Flashback: “The Right’s Rising Tide of Violent Rhetoric”:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords appears be the latest victim of anti-government violence that has taken hold in America since 2009. It’s a wave of violence that’s cresting along with a tide of hateful, insurrectionist rhetoric that far too many conservatives refuse to condemn. Instead, the toxic talk is routinely defended as being nothing more than spirited debate.
It’s not. It’s deadly. And until those in positions of power say so, the dangerous rhetoric is likely to continue.
Whether that rhetoric played a role in the gun massacre that erupted at the Tucson shopping center on Saturday, we don’t yet know. Note that over the weekend the local Arizona sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, condemned “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business,” and especially the influence it may have on “unbalanced” people, like the Tucson shooter.
What’s undeniable is that the attempted assassination of Giffords took place against a right-wing media backdrop that has been targeting the government, and specifically Democrats, in an unconscionable manner.
Last night, a group of moviegoers in New York City’s Bryant Park accosted Glenn Beck and his family members, intimidating them and kicking a container of wine onto his wife (a commandment of the Mormon church prohibits alcohol consumption). We here at Big Journalism wonder, was this attack on Beck and his loved ones a product of “hateful rhetoric” and “toxic talk” from Beck’s left-wing detractors? Let’s take a look at the dangerous language coming from Media Matters about Beck from just this past week:
There’s a political and media movement in this country that’s eagerly painting a bull’s-eyes on the back of Glenn Beck. Not surprisingly, more and more marksmen are taking aim.