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Fear and Loathing in Political Discourse

This week, the JOURNAL reprised a report from last year examining the provocative and often hostile rhetoric used by some right-wing ‘shock jock’ talk radio and cable TV hosts to criticize liberals and liberalism.

A year ago, a gunman with an expressed hatred of liberalism stormed a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, killing 2 and wounding 6. Several books by right-wing ‘shock jocks’ were found in the killer's apartment, which led some to speculate that he may have been influenced by their rhetoric.

The church’s pastor, Chris Buice, said on the JOURNAL:

“A man came in here and totally dehumanized us. Members of our church were not human to him. Where did he get that? Where did he get that sense that we were not human?... Some have suggested that his spiritual attitudes, his hatred of liberals and gays, was reinforced by the right-wing media figures... When you hear in talk radio that liberals are evil, that they are traitors, that they are godless, that they are on the side of the terrorist, that’s hate language. You don’t negotiate with evil people. You don’t live in a community with people you consider to be traitors.”

In April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sparked controversy when it issued a report [PDF link] warning that "... lone wolves [individuals acting alone] and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States." Among other factors, the report pointed to the economic downturn, the election of the first African-American president, and fears of gun control as potential drivers for right-wing radicalization. It also warned that "disgruntled military veterans" -- with their military training and combat experience -- could be targeted for recruitment.

The DHS later apologized to a number of veterans groups that complained about the report.

Penn State history professor Philip Jenkins argued in THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE magazine that the true threat of right-wing violence and domestic terrorism has been exaggerated by partisans for political purposes. Jenkins wrote:

“We will hear a great deal about threats from racist groups and right-wing paramilitaries, and such a perceived wave of terrorism will have real and pernicious effects on mainstream politics. If history is any guide, the more loudly an administration denounces enemies on the far Right, the easier it is to stigmatize its respectable and nonviolent critics... Paying proper attention to terrorist threats is laudable, whatever their source, and some right-wing extremists have through the years demonstrated their potential for violence: they need to be watched. Yet almost certainly, a renewed focus on the far Right will develop more out of an ideological slant than any reasonable perception of danger.”

What do you think?

  • In your view, do right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and their rhetoric bear any responsibility for violent incidents like the shooting in Knoxville? Explain.

  • Do you agree with Philip Jenkins that partisans have used tragic events to stigmatize legitimate opposition? Why or why not?

  • What are your ideas for bringing more civility into political discourse?

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    Thank you, Bill, for once again being so on target. This segment of The Journal was one of, if not the most disturbing that I have yet seen.

    The United States has long prided itself on being THE country that set the societal standard for all others. We have always linked our success as a nation to a steadfast belief in God. In the post-WWII years, it has always been our mission to take democracy to those parts of the world that are crying out for freedom.

    I can hardly blame other nations as they watch our nightly news and listen to the kind of rhetoric that you brought to the forefront in this segment, when they look at us and say "thanks, USA, but no thanks". To be sure, everyone is entitled to their opinions no matter how extreme they might be. But I do sense that an abuse of that right is taking place and that great harm will potentially result from it.

    From Sarah Palin to Bill O'Reilly to Rush Limbaugh to the many others that you mentioned in the segment, I felt that more was going on than simply expressing an opinion. These hate-filled comments seemed very much aimed at inciting those in their audience to take action. We saw in your program how one such audience member was incited to "take out" an abortion doctor and how comments were made to the effect that "he deserved to die". What's next? A Presidential assassination attempt becuase one of these disgruntled conservatives says on their program that "he deserves it"? Many of the comments that you sampled in this segment made me think more of the Taliban or Al Qaeda than they did our own country. Is this the kind of country our conservatives desire? If it is, then I think it might be time to pull up stakes and relocate elsewhere.

    Thank you again for being so "spot on".

    cyndi lee july 30 4:02pm many commentors use many words to say a little, BUT you have used few words that should lead to a 'learning discussion', but if reaction to Dr. Bill Cosby is an indicator, look out. Well said though.

    Billy Bob, Florida

    Yep, that's why Obama went to Hawaii a couple days 'fore the election: to "bump off" his elderly white grandmother. Maybe she was gonna vote for McCain-Palin; Hell, maybe she had that secret birth certificate hidden in her Bible! I'm going to any town meetings I can find and vent my broccoli, barbeque and asparagus flatulence until I clear out the room. After all, I'd rather you died in the gutter than get "socialized" health care. Guess you could call people like me anti-social, since we wanna lynch Congresspersons and Senators trying to save the country. Abject failure could put us greedy and violent gun-toters in power. Whoopee! Let's go tousle up Bill Moyers' hair. Bill, you orta have a manly masked conservative on the Journal to whip your ass like in the WWA Wraslin. I tired of anything I disagree with being heard, and I'm gonna stomp all the liberal sparks out, just like my Camel butt.

    (in jest)

    I think that Bill Moyers was right on by combining 'Wendell Potter' and 'rage on the airwaves' into a single show.
    The two are unfortunately related. the conservative talk shows and websites seem to be intentionally pushing misinformation and they are driving people to say some alarming things (for example that Obama wants to kill seniors -- thanks to Fred Thompsons radio show and a few Republican politicians).
    If they used truth and people got upset that would be fine but they seem to try very hard to avoid truth. its hurting our country.
    They are hurting our country.

    I was so fired up about my post on the medical malpractice of Medicare that I didn't deal with this subject. My apologies.

    But now will deal wtih the words being spoken with the right to free speech. I guess that having the first amendment right to free speech makes the discouse mute..Or some other legal term...
    that saids that "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.. I believe our biggest fear should be this country acting like it is the axis or the world and all the countries of the world must be like us and do what we what them to do. Even if we have to kill them if they wouldn't do what we say. We shove it down their throats and say you better like it OR ELSE..What arrogance ...Will we ever learn that the TAIL does not WAG the dog...

    Look at to see how corrupt the medical profession is and this transcript of the Nightly Business Report is very informative.

    Has our "watchdogs of the newsmedia" distributed this story? Has our government in D.C. and the administrative segment of our government shown any concern on this criminal behavior by doctors/hospitals and I'm sure the pharmacidical companies are not showing a major concern with this action of this major fraud. Why should they? Was the drug benefit added to Medicare for the participants or a gift for the drug companies? Do the drug companies contribute to the member os our Congress? I will end this for now but it should show that the high costs of hospitalization are the result of greed in the medcal profession. There is a Doctor from India who lives better then a KING in our town. He is a Sigmund Fraud and has too many Patients getting pills since they are BI-POLAR.. Think this invented illness is a bunch of crap.

