Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

April 7, 2009 -

Conservative T.V. talking head Glenn Beck has entertained the notion that video game violence leads to the real thing, but in the aftermath of Sunday's triple cop slaying in Pittsburgh, some critics are drawing a connection between Beck's on-air political rants and accused killer Richard Poplawski's horrific rampage.

The Daily Beast reports that the 22-year old Poplawski is a white supremacist and conspiracy theorist who harbored fears that President Obama will seek to establish some type of "new world order" and remove guns from private citizens.

Poplawski is also a Beck fan:

The alleged killer posted a YouTube clip to [white supremacist site] Stormfront of top-rated Fox News host Glenn Beck contemplating the existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps... Three weeks later, Poplawski posted another Youtube clip to Stormfront, this time of a video blogger advocating “Tea Parties,” or grassroots conservative protests organized by Beck and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich against President Barack Obama’s bailout plan...

David Neiwert, a veteran reporter on right-wing militia movements... explained that by co-opting conspiratorial rhetoric from the farthest shores of the right, mainstream conservative talkers can inflame the passions of paranoiacs like Poplawski to a dangerous degree...

 

"What it does is unhinge fringe players from reality and dislodges them even further. When someone like Poplawski hears Glenn Beck touting One World Government and they’re gonna take your gun theories, they believe then that it must be true. And that’s when they really become crazy.”


Comments

Re: -

Please to not confuse my wanting of you to clarify your position by defining your terms as doubt in my own position.  On the contrary it is to help the exchange which has been a healthy and civil one, though taught with disagreements. 

 

HE CAN CAUSE RATIONAL PEOPLE TO ACT VIOLENTLY!

 

Can he now?  But I thought: “This guy [the shooter] was disturbed  Where are the rational people who are acting violently then, unless it is your position that the shooter was indeed rational, which as the news shows he was not.  The issue is not about fake vs. real it is about message and how it is interpreted, there have been plenty of fictional people with messages stronger and more enduring then Beck’s.  Individuals are presented with messages form many sources constantly be it videogame or talk show but at the end of the day it is all on the individual to be responsible for their actions, Beck, GTA or what have you did not pull the trigger. If Gamers do believe in self-responsibility and determination then here is the time.  Not the time to see a political rival or disagreeable be maligned and smeared. Beck is not poison, Xbox games are not either and those who claim otherwise are perverting the message of both. We need to be consistent in this approach less we become Thompsonites all.  Divorce yourself of your hatred from Beck and be…rational. 

Re: -

"Can he now?  But I thought: “This guy [the shooter] was disturbed”"

You're acting as if it's a binary setting.  It's a whole psychological spectrum.  He was disturbed enough to be driven to violence in the face of cops at a his door, after listening to Beck day in and day out.  I think he would have been less disturbed without Beck's influence.

How psychologically stable someone is, is a matter of degree.  And yes, there is a critical threshold beyond which someone can act out in a violent manner they wouldn't normally be capable of.  The closer someone naturally is to that threshold, the less outside stimulation it takes to cross it.  So the question is, how far did Beck's influence push this man towards (and over) that threshold?  How far can a video game push someone toward it?

"The issue is not about fake vs. real it is about message and how it is interpreted"

How the message is interpreted is hugely affected by the listener's belief as to the truthfulness of the message.

"there have been plenty of fictional people with messages stronger and more enduring then Beck’s"

You're so caught up on this "message" thing.  No fictional character has ever said "the Obama government is going to do XYZ".  Fictional characters can carry real messages through allegories.  They're not literally describing what government X is going to do to real citizens.  They're cautionary tales, they're not purporting to predict the future (which Beck and the like do claim).

"Beck is not poison"

Beck is the worst kind of poison, and denying that is only helping his cause.  He LIES.  He's a political opportunist who will say anything for ratings and to undermine the political party he opposes.  He doesn't care about the good of the country, he cares about the good of Glen Beck.

But hey, he's a pundit!  That means he's a well-informed expert, so what he says must be accurate!

