…let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?
Glenn Beck, May 17, 2005.
The well-springs of poison are about to open up…
Given the body count already of key Democrat politicians and American civil rights leaders and labor activists who have been assassinated in America, in the Americas and around the globe; given the levels of hostility and invective from the right this cycle already, I have a question:
Will Americans allow right-wing cranks to promulgate homicidal fantasies over the air-waves unpunished, as they have in the past?
What happens when, not if, Glenn Beck, Don Imus, Andrew Sullivan or some Fox crank ‘hypothetically’ discusses the assassination of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama or whoever the Dem candidate happens to be?
There was a diary titled: ‘Breaking: …. Dead’. Few laughed. We know what the wing-nuts are thinking. And it’s only January, the crap hasn’t even started yet.
Turnout for Dems has been fantastic. Americans, hungry for change, are registering and voting in record numbers. The world is paying attention. I watched HRC win on TV on a rush-hour train in downtown Tokyo.
Yet, for the frightened, the idea that a woman, a person of color, a liberal, a Democrat, might actually win the election in November is both an anathema and a blessing. While the prospect fills the wingnut with horror and self-loathing, it also offers the long-awaited opportunity to indulge in the sickest of fantasies. The one where the good guys have to shoot down the bad. For real.
Because, for the misogynist, this election isn’t about Hillary. For the racist, 2008 isn’t about Barack or his religion. For the authoritarian, this isn’t about John. It’s about fear and hate, plain and simple. The idea that someone supposed to be lower on the totem pole might actually grasp the golden ring fills these sad, sick souls with grief, impotence and rage. It’s not like that’s a secret.
So when you listen to Sullivan and Reynolds fan the flames of Hillary hatred; or listen to Fox speculate about whether Barack is secretly a Muslim, be clear: Reynolds and the other so-called ‘responsible’ media types are tip-toeing right up to the edge of the line, pandering knowingly both to the worst instincts in us all, but also to the sickest in society, hoping/fearing something just might happen as a result.
Appealing openly to the murderous appetites of the right is a form of terrorism; and it’s a form of terrorism that works. A war was sold to America by playing on just such fears. And, lest we forget, that was no dream when Glenn Beck fantasized about murdering Michael Moore on the air two years ago.
…let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out…
That’s a major media figure fantasizing about murder. Next time, he might not ask if it’s wrong…