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Thread: The Hate Watch

  1. #1

    Default The Hate Watch

    Often while working I watch Fox from it's website. What I hear is now getting downright scary. Seems like the nuts have gone mainstream. I can't think of any other country saddled with such a loud violent fringe group that has a major "news" network egging them on... and because of the US's importance, the fear is not only for Americans, but for the rest of the world as well.

    Am I exaggerating? Is Frank Rich exaggerating? (see below)

    What's the climate out there?

    The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers

    By FRANK RICH
    Published: June 13, 2009

    WHEN a Fox News anchor, reacting to his own network’s surging e-mail traffic, warns urgently on-camera of a rise in hate-filled, “amped up” Americans who are “taking the extra step and getting the gun out,” maybe we should listen. He has better sources in that underground than most.

    The anchor was Shepard Smith, speaking after Wednesday’s mayhem at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Unlike the bloviators at his network and elsewhere on cable, Smith is famous for his highly caffeinated news-reading, not any political agenda. But very occasionally — notably during Hurricane Katrina — he hits the Howard Beale mad-as-hell wall. Joining those at Fox who routinely disregard the network’s “We report, you decide” mantra, he both reported and decided, loudly.

    What he reported was this: his e-mail from viewers had “become more and more frightening” in recent months, dating back to the election season. From Wednesday alone, he “could read a hundred” messages spewing “hate that’s not based in fact,” much of it about Barack Obama and some of it sharing the museum gunman’s canard that the president was not a naturally born citizen. These are Americans “out there in a scary place,” Smith said.

    Then he brought up another recent gunman: “If you’re one who believes that abortion is murder, at what point do you go out and kill someone who’s performing abortions?” An answer, he said, was provided by Dr. George Tiller’s killer. He went on: “If you are one who believes these sorts of things about the president of the United States ...” He left the rest of that chilling sentence unsaid.

    These are extraordinary words to hear on Fox. The network’s highest-rated star, Bill O’Reilly, had assailed Tiller, calling him “Tiller the baby killer” and likening him to the Nazis, on 29 of his shows before the doctor was murdered at his church in Kansas. O’Reilly was unrepentant, stating that only “pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters” would link him to the crime. But now another Fox star, while stopping short of blaming O’Reilly, was breaching his network’s brand of political correctness: he tied the far-right loners who had gotten their guns out in Wichita and Washington to the mounting fury of Obama haters.

    What is this fury about? In his scant 145 days in office, the new president has not remotely matched the Bush record in deficit creation. Nor has he repealed the right to bear arms or exacerbated the wars he inherited. He has tried more than his predecessor ever did to reach across the aisle. But none of that seems to matter. A sizable minority of Americans is irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies — indeed, of the 21st century itself. That minority is now getting angrier in inverse relationship to his popularity with the vast majority of the country. Change can be frightening and traumatic, especially if it’s not change you can believe in.

    We don’t know whether the tiny subset of domestic terrorists in this crowd is egged on by political or media demagogues — though we do tend to assume that foreign jihadists respond like Pavlov’s dogs to the words of their most fanatical leaders and polemicists. But well before the latest murderers struck — well before another “antigovernment” Obama hater went on a cop-killing rampage in Pittsburgh in April — there have been indications that this rage could spiral out of control.

    This was evident during the campaign, when hotheads greeted Obama’s name with “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” at G.O.P. rallies. At first the McCain-Palin campaign fed the anger with accusations that Obama was “palling around with terrorists.” But later John McCain thought better of it and defended his opponent’s honor to a town-hall participant who vented her fears of the Democrats’ “Arab” candidate. Although two neo-Nazi skinheads were arrested in an assassination plot against Obama two weeks before Election Day, the fever broke after McCain exercised leadership.

    That honeymoon, if it was one, is over. Conservatives have legitimate ideological beefs with Obama, rightly expressed in sharp language. But the invective in some quarters has unmistakably amped up. The writer Camille Paglia, a political independent and confessed talk-radio fan, detected a shift toward paranoia in the air waves by mid-May. When “the tone darkens toward a rhetoric of purgation and annihilation,” she observed in Salon, “there is reason for alarm.” She cited a “joke” repeated by a Rush Limbaugh fill-in host, a talk-radio jock from Dallas of all places, about how “any U.S. soldier” who found himself with only two bullets in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden would use both shots to assassinate Pelosi and then strangle Reid and bin Laden.

