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Smoking Gun

In June 2010, Glenn Beck says “You’re going to have to shoot them in the head”. Watch it:

I’m not arguing that Glenn Beck is responsible for the Tucson shooting spree, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head. I’m just saying that the incendiary rhetoric has got to stop. I’m not proposing any new laws, just that irresponsible political pundits should be condemned and shunned when they say things like this — not rewarded — and Fox News should not allow such remarks to be used on the air.



  1. Bard wrote:

    There’s something fitting about the Swastika being behind him and so clear in the image.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  2. starluna wrote:

    I’d be interested in seeing the whole transcript. It’s worth knowing if he went on to explain himself, or at least make clear he is speaking metaphorically. I sincerely doubt it, and it doesn’t excuse him saying this. But as much as I would like to condemn him, I’d feel better having seen the full transcript.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    Bard – good point about the Swastika. I admit that my eyes kept being drawn to it.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  4. Txjill wrote:

    At this point in Beck’s history of making violent comments about others does not deserve giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    Remember Rev. Wright being condemned over and over for his “God Damn America” without the benefit of everyone getting to hear the entire snippet?

    When you make one statement, perhaps you can be forgiven, but making them over and over for profit…no, thanks.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  5. Bert wrote:

    I was drawn to the swastika too, I wonder how it fits into the whole speech? The image looked like it came right out of Nazi Germany.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  6. Mad Hatter wrote:

    The advertisers that sponsor and finance this network HAVE to accept the responsibility for this type of programming. They should demand that this show clean itself up or be taken off the air. That’s the only sane way we can rid ourselves of this crap.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Or just clean itself up, or the sponsor should stop sponsoring it. That would get it off the air real fast if it couldn’t find any sponsors.

    If anyone can find the Beck show that clip was taken out of, I’d appreciate it. Please post it in a comment, or email it to me.

    UPDATE: I didn’t find the video, but here’s the transcript from Fox News. The quote is about 2/3 of the way down. Just reading Beck gives me a headache.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I agree with IK. I know, you all are shocked. It is true there is no place for this kind of talk in a national forum, in a private conversation or closed event OK, but not TV. Equally on the subject of civility, although the 1st amendment IMO was specifically created so that political dissent could not be muffled, we should be careful in our comdemnations. For instance, calling the HC act a govt takeover of the healthcare industry. While it may be not true, or partially true depending on your prism is perfectly legitimate. For those who believe the statement to be false, they should counter with facts or their own opinion. Is it un-civil? No, not in the least. Is it civil to equate those who hold that opinion to the most murderous dictatorship in the 20th century? That I’ll let you all debate.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  9. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    When conflating it with a forced government take over of health care that is going to put a soldier between you and your doctor and force you into socialism and is the first jackboot on your throat and…..

    That is the narrative, and in my opinion it is uncivil. It is promoting the idea that this legislation is somehow a takeover of America. And that is exactly the sort of thing that fuels crazies to shoot people and blow things up. It bypasses any sensible discourse and appeals to the lowest common denominator.

    There are places in this world where the threat of death is very real. There are places in this world where violence is required to fight against tyranny in order to survive. That these people are trying to act like that is America only shows how disgustingly naive we are. It show how absurdly lavish our lives are and how we completely ignore it constantly. As Louis C.K. puts it, we have White People Problems. We elevate everything that happens to us to catastrophe and tyranny when there are plenty of places out there that are so dismal that you can’t compare America to them. While there are people who can’t find food to eat and clean water to drink, we are holding rallies because we have to press 1 for English. The horror!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    Advertising. Except in clips, I’ve never seen Beck. I have learned what advertisers support his program. Not many. I have learned that 1800PetMeds is one of the advertisers. I bought a lot from them until I learned. And found what I needed elsewhere cheaper. Boycotting the advertisers and letting them know (as I did) I feel is a way to go.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink
  11. PatriotSGT wrote:

    1032 – civility is for everyone, not one side. America is the democracy that other democracies try to emulate, we are the best example of what it means to be free. Part of that is free speech and political dissent. We’ve covered the left’s problems with civility in a previous post:

    All i’m saying is we, all of us, contribute to declining civility when we refuse to acknowledge in ourselves and our political party that it takes place. We’re not holier than thow and should not attempt to portray ourselves as such. Just your comment shows how you think “And that is exactly the sort of thing that fuels crazies to shoot people and blow things up”. You are correct and you should add ON BOTH SIDES. Or you yourself contribute to the problem.