    Why are most of you staying off the subject? This is not a blog about Health Care, Health Care has a separate blog, i guess it proves, yes, all of you have a short attention span disorder, ADD. Stay focus on the issue and go do your part, stop making excuses here.

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    I don’t know what happened but the post I made above that starts with a d was chopped off

    My post actually began by noting that I didn’t want to end with a health program written by the same people who wrote the one for Medicare D (big pharmacy and big medicine) which should have been labeled the pharmaceutical welfare bill not Medicare D. Its on thing to demand every one sign up but to make the contract one sided so the insurance company could change it but the policy holder could was an insurance company dream. The plan was written to guarantee the pharma a profit. But then WHO determine what we can do no congress

    The first year I singed up for Medicare D it took them 7 months to get me enrolled and it took a letter from my congressman even though I signed up in October the year before. That plan lasted one year and they increased the fee 50% the next year so I cancelled it at the end of the year.

    I switched to Humana which seemed to have a good program and was slightly less but covered more
    Immediately on signing up; 2 of the more expensive medication were removed from the approved formulary which was the reason I signed up. Congress gave then the right to change the plan but prevented me from canceling or suing for breach of contract (no reasonable businessman would sign such an agreement but congress forced me to do so, I followed the procedure and was denied, then I followed the next step in the appeal and process and was again denied. I was told I could ask for a quick ruling which I did and have not heard from them in 3 years so I gave up

    The next year they doubled the premium (100% increase), doubled the co pay (another 100% increase) and dropped the rest of the drugs I used from the formulary except for a generic.

    The result of the last change is that the drugs now I purchase each month can be purchased without Medicare D for $21 a month instead of the $42 it cost with Medicare D meaning it cost me $21 more per month to buy the same drugs because I had Medicare D. That’s why I call Medicare D the Pharmaceutical welfare plan. They are guaranteed a profit even if they have to invent it, the drugs cost $21, but the co pay is $14 and the premum $38 so it cost me $52 for $21 worth of drugs.
    What I don’t want is a health fund written by the people who wrote the Medicare D plan

    1. The idea of insurance was to put everyone in a big pool and those who premiums were not offset by claims went to cover those that did put in claims plus a reasonable profit for the insurance company. Supposedly they invested the premiums and made a profit from the idle funds. But when they bought hedge funds and insured hedge fund derivatives
    2. In my opinion the trouble began when the insurance industry was allowed to segregate people by risk so they could charge those with low claims low risk rates less than the rest. But who can predict accidents and financial downturns.
    3. After all; its only fair isn’t to charge people who were careful and didn’t put in claims went the argument. Actually it’s not fair at all because it undermined the whole idea of insurance and this is personal opinion but for insurance agent and financial adviser I have some background .There ere supposed to be sufficient reserves to covered claims my not derivative losses.
    4. There is no way to forecast when someone will have an accident which is why they are called accidents sooner or latter most if not all of the low risks become high risk policies and are faced with sudden huge increases causing they to see insurance elsewhere usually at a higher rate but not as bad and boost their previous company hit them with.. Companies plan the sales price of their goods and series on overhear and insurance has gotten to be a big overhead item. This practice suddenly increasing their policy instead of applying the gains firm the premiums when they had no claims disrupts business and makes planning are. It benefits no one but the insurance company that instead of holding the premiums and perhaps investing them from years when the company had no claims they used the used premium to pay huge salaries bonuses and have high overhead
    5. In other words poorly regulated and run insurance companies not only cause individual health problems but can bring down companies like GM and damaged our world status and position. Its not just health insurance
    6. Profits are good but the way the companies have been run where they don’t keep sufficient reserves and invest them properly or use the profits from good years and have other frivolous items can destroy industries and are bad for the country. One example is GM were the cost of retirement insurance made them GM uncompetitive with foreign companies who had no pool of retire less and were perhaps even given preferential rates due t o low claims from a young work force again destroying the who concept of insurance to the disadvantage of the local auto business which is now bankrupt. Thousands of jobs have gone overseas due to poorly operated insurance companies.
    7. .Charging those with greater risk more which also defied the whole concept of insurance or denying their claims after many years of no claims, Eventually droves some of these buesiness to drop employee benefit again to detriment of the economy
    8. Those in the risky group also found it impossible to collect at all in some case. The thrust of the investigator for such policy holders was to deny the claim. All so the high overhead could be deducted from the high profits to the detriment of the economy.

    In other words the way the insurance business has been run to show the highest profits and pay the heights bonus to reward to those to paid less claims in the end benefited the stockholders to the disadvantage of the economy and eventually those very same stock holders lost money in the end it damaged the competitive ness of the US companies world wide.

    It’s not just health insurance we are dealing with but our competitive world position so maybe we really do need a single payer plan like Canada and some of the EU Countries. Look at the mess the insurance companies got us into. It wasn’t only banks that got tarp money it was insurance companies like AIG maybe it’s too important to leave to insurance companies. There is no way to achieve Obamas goals without single payer. Single payer will gun 30% or more fact and over head out of the system we have not that can be used to treat people not make campaign donations, Medicare has 3% overheard.

    Some one mentioned the film Network in this thread. See if this is familiar:

    The New York Times this morning has a remarkable story, (snip)

    In essence, the chairman of General Electric (which owns MSNBC), Jeffrey Immelt, and the chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), Rupert Murdoch, were brought into a room at a "summit meeting" for CEOs in May, where Charlie Rose tried to engineer an end to the "feud" between MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Fox's Bill O'Reilly. According to the NYT, both CEOs agreed that the dispute was bad for the interests of the corporate parents, and thus agreed to order their news employees to cease attacking each other's news organizations and employees.

    Most notably, the deal wasn't engineered because of a perception that it was hurting either Olbermann or O'Reilly's show, or even that it was hurting MSNBC. To the contrary, as Olbermann himself has acknowledged, his battles with O'Reilly have substantially boosted his ratings. The agreement of the corporate CEOs to cease criticizing each other was motivated by the belief that such criticism was hurting the unrelated corporate interests of GE and News Corp:


    I wrote that on a free market a man's income is congruent with his productivity. Working harder is different from working smarter.