"Xbox games are not either and those who claim otherwise are perverting the message of both. We need to be consistent in this approach"

You still don't get it, and I just don't think there's anything left to say that will make you acknowledge or understand the reality of this situation.  It is NOT perverting either message to recognize the truth.  There is a difference between Beck and games, and until you come to realize and/or accept that, you're never going to understand that the only way to do anyone a disservice here is to equate them, and allow them to suffer the same judgment (guilty OR not guilty).

Re: -

This is funny as I was just thinking that there was nothing left to say that would make you acknowledge or understand the reality of the situation.  It is increasingly clear that we cannot convince each other and with that I'll offer a few thoughts on your last comment here and offer you the last word with my thanks for a worthwhile and fun debate.  

He was disturbed enough to be driven to violence in the face of cops at a his door, after listening to Beck day in and day out.  I think he would have been less disturbed without Beck's influence.

You think, but again you fail to make the leap here, the tie from Beck to the act of shooting.  It is not enough to hate Beck in this argument.  The cops showed up to the man's house to remove him (a fight with his mother caused this) and the shootings occurred then.  It was not a preplanned assault and one could make a better case that the man was afraid of losing his residency.  The man had issues that in no way could be attributed to Beck, as we both agreed before, he was disturbed and not rational.

So the question is, how far did Beck's influence push this man towards (and over) that threshold?  How far can a video game push someone toward it?

The answer here is obvious in that both are immaterial in regards to the actions that are ultimately taken by gamers or talk show listeners.  That is of course the answer for those who believe in self-responsibility, as we know people like Beck and JT would take issue. 

How the message is interpreted is hugely affected by the listener's belief as to the truthfulness of the message.

A belief in a message is no justification for perverting it or misunderstanding it.  As said before Beck was not calling for armed resistance, DOOM is not a murder simulator.  When looking at the intent of either games or Beck it is inarguable benign and nowhere near rational justification for the actions taken.

And yes I am caught up in the message thing because it is the keystone of not this one debate but debating games as a whole.  I have provided examples earlier of how other mediums deliver messages but ultimately it is agreed upon that the end individual was responsible (the Stephen King incident for one) and this is no different.  Simply hating Beck is not enough to tie him to this shooting, and yes it truly does do a disservice to the gamers’ own message and defense of self-responsibility and determination.     

Re: -

" You are forgetting the context in which this story was posted on this website to begin with and that is: is it fair to level the same charges made against videogames against Beck?"

I'm not forgetting that at all.  I'm answering "Yes, it is, and here is why..."

"Beck’s message has nothing to do with shooting cops, just like GTA’s message (at least San Andreas) was a social commentary to some extent, not a do it yourself cop killing simulator."

You are correct, he did not explicitly call for the murder of police officers.  What he did explicitly do is lie, and he did so in what he knew to be a highly incendiary manner (read: choosing his words, tone, phrasing, etc. in a manner that would rouse, anger, infuriate, or even enrage the sensibilities of the kind of person he knows to be his core audience, i.e. hardcore right-wingers).

"You know, Obama the Muslim is ruining this country.  He's banning assault weapons, infringing upon our constitutional rights!  You know what's going to happen, don't you?  They're going to come into your home and take your guns!  Just gonna TAKE them!  Who the hell do they think they are?!  We need to save our country...I love this country, and I fear for it.  Don't you?"

If I were to say this to someone who was already leaning hard to the right, you don't think that would have some influence on his reaction when suddenly, cops do show up at his door?  You don't think that wouldn't affect the conclusions he'd jump to before learning why they're actually there?

And if I were a television personality, forget it.  That's validation.  Someone on the news show said this, it must be true!  I need to do something about it, damnit!

"For someone to believe Beck to the letter does not have enough weight to justify a shooting, there is a disconnect here that you or anyone else arguing against Mr. Beck has yet to bridge."

I have bridged it.  It's the fact that he's a television personality, and a so-called political expert, to boot.  There is a reasonable expectation for rational (if not very bright) conservative Americans to take his word as gospel.

"It is so simple, for all this talk of rationality do not rational people have a right to expect that others will prefer order to chaos?"

And for the shooter in this story, opening fire on those cops who were clearly there to take his guns, infringe upon his freedoms, disrupt his way of life...that was his attempt to maintain order over chaos.  I think "order vs. chaos" is the wrong way to look at this.  The real question is, "will the rational human being put serious effort into maintaining the status quo, if he is satisfied with his current state?"  To which the answer is almost universally "yes". 