    This homicide-saturated vituperation is endemic among mini-Limbaughs. Glenn Beck has dipped into O’Reilly’s Holocaust analogies to liken Obama’s policy on stem-cell research to the eugenics that led to “the final solution” and the quest for “a master race.” After James von Brunn’s rampage at the Holocaust museum, Beck rushed onto Fox News to describe the Obama-hating killer as a “lone gunman nutjob.” Yet in the same show Beck also said von Brunn was a symptom that “the pot in America is boiling,” as if Beck himself were not the boiling pot cheering the kettle on.

    But hyperbole from the usual suspects in the entertainment arena of TV and radio is not the whole story. What’s startling is the spillover of this poison into the conservative political establishment. Saul Anuzis, a former Michigan G.O.P. chairman who ran for the party’s national chairmanship this year, seriously suggested in April that Republicans should stop calling Obama a socialist because “it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.” Anuzis pushed “fascism” instead, because “everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.” He didn’t seem to grasp that “fascism” is nonsensical as a description of the Obama administration or that there might be a risk in slurring a president with a word that most find “bad” because it evokes a mass-murderer like Hitler.

    The Anuzis “fascism” solution to the Obama problem has caught fire. The president’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and his speech in Cairo have only exacerbated the ugliness. The venomous personal attacks on Sotomayor have little to do with the 3,000-plus cases she’s adjudicated in nearly 17 years on the bench or her thoughts about the judgment of “a wise Latina woman.” She has been tarred as a member of “the Latino KKK” (by the former Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo), as well as a racist and a David Duke (by Limbaugh), and portrayed, in a bizarre two-for-one ethnic caricature, as a slant-eyed Asian on the cover of National Review. Uniting all these insults is an aggrieved note of white victimization only a shade less explicit than that in von Brunn’s white supremacist screeds.

    Obama’s Cairo address, meanwhile, prompted over-the-top accusations reminiscent of those campaign rally cries of “Treason!” It was a prominent former Reagan defense official, Frank Gaffney, not some fringe crackpot, who accused Obama in The Washington Times of engaging “in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain.” He claimed that the president — a lifelong Christian — “may still be” a Muslim and is aligned with “the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood.” Gaffney linked Obama by innuendo with Islamic “charities” that “have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.”

    If this isn’t a handy rationalization for another lone nutjob to take the law into his own hands against a supposed terrorism supporter, what is? Any such nutjob can easily grab a weapon. Gun enthusiasts have been on a shopping spree since the election, with some areas of our country reporting percentage sales increases in the mid-to-high double digits, recession be damned.

    The question, Shepard Smith said on Fox last week, is “if there is really a way to put a hold on” those who might run amok. We’re not about to repeal the First or Second Amendments. Hard-core haters resolutely dismiss any “mainstream media” debunking of their conspiracy theories. The only voices that might penetrate their alternative reality — I emphasize might — belong to conservative leaders with the guts and clout to step up as McCain did last fall. Where are they? The genteel public debate in right-leaning intellectual circles about the conservative movement’s future will be buried by history if these insistent alarms are met with silence.

    It’s typical of this dereliction of responsibility that when the Department of Homeland Security released a plausible (and, tragically, prescient) report about far-right domestic terrorism two months ago, the conservative response was to trash it as “the height of insult,” in the words of the G.O.P. chairman Michael Steele. But as Smith also said last week, Homeland Security was “warning us for a reason.”

    No matter. Last week it was business as usual, as Republican leaders nattered ad infinitum over the juvenile rivalry of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich at the party’s big Washington fund-raiser. Few if any mentioned, let alone questioned, the ominous script delivered by the actor Jon Voight with the G.O.P. imprimatur at that same event. Voight’s devout wish was to “bring an end to this false prophet Obama.”

    This kind of rhetoric, with its pseudo-Scriptural call to action, is toxic. It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they weren’t warned.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/opinion/14rich.html


    ----

    Another good article from MediaMatters with a must-see video... sort of a companion piece to the Frank Rich article posted above:

    http://mediamatters.org/columns/200906120037


    ----
    Last edited by Fabrizio; June 14th, 2009 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    More dangerous than a major news network providing encouragement to lunatics, is the tacit approval of a major political party.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23651.html

    At this point, the GOP is bankrupt.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/120815/Re...Own-Party.aspx

  4. #4

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    What MSM outlet hasnt tried to tout something.

