Beck: You’re Going to Have to Shoot them in The Head

On June 10, 2010, Glenn Beck painted a picture of the Democratic Party as deeply divided into a front group (President Obama, Nancy Pelosi) and a set of radical backers, whom the front group had used and to whom they had made promises. Among the alleged radical backers was Bill Ayers, the former Weatherman whom Republicans had attempted to tie to President Obama, and his wife Bernadine Dohrn.

Beck predicted a civil war between the front men and their radical, Marx-worshiping backers, warning politicians in Washington that ultimately, “You’re going to have to shoot them in the head.” He seems to have meant that ordinary Democrats would eventually have to shoot Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn in the head. Beck speculated, “or they may shoot you.”*

Beck was certainly implying that Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat in Congress, was a tool of Marxist terrorists, and he implicitly predicted that either she would shoot them in the head or they would shoot her.

Since Beck’s premise, that the Democratic landslide of 2008 was actually a Communist conspiracy, belongs in the therapy transcripts of inmates in your local insane asylum, it is painful to have to explain and correct it. But since Rupert Murdoch is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast this sewer sludge to millions of people, it is impossible to ignore. Beck and his fellow travelers have a long history of violent rhetoric and fantasizing on air about killing people.

Beck’s scenario– wherein the Democratic establishment in Washington is actually a facade for a group of powerful Communists and former terrorists, and that the two will go to war with one another when congressmen cannot deliver on their wild promises to the Marxists — is completely insane.

His fantasy discourse of pornographic violence between his comic book protagonists has polluted our airwaves and put nutty, sanguinary ideas out into the ether, where the unstable have heard them.

For an overview, see Ryan Witt.

*Although Ayers has admitted setting protest bombs during the Vietnam War, one at the Pentagon, he never hurt anyone, and charges were dropped against him over three decades ago because of government misconduct. Both would be fairly characterized as peaceful ex-radicals. In recent years Ayers taught about K-12 education at the University of Illinois and worked with Mayor Richard Daly on school reform. Dorhn became a Northwestern University law professor. Ayers is accused of having said in an NYT interview in 2002 that he regretted that he “hadn’t done enough” to stop the Vietnam War, which is estimated to have killed between 1 and 2 million Vietnamese, mainly farmers. He later clarified that he had not meant that he wished he had set more bombs, though Beck continues to misquote him.

10 Responses

  1. It appears that Beck has crossed the boundary of “Free Speech”.

    He is shouting “Fire” in the crowded theater and getting away without bearing the consequences.

    He should be held accountable.

  2. For what it’s worth, there was in interesting snippet in the British press a week or so ago. Newspaperman and former Murdoch henchman, Andrew O’Neill, claimed that even Murdoch himself reckons that Fox is “out of control”. Murdoch’s flagship rags in the UK are in trouble – The Sun has lost half its sales over the last few years; and The News of the World is in deep doo-doo, with mounting evidence of widespread hacking of the phones of prominent people, which is likely to cost many millions in damages, and possible jail terms for news executives (a private investigator and a reporter have already been jailed).

  3. If Beck changed the scenario somewhat by replacing communists with corporatists and admitting that the US military is the largest terrorist organization on the planet, then he might have something much closer to reality.

  4. Beck alleges (I’ve heard the interview, but can’t remember the source) that his schtick is all just “comedy.” He says that his audience is aware of the fact.

    How would this play out? Would Beck get away with this defense by tarring his critics as humorless blue-stockings who just didn’t “get it” and people like the Arizona assassin as flat-out wackos?

    I had thought that satire was dead. Now I no longer know what satire is.

  5. I’m beginning to suspect that people like Beck never went beyond high school English even though he may have gone to college.

    Not so unusual, I never went beyond high school English even though I went to college. Even though I learned from the samples that got marked down, it was only after trying to help people with their English (as a second language) that I began to do some research. I see ten books on the subject in the bookcase right next to where I’m writing; the first, and most basic was “The Little Brown Handbook.”

    In my opinion Little Brown’s Chapter 4, “Convincing the Reader,” is the appropriate reference for this situation as it has a subsection titled “Distinguishing fact, opinion and prejudice.”

    What’s happens all too often is complex sentences get collapsed to simple subject-verb-object — Dick & Jane — which totally changes the meaning from what may have been a well founded opinion to who-knows-what. Again, all too often, positive images are replaced by negative. The result are complaints without any offer of a positive solution that helps things move forward. When this happens on both sides of a question, the result is stasis.

    Back when I lived in California, this was called “Arguing in the surf line” where you don’t go through the breakers or back to the beach and eventually get slammed by the waves.

  6. At the Republican convention, Republicans arrested people who wore protest t-shirts. Following their lead, Beck deserves a life sentence in solitary confinement.

  7. I have heard lots of prominent “progressives” saying repeatedly that such talk had nothing to do with the recent shootings.

    nonsense.

    Of course it does.

    Someone should ask Vincent Bugliosi what his opinion is on this.

    And take a look at the convictions in Rwanda, where murder was instigated by speeches on the radio.

    Spend a few minutes listening to the people calling in on overnight radio programs, that’s enough to know that there are some seriously mentally ill people listening to this kind of drivel, which should not be permitted.

    • While we’re at it, how can you prove that Jared Lee Loughner was any less a political actor than James Earl Ray? I mean, basically we all assume because Ray was a Southern white guy that he had a political grudge against MLK, but his behavior of stalking his future victim and collecting news clippings about him make him look just as much an obsessed nut as a man provoked by extremist segregation rhetoric. You can be both violently crazy and political – we’ve seen entire nations be both.

  8. Dr. Cole is correct in writing that what comes out of Glenn Beck’s mouth is usually only heard from people who have been commited to loony bins under court order. He is totally degranged, most recently when he said on the “Today Show” that he’s in the same category as Jon Stewart and The Simpsons. Huh? Stewart is smart, intelligent, witty and urbane; Homer, his friends and family are funny, biting, perceptive and brilliant.

    The only way in which Beck is similar to The Simpsons is that he makes me shout “D’oh!” when he says something stupid – which is often. The only way he is remotely akin to The Daily Show is when he says “We’ll be right back after this message” before a commercial break.

    Also, Stewart and Matt Groening use satire and exaggeration to make a point – as satirists have always done. They never have suggestion shooting members of Congress “in the head.”

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