    Micheal -
    I know you wont believe me when I tell you this but one man can work very hard and still be poor while another can barely invest himself and become 'rich'.

    on a different note: money makes money. there is a minimum amount of money required to exist. The more wealth a person has, the more they are able to not only exist but to make their money work for them.
    wealth is agreat advantage.

    on a final note: Do you consider people worth investing in? Are all of your priorities and interests monetary?

    David H - I could be wrong but it seems to me that regressive taxes seek to slow down the rate at which the wealthy pull away from everyone else.
    their money makes money and the more they have, the more they get.

    Until they have a devasting medical condition and their insurance and medical bills suck up all of their money and they lose everything and actually encounter poverty for the first time...waiting in long lines...filling out forms...catching the 'disease of the day' at the local clinic...having to deal with people who complain that they have so much money that they didnt receive a stimulus check...having those same people tell you that a car is a lavish expense.

    some people just dont get it. life hasnt taught them yet.

    Why is the United States allowing lobbyists to waste that much money, when it could be used to finance the Health Program.

    Why is the United States allowing lobbyists to waste that much money, when it could be used to finance the Health Program.

    For some reason the first part of my message above that begins with a d was chopped off

    It started by noting that we don't need a federal plan like Medicare D which is a big Pharma rip off(I'm for a Medicare like plan though with 3% overhead,

    Pharm wrote Medicare D and its a welfare policy for them where after you sign up pharma can change the rules and you can't do a think about it.

    Congressmen would never sign such a plan personally but expect us to; why is that? Because millions of dollars was donated to their campaigns. Its as if there is a For Sale sing on congress. The only way to beat that is to make it a utility which eliminates the free speech argument on donations.

    In my own Medicare D plan,I use the cheapest one because the catastrophic coverage is the same so no matter which one you chose it's the same in the end. After one year Humana cut out the medication I was using from the formulary. Then they raised the premium 100%. Then they raised the copay 100. So counting the premium plus the $14 copay my $21 prescription cost me $42 of which Medicare D pays $21 or 100% more than I can buy it without being forced to buy Medicare D.

    How can any business justify such increases. How long would Joes lawn mover last if it increased its profit 100% unless like Medicare D you were forced to do business with Joe. Bet Joe the plumber would lke that.

    Politicians talk about free trade all the time; when are we going to see some. The only free trade I see is big pharma has paid government official with donations for permission to freely put their hand in my pocket and take what they want and there is nothing I can do about because congress passed a law against me doing anything to legally protect my self from being ripped off.

    Sounds like we need a 3d party, The 2 we have no take donations from the same guys Bill Moyers said about the people in line in TN what can the poor do, they have nothing donate to congress. Yes they do their vote. Trouble is the two parties are bought and paid for by the same companies, We need a 3d party to even it out. One for us and two for big business. At least for a a while it would congree.

    All we have is our vote and voting for the bunch in there now in their $2000 suits on TV isn't doing us much good so we need to vote a few of these good ole boys out to teach the rest lesson that no matter how much money they spend on adds our votes can still vote for or against them

    In fact as a matter of principal we should vote the out no matter how good they are every 4 years before they learn all the ways to collect.

    The system;s broke and its not to poor people forced to use the emergency room for their medical coverage that broke it.

    Maybe if congress had the same medical plan as the rest of use they would have some incentive to do something for us. Instead they have their own cushy plan just for them or did last I heard.

    I'm getting tired of paying 200% for my Medicare D so som HMO excutive can fly in a private jet with gold plated knives and forks as the guy in Bill Moyers said was the case.

    Profit one thing ripping sick people]s lives off by denying coverage is another matter all together. I medicine wants to be for profit it should be run like a public utility. People have more control over their gas and electric bills than they do their very lives.

    Mr. Potter, now that you are attempting to change things, how long have you been a part of the problem? Given your area of expertise and your position you sold the message that the hospitals and caregivers were giving the best medical care possible to Americans. Sometimes this was accurate, other times less so. I speak from experience having worked in the operating rooms of a major medical center.

    Mr. Moyers, thank you for the program. Now can you bring into public view those actually being paid in the medical field, top level? Then discuss the proposal in front of the Senate, explain the vote allignment and suggest some possibilities to have a passage of the proposal? Thank you.


    As for copay and other detail they should be fair and subbitted to the same utilities board. Its the only fair way. The only argument is how much profit should be allowed. Most business get by on 28% or less. Thats a good starting point.

    As for political donations they should be limited to a small percentage of the companies profits. Like a maximum of 10% and not deducted from overhead. That takes care of the constitutional issue of allowing donations as free speech. Let donations come from profits of those earing them and not be allowed to be deducted from overheard so the insured pays it as it down. So far I count well over $50 million in donations on this bill from various companies and we the policy holders pay it.

    Medicare a operates on 3% private companies on 20 some percent overhead and thats with turning aside people who are risks.

    We already have government insurance its called Medicare and no one is complaining except the doctors some of whom refuse to treat medicare patients because they cant make as much profit. Fine let them charge what the want but give people an alternative thats free enterprise. Anything esle is a monoply

    As for generic there should be no projecting. Thats what patents are for. They already are protected by patent law. WHO gives monopoly status to patents already yet the greedy B^ want more. Mark my works you have opened a can of worms when people findout what is really happening you will lose 40-50 seats in congress. And with the internet they are finding out quick.

    President Barack Obama wrote:
    > The White House, Washington
    > Dear Friend,
    > If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you
    > about health care than peace of mind.
    > Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often
    > denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep
    > out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become
    > seriously ill.
    > It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new
    > foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health
    > care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:
    > * * No discrimination for pre-existing conditions*
    > * * No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays*
    > * * No cost-sharing for preventive care*
    > * * No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill*
    > * * No gender discrimination*
    > * * No annual or lifetime caps on coverage*
    > * * Extended coverage for young adults*
    > * * Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid*
    > *Learn more about these consumer protections at*
    > Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation
    > and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But
    > we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will
    > double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and
    > state and local governments will go bankrupt.
    > It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and
    > guarantee the health care security and stability of every American
    > family. *You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the
    > hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social
    > network.*
    > Thank you,
    > Barack Obama
    > This email was sent to
    > Unsubscribe
    > | Privacy Policy
    > Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House
    > The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 •
    > 202-456-1111

    I mean "incentivize."

    David H writes,

    "What an oversimplification. Plus it's wrong. Here's the deal: hedge funds tax (vacuum) retailers' profits. I'm not sure about hedgefunds in re to HMOs, but be it hedge funds or mutual funds...did they not in essence tell Aetna to get rid of eight million policy holders?"

    The truth of the proposition is clearly demonstrated by my further explanation which is conveniently uncited. Any claim can be belittled as overtly simple when the context is dropped. Taxing the rich doesn't corrupt the profit and loss system? It doesn't penalize productive effort? Yeah, ok. A claim can't be true if its broad?

    Taxation is the coercive expropriation of valuable assets brother. Only Uncle Sam can sanction taxation.

    Dave writes,

    "actually wealth DOES just produce itself.

    the wealth of the wealthy accumulates more wealth for them. It also increases their ability to buy goods and services which raises prices through supply and demand which increases the burden on those without wealth.The poor are burdened by the wealth of the wealthy.This is why income inequality is so bad for an economy. Its also a good reason for regressive tax structures."

    So our dollars bills and mechanized equipment grow legs and allocate themselves? Wealth - non-human productive factors, consumer goods, and financial capital - is a tool. Entrepreneurs use the purchasing power of financial capital to acquire productive factors. They in turn use productive factors (land, labour, capital goods) to produce goods for factor consumers and/or finished-good consumers.

    Wealth does not simply generate wealth - that's a bad cliche from financial economics. Wealth is a tool. If wealth is so magically autonomous, then a hypothetical economy devoid of people would be metaphysically possible. Wealth must be allocated rationally, invested in profitable industries in order to allow for greater wealth creation. You can't just "invest" and sit back and relax. Imprudent investments waste wealth; wise investments create wealth. But its human beings that must do the investing.

    Financial capital facilitates the production of goods which DECREASES prices. One of the worst and most common false economic mentalities I encounter is the belief that the only function of profits is to allow the rich to consume more than others. The rich stay rich by only consuming a fraction of their wealth. They stay rich by using their profits as financial capital, acquiring more productive factors and producing more consumer goods to satisfy market demand. Wealth doesn't cause price inflation, as you insinuate. Increasing the money supply causes price inflation. This is what the Fed does. Blame the Fed.

    Income inequality is merely a macroeconomic disparity in incomes. Refusing to understand the reasons behind income inequality is a sure way to committing errors in evaluating income inequality. Here's a dummy-proof illustration:

    Mr. A. becomes rich by borrowering financial capital and using that capital to finance the production of a new product that revolutionizes the IT industry.

    Mr. B drops out of high school and becomes a source of unskilled labour, thereby earning a marginal wage.

    You mean to tell me that this income inequality is not justified? One's income is directly related to one's productivity, to one's ability to satisfy the demands of others. You attacked income inequality PER SE, as if income inequality were undesirable in all situations.

    What you want is not simply equal outcomes - you want equal outcomes for unequal performance.

    No. If my productivity is higher than yours than I SHOULD MAKE MORE MONEY THAN YOU. Profits are a direct result of successful market demand satisfaction. This also applies to healthcare. In a free market, entrepreneurs compete to satisfy consumer demand. The better and more efficiently entrepreneurs satisfy such demand, whether its the demand for healthcare goods, or insurance, or cars, or widget, etc, the more money they make. When profits are made, this means that society has benefitted. A man who is wildly affluent on a free market is a man who has produced goods that many people want. The profit motive is what lures entrepreneurs in the first place. It aligns the interests of producers and consumers.

    Now imagine a system without the profit motive. What would incentize mass production??? Why would you go through the trouble of raising financial capital, paying rent for productive real estate, paying interest on borrowed capital, hiring labour, purchasing capital goods, and using those goods to produce goods for consumers if no profit was involved??? Asking men to do that is insulting.

    Its only in a corporatist or socialist system where people can get away with generating cash without producing for others against competition.

    Dave, you order to maintain income inequality regressive tax structures will continue to be relied upon, right?

    I believe at the far end of the regressive spectrum lies what is known as pot of flat tax.

    "Again, taxing the rich violates private property rights which causes serious macroeconomic consequences." M.L.

    What an oversimplification. Plus it's wrong. Here's the deal: hedge funds tax (vacuum) retailers' profits. I'm not sure about hedgefunds in re to HMOs, but be it hedge funds or mutual funds...did they not in essence tell Aetna to get rid of eight million policy holders?

    actually wealth DOES just produce itself.

    the wealth of the wealthy accumulates more wealth for them. It also increases their ability to buy goods and services which raises prices through supply and demand which increases the burden on those without wealth.
    The poor are burdened by the wealth of the wealthy.
    This is why income inequality is so bad for an economy. Its also a good reason for regressive tax structures.

    concerning "destroying motivation and incentive":

    I think that it is true that people who are soley (or majorly) motivated by money will indeed do less if profit and money are taken out of the sytem.

    This is GOOD for the people.

    Those who are MORE concerned with the health and well being of people (as opposed to money) are not stopped or slowed down in any way by a decreaseed influence of money. In fact they would set free to do what they really wanted to do which was to help people.

    In short: keep money in, get less 'people centered growth'. get money out, get more 'people centered growth'.

    Meesto writes,

    "Ownership of the parts of earth or any material thing is a strange concept to begin with. Can you take it with you after you die and become dust?"

    Why is the inability to continue ownership after death even remotely relevant to the concept of ownership? The right to private property sanctions the freedom to control the material product of one's labour. The profound importance of recognizing the right to private property is easily discerned by imagining if no one was allowed to control the material product of his labour. Social havoc would ensue. The incentive to produce would plummet. Life would be literally impossible. As a matter of fact, people need property in order to remain on this earth for as long as possible. If ownership is strange, can I take your possessions than? Your statement is so self-contradictory that your making it requires some form of ownership, from a computer to electricity to real estate, etc.

    Meesto further writes,

    "Have you ever challenged your brain to consider that we could devise another system that does not equate collectivism with being Neanderthals?"

    Collectivism is lousy even by Neanderthal standards. History demonstrates that its destructive in practice. Ethics and economics demonstrate that its destructive in theory. The more collectivistic a society gets, the faster it heads toward the abyss:

    -USSR, centralized socialism
    -Cultural Revolution-era China, decentralized socialism
    -Nazi Germany, national socialism

    There's an odd coincidence of genera here.... Every socialist experiment ends the same way because socialism:

    -destroys the incentive to produce by redistributing property from producers to non-producers AND

    -ends any hope of rational economic calculation by legally abolishing the market for the means of production (which are seized by force by the government under socialism).

    Meesto further writes,

    "Yes - tax the rich - fair incremental taxes based income. The capital gains is the lowest it's ever been - Thanks to Bush and his cronies - very irresponsible during a time when we are engaged in two very expensive wars."