    Cramer anyone?

    Who is more dangerous?

  5. #5

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    I see the point, but Cramer is something else.

    We are seeing some high profile people with platforms that reach millions seeming to lay the groundwork for the assination the President of the United States. Let's not mince words. That is the point of the Rich article. He sums it up with: "This kind of rhetoric, with its pseudo-Scriptural call to action, is toxic. It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they weren’t warned."

    If something like that were to happen I think the US would be in real danger of dissolving. They are really playing with fire here.

    I don't really know what the climate is in the US, I don't live there. It's easy for me to pull out an article or 2 on the subject... but things are exaggerated all the time... journalists need fodder for articles and editorials.

    I watched Fox all during the elections and for a while was convinced that Obama could never win. I was happy to be proven wrong. So what's the deal with this hate mongering.... do you all think it's really having an effect on the crazies?

  6. #6

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    Right, lets freeze all speech.

    All criticism of Obama shall now cease.

    Zippy, are you going to criticize the makers of the mock Bush assassination film of a few years ago?

    How is Cramer different?

    How is the business surrounding the bailout funds different?

    If property and money rights dont mean anything, why not just re introduce slavery and give away your labor and property to other people?

    Cramer is no different at all.

    Its freedom one way or another, and people should be allowed to express their opinion.

    This aint 18th Century England. And its not 21st Century England.

  7. #7

    Default

    I didn't realize that I was required to criticize everything in order to be allowed to criticize anything.

    Why don't you make a list of all of them, and I'll get back to you. Maybe.

    Include that moron Murdock, who I think should be deported in a dingy.

  8. #8

    Default

    Why did you delete your post, the one before mine. You said that Cramer was irrelevant or something.

    It has put my comments out of context, will you now restore it or do we have to quote everything around here in case people retreat from their opinions in the face of a rebuttal?

  9. #9

    Default

    The thread is titled "The Hate Watch"... it opens with an article titled "The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers"

    I don't see the Cramer connection.

    Please explain it for us.

    We're all ears.

    In the meantime, I am going out for a coffee.

  10. #10

    Default

    LOL. Right, Cramer was the defining point.

    At least for me, it was the straw-man of a MOVIE that got little showing in the US, was roundly criticized from both sides of the aisle, and has faded into obscurity.

    Instead of worrying about edits, reread the article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum View Post
    Right, lets freeze all speech.

    All criticism of Obama shall now cease.
    From the article
    Conservatives have legitimate ideological beefs with Obama, rightly expressed in sharp language.
    Coffee sounds good right now. Grinding.

  11. #11
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Coffee sounds good right now. Grinding.
    You may want to focus more on the coffee and get back to that later.....

  12. #12

    Default

    Well, if you think bad, then bad's what you get.

    Just like Darrel says.

    I dont think that theres a storm of hate at all. Unless you count criticism of 50,000 dollar Manhattan dates and trillion dollar bailouts as unfair criticism.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Americans have long been known to trash their political rivals / unwanteds.

    But the level of untruths being spread, discussed and accepted as gospel about Obama are far higher and more insidious ("He's not an American citizen and therefore a usurper and invalid as President", "He's not really a Christian, but rather a secret Muslim out to destroy our heritage") than anything we've seen in quite some time.

    These falsehoods are readily accepted and embraced by a large number of folks. No amount of facts will change their minds. Some of the righteous have expressed that it is their American duty to correct the wrong.

    Many of the more active Obama opponents are setting him up as an outsider -- as something "OTHER." He's not truly one of US, he's worthy of removal, the Constitution demands it. And this call for "Change they can believe in" is not just for Obama's policies, but due to the supposed intrinsic flaws and differences displayed in in his person.

    No matter what vitriol was spewed about Clinton, Bush (1 & 2), Reagan, etc. it was always presented from the POV that each was one of US, albeit possibly on the wrong track.

    (Cheney is a whole different matter, but he's still attacked with the accepted understanding that he's from the inside.)

  14. #14

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    I think everyones' radar (from hate-watcher to hate-monger) is set a bit too sensitively because of the race and ethnicity of the president's father.