    I agree we have it so good here. I have traveled in many 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries and I recommend traveling to any 3rd world nation for any American who thinks they have it tough here. In many or most 3rd WC there is no or a very minimal social safety net. Our social programs seem like kings ransoms compared to theirs. My mother in law (well past retirement age) receives a whopping $50 per month in Govt retirement from her country of origin. That buys us what, a tank of gas?

    Ebdoug – your method and suggestion is an excellent way to exercise freedom of choice, and I highly recommend it.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink
  12. Michael wrote:

    Must we again address the false equivalency? I believe 1032 was pretty clearly referring to politicians and those in the media who are supposed to be leaders. Show me a single quote from a Democratic politician during the Bush years that suggested that black helicopters would land on your front lawn and ship you off to Gitmo if you opposed the Medicare Part D or the bankruptcy reform act in 2005.

    Many of us here have said over and over and over that we are not talking about the crap spewing from the Free Republic discussion forums any more than we’re talking about the random whack jobs at Daily Kos. It is about the people who are currently leading the GOP. They are acting and speaking in bad faith, suggesting that conservatives are persecuted in the same way as Aung San Suu Kyi or Liu Xiabao are.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  13. Effisland wrote:

    Is it me or am I the only one who doesn’t find him funny?

    Can you believe he claims to be a comedian, along the same lines as “Jon Stewart and ‘the Simpsons'” as he said on the Today Show?

    And yes, it sounds like the kind of defence a sadistic psychopath would use after recommending to shoot someone in the head:

    “Hey, I was just trying to make people laugh!”

    At least with Palin the defence would work – she talks, I laugh! With Beck I just feel angry.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink
  14. Mad Hatter wrote:

    EBDOUG – after Beck’s Obama “is a racist” statement many of the big sponsors would not allow their ads to air during his show. Unfortunately, they continued to air ads during the other hours of Fox News broadcasts and Fox News continues to subsidize the Beck show. So indirectly they are still sponsoring Beck.

    And I agree that we should boycott the advertisers however I’m not sure how effective that really is. The people that work in the corporations and in advertising need to show some moral courage to stop sponsoring Fox until Beck cleans up or quits. His claim to be a comedy show is ludicrous….talk about false equivalence.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 5:59 am | Permalink
  15. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Patriot: I’m tired of beating down your strawmen. You demand I need to say “on both sides” when I didn’t mention anything about sides in the first place?! Ridiculous.

    If what I said makes you automatically think of one political party, then I’d suggest it indicates a problem with that political party and not with what I’m saying.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink
  16. PatriotSGT wrote:

    1032 – if you can’t admit that your comments “crazies to shoot people and blow things up”, were siding with the notion that conservative speech is responsible for inspiring said crazies (AZ shooter) then your not being honest. You may cloak it in intellectual discourse, but it remains none the less.

    Michael – I agree some conservatives are whining about the very same thing they do to others, no doubt about it. However, my belief is that neither side is innocent. Here’s a few quotes to ponder.

    On his national radio show in 2009, however, Ed Schultz wished for Dick Cheney’s death: “He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country….Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you?”

    In 2010, Schultz screamed that “Dick Cheney’s heart’s a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him!”

    In 2009, then-Air America radio host Montel Williams urged Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to kill herself: “Slit your wrist! Go ahead! I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to — or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone.”

    Bill Maher – Talking about the then-Vice President in 2007, after al Qaeda exploded a truck bomb at a base in Afghanistan near where Cheney was visiting, Maher argued: “I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”

    Another example of mainstream liberal intellectualism:
    Behar: “I am not praying for her. I’m telling you right now. She’s going to Hell….She’s going to Hell, this bitch.” (on Sharon Angle)

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  17. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think we can all agree on two things. First, violent rhetoric should be scorned, no matter whether it comes from the right or the left. We don’t need to blame it on the right or the left, we simply have to define what it is, and when it happens we have to make it clear we won’t tolerate it from our leaders or our media (for now, let’s ignore random nut-cases and concentrate on people who should know better). So yes, Ed Schultz, Montel Williams, and Bill Maher should have been admonished by their audience and their employers for the comments that PatriotSgt mentions (I’m not so sure about Joy Behar’s remark — saying someone is going to hell is not as bad as wanting them dead). In fact, I remember when Maher made that comment about Cheney, and I thought it was wrong then (even though I dislike Cheney intensely) and that comment is one of the reasons I stopped listening to Maher’s show.

