Preliminary report finds extensive use of hate speech on conservative talk radio
By Letisia Marquez
* Dehumanizing metaphors were used in 185 statements. Such metaphors evoked warfare, heroism, enemies, biblical characters, criminality, persecution and other representations.
* There were 77 instances of flawed argumentation, including ad hominem statements, guilt by association, and hidden assumptions or missing premises.
* Divisive language was used in 79 instances, in which individuals were presented in an "us versus them" framework as either supporting or opposing the show's worldview.
* 33 false statements were used to validate the hosts' points and to promote public opinion. A false statement is a simple falsehood, exaggerated statement or decontextualized fact that renders a statement misleading.
Before Shooting, A Campaign Season Rife With Gun Rhetoric
Examples from Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and other leading voices in the right-wing media:
Let's Get This Straight
Conservative cheerleader Ann Coulter alone has issued a plethora of hate-filled threats and wishes, as noted here:
Exclusive: Conservative Group Denounces Ann Coulter!
Nor is this kind of vitriol anything new. Another seven examples from 1995 to 2002:
The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right
Of course, we've seen many examples of conservatives advocating hate and violence since 9/11: against Arabs, Muslims, terrorist suspects, anti-war activists, political dissenters, Julian Assange and Wikileaks, and others. The list goes on and on.
Hate speech is conservative strategy
Nor is all this political vitriol just the random workings of the political marketplace. Rather, it's an intentional, calculated strategy by conservatives to demonize their opponents.
Hate Speech: The Right’s Magic Bullet
By Michael Winship
Among them: intolerant… lie… pathetic… radical… sick… steal… traitors. Gingrich and his allies deliberately set out to employ toxic language against their opponents, and are still doing it. They will say anything to get a vote, especially now that the angriest and most irrational so often make up a majority of those who bother to go to the polls. This kind of talk is part and parcel of their strategy, and no matter what motivated the Tucson killings, it needs to stop.
Their lock and load rhetoric is reinforced by the rambling ranks of those who go on the Internet to spout any conspiracy theory, distortion of history or outright lie that helps them make it through the night. Add, too, the men and women of radio and television, the Limbaugh’s, Beck’s, and their ilk who use the airwaves as a cudgel, battering viewers and listeners with the certainty of their illogic, their thinly veiled messages of bigotry and meretricious embrace of Constitution, religion, flag and family.
All of them will huff and puff that this is an isolated incident by a madman that cannot be blamed on their bombast and bluster. But let’s call it out for what it is, let’s debate what in our gut we know to be true: even if it was not their intent, it’s likely the words of the right on radio and TV and in the books they publish spurred on the man who killed two and wounded six in a Knoxville, Kentucky, church in July 2008, and the murderer of George Tiller, one of the few doctors in America who still performed late-term abortions for women with problem pregnancies whose health was at stake from life-threatening complications, or whose infants would be born dead or dying. Their invective, whether inadvertently or not, has encouraged the vandalism and threats faced by so many of our candidates and elected officials, including the now desperately wounded Congresswoman Giffords. Her shooting, and the death and wounding of so many who came to meet with her are just the latest example of ideologically-motivated bloodshed.
Conservatives are already arguing that their hate speech is no different from what liberals say about them. Great. I look forward to seeing the evidence of the violence and death threats issued by major Democratic politicians and pundits against Republicans and their families.
Repeat: major Democratic politicians and pundits, not random cranks and bloggers like me. Go through the writings of Michael Moore, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, Al Franken, et al. and find the instances where these people wished or threatened physical violence against their opponents.
I imagine conservatives already have collected and posted this evidence. So let's see the links, good buddies. I can take it if you can.
For more on the subject, see Sherrod Incident Shows Conservative Tactics and Any Excuse to Hate Obama.