Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Did Paranoid Right-Wing Media Fuel the Pittsburgh Cop Killer's Rage?

SOURCE: AlterNet

Max Blumenthal, at The Daily Beast. in his April 8, 2009 Post, asks a very valid question that needs a serious answer, did it?

When something gets into mainstream media, it has a half-life of about 30 seconds. Where something that moves into talk radio can have a half-life of two or three years.
It is hard not to make a connection when we look at the comments that people who committed hate crimes constantly spew in websites, blogs and Talk Radio, it is easy to glimpse a common thread in the way they regurgitate the revoltingly-hateful vomit of the people that we have come to know as Shock Jocks in Right Wing Media Outlets.

It has happened before, the Nazis are a prime example of how a group can be made a target through propaganda, millions died, In Rwanda, the Tutsies were compared to coachroaches, hundreds of thousands died, it has happened and it is happening again in the USA against Blacks, people were attacked, died and are dying, it is happening against Hispanic / Latino / Immigrants again, people are being attacked, died and are dying, LGBT members continue to be under attack, we are being assaulted and we are dying, Liberals are also targets of this hate, Liberals are being attacked and some have died, are we now seeing the results of a relentless campaign by Right Wing Media, the NRA and very violently disturbed individuals against police officers?

With the statements so far on record from people close to Richard Poplawski, I don't see a reason to doubt that he saw the police in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as 'the enemy'; thus he opened fire in a de facto ambush.

We need to keep asking that question because people keep getting killed, albeit there are others, this one of the most clear examples where a direct link between violence & hate speech where the consequences can be clearly seen:
When police searched the car of the gunman who opened fire in a Unitarian Church in Tennessee, they found a 4-page letter expressing his hatred of the "liberal movement." A regular consumer of Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity, Jim David Adkisson was only following the arguments they make day in and day out, to their logical conclusions.
From the Knoxville News Sentinel:
I followed others by asking this question: Are M. Savage, B. O'Reilly and S. Hannity Guilty of Accessory to Murder?

This situation is getting worse and there is every reason to believe that with the hate coming out of Right Wing Media, it will get ever worser.

The Shock Jocks and the Stations who hire them, do not want to change their dangerous rhetoric, so, I'll ask another question that here, at HLADC-SF, we keep asking: "Is it time to hold their advertisers responsible?"

From Max Blumenthal's post on AlterNet:

On April 6, two days after the 22-year-old Richard Poplawski allegedly murdered three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a radio host named Alex Jones settled in before a microphone in his studio in Austin, Texas to do some damage control. "The mainstream media has certainly enjoyed tying me into this story," Jones complained. "They're attacking me and saying I'm delusional and there's no New World Order The Second Amendment, what the country's founded on--it's all my fault!"

Poplawski was a neo-Nazi wannabe who railed against blacks, Jews, "Zionists," and gun control. And like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones' Web sites and posted alarming reports by Jones' writers on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront. (Poplawski's posts are here, authored under the handle, "Braced For Fate.") While Alex Jones generally avoids overt racism, he has found an eager audience on Stormfront by conjuring dark visions of an impending New World Order, claiming FEMA is secretly building a national concentration camp network, and announcing that President Barack Obama has planned mass gun seizures on his way to establishing a leftist dictatorship. "Remember, the first step in establishing a dictatorship is to disarm the citizens," warned a March 13 commentary on Jones' website, Prison Planet.

In the wake of Poplawski's alleged murder spree, the killer's friends and family members painted a portrait of a paranoid young man whose worldview was informed almost totally by the kind of conspiratorial themes entertained by Jones. Poplawski's best friend, Edward Perkovic, who also spouted white supremacist rhetoric, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his friend "grew angry recently over fears Obama would outlaw guns." Poplawski's mother remarked to police investigators that her son targeted cops "because he believed that as a result of economic collapse, the police were no longer able to protect society."

But hysterical warnings of government gun grabs and a socialist takeover of the U.S. are no longer the sole proprietary interest of fringe players like Jones. In the Obama era, Jones' conspiracy theories have graduated to primetime on Fox News. And radicals like Poplawski are tuning in. Indeed, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the alleged killer posted a YouTube clip to Stormfront of top-rated Fox News host Glenn Beck contemplating the existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps. ("He backed out," Poplawski wrote cryptically beside the video.) Three weeks later, Poplawski posted another Youtube clip to Stormfront, this time of a video blogger advocating "Tea Parties," or grassroots conservative protests organized by Beck and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich (see here and here) against President Barack Obama's bailout plan.


From: BILL MOYERS JOURNAL of Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Rage on the Radio" It is Loud!!!
We asked several radio hosts to come on this broadcast and talk about the story; they either declined or didn't return our calls. The issue of course is not their right to say anything they want on the air.
The First Amendment guarantees their free speech as it does mine. Government shouldn't be the arbiter of what the Bill of Rights leaves to one's own sense of fair play.
Watching that report, however, I was reminded of a story from folk lore about the tribal elder telling his grandson about the battle the old man was waging within himself. He said, "My son it is between two wolves. One is an evil wolf: anger, envy, sorrow, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is the good wolf: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." The boy took this in for a few minutes and then asked, "Which wolf won?" His grandfather answered, "The one I feed."
So, too, America's public life. The wolf that wins is the wolf we feed. Media provides the fodder.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The question is "Did paranoid right-wing media fuel the Pittsburgh Cop killers rage?