Are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of the gang guilty of stochastic terrorism?
President Obama was in Arizona last night to speak at a memorial service for the victims of the Arizona shooting. He - along with a few Members of Congress – also visited Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital where more positive signs of recovery continue to emerge. Giffords reportedly opened her eyes for the first time. The President focused his speech on the victims of the tragedy – using the death of 9-year-old Christina Green to encourage our nation to move forward – to be better. As he said, “I want America to be as good as she imagined it.” His speech stood in stark contrast to the bitter and divisive statement Sarah Palin released the day before. Palin focused much of her time on the shooter – and invoked the term “blood libel” to characterize her treatment from the media. “Blood libel” is a blatantly anti-Semitic remark and may also be a dog whistle to her base of militias and ultra Conservatives as she prepares her 2012 Presidential run. While President Obama stayed above the fray – refusing to condemn the political rhetoric coming from the Right…as he probably should – I won’t.
When you listen to people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of the gang – it’s easy to see – these men and women are guilty of something called stochastic terrorism. That is – the use of mass communication like radio or television to encourage individuals to commit random lone acts of violence. It’s what Glenn Beck was guilty of when he encouraged Byron Williams to attempt to massacre members of the Tides foundation and ACLU. It’s what Bill O’ Reilly was guilty of when he shouted “Tiller the baby killer” a dozen times on his show – and then someone killed Dr. George Tiller. And it could be what all these talking heads are guilty of when Jared Lee Loughner took his semi-automatic pistol to a local Safeway grocery store in Tucson on Saturday and attacked his hated "big government" by trying to assassinate a Congresswoman. We are living in a volatile and violent nation today – and if we want to emerge from it – we need to recognize the damage certain people on the Right are doing. They are profiting off their own unique form of terrorism.
Here you go, Thom: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/streicher.html
The Reich wing is simply disgusting. And their terrorism is hardly all "stochastic", or metaphoric, or indirect... e.g. "Give us what we want or we'll let the unemployed, first responders, and others go under" or "Give us what we want or we'll trash the entire world's economy (by refusing to raise the US debt ceiling)", etc. Disgusting.
G2geek's blog post Stochastic Terrorism: Triggering the Shooters from Daily Kos. Besides 'triggering the shooter' this right-wing-nut hate speech has a chilling effect on the direct targets: liberals and progressives. A two year recap is provided by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in their Insurrectionism Timeline.
I agree completely, I have for many years argued that these tactics were being employed however I didnt know the actual literal term (stochastic terror) I just equate it to the Nazis because that is whom I studied that employed this. It is so nice to listen to an intellectual talk show as opposed to the citadel shows that constanly left me feeling both worthless and hopeless. I am your newest "regular listener" for the past several days I have enjoyed your good work.
P.S. See my posting beneath the vanity fair story "Is Tucson killer a new kind of Killer?" see my posting which is actually better than the article itself I might add. I am about out of steam at the time I typed and was about to hit the hay last night
Thanks John McKinney
Oooh Thom--be careful. Blood libel isn't "killing Christian children for ritual purposes." It's the accusation that Christian children are being killed for ritual purposes. A fine, but important difference.
Thom, you didn't quite have it right when you talked about Newt Gingrich and Pres. Clinton. Newt Gingrich complained that he wasn't invited on the plane going to Rabin's funeral and said he was going to shut down the Govt. because of it. Then photos showed the President speaking to Newt on AF One. He was invited. Newt was just a really spoiled brat. His rhetoric these days has crossed into the severly disturbed.
