A point brought up by Tom Tomorrow in his latest cartoon (see here) is one that I have thought of many times in the past. I find it absolutely astounding that, on one hand, conservatives can stomp about, complaining about how violent video games and rap music can negatively influence young people, but on the other hand, say that the crap that Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and other pond scum like them is “only entertainment” and they should not be held accountable for anyone actually acting upon all the egging on that they continually do.
Case in point, Bill O’Reilly has been vilifying Doctor Tiller, who was recently murdered by someone who looks like he has already confessed to the murder in the media and who has a lengthy record of violent acts and intimidation toward abortion providers. O’Reilly went after Tiller (calling him “Tiller, the baby killer) eleven separate times on his show. He used some pretty vile language and really went out of his way to whip up the already heated emotions of his audience. Then when someone actually does go out and murder the guy, O’Reilly seems surprised that anyone would actually try to hold him accountable for anything! My, my. Liberals should really be ashamed of themselves.
I actually do believe in the first point I made above. Constant exposure to violent video games and rap lyrics ARE probably harmful to young kids and teenagers who are still trying to sort out who they are. I’m sorry, but I think the human species is very easily manipulated. You can get a person to believe most anything, if you try hard enough and start early enough. Having a target who is emotionally confused about their identity and maybe in dire straights themselves just makes manipulation all the easier. So, I find it no surprise that kids constantly exposed to those influences would tend to be more anti-social and willing to resort to violence in order to resolve a conflict or just to get their way.
Another point here is that the advertising people have long known that advertising products actually does change purchasing habits of people. Billions and billions of dollars are at stake here. If advertising didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.
So, to have O’Reilly argue that what he does is “just entertainment” is just absurd. Video games are just entertainment. Rap music is just entertainment. Violent movies are just entertainment. Yet, conservatives of this country flog Hollywood and video game makers to death anytime they want the country to conform to their view of reality. However, they feel they are free to say anything they want and no one should hold them accountable, in any way, shape or form, if someone actually acts on the hatred they spew out over the airwaves on a daily basis. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways!!
Michelle Malkin, among others, has a favorite trick she likes to use when someone displeases her. She puts up their names and addresses on a website. Now, exactly what does she expect to happen here? There would be absolutely no point in doing that unless the unspoken agreement with her followers is that they should go harass these people! That is the whole point! And if it isn’t, then why do it? That is completely insane to argue that she was not “directing” her followers. She didn’t need to say it! That agreement was there, on the table! It didn’t need to be said. The only thing that not writing it down gives someone like her is some sort of very implausible deniability. The mindset seems to be “Ha ha! You can’t absolutely PROVE I had anything to do with this so you could convict me in a court of law. Therefore, I am innocent of any of the scurrilous charges you are making!”
I don’t know what kind of psychological buffer this argument gives to these morons. Somehow, this point is central to convincing themselves that they really aren’t guilty of anything. They must be making these arguments solely for themselves and their followers. Have to be. They certainly aren’t convincing anyone else. This seems to be a repeated pattern in today’s conservatives. So long as they can say something, anything that they feel will get them “off the hook”, then they will say it. It doesn’t matter if it conflicts with anything else they have said recently. Just as long as they can say something, that’s all that matters to them. It doesn’t matter if it convinces exactly no one; all that matters is that they have built themselves a little barrier that helps protect the laughable notion in their own minds that they are in the right and everyone else is wrong.
If I remember correctly, Charles Manson was found guilty of murder, even though he did not participate directly in the Tate/LaBianca murders.
UPDATE: After the Jew-Black-Obama hater killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., what do you suppose the right wing media would do? Take a step back and look at what they have really been doing to incite their audience into taking action? Or would they call the guy a liberal and try to blame liberals?
If you answered number 2 (specifically Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck), you win the kwepie doll. God, these people are disgusting.