    And to hell with private property rights, right?
    Again, taxing the rich violates private property rights which causes serious macroeconomic consequences. Wealth doesn't just produce itself. Entrepreneurs make profits by acquiring productive factors and using those factors to produce goods that consumers want. If entrepreneurs make "windfall" profits, guess what!!! - they've satisfied a tremendous amount of consumer demand, which is a good thing because, ya know, consumers are human beings with needs. Entrepreneurs that fail to satisfy consumer demand yield losses and are quickly removed by the market. This profit and loss system ensures that only the best are allowed to acquire productive factors with which to satisfy consumer demand. Taxing the rich, i.e., taxing entrepreneurs erodes the profit and loss system, allocating financial capital away from those who can use it best to those who can't use it optimally. This reduces the power of consumers who determine with their spending who stays and who goes on the market. So much for being concerned with people.

    Adding "fair" into the mix doesn't make discriminatory taxation any more just. Who are you to take their money? You didn't earn it. The left-liberal fixation on being generous with other people's money is premised entirely on the false proposition that stealing can by moral.

    Thankfully, in a relatively capitalist country, people can enjoy pipes. Under pure socialism, the inability to engage in rational economic calculation would prevent a producer from:

    -producing tobacco in the most cost-effective way

    -comparing the difference between his expenditures and his revenues

    This is why the Soviet central planners had to import old copies of the Wall Street Journal throughout the Cold War to acquire the global market prices on commodities. I laughed my ass off when I first heard this.

    Well, why are we fighting those wars? The Iraq campaign is an abomination; a case can be made for an incursion into Afghanistan given its Al-Qaeda/Taliban affiliation yet the Afghan campaign has been waged very poorly. But it ain't capitalism's fault that NATO can't identify its face from its behind when it comes to Afghanistan. Actually, tax cuts increase government revenue according to the Laffer Curve, albeit when they are properly calibrated.

    •In your view, do right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and their rhetoric bear any responsibility for violent incidents like the shooting in Knoxville? Explain.

    Yes. Consider "Give us Barrabas". A few indiduals wanted Jesus dead. They went into the crowd and succesfully got them to start chanting "Give us Barrabas". A few individuals succesfully got a crowd to turn against Jesus who healed people and 'did nothing wrong' and instead release a murderer. Barabas was a known murderer.
    These commentators say whatever they want to say and they have zero respect for the truth. If they did they would measure their words more carefully. They are inciting people to violence. They need to be accountable.

    •Do you agree with Philip Jenkins that partisans have used tragic events to stigmatize legitimate opposition? Why or why not?

    No answer.

    •What are your ideas for bringing more civility into political discourse?

    My idea is a simple requirement...and its not asking too much...that everyone slow down and think about what they are hearing and what they are saying. Purveyors of intentional misinformation are enemies of truth and peace.

    President Barak Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Av. NW
    Washington DC 20500

    Dear President Obama.
    You are the best president this country has had in a long time.
    Because I have always supported you I like to share some of my thoughts. They are a product of 40 years in the practice of medicine.
    The surge in health care costs can not be contain unless we stem the origins of this problem
    Medicare and Medicaid have been the victims of fraud by many. We need to place health care providers on a leash. Physicians particularly are prone to depend for their diagnosis on expensive tests rather that on their mental effort and information.
    We must establish a National Medical Protocol that will establish the basis in the first steps of diagnosis and treatment of patients.
    It has been my experience that for the physician it is easier to order a test that to spend several hours of thinking about the patient’s problem.
    Physicians are responsible for 35% of the cost of health care.
    Ordering indiscriminately expensive tests (more than 80% of the results come back normal) and prescribing the most expensive treatments when cheaper and equally effective measures would be just as good or better and less risky is a waste of money and does not require a professional, just a bottom pusher.
    By establishing a Protocol by the National Institute of Health that would establish the first steps in the diagnosis and treatment process we could control costs and protect physician from frivolous suits as well.
    Now if an indiscriminate costly test or an expensive treatment were executed without the indication in the findings of a thorough history and physical examination, the physician and the hospital would be accountable and responsible for that cost.
    My message to physicians in the country should become a national slogan. “Doctor, use your head before you avail yourself of the pen the scope of the scalpel”. “Be a professional and not a technician”.
    I hope that we can put a stop to this bad and expensive practice of medicine.
    Medicine is a calling, a practice and not a business.
    Health care is a human right and not a luxury.

    J.A. Ribelles, MD

    I first wanted to say that I really appreciate this weekly show. It's so informative and the information is presented in such a useful format for passing on and creating dialogue. It's always so timely. Sometimes, I think, as we weigh in with our frustrations which sometimes seem to have little utility, we too, in our online comments, are less civil than we would be in person. I just taught The Laramie Project about the Matthew Shepard killing, and in the play there is a big focus on the violence of hateful language. Some commenters suggest that everyone participates in this hateful language, conservative and liberals alike, and to a degree I think that is true. BUT our nation's history shows that the power to carry out expulsions, fire-bombings, and lynchings, has been on the side of white Americans. Check out Chinese American history or the history of labor organizating in the guilded age, or Ida B. Wells' A Red Record protesting lynchings. I think McCain/Palin campaign rallies where folks were calling out threats to Obama give us some idea of the way fear and a sense of being disenfranchised gets blamed on people of color and mobilized into violence. The reverse of this has never happened. White folks have never suffered from people of color acting in these ways. The racism and violence are connected to fear -- that's what allows the dehumanization of a whole group of people and that's how the klan was so mainstream in white communities earlier in the twentieth century. Churches even supported the klan. So I think we DO need to be concerned about the shock jocks and to realize that just because someone doesn't use a specific derogatory term doesn't clear the comments of racism. I like the idea of ridicule Jon Stewart and Colbert. With a little historical contextualization. Put the shock jocks comments up there with some historical documents from racist organizations in the past. There's too much similarity in the present.

    Great posts, Adroid. Thanks!

    PS "What do you propose? Tax, regulate, or nationalize business?"

