Like anyone with a working sense of humour, I found him hilarious to begin with. Now though?
He already had to issue a statement live on his show pleading with his viewers not to do anything "like Tim McVeigh." Why do that if the Gospel you're preaching is one of peaceful political activism?
He rants and raves constantly about an American-led NWO which simply does not exist. He thinks conservative dissidents will be rounded up and placed in FEMA concentration camps. He believes the mixed race president is racist. He implies week in and week out that Obama's policies could result in the death of his viewers and their families. Beyond which, his highly manipulative, fast and loose way of dealing with facts has the conservative bloggers and journos praising him and the rest of us going from amused to disbelieving to genuinely concerned in a matter of minutes.
I always wondered how the American Right would react if a Democrat were re-elected to the White House. I figured they'd launch smear campaigns and all the usual political point scoring, but this? This is much more sinister, much more...well, psychotic. It isn't just far-Right mouthpieces like Beck; conservatives throughout the blogosphere, up to and including the journos at Time magazine, think that if Beck and his ilk aren't at least infallible, they're damn close to it.
I can't dismiss him as a fringe lunatic any longer. The reason for my question is this story, taken from mediamatters:
'The consequences of Fox News' doomsday programming now seem entirely predictable. As Jeffrey Jones, a professor of media and politics at Old Dominion University, recently explained to The New York Times in regard to Beck's rhetoric, "People hear their values are under attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand up and do something."
People like Richard Poplawski*? FYI, weeks before his deadline shooting spree, Poplawski uploaded a video clip of Beck ominously referencing the FEMA camps on Fox News.'
* Poplawski was a gun nut who shot dead three police officers who were called by Poplawski's concerned mother. A fringe conspiracy theorist, Poplawski believed that Barack Obama wanted to "take away his guns."
The rest of the article is here: