Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Civil Cold War turning hot?

The recent shooting in a Tennessee Unitarian-Universalist Church is a tragic event and as distasteful as it is to use a tragedy to make a political point, there is no escaping the facts in this case:

Knoxville Police Department Officer Steve Still requested the search warrant after interviewing Adkisson. who was subdued by several church members after firing three rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun into the congregation.

Adkisson targeted the church, Still wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."

Adkisson told Still that "he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office."...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.

It was a politically driven murder, in that the man who committed the crime specifically targeted the church and its congregation because of their politics. I wonder why.

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
-Ann Coulter, August 26, 2002

"I'd hang every lawyer that went down to Guantanamo"
-Michael Savage, June 19, 2008

"In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he "did it," even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate. "
-Ann Coulter, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, 1998

The definitive list is here (Special thanks to David Neiwert, who has been shining a light on this kind of rhetoric for years)

I'm not saying that everyone who reads a book by Sean Hannity is a potential mass murderer or that watching Bill O'Reilly leads ignorant alcoholics to try to gun down liberals any more than video games cause school shootings. What I am saying is that the constant eliminationist rhetoric of the right does push some people in that direction. I'm not advocating censorship, I'm advocating responsible speech. I love passionate invective as much as the next guy, but when you start seriously advocating killing people on a radio broadcast or a television show, you've crossed a very serious threshold and ought to be held responsible in a court of law.

crossposted from the Woodshed

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