    Is it necessary "nationalization" be 100% in every case? No. Doesn't the gov in Japan own shares in Sony, Panasonic, Toyota? Tough tech t'top, ey Michael?
    All these suggestions are a start. Of course, Meesto's point is taken re capital gains. To me an important thing is to get business going that isn't trying chiefly to sell products that fill the "mimetic rivalry" niche so much as products civilization is in need of. Thus, subsidies. You see what happened with digital TV. Every facet of the switch got oriented to profit scams. Not enough oversight, too much graft. Same with the stimulus (what, 400 Citigroup employees getting $1 million bonuses when they lost $17 billion one yr prior?). Aetna gets rid of 8 million customers, and it's stock goes up! [HMOs are the exception...the absolute dependence tempts the greedsters too far...100% nationalization instead!] It would be interesting to brainstorm the things civ is in need of, but while I don't for instance look forward to job losses at fertilizer plants, the whole mission of a Roosevelt-scale-and-beyond redirection of business (and our labors) would necessarily shift resource investment from things like agribusiness based on corporate farming to other places where it's needed. So, at least that use of oil...that petroleum would be available for something productive and less environmentally disastrous.

    To Michael L.,

    Thanks for Economics 101 lesson. Yes, ownership of means and production etc. I was speaking of the essence of exchange of goods and or services. Ownership of the parts of earth or any material thing is a strange concept to begin with. Can you take it with you after you die and become dust? You broke down the reasons why money is so important. Have you ever challenged your brain to consider that we could devise another system that does not equate collectivism with being Neanderthals?

    "Odd mixtures" of capitalism and socialism? Have you been to any other Western countries? This mixture equals higher standard of living - you know...quality of life? Human Beings? You just don't get it.

    Yes - tax the rich - fair incremental taxes based income. The capital gains is the lowest it's ever been - Thanks to Bush and his cronies - very irresponsible during a time when we are engaged in two very expensive wars.

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

    MSNBC’s Donnie Deutsch slammed Glenn Beck today, then made an excellent suggestion. Write the advertisers of Beck’s show. Tell them that you don’t appreciate his un-American slander of the President of the United States. His advertisers, in part: General Motors, Campbell Soup, Chrysler, Proctor & Gamble, Pfizer, Kellogg, Walmart, Kraft Foods, Nestle. A diarist over at DailyKos has compiled the email addresses, phone numbers, names of top execs. and a lot more.

    This is not much input, but it will help you get started....

    Glenn Beck and Chrysler
    by joanbrooker

    Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 10:52:44 AM PDT

    This is my first diary and I'm not as deft as some with the protocol, so I ask for your patience. I also did a search for this and did not find anything. If I'm mistaken please delete and accept my apologies.

    This week, per a request from a Kos Diary, I wrote to those companies who advertise on The Glenn Beck Show, requesting that they discontinue doing so. This is a portion of the response I got from Chrysler (in bold) and my response to them.
    joanbrooker's diary :: ::

    Considering these factors, we plan to continue our commitment to
    advertising on a diverse range of programming. We do this with the
    intent to offend, but with an appreciation for diversity in consumer
    viewing preferences.
    I assume you mean 'not' to offend, but seems kind of ironic (and just a bit Freudian?). You do offend when your product is advertised on a show that is fundamentally racist. Of course there are different audience preferences but this isn't about the difference between 'I Love Raymond' and 'The Simpsons'. By advertising on Glenn Beck you are in every way endorsing his views.
    This is what we should all abide by as Ms. Joan Brooker said=
    I will never buy a Chrysler and I will do everything in my power to see that this outrageous response is repeated all over the internet.

    Joan Brooker

    I think Chrysler needs a few more e-mails/phone calls.

    Meesto writes,

    "Capitalism has been around since day one. People have been buying and selling stuff since money was invented. What countries are remembered for are their rich cultures which come from the creative folks. Money is a necessary evil in a world where humans are selfish by their animal natures and refuse to get along and share everything even after every great prophet and sage has taught us a better, more evolved way of living thousands of years ago."

    Capitalism a relatively recent socio-economic phenomenon. Capitalism doesn't mean "buying and selling stuff" - it is a social system based upon *individual* rights including property rights where producer goods and consumer goods are owned privately. It seems to me you didn't even know what you were opposed to. People have always traded, of course. But a socio-economic environment where private property is completely recognized - pure capitalism - has never existed. We only have mixed economies that oddly and contradictorily combine capitalism and socialism. There actually are no FREE markets, there are only markets with varying degrees of government intervention.

    And money is not "evil" ("necessary evil" is a poetic aberration) Au contraire, money single handedly overcomes the problems associated with direct exchange or barter:

    -the lack of coincidences

    -the problem of indivisibility

    -the problem of rational economic calculation in a complex economy

    Without the institution of money, you would probably be deceased along with most other people, the rest resorting to a Neanderthal-style standard of living.

    Meesto further writes,

    "Our country's blind greed, raping of the markets and hyper, useless consumerism system has brought down the economies of the entire world."

    I've found that the clincher that informs me of a person's ignorance regarding the economic contraction is their willingness to blame it on "greed," a useless, faux argument devoid of real economic explanations and solution. Ok, so greed did it. What do you propose? Tax, regulate, or nationalize business? Well, this would by definition involve increased greed on the part of the State. Its the Fed anyway that caused the recession as I've demonstrated in numerous posts.

    I.C. writes,

    "I challenge any conservative to name ONE PERSON who was killed because of something Keith Olberman said. Needless to say I won't be holding my breath. This "both sides are guilty" claim just doens't fly in the face of the end result."

    This is wildly irrelevant. Those one you who wish to make the allegation that talk radio was somehow responsible for the behaviour exhibited by murders have all your work still ahead of you as the burden of proof is yours. You make the affirmative proposition, you prove it corresponds to the facts of reality. Simple.

    Why must one limit scrutiny to Keith Olbermann? He's a lightweight. How about Marx, or Lenin, the darlings of the socialist left? If you want to reduce this to a mathematics debate, the socialists have the most explaining to do (the lovely string of 20th century socialist "utopias").

    Conservatives in talk radio can certainly say reprehensible things. But do not act as if this type of behavior is an exclusively conservative thing. The left indulges in just as much ad hominem/ad baculum illogic. We should be arguing against ad hominems and ad baculums PER SE, not simply conservative ad hominems and ad baculums because its the ARGUMENTS which are the problem, not merely particular instances of those arguments. Unless of course, the left opposes ad hominems and ad baculums only when they are aimed at them which is what I suspect.

    Do we lament Crip-violence, or Blood-violence, or Latin King-violence, or MS-13 violence? No, we lament violence PER SE. The same applies to argumentative fallacies.

    Meesto writes,

    "Your typical response to my comments just supports my arguments. You said there is little difference between dictatorship style communism and contemporary Democratic Socialism which is the rule in every developed industrial western and far eastern country in the world and even ours now to a certain limited extent - did you live under a rock?"