I think you are spot on with stochastic terrorism, I'd go further though: It actually started before Dr. Tiller was murdered, with Dr. Gun, another abortion provider who was killed in Pensacola in 93, and then a year later Dr. Griffin and his escort were shot gunned by Paul Hill, and I think Paul Hill is the typical lone wolf. He stood on the sidelines of clinic protests, holding signs, giving controversial hateful interviews, and he was definitely inspired by the anti abortion movement since it gave him a stage. In fact it gave him a purpose and fulfilled his dream to become famous. Then John Salvi went on a shooting rampage in Brookline massachusetts, killing two people working in abortion clinics. BTW, in his case there were claims of schizophrenia as well. Having interviewed Paul Hill and researched John Salvi, there is no doubt in my mind that the lone wolf theory is spot on. I would go further, I think it is being cultivated into a tool by the extreme right who learned their lesson in the nineties. During the Clinton years there was an entire right wing so called 'religious right' movement' dedicated to demonstrate in front of abortion clinics, to disrupt, and demonize planned parenthood, and attack Bill Clinton for being pro choice. Even though there never was any proof of a single conspiracy or group that centrally planned all of these attacks, or any link of the perpetrators to a central command that planned it, I believe that the phenomenon is best described by what Bill Clinton himself calls so famously "the echo chamber'. In this case, right wing churches, defrogged priests and frinch anti government people joined together under one roof and with the purpose to destroy Bill Clinton's presidency. Once Bush became president, all of that noise around the abortion issue calmed down a whole lot. Did somebody tell them to shut up? Mission accomplished? I'm sure people who worked in clinics didn't feel safer during his eight years, but no lone wolf felt the call to come forward during this time. Now another democratic president is elected, and Dr. Tiller got murdered. (a very dedicated, caring and courageous man by the way). There are two good movies who depict very well what goes on behind that echo chamber: The Hunting of the President, and the BBC documentary: The Power of Nightmares. The alarming part is that the Echo Chamber became much louder since the nineties, the violence inflicted more frequent, and the language from the right is more violent too. The goal is to put a republican president into power at all cost.
Regarding Jared Loughner, perhaps his parents were the ones who fueled his political ideology. He may not have expressed overt political leanings but what about his parents? From what I've heard they were very reclusive and anti-social. Just a thought.
Keep grasping, soon or later you'll grab a lucky straw.
Remember when O'Reilly called for al Qaida to bomb Coit Tower -- which is a monument to San Francisco fire fighters?
I think that the idea of stochastic terrorism is an interesting meme. However, I think that it will fail in most people's minds because they will refuse to believe that the Glen Becks of the world are intending the terrorist result.
Instead, I think we need to us this idea minus the motives of the speaker to say that this is the result regardless of the intent of the speaker. Given that we don't want to censor people in this country, the proper response is to point out that the kind of rhetoric being used will likely result in the kinds of acts like the Tucson shooting, without saying that onyone is specifically to blame. In other words publicly appeal to the need to prevent future events such as this by self editing our speech. No laws need to be enacted and the only punishment should be public ridicule and castigation.
I would go further than calling it stochastic terrorism.
What we are seeing here is the systematic erosion of the basic consensus needed to run a democratic society done by a group of people who think they have the "divine right to rule" that the US so rightly rebelled against in its war of independence.
Treason would be a better term.
quite simply..I agree,Thom...they know there are crazies out there...
The media seems to have turned a blind eye to some of the more compelling points in this story, and once again gives Palin a pass when it comes to the truth.
Jared wrote in his youtube diatribe that terrorist is a person that uses terror as a political weapon , yet the right labels him as apolitical.
They say there is no proof that he paid any attention to politics, but he referred to the number of his congressional district while calling its residents illiterate.
He rails against the expansion of government , treasonous ratification of the constitution, and calls for a return to the gold standard, hardly topics on the mind of a person who is not into politics.
I hear people saying we don't know if he was influenced by talk radio, yet four times in his video he refers to the reader as "listener".
"America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy." Sarah Palin said this in the conclusion of her speech. The evil she implies is not the shooting, the evil is anyone having the audacity to fault her for creating her hit list. She is truly a psychopath.
This was one of the best shows i have heard the first hour was awesome you were on the top of your intellectual game Tom. I think you made the case in front of the American people just what we have been experiencing from the right wing echo machine. The quest for the lone wolf from the haters from the right wing was never explain better and what the real agenda from the right wing talk show hostess. When i heard Mark Levins sick rat i was horrified to hear such hate and the extent of which this hate speech has gone stochastic terrorism yes Tom that it is. The intent proves that people have and will be killed to further Republican ideology and the Republican party sadly is letting this happen to serve their corporate masters. How sad for this great county of ours. Tom great job on this topic fantastic Analise.
I really felt this was President Obama's greatest speech. I think it was eloquent, compassionate,
and heart felt. It made me examine my own political agenda and to affirm to consider every remark I make. Weather this tragedy was inspired by hate speech requires validation but beyond that I never want to say anything that would inspire a tragedy like the one that took place. If I were Glenn
Beck, Bill O'reiley, or Sarah Palin I would be more interested in contributing a resolution than defending my actions or denying responsibility. I would never want to inspire a tragedy. This tragedy should be a life altering experience in personal and public responsibility as it is for many citizens. As for Mr Beck, O'reiley, and Ms. Palin I would think this terrible day would inspire more humility than denial. Every one has an agenda.
We should all know them by their agenda.
