January 21, 2011

Glenn Beck: "You're going to have to shoot them in the head"



So I have no idea if the shooter in Tucson watched Glenn Beck's show, and I'm not going to try to link this broadcast to the shooting there.

However, the debate we should have is this:

1) Is this supposed to be a "joke?" Or tongue-in-cheek or something? Because it seems like he's being totally serious.
2) How has his audience interpreted these sorts of remarks?
3) Is it okay that we have people on TV calling for their viewers to shoot people in the head if they disagree with you?
4) Does this qualify as hate speech?

8 comments:

  1. He's a complete idiot! Not saying he caused the shooting, but talking to unstable people like this on national television seems irresponsible at best.

    xo Susie

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  2. wait, what is he talking about? Radicals? Communists? He seems to be addressing someone in Washington specifically? All I hear is "shoot them in the head" but it doesn't have any context.

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  3. It wouldn't matter whether it was hate speech or not, the US doesn't have any clauses against "hate speech", it's the same protected speech as any other form of protected speech.

    Not that I have a problem with that mind you...

    But context would be nice. More of his deluded ramblings on communists, or someone in specific he wants taken out?

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  4. So I have no idea if the shooter in Tucson reads The Punk Patriot Blog, and I'm not going to try to link this blog to the shooting there.

    However, the debate we should have is this:

    1) Is this supposed to be a "joke?" Or tongue-in-cheek or something? Because it seems like he's being totally serious.
    2) How has his audience interpreted these sorts of remarks?
    3) Is it okay that we have people on the internet calling for their readers to kill people if they are richer than you?
    4) Does this qualify as hate speech?

    You want to be careful. You should realize freedom is absolute. The freedom of speech is the same for anyone. You and I are judged on the same standards as Glenn Beck: What we say has nothing to do with what other people do.

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  5. 1)i think first and foremost Glenn Beck is an entertainer. He got his start in radio comedy. To say he is hyperbolic is understated at best. My general feeling is that he speaks often without thinking of the actual words he is using. He is attempting to generate an emotional response. while he is sometimes funny, this isn't. if it is a joke it's a bad one.

    2) his live audience should stare, mouth agape, in shock that he would lose himself so much in this ramble. his viewing audience should hold him accountable to change the nature of his delivery, so that while still incindery and often one sided is at least non-violent.

    3) in short no. in the midst of a dire or extreme situation i might act out of civility and do something i would not do if i had my wits about me. i hope i wouldn't but at our base we have animal instincts and pushed far enough we can lose self control. this is not justification but biology, we should all be held accountable for our actions in some way.

    4) unfortunately, most political speech in our country, from both the extreme right and extreme left, could be considered hateful. hate speech laws are somewhat boggy in the courts and they don't often stand up to letigious scrutiny. hate has almost an aesthetic quality. whether or not something is truly hateful has, i think, very little bearing on what we should do with it. hateful does not inherently mean harmful and harmful speech is not always hateful.

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  6. Um, anonymous, I've NEVER EVER said that ANYBODY should be shot in the head.

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  7. We do know that there are a lot of other desperate, irrational people who watch Glenn Beck Faux News and take it seriously. We also know that the right has a "lone wolf" strategy of conning the unhinged into attacking people on the left and in the center.

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  8. While I'm not a huge Glenn Beck supporter, I do listen with intermittent regularity (usually in summer). He is crazy! Though, I have never, ever heard him call for violence. I do, however, remember numerous calls to peaceful protest and condemnation of violence. Here is the meaning-changing context that was deliberately taken out by the left.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9aaxCkN4h2Y

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