Beck & co. aren't saying "all this great stuff was going to come, but Obama's stopping it!"; he's saying "Obama is about to take away all this great stuff you already have (and are entitled to)!"  It makes a difference, when it comes to how extreme a reaction can be elicited from the average human being in response.

"which is to say value societal norms."

Again, this guy was being told that Obama was turning all the "societal norms" on their head.  Acting out against Obama's "agents" (the cops coming for his guns, etc.) was an attempt to maintain societal norms (or if you prefer, the "order" he knew).

"It will always be interesting to study why people like this shooter make these decisions, but in the end they are wholly their own,"

The decision is ultimately their own, yes.  BUT...you mention yourself the study of "why".  You cannot deny that Beck's rhetoric isn't some kind of factor; he planted and nurtured seeds of bias against Obama in the ears and minds of his audience, and he's not the only one.  The conservative media machine has been in overdrive from the moment Obama was elected.  The question is, how much influence did that have over this man's decision-making process.  And I am positing that it was a non-trivial level of influence (if you're asking why I make that supposition, it's based on knowledge of relevant history and a psychology degree).

"When you concede but a sentence later the man’s capability to snap."

ANYONE can snap, under the right conditions.  There's no such thing as the completely stable human being.  Some people merely take more pressure (and/or different kinds of pressure), to reach their breaking point.  Also, there are as many chaotic reactions to a psychological break as there are people.

"Also you speak of a predisposition to accept messages and a cumulative effect (defined as what, the shooting?)"

"Predisposition to accept messages" means that, as an already conservative individual, he's more likely to accept what Beck tells him on face value because it confirms notions and ideas that he already believes, or more importantly wants to believe.  Beck is giving form and rationalization to anti-Obama sentiments that this guy is just looking for a reason to have.  The cumulative effect I referred to is in reference to Beck being on the air, every day, constantly repeating his over-the-top conservative messages.  A person hears something repeated often enough, no matter how outrageous it is, it becomes believable.

The first time someone tells you the government has formed an elite black ops unit that's going door-to-door stealing guns from American citizens, even a conservative might say "bullshit, they can't do that...it'll never happen".  The hundredth time you hear it in as many days, from a "political expert" on television, that same conservative is probably saying to himself "fuck...I need to figure out how to hide my guns, they're probably almost here!"

I am at least as comfortable with my position in this debate as I was when it started =P

TL;DR version: This guy was disturbed, but if he hadn't been getting the poison in his ear from Beck all this time, the likelihood of this shooting happening, or being as bad as it was, would have been non-trivial reduced, because he believed what Beck was saying (as many conservatives do).

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

Now could be an interesting opportunity to gain an ally or at least lose an “enemy” instead of engaging in hypocritical finger pointing and name calling the community can reach out to Beck.  Now is the time not to scorn the man but to show him that it is indeed irresponsible and, frankly, silly to blame a grown man’s actions on something like a TV show…or videogame.  No need to hit him over the head with it but now is the time for the community to stand up and say “hey we are consistent, do we agree with Beck? Immaterial. Do we think it is insane to blame him? Yes.”  

 

The community cannot beat the drum of self-responsibility only when it fits our agenda.  If the goal is larger acceptance then we stand up for Mr. Beck’s rights, because it’s what we believe.  There is of course the other route, pick on him, call him names, and indulge in what could be seen as a hollow victory that does nothing for the cause.   The issue of Videogames has to transcend petty political mudslinging, this is an opportunity that I hope the community can seize and seize properly. 

 

tl;dr Gamers should be defending Beck, even JT if he were in this position.          

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

I have a very hard time defending or feeling in any way sympathetic towards a hatemongerer like Beck.

There is a BIG difference between: "Your current President is the devil and we should take this country back to the Real People (tm)" and "Oh, I get to shoot pixelated prostitutes with a made up machine gun while holding a controller made out of plastic".

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Free Speech is what it is my friend.

