Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A psychotic killer’s reading list

Planting the seeds of tragedy.
Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday's mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was motivated by a hatred of "the liberal movement," and he planned to shoot until police shot him, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV said this morning.

Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he stated his "hatred of the liberal movement," Owen said. "Liberals in general, as well as gays."
I’m not saying that Savage, Hannity and O’Reilly told Jim David Adkisson to pick up a gun and start shooting people who he thinks don’t share his political and social beliefs any more than J.D. Salinger told some asshole to shoot John Lennon. And I’m not saying any of them advocate what Adkisson did. (But I won’t be surprised when some right-wing shithead, probably on radio, says something sensationally stupid, like praising the gunman or blaming the victims, in order to be noticed above the din of the rest of the right-wing hate machine. I also won’t be surprised when some wingnut is caught calling the murderer a “hero” when he or she thought nobody was listening, taking notes or recording).

But Adkisson did what he did because he thought that liberals were ruining the country, that Democrats tied the country's hands in the war on terror and ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets.

Now where could he have gotten those ideas? And where could he have gotten those ideas reinforced on a daily basis?

Savage, Hannity and O’Reilly may not have said, “Go shoot people,” but they spew hate and intolerance on a daily basis. When you trade in hate speech, when you blame some person or group of people on a daily basis — on TV, radio and in print — for all the problems your viewers/readers/listeners are facing, it’s probably only a matter of time before some unhinged asshole in your audience decides it’s time someone did something about it.

Are Savage, Hannity and O’Reilly responsible for what Adkisson did? Legally, no. Did they help create the climate in which someone would walk into a church and start shooting because he hates liberals? Absofuckinglutely.

When these scum fucks look back on their professional lives, this is the legacy that will be looking back at them. I hope all the shiny coins they’re getting for creating so much hate, divisiveness and intolerance are worth it.

No I don’t. I hope they have the decency to feel horror and shame for what they’ve wrought. But if they did, they wouldn’t be in the hate biz, would they?

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