this likely been the case in this country since its very birth?
It is an indisputable, historical fact that many Colonists did not support independence from England, and were hoping with all their heart and all their soul that President George Washington would fail.
Less than a century later, likely half the nation hoped President Abraham Lincoln didn't succeed in defeating the Confederacy.
The argument today is that wishing ill upon President Obama is unpatriotic because of the fragile condition of our economy -- but it is a metaphysical certitude that Washington and Lincoln presided over a much weaker nation than what we are facing in 2009.
- In his March 9 column for WorldNetDaily, actor and political activist Chuck Norris wrote: "How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority according to America's Declaration of Independence." Norris also wrote, "On Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped in response to our wayward federal government, 'I may run for president of Texas.' That need may be a reality sooner than we think."
- Interviewing Norris on the March 3 edition of his radio program, according to a transcript posted on his website, Beck stated: "Somebody asked me this morning, they said, you really believe that there's going to be trouble in the future. And I said, if this country starts to spiral out of control and, you know, and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control. ... Americans will, they just, they won't stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up. And they said, where's that going to come from? And I said Texas, it's going to come from Texas." Beck then asked Norris, "Do you agree with that, Chuck, or not?" to which Norris replied, "Oh, yeah. You know, Texas is a republic, you know. ... [W]e could break off from the union if we wanted to." Beck responded, "You do, you call me," adding: "Seriously, you do. I don't mind having that lone star on my flag. I really don't mind it. I've been out with a seam ripper looking at my flag going, I don't know, California could go."
- In his March 4 WorldNetDaily column, Burt Prelutsky compared Obama to a spousal abuser, writing: "Frankly, I don't know why anybody continues to hold Obama in high esteem. Maybe it's like those women who marry charming fellows only to discover after the vows have been exchanged that he's an abuser. In spite of the black eyes and split lips, the ladies are just too embarrassed to call the cops and have their friends and relatives discover what a dunderhead they've been."
- In his February 25 WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington compared Obama to a mobster, writing:
How does the legend of Faust apply to [Republican Louisiana] Gov. [Bobby] Jindal's refusal to accept all of the $100 million dollars Obama is offering the state of Louisiana as part of it's share of stimulus package money. President Obama, like the suave, cosmopolitan Mephistopheles, has not only crafted and passed the largest wealth confiscation in the history of the world, but upon closer examination of the 1,000-plus pages of this bloated, complex and convoluted text, the devil is truly in the details.
It's like the wedding scene of "The Godfather," Part I, where Michael Corleone recalled his father (Vito Corleone) doing business through his muscleman, Lou Cabrachi: "Either your signature on this contract, or your brains on this contract." President Barack Corleone's so-called $787 billion economic stimulus package has offered America a deal with the devil.
- During the February 20 edition of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose, a caller discussed a proposed "insurance bill for gun owners":
CALLER: I don't feel -- it doesn't matter if they pass an insurance bill for gun owners or not. They're not getting the guns, flat-out. I mean, that's just how it is. And they'll find out what a sizable force is once they encounter a group of citizens that own guns. I think that's one reason they're attacking the First Amendment is to stop you guys from warning the rest of the public.
Co-host Jim Quinn replied: "Oh, sure, sure. I mean, it's the crux of all the amendments. As a matter of fact, the Founding Fathers argued that the Second Amendment should have been the first. Because without the second, there is no first. Thanks, Travis. Yeah, when you hear that Quinn's guns have been confiscated, you will know that Quinn is dead."