While I'm sure there is merit to your hyperbolic quotes and thoughtful characterizations the situation you present has nothing to do with the conversation at hand.  The commonality that is trying to be drawn is that if videogames can cause shootings so can Beck, this leads most people to think neither is the case as human's have free will and self-responsibility has to be a factor.  Put your hatred for the man aside if you care about broader videogame issues that deal with the likes of what Thompson and other put out there.  For the matter of videogame violence to devolve into "but x is worse" or "but they do it to" is tantamount to failure.   

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

No. Free Speech has nothing to do with what I was saying.

Beck is a hate mongerer, constitutionally protected unless he actually says "go kill Obama".

Video games are not hate mongerers.

Hate mongering: bad

Video games: not bad

Hate mongering: free speech

Video games: free speech

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

^this

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

Ever since I heard this story, I had wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned games.  I was half expetcing the Metropolitan Moron of Miami to start spewing his rhetoric about this, in spite of the fact that Poplawski subscribes to the same extreme Right Wing school of crazy thought that Jack does.

But this...this is interesting.  To see the Right-Wing extremists get questioned for a change in connection to a shooting pretty much flies in the face of everything Jack and people like him have said.  It makes me wonder if anything Jack wrote on Human Events could potentially incite violence in someone.  It just goes to show that anything could be a trigger to a deranged mind, not just video games.

So how 'bout it, Jack?  What do you have to say to the assertion that Right-Wing rhetoric like yours could just as easily be responsible for a shooting tragedy?  Got any facts or statistics to cite to counter that?  Got clever retorts, insults or comebacks?  C'mon, I'm waiting.

*Hears only the chirping of crickets*

:Snorts: Yeah, that's what I thought.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

People like Glenn Beck who tease and bully minority steriotypes with their "NEWS" are capable for getting people so emotional worked up that it is enough to make anyone crazy...

He did this to gamers not so long ago.

But after all that we have been though, I guess we had expected that someone outside the Videogame loop would have gone crazy.

Now watch as you see Glenn Beck try to talk his way out of it by saying "I didn't do it..."

lol...

Like he ever cares for other people anyway...

TBoneTony

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

What i find interesting about some of these "conservative patriots" is that they seem to have all the solutions for government in their studios, but I dont see Rush or Sean actually getting off those cushy chairs, running for Congress and actually trying to "change" the goverment.  Its easy to sit in that studio, be the angry white man/woman complaining about government.  Its harder to actually run for goverment office and try to change the government.  If Sean, Rush, etc really want to claim they are patriots, they should probably on their next live show announce that they will be running for the senate seat of their state they live in.

Oh snap! Lookatthat!

The rubber band's on the other claw now eh? AHA!

Don't worry though Glenn, I won't jump to conclusions like you tend to do. This wasn't at all your fault, just like everything else isn't the fault of Video Games or movies or music or books or whatever. A person shot people. This person chose to do that. It's HIS OWN DAMN FAULT.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

"Guns don't kill people, People kill people" - from GTA3

It's the lack of culture that Glenn Beck shows that GTA series mock about the media. He should really sit down and play the game, and do a through analysis. It's as if we blamed the wright brothers for 9/11 ! Ideas, media, tools... they are nothing until someone acts. But who can blame the media... society want's TV to be a nanny, but it turns out it's not a nanny, it's not a mosnter either, it's a reflection not everybody is ready to look at.

And by the way Glenn... COME ON !!! Just that you CAN do something in a game doesn't mean you have to, all those things that you can do in the game ( including running over people ) CAN be done in real life... but here's an update: MOST PEOPLE HAVE COMMON SENSE ! And the game is rated for GROWN UPS, who should have common sense... 

Oh well... so they say, common sense is not the most common of the senses.

American media: Please stop treating your society as stupid children.

American Society: Kick the media until they get it ! And start educating the rest of your society.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

I'll say this upfront....I think Glenn Beck is an asshole. He is pretty much a slanderous jackass who loves pointing his finger at others and looking like a complete hypocrite at best. However I won't blame him for this tragedy. I'll certainly blame the nutcase who gunned down officers of the law.

As much as I think Glenn should have the finger pointed at him for once (especially after he enjoyed pointing the finger at video-games and movies not that long ago...), he has a right to spew his garbage. Now if I want to watch an entertaining pundit, I'll watch Stephen Colbert (sure he is a fake pundit but funny none-the-less).

