Monday, July 28, 2008

As a footnote to the previous

The guy who killed two people at a Unitarian church in Knoxville, whom I mentioned earlier, had quite a reading list:
Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.
Just to give you a taste of what these particular authors are about, let's look at a selection of their statements courtesy of David Neiwert (for O'Reilly & Savage). The quotes of Hannity's come from Media Matters.

First, Bill O'Reilly:
Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.
Michael Savage:
And I say also, No. 2, to the politicians, I warn you personally. You will not be re-elected. If you take to the streets with the vermin who are trying to dictate to us how we should run America, even though they're not even entitled to vote or be here, you're going to be thrown out of office. The people will throw you out of office. There are not enough of them to re-elect you. You will be out of a job. You will not have a living. You will be hunting for a job. Maybe, you'll be picking the vegetables.

Savage advocating genocide: Right now, even people sitting on the fence would like George Bush to drop a nuclear weapon on an Arab country. They don't even care which one it would be. I can guarantee you -- I don't need to go to Mr. Schmuck [pollster John] Zogby and ask him his opinion. I don't need anyone's opinion. I'll give you my opinion, because I got a better stethoscope than those fools. It's one man's opinion based upon my own analysis. The most -- I tell you right now -- the largest percentage of Americans would like to see a nuclear weapon dropped on a major Arab capital. They don't even care which one. They'd like an indiscriminate use of a nuclear weapon.

In fact, Christianity has been one of the great salvations on planet Earth. It's what's necessary in the Middle East. Others have written about it, I think these people need to be forcibly converted to Christianity but I'll get here a little later, I'll move up to that. It's the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings. ... Because these primitives can only be treated in one way, and I don't think smallpox and a blanket is good enough incidentally. Just before -- I'm going to give you a little precursor to where I'm going. Smallpox in a blanket, which the U.S. Army gave to the Cherokee Indians on their long march to the West, was nothing compared to what I'd like to see done to these people, just so you understand that I'm not going to be too intellectual about my analysis here in terms of what I would recommend, what Doc Savage recommends as an antidote to this kind of poison coming out of the Middle East from these non-humans.
Sean Hannity Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism):
On the 2004 Dem convention: "That's why we call it the Reinvention Convention, 'cause they want to convince you that he is something that he is not. John Kerry is out of the mainstream."

On Halloween: By the way, Halloween is a liberal holiday, because we're teaching our children -- to beg for something for free...But I'll tell you why. Because we're teaching kids to knock on other people's doors and ask for a handout. That's how we turn --

On the D.R.E.A.M. Act: Hey, your pal Nancy Pelosi, by the way, is -- wants to give in-state tuition breaks to people that are here illegally. Did you know that? ... So you enter the country. You don't respect our laws of sovereignty. But you get the in-state tuition price. That's brilliant... That is -- only liberals could think of this.


On the 2006 Midterm Elections
: "I don't think abandoning our troops on the battlefield, or closing your eyes to enemy communications or listening to enemy communications in our country, or killing the economy, or supporting illegal immigration, I don't think that's something to run on."

More from 2006 wherein Hannity invokes the "Dolchstoßlegende": There you have it. Just 77 days left until the American people take to the polls to elect a new Congress. There are two new Gallup polls out today, and they reveal that the arrest of terror suspects in London earlier this month may have given the GOP a boost. Forty-five percent of Americans now say they would vote for a Republican candidate if the midterm elections were held today. That's a 4-percent increase from earlier this month. And the prospects for Democrats are at their lowest point in a year. Forty-two percent of Americans said they approve of the job of George W. Bush that he's doing as president. That's up five points from earlier this month and, by the way, his highest rating in six months. Now, approval on the president and how he handles terrorism is at 55 percent, and that's his highest rating in more than a year. So, will the majority of voters agree with Joe Lieberman, who said that Democratic challenger Ned Lamont's support for a gradual withdrawal from Iraq would be taken as a victory by terrorists?

[...]

... You know something, Mary Anne, when I look at your party, and I think of cut-run-surrender, wave the white flag -- when I think of not having the wiretap program, the data mining program, the [USA] Patriot Act as strong as it is -- when I think of [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] third in line for the presidency, it scares the daylights out of me. I think when the public hears where the Democrats stand, I think you guys are very likely to lose. Why am I wrong?

... No, no, no. Hang on, Kate. This is a good point 'cause Mary Anne is saying -- but this is what I say. Mary Anne's party, Bob Beckel's party, are weak, consistently wrong on homeland security and national security issues. They are weak. They'll cut, run, and surrender. They won't allow us to combat the terrorists. Let's take that issue to them. I think it's a winning issue for Republicans.
Now assuming the shooter was reading others from a similar mindset, we could imagine that Ann Coulter was also on the reading list, and if he had any internet savvy any of a host of blogs and forums such as Free Republic would have been bookmarked. Just a wild guess. Hate is a poison.

See also David Neiwert's In Tennessee, eliminationism is no longer 'just a joke':
In Tennessee this weekend, the chickens came home to roost when a gunman named James David Adkisson walked into a Unitarian Universalist Church and began shooting. So far, two people are dead, and seven more were wounded. He was saying "hateful things," according to all the news reports.

Naturally, right-wingers like the Ole Perfesser tried to fob it off on "Christian haters" -- Adkisson was the son of a church deacon and evidently hated going to church. But that also ignores the fact that he identified himself as a "Confederate."

Now, MSNBC is reporting this morning that Adkisson targeted the church because of its liberal politics. A four-page letter police recovered, according to Knoxville police officials, referred constantly to his "stated hatred for the liberal movement."

Right-wingers love to "joke" about mowing down, rounding up, and otherwise "wiping out" all things liberal. It's become a standard feature of conservative-movement rhetoric. And whenever anyone calls them on it, they have a standard response: "Aw, c'mon -- it's just a joke!"

In reality, of course, rhetoric like this has historically played a critical role in some of the ugliest episodes in American history, as well as thousands of little acts of xenophobic brutality: functionally speaking, it gives violent -- and frequently unstable -- actors permission to act on these impulses. People like this always believe they're standing up for what "real Americans" think -- and the jokes tell them that this is so.

This was a violent attack on liberals. It was inspired by years of wingnuts talking about how much they hate liberals and wish they could do something about them. This man did. But watch the people who have been telling these "jokes" run away from any culpability for it.

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