There is no question that the Republican Right tries to foment treasonous actions against our country and its citizens. Each time someone starts wildly making outrageous charges all it takes is for some bigoted, hateful, mentally unbalanced mind to feel that "someone" has to correct this "problem." It amazes me that the Tea Party has filled the void the Republicans have been hoping for, i.e. some dumb Tea Party person who will do the heavy lifting that the top Republicans want to happen. In the beginning the Tea Party's goal was to get less spending, so they could shrink the Federal Government, but they fell prey to what the Republican Party really wants; to roil the waters and make it impossible for Obama to govern effectively. Why the American people fell for this is a head scratcher. Then the Tea Party stretched it's goals, so much so that I think it, and the RepublicanParty, are dealing with treasonous actions. These actions are unconstitutional and are a great example of a Fascist movement taking place in this country, just what we fought against in the 1940s. The Republican Party is playing a dangerous game that will fall apart sooner than later.
Stochastic terrorism to WMD. Chicken or the egg. Who sets the example for others to follow here? Lets face it... our government, both Republicans and Democrats (some of the Democrats anyway) are no better than "Stochastic terrorists"...in fact, much worse by hundreds of thousands of times. They wave the flag, frighten us into going along with their criminal actions in illegally invading and occupying other countries, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people (none of which deserved to die any more than the ones in Arizona). And our quid nunc and irresponsible, or perhaps I should say complicit, press never treats the many times more terrible crimes the US has committed in the Middle East, even as much as they have overwhelmed us with the Arizona shooting. Who is worse....a guy who goes berserk because he is being played as a useful idiot for people like Sarah Palin and the other right wing nut jobs too cowardly to pull a trigger for themselves? Or, our government (to be more more precise...those who have the reigns of power at any period of time acting as our government) who knowingly lied about WMD, stired up the fears of the people, and illegally invaded other countries resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths of men, women, and children who had as much right to live as the Congresswoman, the Judge, and the child. You have been shielded of the very gross atrocities that your (our) government has committed and were not able to see the Iraqi or Afghani children writhing in agony from having their limbs blasted off or their guts ripped out by American high tech weapons. I think Americans need to be paraded past the mass graves of the people our military have murdered over there just like the German citizens were paraded past mass graves of holocaust jews. The US created it's own holocaust in the Middle East and before that in Vietnam.
You should watch the documentary "Vietnam: America's Holocaust" being played on FSTV. And when you eventually learn to open your eyes to the real causes of 911, not the "official conspiracy theory" you might be very upset. Too many people won't even bother, though, to look at all of the inconsistencies that a poorly constructed "official conspiracy theory" (that most people, now, no longer believes) gives us and are already brainwashed by our government to challenge them. Many are more willing to accept a xenophobic lie no matter how full of holes it has. And the real criminals will probably die of old age before most people come to realize that they have been had.
I would have to say that I read and post a lot of comments regarding liberal and progressive issues. I also have not heard anyone from the progressive side use the level of vitriol that is currently favored by the right. Even the most vocal of progressives like Mike Malloy I have not heard anyone call for the violent attack of the opposition. This type of hate speech and liturature (if we can call it that) has been abundant from the right. Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and their ilk have all called for violent responses from their viewers and listeners. They would choose to overthrow the government as it now stands. Yet they are called patriots. Beck cries when he says "I love this country." Coulter thinks liberals are traitors and should be put in front of firing squads. We already hear too much about gun toting Sarah Palen and loud mouth Michele Bachmann. Lord save us from these fools. It is typical that conservatives in all arenas see themselves as the victims here. It would have been better if Sarah Palen would have not responded at all. Her advisors must be as half-witted as she is. It is symtomatic of sociopaths and abusers to blame the abused. These media darlings are no different.
Free Speech !! Next topic please.
I don't care what it's called, Hate Speech, Right Wing Propaganda, Violence Inducing Rhetoric or Stochastic Terrorism, when the hell are we going to do something about it??? 20 people shot in Arizona, 6 dead!!!
It's been giving people "permission" to kill, bomb or lash out against everything and everybody the Right doesn't approve of (symbolically or directly) since at least the assassination of JFK. And it's getting worse, soon it will be as prevalent as graffiti, hell it might already be. Do we have to wait until we have our own version of the Rwanda Genocide? Just replace "Cockroaches" with Census Workers, Liberals, Abortion Doctors and IRS Buildings and hand out the damn made in China machetes. NO!!!