    Most European countries are actually capitalist countries, albeit "social" and "planned" capitalist countries where the government engages in significant wealth redistribution and central planning. Even Sweden's mixed economy is a mix of capitalism and socialism.

    If Europe were actually socialist, it would be a wasteland. Socialism is a social system where ALL or MOST of the factors of production are owned by the government whereas capitalism is a social system based upon property rights where ALL or MOST of the factors of production are owned privately. Your beloved Europe owes what it has to its capitalistic tendencies. The same applies to Japan and Austrialia. Ironically, according to the Heritage Foundation's 2009 Index of Economic Freedom Austrialia is more capitalist than the U.S. The Aussies are worthy of our admiration.

    North Korea, now they're socialist. Cuba is socialist but not purely socialist. No nation in the world can be purely socialist because they, as they almost always do, can copy market prices for productive factors generated in capitalist economies.

    Meesto further writes,

    "Have you heard of Stalin or Mao and the millions of their own people they killed and ruled the rest with a paranoid iron fist for generations?"

    Well certainly - Stalin and Mao are what one can expect from socialism/communism. Collectivism demands despotism.

    That socialism makes business "harder" is a flagrant understatement. Socialism makes business literally impossble because since it abolishes the market for productive factors, socialism doesn't allow productive factors to be labelled with market prices which make it impossible for producers to engage in rational economic calculation, i.e., to be able to compare cost to revenue or to compare alternative methods of production. War Communism was the best attempt at pure socialism and it was a spectacular failure.

    Thank You James!

    To Liz,

    Being a lobbyist/paid bias liar I am not surprised you did not have your facts straight in reference to Canada's true immigration numbers - millions versus 25,000? You just proved my point.

    I can see why you are defensive because you know your lobbyist days are numbered - time for you and your family to learn some new skills like the rest of Americans have to do to survive. Sooner or later we will root out this plague in DC known as corporate lobbyists and our country will be better off for it - closer to true democracy represented by the people and not a small hand full of the fortune 500.

    As for what makes America great is far beyond the scope of this blog chat. But Capitalism is a means to an end. Capitalism has been around since day one. People have been buying and selling stuff since money was invented. What countries are remembered for are their rich cultures which come from the creative folks. Money is a necessary evil in a world where humans are selfish by their animal natures and refuse to get along and share everything even after every great prophet and sage has taught us a better, more evolved way of living thousands of years ago.

    The unregulated free market tactics your Father was trying to sell Canada have not worked in case you have not noticed. Our country's blind greed, raping of the markets and hyper, useless consumerism system has brought down the economies of the entire world. What planet do you live on? It is our system which is no longer sustainable. Our ever shrinking planet with almost 7 billion people can no longer sustain the constant growth and consumerism that the free market demands. We need to start considering a major revamping of the entire industrial model and infrastructure. Otherwise the future looks pretty bleak.

    Where is your proof? Canadian immigration to the U.S. is less than 25,000 a year and they seem to be weathering the recession better than we are. If your relative did go to Canada (why Montreal?), it was to fulfill Harper's desire to be George W. Bush.

    I challenge any conservative to name ONE PERSON who was killed because of something Keith Olberman said. Needless to say I won't be holding my breath. This "both sides are guilty" claim just doens't fly in the face of the end result.

    I also notice many of the early conservative posters, all of whom completely ignored the point of the article, (conservative hate speech gets people killed) haven't exactly come back to address their critics. Wonder why that is.

    Lord have mercy, the media in this land that have spewed out the ravings of these schlock jocks...also exhibit deficiencies we should be mentioning too. Lousy fruit most likely means the whole tree is done for. Haven't quite got the time to keep up here, but I think it was yesterday or the day before when I thought of some other things we could be complaining about here. Don't know if anyone has yet. To allude to all these things briefly I could just say that for sure Chris Hedges is ahead of his time. I say that because of the recent article he wrote The Corporate Media State Has Deformed American Culture: Time to Fight Back.

    Stop and think for a minute. Think of the money you have to shell out to enable personal accessibility to when a thunderstorm is gonna hit your location. I work with the developmentally disabled, and I can tell you we are not getting the information on time when transporting these people is a task at hand. Didn't tax payer money help put Doppler3 in orbit? Why do I have to pay Sprint to get this information on a phone? Stop and think for a minute. What kind of trust/reliance/faith does making-this-info-PRIVILEGED engender in the public's estimation re our society's preparedness for disasters? My locale is hurricane alley, and as far as I know...there is no agreed-on website to go to to find out what roads are impassable, where the drinking water is, etc, etc. Mind this case I am speaking of almost predictable natural disasters...what are we supposed to expect in the case of surpise attacks? There is NO community broadband. And there are no plans that I know of to keep a community broadband up during extended power outages with photovoltaic panels.

    I have more complaints too. What a scam are the
    digital boxes. What a scam is digital television. Hills, wind, and rain screw up the picture! Thank you, Michael Powell. Getting volume with my digital boxes takes guesswork every time. There were no instructions on how to overcome the volume deficiency. Thank you EnergyStar!

    Stop and think just for one minute about a radio show like The Alan Colmes Show. The entire thing is peppered every 8 min with 3 or 4 min of ads for [maybe I'm completely wrong] services my instincts tell me aren't much better than shoddy. We might not even be able to blame Fox for'em for all I know (that's right...over non-internet venues like WWKB, though I must say I am very thankful WWKB is trying to get some liberals on AM radio). Colmes comes back from the ads in a big hurry...and for what? He says he's for Single Payer, but when some callers who also support it speak...he talks to'em like he doesn't understand where they're coming from, and as if everything they're saying is WRONG. Many people told him he shouldn't be
    Mr Human Punching Bag back when he was on Sean Hannity's show, but now I'm wondering if he's our one token...who is nevertheless instructed by some party to sow the whole show with enough make such a venture appear fruitless and vain. I'm probably wrong with this wondering. If I am that case the schedule of the whole show must be denying him the amount of attention requisite to hear what the callers are saying. Maybe we liberals need to invest in a number of things like Working Assets (I hope there are scads more such things), so stations that air Colmes can get some half-sane ads.

    Every way you look at it media's falling down. Because of Moyers and NOW, though, soon I'll send the contribution PBS keeps asking for.

    I suppose if you had a chance to interview one of these purveyors of hate, you would ask some tough questions. Say, for instance you had a chance to interview Jeremiah Wright.