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

Karma is a bitch, lol

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Funny little Dig I found about Beck and his "Defense" of this subject:

His quote:

Blaming TV or radio hosts for the nutjob who killed three Pittsburgh police officers over the weekend is like blaming a flight attendant after a terrorist takes down a plane.


Commentary:

"I'm just a flight attendant! I can't be blamed if a terrorist takes down the plane!"

Real Flight Attendant: In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion may be used as a floatation device.

BeckAir Flight Attendant: Your pilot is Hitler! He's bent on your destruction, and will kill you all! He must be stopped! Save America! Charge the cockpit!*

*Metaphorically, as one might by having a "Tea Party!"

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Beck proves himself to be a hypocrite saying that with his anti-game comments last year.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

...yeah well...as much as I want to agree with you, that asshole does have freedom of speech on his side. Once upon a time, talk like his would have you thrown in prison for treason. Today is a funny funny time....I won't blame him for this little rampage, but I think ALL nutcase radio/t.v pundits (liberal and conservative alike) should becareful at the stuff they say.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Well, he has the right, but also, he should be more responsable what he is talking about. I´m not blaming him for nothing, but he should be more careful and stop rating just for the sake of entertainment.

Also, we have the right of call him moron, because he is.

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

agreed

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

Worried about gun control? Go shoot a bunch of people. That'll help.

There is something to be said for the responsibility of newscasters. They should be reporting on, you know, the truth. Not glibly ligitimizing the paranoid worries of crazies in a medium that exists to inform the public of factual goings on in the world.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

I agree but there are problems with the idea. 

1) The truth for the most part does not sell.  It is not colorful or interesting most of the time.

2) You cannot get truthful based incidents to happen on cue, so making things up (or at least tweaking existing stories) tends to come into play. 

It amuses in an in ironic way about how Glenn Beck and his ilk complain about big business and so forth yet the shows are paid for by commericials from.. you guessed it, big business. 

Also it seems many of the posting types at foxnews.com are already borderline wacked and prone toward violence, they only need a small trigger to go off, oh but faux news and Glenn are not responsible. 

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Not every person on a TV program or behind a mic is a newscaster, just like you have the distinction between the news pages and the op ed columns in a newspaper.   Hosts like Beck are doing a show that highlights their own opinions and, as such, should be taken with a grain of salt.  They are not expected to adhere to any sort of journalistic intergrity... though we can argue that even journalists aren't following even their own standards anymore.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

"They are not expected to adhere to any sort of journalistic intergrity"

I strongly disagree.  At no point will we ever hear the talking heads on television, radio, or anywhere else, really...legitimately disclaiming their statements as "opinions, to be taken with a grain of salt", or anything to that effect.  In fact, the trite way in which "just my opinion" tags are ever applied is in such a way as to imply "you're an idiot if you don't agree with me".

When you command a public media outlet and disseminate information in a serious manner (i.e. not "The Daily Show" or any of the other "fake news" programs...which are, ironically, the best place to get your news from, but I digress...), the majority of your audience is going to take your words at face value.  There is an inherent assumption on the part of the masses that if you've proven yourself worthy to have a television(radio/etc.) program, you know what you're talking about.

This is akin to shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre.  There has to be a responsibility behind the words we use.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

lumi,

I think the "fire" example is not a good analogy to use in this particular case since the effect is not the same.  Yelling "fire" or "he's got a bomb" etc. has a more immediate impact because of the crazy people stampede that it may cause.  What Beck says, while it is inciteful and from a populist standpoint, does not have the same effect.  While we have an example of what a paranoid mind has taken Beck's opinion to mean, I don't see the two as being analogus.

Now, I agree with your statement that there needs to be a responsibility for what we say as a whole, I find it a gray area simply because speech, like truth and perspective, are subjective matters.  How much over-exaggeration or understatement is acceptable and is it even punishable via criminal law or civil claims? 

