It's impossible to argue that today's avalanche of insurrectionist rhetoric doesn't have a real world effect. Or that those on the fringes don't find comfort in seeing and hearing their worst fears legitimized on AM radio and Fox News.
The consequences of the doomsday programming seem entirely predictable. As Jeffrey Jones, a professor of media and politics at Old Dominion University, recently explained to The New York Times in regard to Beck's rhetoric, "People hear their values are under attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand up and do something."
Indeed, the relentless message that right-wing audiences hear is unequivocal and inescapable: Do something! Take action!
And last week, Byron Williams, likely inspired by Glenn Beck's Tides obsession, grabbed his guns and set out to do just that.