Well, well, well. The genuinely Main Street Media finally noticed that Glenn Beck has been fanning the flames big time as he tells his followers that the "liberal" Obama administration and the progressives are trying to destroy their (the followers of Glenn Beck)'s country.
Dana Milbank of the WaPo realized that it was definitely strange that the Tides Foundation, a little known progressive foundation, was deemed to be a specific target by an angry conservative because who the heck told him that they were the epitome of evil planning to destroy conservative America? Where the heck did this guy come up with that? And Milbank realized that since the only guy preaching about the evil of Tides Foundation this year was Glenn Beck, it must have come from him.
Even worse, after this assassin was stopped in a shoot out with the cops, Glenn bragged that he's proud of how he's been able to raise awareness of the evil agenda of this particular foundation.
"Tides was one of the hardest things that we ever tried to explain, and everyone told us that we couldn't," Fox News host Glenn Beck told his radio listeners on Monday [after they guy was stopped in the shoot out with the cops]. "The reason why the blackboard" -- the prop Beck uses on his TV show to trace conspiracies -- "really became what the blackboard is, is because I was trying to explain Tides and how all of this worked." Beck accuses Tides of seeking to seize power and destroy capitalism, and he suggests that a full range of his enemies on the left all have "ties to the Tides Center." On Monday, he savored the fact that "no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard."
So Glenn knows that he is actively targeting liberal/progressive groups and he's proud of the fact that he put the Tides Foundation on the map as someone to murder by his fanatical followers.
Lots of his followers think he is telling God's truth. And when they act on it, who is to blame? The gullible, unhinged guy who spontaneously decides to take matters in his own hands? Or the guy who spends enormous amount of air time telling his followers about how evil the liberals are and naming the ones to target?
It might be good to remember how the Rwanda genocide started:
Underlying the tension and drama of the film [Hotel Rwanda] was the omnipresent talk radio, which effectively used demagoguery to incite the Hutus into believing that the Tutsis and moderate Hutus were the enemy. And once the slaughter began, the broadcasters coordinated the hunt for people that had escaped the initial rout. Using terminology that dehumanized their victims (“you can smell the cockroaches”) and building a case that the Tutsis deserved their fate, hate radio created an environment that inflamed the anger of the Hutus who had long felt oppressed under the colonial era.
Glenn Beck is using demagoguery to build his power base. His passionate followers see him as the target of a vast left-wing conspiracy. And that he is in great danger because he is speaking uncomfortable truths.
The fact is, he is the one who is preaching hate and violence to those he sees as enemies, so exactly who is the victim and who is the primary perpetrator? Who knows where this will end?
Milbanks' admonishment at the end of column addressing Beck's paranoid conspiracies ("Here's one idea: Stop encouraging them. ") is a joke because Glenn and his sponsors simply don't care. It will take more than a slap on the wrist to rein in the demagoguery of Beck. Would it be too much to ask the FBI and the FCC to look into if it is necessary to allow a rabid hate talker free access to the public airwaves just so someone can get rich? Because it didn't end well in Cambodia. And it didn't end well in Rwanda. And it won't end well here either.
More from Media Matters on those getting rich on Glenn Beck's demagoguery.
It's time for those who profit from Beck to take responsibility for his incitements to violence. Beck's paranoid, dishonest and incendiary rhetoric doesn't just reflect on Beck -- it reflects on News Corp., Fox News' parent company, and its shareholders. Morgan Stanley owns nearly $300,000,000 in News Corp. stock, Bank of New York more than $175,000,000, Goldman Sachs $115,000,000, and JPMorgan Chase nearly $70,000,000. As owners of the company, they need to take responsibility for the conduct of its employees.
If you find Beck's demagoguery as dangerous as I do, please support this petition by Media Matters. They've been watching Beck's slide into eliminationist thinking since the beginning of Glenn Beck's rise to fame.