    That said, I have been uncomfortably confronted with the "illegitimate birth" POV from seemingly rational people. It probably serves as a mental crutch for those unwilling to accept reality - in much the same way that "election theft" was for years by others.

    There are nutbags out there though, and as Salon reports "the U.S. military is ignoring its own regulations and permitting white supremacists to join its ranks." NOT F*@KING COOL & SUPER F*@KING DANGEROUS!

    The pro-life zealots are ramping up their craziness (as are the anti-gun zealots).


  15. #15

    Default

    Editorial in today's NYTimes:

    A Threat We Can’t Ignore

    By BOB HERBERT
    Published: June 19, 2009

    Even with the murders that have already occurred, Americans are not paying enough attention to the frightening connection between the right-wing hate-mongers who continue to slither among us and the gun crazies who believe a well-aimed bullet is the ticket to all their dreams.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t help feeling as if the murder at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the assassination of the abortion doctor in Wichita, Kan., and the slaying of three police officers in Pittsburgh — all of them right-wing, hate-driven attacks — were just the beginning and that worse is to come.

    As if the wackos weren’t dangerous enough to begin with, the fuel to further inflame them is available in the over-the-top rhetoric of the National Rifle Association, which has relentlessly pounded the bogus theme that Barack Obama is planning to take away people’s guns. The group’s anti-Obama Web site is called gunbanobama.com.

    While the N.R.A. is not advocating violence, it shouldn’t take more than a glance at the newspapers to understand why this is a message that the country could do without. James von Brunn, the man accused of using a rifle to shoot a guard to death at the Holocaust museum last week, was described by relatives, associates and the police as a virulent racist and anti-Semite.

    Investigators said they found a note that had been signed by von Brunn in the car that he double-parked outside the museum. The note said, “You want my weapons — this is how you’ll get them.”

    Richard Poplawski, who, according to authorities, used a high-powered rifle to kill three Pittsburgh police officers in April, reportedly believed that Zionists were running the world and that, yes, Obama was planning to crack down on gun ownership. A friend said of Poplawski, he “feared the Obama gun ban that’s on the way.”

    There is no Obama gun ban on the way. Gun control advocates are, frankly, disappointed in the president’s unwillingness to move ahead on even the mildest of gun control measures.

    What’s important to grasp here is that this madness has nothing to do with hunting, which the politicians always claim to be defending, and everything to do with the use of firearms to resist policies and lawful government actions that some gun owners don’t like.

    In a speech in February to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the executive vice president of the N.R.A., Wayne LaPierre, said: “Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”

    A new book by Dennis Henigan, a vice president at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, goes into detail on this point. In “Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy,” Mr. Henigan refers to a Harvard Law Journal article written by an N.R.A. lawyer titled, “The Second Amendment Ain’t About Hunting.” In the article, the lawyer makes it clear that for the N.R.A., the right to bear arms is “directed at maintaining an armed citizenry. ... to protect against the tyranny of our own government.”

    There was a wave of right-wing craziness along those lines during the Clinton administration. Four federal agents were killed and 16 others wounded in 1993 during an attempt to serve a search warrant at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., where a stockpile of illegal machine guns had been amassed. The subsequent siege ended disastrously with a raging fire in which scores of people were killed.

    In the aftermath of Waco, the N.R.A. did its typically hysterical, fear-mongering thing. In a fund-raising letter in the spring of 1995, LaPierre wrote: “Jack-booted government thugs [have] more power to take away our Constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us. ...”

    Whatever the N.R.A. may intend by its rhetoric, there is always the danger that those inclined toward violence will incorporate it into their twisted worldview, and will find in the rhetoric a justification for murder. On the second anniversary of the Branch Davidian fire, less than a week after LaPierre’s inflammatory fund-raising letter went out, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

    You cannot blame the N.R.A. for McVeigh’s actions. But you can sure blame it for ignoring the tragic lessons of history and continuing to spray gasoline into an environment that we have seen explode time and again.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported a resurgence of right-wing hate groups in the U.S. since Mr. Obama was elected president. Gun craziness of all kinds, including the passage of local laws making it easier to own and conceal weapons, is on the rise. Hate-filled Web sites are calling attention to the fact that the U.S. has a black president and that his chief of staff is Jewish.

    It might be wise to pay closer attention than we’ve been paying. The first step should be to bring additional gun control back into the policy mix.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/op...20herbert.html

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