When I mentioned that these are "opinions, to be taken with a grain of salt" I figured that most people would have found such a statement implied even without it being explicitly stated.  Granted, I should have known better since some people believe the word of Oprah as gospel but I operate from a pretty cynical perspective.  That aside, I also think this points to a fundamental issue with our society that you pointed out as well: we tend to as a nation accept the opinions of public figures as a means of validating our own beliefs and opinions.  This extends to even the published material and you have only to look at an English core comp class to see how we tend to give unvalidated material credence that it shouldn't have without backing itself up.

But getting back to the subject of responsibility, let's look at a recent news story concerning Ms. Suleman and her eight test tube babies.  The public opinion for her soured rather quickly as additional stories delved deeper into her situation and history.  Would the journalist that published the unfavorable news to blame for the death threats and possible harm Ms. Suleman was subjected to?  Another example would be numerous death threats that were phoned in to AIG after news of the bonuses came out.  Should the journalists be held accountable if they added their own perspective to the situation? How about the congressmen and women that spoke of pitchfork wielding mobs at AIG's doors?

While I don't think of these as perfect examples, I think they kinda bring up a similar issue as the Glenn Beck situation does.  I can't really come up with a straight answer myself because I feel like this is too big of a subject to be tackled without the aid of a good beer. 

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

"When I mentioned that these are "opinions, to be taken with a grain of salt" I figured that most people would have found such a statement implied even without it being explicitly stated."

I believe, very strongly, that quite the opposite is true.  Unless people like Beck (and Oprah, and anyone else in that vein) bend over backwards to try and convey the notion that what they're saying is just an opinion (and sometimes, a very uninformed opinion...), people are much more inclined to take their word as gospel, because as you said, it's a means to validate their own personal opinions.

>But getting back to the subject of responsibility, let's look at a recent news story concerning Ms. Suleman and her eight test tube babies.

My immediate response when I first learned of that story was "Wow...that's awfully irresponsible at best, and criminally negligent at worst."  >_<

>Would the journalist that published the unfavorable news to blame for the death threats and possible harm Ms. Suleman was subjected to?"

Maybe I was watching the wrong news stations, but I don't remember anything incendiary about the way that news was reported.  It was all part and parcel of the same news story: a woman who already had more children than she was financially capable of caring for and who was living in barely tolerable conditions, with family assistance, underwent fertility procedures to have another child...and ended up with eight.  All eight, and the mother, survived and were in stable condition (which is in and of itself newsworthy, to a degree).

I think the difference between that story and what Beck does is that her situation raised the very legitimate question (IMHO) of whether or not we should have certain requirements for fertility treatments based on future child care.  That's a serious subject that deserves scrutiny and debate.  No one on the news (that I watch, anyway...just the mainstream network stuff and Google) said that she should be lynched or beaten.  Just that it was questionable.

There's no rabble-rousing in the mainstream press that even begins to approach what the "opinion-only" talking heads whip up.  Why do they do it?  What purpose is there to spouting off the crap that they come up with, if not to incite?

And if the only answer is "ratings", then:

"How much over-exaggeration or understatement is acceptable and is it even punishable via criminal law or civil claims?"

the answer sure as hell ought to be "none".

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

In some ways I think we're having the exact arguments against Beck that those claiming video games are corruptive have been using for years.  And I think there in lies the danger.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Yes, except anyone trying to compare the two and address them with the same argument ("use our own defense against us") is ignoring the fact that the two are incomparable.

Rational human beings know that a game is just a game!  However, plenty of rational human beings take the pundits at their word.  You can't compare the two; the reasons that games are not to blame for violent behavior is not applicable to situations like the one in question with Beck.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying that what he does is the equivalent of pulling the trigger.  I am saying that his incendiary actions warrant responsibility for the acts he inspires and incites.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

  As much fun as it would be to pin this on Beck, it would make me much more of a hypocrite than I am comfortable being. I listened to this tool for about a year before finding a more moderate host on another station (where I am, all of the local talk stations are right wing, so talk options were limited), and while much of what he said was ignorant and annoying, but I could hardly say they were dangerous.

  I've not seen Beck's TV show, so I do not know how much crazy he is really bringing to the table now, but if Poplawski is a white supremacist then I suspect he already had more than enough crazy and evil to begin with. Beck may have been an inspiration, but if not him then it would have been something else.

  Being a Beck fan makes you no more dangerous than being a GTA fan. You're either dangerous to begin with or you're not.

--
http://mallvillestory.blogspot.com

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Ugh. I know how you feel about the whole Right Wing Local Radio availibility. In my area, its either the bland public radio, which, while it has a liberal tilt, its more for public service, rather than politics, or the right wing ignorance of the local repub talking heads, coupled with limbaugh, Hannity, and Lavine for spots they can't fill with locals..

I do listen to them, though, because the more I do, the more holes and misinformation I hear, and the best offense is a good defense, I suppose.. Lol

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

 I find it funny that the article linked in this story is it self being blasted on it's own site for complete bias. It is stretching to try and connect invisible dots that don't exist. On top of all of that, it has no evidence, and the majority of the story is focused on Alex Jones, not even Glenn Beck.

I, for one, would like to see the video where Glenn Beck endorses this type of behavior. I watch Glenn Beck's show (It's true...) I don't agree with everything he has to say, FAR from it. I have continually attacked him on his stance on video games, however, his stance isn't without SOME merit.

I have yet to see Beck call for the banning of video games. Mostly, he warns people about whats in them. I think he makes them out to be more dangerous then they are, but that is all personal preference. He is calling on concerned parents to do some damn parenting. IF you are worried about this type of stuff, about what effects GTA4 can have on your child, don't get it.

All in all, Beck is one of the more rational Political talk show hosts (This goes for the left and the right... but I think it is a requirment to be a dumbass to get your own show...) and I am hoping maybe I can get through to him a bit with this latest controversy.

So please, take this with a grain of salt. Read up on the sources, it just doesn't pan out. The guy was clearly disturbed to begin with. Glenn didn't make him snap and kill those people any more then Video games and movies made anyone else snap.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

"I think he makes them out to be more dangerous then they are, but that is all personal preference."

His personal preference is to keep his job by attracting viewers with sensationalism and fear mongering. The news networks execs only care about that advertising revenue. If they had any moral fortitude, they would reflect it in their presentation.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

This is why the only pundit I listen to is Stephen Colbert. He just encourages people to vandalise Wikipedia and name things after him.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

DAMN STRAIGHT!

Really, this guy is the same guy who's sperm is shot into space for human repopulation once we face extinction.... (really!)

I usually listen mostly to both John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, because you can't take them seriously, yet they are somehow right.

....and we avoid all the paranoia. (At least until Stephen amasses his loyal army upon the world)

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's Rampage?

Blaming Glenn Beck for this shooting rampages is no different than blaming video games for VT and other shooting rampages . The only thing I can say against Beck in this case is how on one show he says(ar atleast implies) that video games cause school shootings yet on another show he contradicts that by saying only the shooter is responsible for shooting rampages . Maybe Beck should take his own advice and say what he means and mean what he says .

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

So racists are involved in these Tea Party things?  That explains a lot...

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

"What it does is unhinge fringe players from reality and dislodges them even further. When someone like Poplawski hears Glenn Beck touting One World Government and they’re gonna take your gun theories, they believe then that it must be true. And that’s when they really become crazy.”

There is truth to this statement. Games are different. When we play games, we know we are playing games, and we know the content in said games is to be kept in the games.

To these people, these.. Nutjobs, what folks like Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, and O'Reilly are telling them is the "truth." Its the real world for them. They trust these voices as voices of "reason" and they truly believe that what they are telling them is what is happening in the world.

They believe in the non-existant "Fairness Doctorine." They believe that Barrack Obama is going to take all of thier guns. They believe that there will be "FEMA-managed concentration camps." They can't see through the rhetoric and realize that these lies purpetrated by these guys are just overblown, right wing propaganda.

Just head over to Foxnews.com and read some of the user comments there. It is really, really, frightening..

I wish I could say I am surprised that this has happened. It's sad, true, but given the incendiary, hateful, and oftentimes false rhetoric spewed by these propagandists, it doesn't surprise me that a few loose screws were driven off the edge.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

An ellipsees is 3 dots

Grammar nazi to the rescue!

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Bulls**t.
By your logic, you could make the argument that someone who was already delusional could be inspired by a game to pull a Columbine. Hannity et al, no mater how much we disagree with them, can't be blamed for the crazy actions of crazy individuals, even a little bit. Free speech doesn't work that way.