    Having said that, I have absolutely no doubt that we are getting far far more violent rhetoric from the right than we are from the left. And that right-wing hate groups are a much bigger threat to us than left-wing ones. This may have been less true in the past, like during the Vietnam war when anti-war groups sometimes got violent. But ginning up people to get violent over health care reform? You have to be kidding.

    But we don’t have to single out either side. We simply need to stop tolerating violent rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  18. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Patriot: “if you can’t admit that your comments “crazies to shoot people and blow things up”, were siding with the notion that conservative speech is responsible for inspiring said crazies (AZ shooter) then your not being honest. You may cloak it in intellectual discourse, but it remains none the less.”

    I wasn’t talking about conservative speech, I was talking about the “the government is taking over America” speech. I believe I made that perfectly clear.

    I reiterate: the fact that you are unable to distinguish between crazy government-takeover speech and “conservative speech” as you put it is necessarily a fault of what conservative speech has become. It has nothing to do with my statement which was removed from all political parties and labels. If I started talking about racist speech and you instantly thought I was talking about Republican speech, then there is probably something wrong with Republican speech.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  19. PatriotSGT wrote:

    1032 – I’ll end with this and give you the last word. We’ll likely just have to end it agreeing that we disagree or don’t understand each other.

    If your statements were not political then to whom are you referring that makes/uses “crazy government-takeover speech”. If the answer is republicans or conservatives then I am right. If the answer is persons in both/all parties then you are right.

    I’ll give you the last word and I thank you for the civil debate and chance to express my thoughts with candor. I really do, and I appreciate your candor as well.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  20. Michael wrote:

    I absolutely agree that Ed Schultz’s comments were beyond the pale. Bill Maher’s an interesting case. He frequently will say something incendiary to provoke a “Oh-my-god-he-didn’t-really-say-that” response, but then backpedals with the “I’m kidding” cop-out. I don’t know if he pulled the same trick in the case of the quote above, but you are right that this comment went too far, and he should have been admonished for it.

    Calling Joy Behar “intellectual” is like calling Glenn Beck the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge (a title held by Stephen Hawking for 30 years)…

    As for the Montel Williams quote, I’m glad that you brought it up. Notice that the quote occurred on Air America, the short-lived liberal version of Fox News. If you recall, Air America died very quickly, because it couldn’t gain any marketshare…because liberals despised and shunned the crap that was spewed there. So we turned it off. Due to the abysmal ratings, sponsors pulled the plug and the network died.

    …if only conservatives would do the same to Fox News…

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  21. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Patriot: “If your statements were not political then to whom are you referring that makes/uses “crazy government-takeover speech”. If the answer is republicans or conservatives then I am right. If the answer is persons in both/all parties then you are right.”

    I’m referring to people that use crazy government-takeover speech. Your point is absurd.

    “If your statements were not racist then to whom are you referring that makes/uses “crazy government-takeover speech”. If the answer is white people then I am right. If the answer is people of all races then you are right.”

    This makes the same point you are attempting, but instead of using political parties I used race. If that makes sense to anyone, let me know; I can get you a great deal on some beachfront property in Kansas.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  22. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Michael – I agree on the fox news however, IMO some on the network are worth listening to. In particular I will tune into Sheppard Smith and Greta V. They seem to attempt to avoid the rhetoric and Greta will ask tough questions and challenge conservatives. I don’t watch Beck, Hannity, O’reilly, Matthews, Olberman, or O’donnel, their all cut from the same mold IMO.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  23. Bert wrote:

    Why would an advertiser stop just because it is controversial. Often any form of publicity still helps. The only way to change the advertisers is for people to boycott product because of the advertising.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink