Glenn Beck Accused of Provoking Violence

The Christian Science Monitor looks at accusations that Glenn Beck’s rhetoric leads to violence:

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, who’s honed being provocative – even outrageous at times – to a fine and lucrative art, is the focus of criticism for inciting violence.

Specifically, his dozens of comments attacking the Tides Foundation are being linked to the attempt by a heavily-armed man to assassinate employees at the San Francisco-based foundation, which funds environmental, human rights, and other progressive projects. The attack in July was thwarted in a shoot-out with police in which two officers were wounded.

Since then, alleged attacker Byron Williams has said in jailhouse interviews that he wanted to “start a revolution.” He says Beck was not the direct cause of his turning violent. But he does say: “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.”

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has also tied Glenn  Beck to provoking violence:

Referring directly to Beck, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement this week: “Too many people are turning to guns to remedy their grievances. And they are being fueled by rhetoric from leaders of the extreme gun rights movement.”

Some law enforcement officials agree.

“The Becks of the world are people who are venting their opinions and it is inflammatory, it generates a lot of emotion and generates in some people overreaction that apparently happened in the California case,” Rich Roberts of the International Union of Police Associations, which represents some 500 local police unions, told the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America. “Inflammatory speech has a tendency to trigger those kinds of emotions.”

Palin, Beck and Huckabee Promote Prophesies of Armageddon

Yesterday I looked at reasons why Republicans are not likely to pick up Jewish voters, concluding by writing that Jewish voters are not going to support a fundamentalist Christian theocratic political party. Discussion of Biblical prophesies of Armageddon on Fox, including by two possible candidates for the 2012 nomination, add to the reasons why Republicans cannot be taken seriously. From Media Matters, via Steve Benen:

Yesterday, during a conversation with the conservative publication Newsmax, Sarah Palin engaged in the favorite conservative pastime of pushing for war with Middle Eastern countries and warned that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons “is not just Israel’s problem or America’s problem, it is the world’s problem. It could lead to an Armageddon. It could lead to that World War III that could decimate so much of this planet.”

Clearly, Palin’s invocation of “Armageddon” did not bother Fox News — quite the opposite, in fact. They promoted her interview with Newsmax on Fox Nation, using her comment as the headline:

‘Palin Warns of Armageddon’

If you are unfamiliar with Iran and Israel’s role in the (always) impending Armageddon, Pastor John Hagee can help explain. Back in June, Glenn Beck hosted Hagee on his Fox News show and labeled him one of the “brave preachers” that “need to start standing up.” During that show, Beck plugged Hagee’s “excellent” new book, Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation, saying that he “just started to read last night.”

Palin and Beck aren’t the only ones at Fox who are talking about Armageddon:

Fox News’ Mike Huckabee hosted Tim LaHaye — author of the Left Behind book series about the Rapture — on his Fox News program twice in July. In both appearances, Huckabee and LaHaye reportedly discussed Armageddon. During one of the appearances, Huckabee asked LaHaye, “Are we now living in the end times, from your perspective?” LaHaye responded, “Very definitely, governor.”

Of course, this is nothing new. For centuries, religious hucksters have trafficked in fearmongering about impending Armageddon. But when three of the most prominent conservative media figures in the country — two of whom are reportedly considering 2012 presidential runs — are lending credence to theories about the End of the World, it should be news.

While these conservatives are concerned about Biblical prophecies of Armageddon, they ignore very real scientific evidence of impending harm to our planet due to climate change. Glenn Beck is trying to convince the religious right to ignore the scientific consensus on global warming. He brought on a representative of  the “Cornwall Alliance — a corporate front designed to deceive evangelicals into doubting the science underpinning climate change.”