The guy was already a white supremacist; that should tell you all you need to know right there. White supremacists are collectively nuts from the get-go.

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

I must disagree. They CAN be blamed for it, because they DO present what they report as factual.

Let's take the KKK. Sure, you can be racist, and not do anything with it. But then, you get a group who comes in, fuels that racism, and basically incites action.

What I'm trying to say is, the question isn't "was he fucked up?" No, rather, "would he have been AS fucked up?" I won't pretend to know, but there is the possibility that, no. He wouldn't have been.

Now I am very leftist. I don't support censorship. However, just because there is free speech, does not mean that we must forego responsibility for what we say. If anything, we must be held to even higher standards of responsibility. And Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush, the whole lot of them, are responsible for both what they say and what they report.

I'm not calling for punishment. There is no way to truly know how much of Beck's influence caused him to shoot those cops. But, I will call for criticism, and I will call for them to be held responsible, for what Foxs' troupe report and preach.

Edit: Just to make clear, though, I am not supporting or denying the influence Beck had on this man. That is something I simply cannot, reasonably, call on.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

It seems these days that anyone and everyone want freedom of speech to mean "Freedom from responiblity for my speech".

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Aye, and I try not to fall into that. I know I have said stupid shit before, and I own up to it.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

That's pretty much the downside of the free of speech... you're speech is protected... but almost all speech is protected regardless of how it is precieved.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Heh, if we tired to hold the majority of media outlets responsible for the things they say there probably wouldn't be any major media at all XD

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Not necessarily. It's not like I'm saying, eliminate them or anything. There will still be the media, and there will still be mainstream media.

However, if a pundent of one of their stations says something inflammitory, the pundent IS responsible for what they said and must be held to that. Let's take, for example, Michele Bachmann. On an episode of Hardball, she basically admitted that leftists are anti-American. Later, she claimed that a "trap" was "laid" and she walked into it, saying Chris Matthews is responsible for her rhetoric coming off as "anti-American." She was not taking responsibility; she was trying to cast it off.

Should she be punished for what she said? No, of course not. But, she said what she said, and instead of facing up to it, tried to shrug it off.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

Look, I am not in favor of censoring them, if thats what you think. In fact, I squarely place the blame on the nutjob's shoulders. I'm just saying that it very well could be that these right wing propagandists could be part of the reason he was as afraid and paranoid as he was.

Believe it or not, I listen to Sean Hannity on the way home every day from work. I know what he says, and I can see how his words can influence the less intelligent. He claims every day on his program, "Look out! The government is coming to take your money, your guns, and your freedom!" If you don't think that some people out there take that to heart and could easily turn out like this guy did, you are pretty damned ignorant of the world around you.

You have to realize that it doesn't take much to convince these wingnuts that the worlds going to end. And, as I clearly stated, the difference between the video game argument and this is that for them, these politics, gun revocation fears, and other various right wing scaremongering are in the real world. These guys are already afraid of all kinds of crap, and it only takes a few words to start a firestorm. A lot of these nutjobs are very, VERY succeptible to the opinions and words of people they trust. They don't think for themselves and they can't see through the lies, like most sane people can.

 

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

You're acting like conservatives are stupid sheep. The thing is we DO think for ourselves. We don't take everything the pundits say at face value. People who blindly follow the words of others without any thought to it are likely already paranoid. If White Supermacy and Glen Beck had not been there, the guy would have found some other way to nurse his paranoia.

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

You don't take pundits at face value. However, for every one of you, there are thousands who do. Not ALL conservatives are as stupid as alleged, however, you won't convince me that the majority of them are as smart as you. Like I've said before, dig a little deeper. Read some comments on conservative blogs and foxnews. These people will cling to the teet of any and all conservative punditry that they can find. It is rediculous, especially when trying to debate with them. They defy logic.

Re: Did Glenn Beck's On-air Rhetoric Fuel Cop Killer's ...

On the contary, I prefer making fun of both the far left and far right equally XD  They're all crazy at the end of the day.

People always tend to look at their own person views before logic, it's human nature.

 
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Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
 

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