The indignat cries from the Right Wing provocateurs regarding freedom of speech rights are completely bogus, they abused and lost those rights long ago; and we censor and restrict speech/material that we deem hazardous, indecent and obscene to society, children and the general public all the time ~ ie. sex, pronagraphy, cock fights, etc ~ how the hell did we miss Fox Noise? Is there anything more obscene than Ann Coulter?? Nobody gets violent from watching porn. And their squeals regarding "equal" or "comparable" Hate Speech from the Left is what Rush calls, "Bogus BS Hawg Wash!!" Or what I call, juvenile recrimination. If there was a Left Wing bloviater spewing hate speech and inciting people to stick a sign that read, "Bimbo Opportunist" on Sarah Palin's back, we'd have watched the Shock and Awe military strike on last night's news. The left-right hate speech parity argument reminds of the Union-Corporation campaign contribution argument, laughable, but at least unions do some contributing. The impunity and total absence of responsibility of these rightist propagandists must end!
So when are we going to do something about this long long neglected dangerous, indecent and reprehensible Stochastic Terrorism/domestic terrorism? Hello, aren't we at War with Terrorism??? This is terrorism plain and simple. Let's start with a triple BS label on Glenn Beck's forehead! Censor/restrict right wing hate speech (like we do porn) YESTERDAY!!!
You miserable, irresponsible righties blew it, you have proven over and over again that you cannot be trusted or responsible with any right, especially freedom of speech. If lefties were inciting people to violence against you, you would be screaming and crying worse than McConnell and Boner after a round of merlots. Thank your lucky [crony] stars that you've gotten away with it this damn long! Pray you don't get retroactive indictments.
When you listen to people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of the gang – it’s easy to see – these men and women are guilty of something called stochastic terrorism. That is – the use of mass communication like radio or television to encourage individuals to commit random lone acts of violence. It’s what Glenn Beck was guilty of when he encouraged Byron Williams to attempt to massacre members of the Tides foundation and ACLU.
Just signed up, first post.
Thom, I consider you a national treasure. I rarely, if ever, disagree with you. In this instance, though, I disagree with you in one, small, but significant detail. I don't think that these people, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, etc., intend for heinous, violent acts to result from their "Common Sense" agenda. I think that they have totally miscalculated what their combined messages say to a fragile, frustrated America. When something like Tucson happens, it's an "unintended consequence" of them driving America to the "edge" of what they think will be a peaceful revolution.
I've written an article about it titled, "Beck, Palin, and Limbaugh: The Three Stooges of a 'Peaceful' Insurrection". As one of your other commenters suggested, it's going to be very difficult to convince America that they are doing this with violence as a purposeful goal. I suggest a new argument, something like - "The Buffoons of Unintended Stochastic Terrorism".
As much as I disagree with what the right-wing echo chamber is doing to America, I cannot bring myself to believe that they actually want a "bloody" revolution. They're simply a media machine run amok, a collective of buffoons, leading buffoons to an unintended slaughter.
A favor, Thom? On yesterday's show you played some sound bites of Glenn Beck preaching, something like, America could avoid the "blood in the streets" that will occur (courtesy of God) if only we find the answer "within ourselves". I searched MediaMatters, but was unable to find those transcripts. Could you please post a source?
Thanks, Thom and Louise. Keep up the good works.
1. Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission. 2. baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.
Anarchic Incendiarism, or AI, belongs to the corrupt faction of Walker's CIA. It sets up people and knocks them down for the cause of Eugenics and the Fatherland. How many times do we have to see it to believe it?
Do we not see that CIA is AIC backwards, or AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION?
I appreciated Thom's hang up as soon as he heard the garbage currently put forward by the hate broadcasters concerning "if he is for the flag being burned, the shooter must have been liberal." There are something like 43 or 45 recorded instances of flag burning in our nation's history. If you read about them, there is absolutely no reason to pre-suppose any sort of political bias. The earliest instances were during the Civil War, some during Spanish American, some during World War I. One instance was children starting a bonfire. A couple during Viet Nam and most during that era were in reaction to the Kent State shootings. Many were when they were attempting the flag burning amendment efforts during the 1980's. As always the "party of small government" was seeking big government solutions for problems that mostly did not exist, other than in their minds, thus creating a problem. If you fact check, you find there is one party of big government, restricted freedom, runaway budgets, and Himmler style propaganda. That is the GOP. Purveyors of fear and hatred. Keep fact checking and don't hesitate to nail liberals who are out of line. They make mistakes too. They just don't make it the national pastime.
