Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


Glenn Beck has a friend in California! Bryon Williams Jailhouse Confession

October 08, 2010 by Adam Shah

In a column to be published in Sunday's Washington Post, Dana Milbank reports that Byron Williams, who allegedly shot at California police officers after he was stopped while on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation and ACLU, received validation for his conspiracy theories from Glenn Beck.
Milbank based his column on interviews Williams gave to and Media Matters for America.  From Milbank's column:

Glenn Beck has a friend in California.
"I would've never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there," says this friend, Byron Williams. "And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed, that blew my mind."
"I do enjoy Glenn Beck," Williams also says, "and the reason why I enjoy that is because . . . no other channel will speak about the same things that he's talking about, and if you go and investigate those things you'll find out that they're true."
Unfortunately for Beck, this satisfied viewer currently resides at the Santa Rita Jail near Oakland and stands accused of a freeway shootout with police. Williams pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder of a police officer. But according to court documents, he said he had been on a mission to kill people at the liberal Tides Foundation, which happens to be a favorite Beck target.
In August, I wrote that while it's not fair to blame Beck for violence committed by his fans, he would do well to stop encouraging extremists. Now, Williams has granted a pair of jailhouse interviews, one with the conservative and one to be published soon by the liberal group Media Matters. These recorded exchanges, which I have reviewed, show precisely why Beck is dangerous: because his is the one voice in the mass media that validates conspiracy theories held by the unstable.
Milbank later added:
Williams, as you'd expect, is not an entirely reliable witness. At one point he complains that Beck "criticizes all the conspiracy theories," but at other points he hails Beck for embracing them. Still, this part rings true: The prisoner told the Examiner that he already knew about Tides before he heard Beck speak about it in June; rather, "to me it was more of a confirmation of what I already knew," he said.
Exactly. Beck, who has encouraged his followers to hear what he is saying "between the sentences" he actually utters, gave legitimacy to Williams's conspiracy theories.
Click here for an audio preview of Williams' interview with Media Matters.

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Here is a copy of an Email that can be copied and paste in your email to send to your friends or just share this post through our email button below.  Folks we the people are holding the media responsible!  Isn't it time that we demand that the law does the same?-Mem

Dear Friend,

This morning, Media Matters for America posted a striking new report that shows the growing danger of extreme and dishonest right-wing messages coming from demagogues like Glenn Beck.
According to police, Byron Williams engaged in a gun battle with law enforcement officers on a California highway on July 18. A police affidavit states that Williams said he was on his way to San Francisco to "start a revolution" by killing staff at progressive organizations, including the Tides Foundation, a group frequently targeted by Beck.

In an exclusive series of interviews and correspondence, Williams explains how much he relied on right-wing media -- and in particular Fox News host Glenn Beck -- for news. You can read the story here. Beck, who has declared himself a "progressive hunter," put Tides at the center of an alleged left-wing conspiracy, and the conspiracy theories featured on Beck's chalkboard were the basis for Byron Williams' dark revenge fantasies.
As Williams, who said Beck was "like a schoolteacher on TV," explained:
I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. I said, well, nobody does this.
What Williams learned from Beck and the right-wing media inspired him to depart on a journey that could have had deadly consequences.
We have the full story this morning at Media Matters for America. I encourage you to read the whole thing here.

Williams' rhetoric and his worldview are shaped by, and echo, the conspiracy theories and falsehoods of the hard-right TV and radio talkers he cites as his inspiration. In this new interview, Williams says he was pushed over the edge by anger over a conspiracy involving George Soros, Obama, a Brazilian oil company, and the BP oil spill -- a conspiracy theory loudly touted by Beck in June (and debunked by Media Matters for America.)

Byron Williams took up arms because he thinks an evil cabal of left-wing extremists is trying to destroy the country and engaging in "hideous corruption." He believes that lie because that's the "very good information" he heard, constantly, from the sources he trusts -- sources like David Horowitz, Michael Savage, Alex Jones and Glenn Beck.

Beck is playing a dangerous game -- convincing his audience that sinister threats are turning the country into a dictatorship and must be stopped, yet carefully backing off from his violent rhetoric just at the edge of incitement. He's instigating fear and rage with his lies while trying to avoid accountability for the results.
As Williams himself said:
Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, I understand what he's doing.
Please give this important story a look and send it to others. It's a devastating indictment of the consequences of the toxic misinformation that Beck airs every day.

David Brock
Media Matters for America
P.S. The violent and extreme rhetoric from Fox hosts is just one of the reasons we support the "Turn Off Fox" campaign from Color of Change. Check it out here.

FB blogger has a glitch so if you use the FB share button and it brings up the wrong text for the post, just double click on text, delete it and leave blank or copy and paste small snippet from article, click share. -Mem

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