Reprinted from After Downing Street
Dear Rupert Murdoch, since you are responsible for what is on Fox News I have a question for you: Do you ever wonder how you'll be remembered by Americans and the world (not to mention your children) if someone takes a shot at President Obama, and when asked why they did it, quotes the misinformation spouted by Fox News as their "reason?"
You have dozens of far right and dangerous and/or crazy seeming commentators working for you but let's just talk about one as an example of the rest. What of Glenn Beck?
Does the name Father Charles Coughlin ring a bell? Do you want to be remembered as the facilitator of today's version of that deranged radio personality and hater who hounded President Roosevelt? What if a Coughlin devotee had assassinated Roosevelt? Instead of just being a nasty footnote to American history, Coughlin would be remembered as another John Wilkes Booth. What if Coughlin had had someone with money and virtually unlimited influence backing him and amplifying his
remarks? How would we feel about his backer?
Glenn Beck is a second-rate, not terribly bright Coughlin-type demagogue with rather dimwitted followers. And you are the paymaster making his silliness dangerous by giving him a voice that would otherwise be heard only by those who happened to hear him barking at the moon on some lonely street corner.
You've given today's Coughlins -- the haters -- a national platform. And they have taken the lies of the "birthers," "deathers," "Obama-is-the-Antichristers," etc., nationwide. It was a bad day for America when you became a citizen for the sole purpose of purchasing TV stations and invading us with your far-right agenda. But you've gone way past politics, even the politics of hate. You have legitimized actual insanity by widespread repetition of extremist racist and religion-based lies to the sort of people who believe the earth is 6,000 years old, that Jesus will come back soon and send everyone not like them to Hell, that Obama is the Antichrist. In other words, you've got the keys to the national asylum, are stirring up the inmates and threatening to unlock the door!
Here's a sample (compiled with the help of Media Matters and the online magazine Crooks and Liars) of just a small stock of the incendiary rhetoric and bare-faced lies your money pays for. Fox News host Glenn Beck has:
# said President Obama has, "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture,"
# flirted with the idea that FEMA is building detention camps,
# suggested that President Obama is purposefully "tanking" the economy to force young people to work for AmeriCorps,
# said that Obama is "moving us away from our republic and into a system of fascism,"
# stated: "We are a country that is headed towards socialism, totalitarianism, beyond your wildest imagination..."- Advertisement -
# says Obama "Wants you to work as a bureaucratic slave to government."
# said: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? For the love of Pete, what are you doing? Do you not hear -- do you not hear the cries of people who are saying stop? We would like some sanity in our country for a second! We didn't vote to lose the republic."
# ran several segments, including one on his radio show, promoting the concept of the secession of Texas from the Union,
# promotes "one world government" paranoia, including a supposed plot to put us all on a global currency controlled by the New World Order,