Tom; lets remember "W" statement of "if you tell a lie over and over it will become the truth". To this we add red states education level as shone in 2008 report that on average they had at least a 22% of adults without a high school diploma and the conservative corporate media controlled outlets repeating over and over there fact-less talking points; it's little surprise that right-wing-nuts haven't caused more violence then what happened in Tucson. Don't you think its weird that skinheads and Nazis waring clowns only appear with the far right members at there rallies and yet there pundits keep calling people on the left nazis? Remember, what ever the right accuses the left of is really what they are doing.
This is the typical LIB "modus operandi". I must say that this method worked very well for the Nazi regime in Germany, so that must be the reason the DemocRATS adopted it.
It goes as follows:
Take an occurrence (the more violent the better) that everyone can relate to, and connect it to an agenda that you want to achieve. Keep repeating your "mantra" over and over again, in face of evidence to the contrary. No matter how many times it is refuted and proven that your agenda has nothing to do with the occurrence or is blatantly untrue, just keep repeating your "mantra". No matter how unbelievable, just keep repeating the "mantra". If you repeat it often enough, IT BECOMES A FACT in people's minds.
This methodology is documented in the writings of Hitler and his henchmen. You can look it up.
This worked for the Nazis against the Jews prior to the Holocaust. In fact, this was the methodology that was used to perpetrate the "Blood Libels" against the Jews.
Wait a minute..... so (future President) Sarah Palin actually was correct!
So how can we prevent a Political Holocaust here in America? Luckily we now have the Internet and Talk Radio to keep the intelligent people informed. Oh wait... THEY are trying to get rid of Talk Radio and gain control of the Internet.
OH MY GOD! THE NAZIS ARE BACK
The voice of reason.
It WAS the Nazis who perfected the methodology that you are referring to - repeat a lie enough time, it becomes the truth.
Do some reading of Hitler and his henchmen, and you will learn. Oh yeah, the other method is to accuse your enemy of the crime that you yourself are committing. It's called "scripting".
Repeating any Big Lie indicates a failure of creative solutions and reason. How we identify a lie and respond to it, may be the greatest challenges.
Unmitigated-Truth, yours is a good example of scripting. Now go watch or llisten to your usual talking head and see how well they do it.
After reading these blogs.... I was wondering if anyone can explain to me why statements are made in such general language with no existence of any "specific" foundation of information that would support such statements. Specifically, what "hate" rhetoric did Sarah Palin use to complain about such rhetoric??? Can anyone give me one example of a specific statement made by Glenn Beck that would be considered "hate" rhetoric??? It seems to create an element of "comfort" for you people to speak in such a vague fashion, therefore, reducing any rebutle that would prove an outright "lie" on your behalf. By the way, I have no affiliation with the right or the Republican party... I am simply an "American" with core values that line up with that of our founding fathers and the constitution. I know that this kind of rhetric, words like "American" and the "Constitution" seem to be percieved as "viole" by some... I just can't understand why. By the way, did you know that MLK's daughter has given her support to Mr Beck?
I expect most of the people in this discussion have heard clips on the show.
Start with this article...
Stochastic Terrorism: Triggering the shooters.
America's Enduring Strength is Palin's response to the shooting.
Flashback: Giffords Warned Of 'Consequences' To Palin's Target Imagery (VIDEO)
Some violent speech...
Levin to female caller: "I don't know why your husband doesn't put a gun to his temple. Get the hell out of here"
Radio host Glenn Beck "thinking about killing Michael Moore"
Wally Herger Praises a "Proud Right-Wing Terrorist
Michele Bachmann: I Want People "Armed And Dangerous" Over Obama Tax Plan
Beck: "God will wash this nation with blood if he has to, but he doesn't have to"
Savage said he sees women who wear burqas as "hateful Nazi[s]" who want to "kill your children"
There is plenty more at the following pages, for example...
"They bring a knife... we'll bring a gun" Barack Obama
"Punish your enemies on election day" Barack Obama
"they can sit in the "back".."
I'll kick her ass" Joyless BayHO
and I can go on and on.... Typical double standard leftism. If any of you people would actually listen to Glenn Beck in the enirety of his television or radio show, you would get the "entire" message. You continue to listen and watch your "lame" stream media regurgitate their bent versions of the truth as they wallow in their sespool of journalistic ineptitude without a trace of journalistic integrity. Case and point... look at their ratings... they suck. They suck...because, the people in this country know when they're being told half truths and outright lies. The people in this country are not the stupid herd of cattle that the left percieves them to be.
History and sensibilities notwithstanding, I find it interesting that Palin used hate rhetoric to complain about hate rhetoric.