    Here is what a former San Francisco Police Chief said in the SF Chronicle after a black man shot and killed four white police officers:
    "One particularly troubling image lingers: During one of Wright's hate-filled rants, the camera panned to a preteen African American boy sitting in the upper level.... The young boy can be seen hooting and gesticulating joyfully as Wright's hate spewed forth on the soundtrack. What can that young boy and others... think about their country, themselves and others when filled with such hateful nonsense?"

    Oh, I forgot. You did interview Jeremiah Wright, but you didn't ask any tough questions.

    I was reading comments and had to put my two cents in to meesto and his socialist rant:

    I have lived on capital hill my whole life - my family has been involved heavily in politics (including myself) since the 70's. We also family own a well-known lobbying firm on the hill (which I will keep to myself).

    Last year the Canadian government (who is NOT socialist by the way, it is actually Parlimentarian - they would be offended if thoughtof as socialist) hired my father who is executive director of our firm, and also was federal government in appropriations for 25 years, to come to Montreal and explain to them (the Canadian Parliment) how the USA government works because we are much more successful in creating capital, jobs, and a higher sense of satisfaction and loyalty for one's country than Canada does.....

    They did this because their government is slowly failing - and while it is not very visible yet, it will be in the years to come and they are already seeing the desperate need to reform.... to something more like what we have in the states.

    Maybe this is why for the last decade millions of desperate Canadians (and others from countries with similar governments) have come running across the boarder for out-of-country health care, jobs, and a better way of life.

    As a side note - I think the right-wing shock jocks should be censored... and perhaps contained in a facility with no rights or windows - where does that leave me? democratic conservative-extreem?

    Since a majority of homicides are committed by blacks, and since a vastly disproportionate amount of all violent crime is committed by young, black males, and since the program asserted that talk radio led to violent acts, I assume the problem is that too many young, black males are listening to talk radio.

    To paraphrase Peter O'Tooles character from the movie Lawrence of long as the American people fight ideology against ideology, so long will they be a little people,a silly people, greedy,barbarous and cruel....

    it's actually pretty simple in sad way. "he who can be most inflammatory gets the attention (good or bad)."
    the only problem is that these guys are available for free on fcc lisenced radio stations so those who literally cannot afford to seek out opposing views, etc on satellite radio (pay), cable (pay), internet (pay), really are saddled with them. i don't hear many so called "liberal" shock talk show hosts on broadcast radio. are there any?
    if folks want to lessen the presence of these so called "arbiters of truth," i suggest writing not only to the advertisers of the shows but of the sales manager at the radio station and tell them that any and all products and particularly local businesses will be not only boycotted by you but also simply badmouthed around town because these radio "shows" are offensive. believe me, they get enough letters from you and from local businesses worried about image and patronage, these shows might be pulled. hey, worked for donald wilmon and his American Family Association in the 80's...why not try it now?

    I have now come to understand where some of my family members have gotten their warped - but dangerously hateful - views from over the past 8 months or so. Quite sad, the power these commentators have garnered. Last Friday's show was the first verbatim exposure I'd had to any of those 'gentlemen', and I can tell you I was shocked.

    As a Christian, I am certain that Jesus would not have labeled himself a Republican (2009's definition)and these are not ideals I aspire to, either.

    Between this and the George Tiller killing I think it is obvious what needs to be done. All conservatives should be required to register with the Deprtment of Homeland Security as potential terrorists. Conservatism is a philosophy that teaches hate and violence and the rest of us shouldn't have to worry about some dittohead kicking in our doors and shooting up our families just because some guy on the radio said to. It is time to take action to protect ourselves and I think requiring all conservatives to register as potential terorrists is the safest option. Talk radio has simply left us no other choice.

    This reminds me of Goebbels...little nerdy capitalist Goebbels. Meme Wars are ON!

    Right-wing rhetoric has never been a legitimate opposition to any liberal ideas or policies; it is simply the manifestation of HATE and a set of simplistic, idiotic, and barbaric ideas and viewpoints. How else can one explain Savage’s view of gays and autistic kids, Lou Dobbs’ daily hate speech on immigrants (blaming Mexican immigrants for every thing and insinuating violence against them), O'Reilly’s and the like’s portrayal of blacks disguised in the form of fiscal conservatism (always along the line of Ronald Regan’s “ welfare queen driving Cadillac”), etc… . These so called right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and rhetoric, even at their best when they are sugarcoated by religion, economics (especially with tax issues), nationalism and so on, only serve to promote hate and every thing that comes with it including violence.

    We are concerned that by giving those despicable hate mongers so much free air time last Friday, you may have helped them recruit support.
    Steve Spencer

    One of my brothers immersed himself in hate radio. He seems to believe what the hate mongers say is the way the world is. When anyone takes those people seriously, they make that world read. My brother thinks that abortion of a dead or dying fetus is murder. He seems delighted by the murder of providers of healthcare to women.

    My brother somehow brings into every discussion that any progress in the general weal makes him poor. Sad man.

    Is anyone aware of any serious academic studies on the root of the violence from the extreme right? I'm wondering if there is hard evidence that anti-abortion propaganda is at the root of it. It doesn't take too much effort to imagine how you yourself would feel if you absolutely believed that millions of babies were being murdered and the government refused to let anyone stop it. The result would be violent feelings not just against abortion providers but against the "liberal" sector of society held responsible. Even if a person's politics weren't focused on the single issue of abortion, wouldn't an acceptance of anti-abortion propaganda inform their outlook on everything else?

    To Michael L.-
    Your typical response to my comments just supports my arguments. You said there is little difference between dictatorship style communism and contemporary Democratic Socialism which is the rule in every developed industrial western and far eastern country in the world and even ours now to a certain limited extent - did you live under a rock? Most European countries have had a measurable higher standard of living then the USA for decades and they are all Socialist democratic countries. Have you ever spent time abroad? Do you know your basic modern history? Have you heard of Stalin or Mao and the millions of their own people they killed and ruled the rest with a paranoid iron fist for generations? And how dare you can compare this to the charmed lifestyle that Europeans and other countries like Japan (after rebuilding), Taiwan, Australia and Canada have enjoyed post World War Two up to now?

    Our, The USA - balance between wages and the cost of living has gone way out of control over the last 30 years since the Reagan revolution in case you have not noticed. Are you old enough to remember when women could stay at home with the kids? It was just 20 or so years ago. Even if you were a janitor(respectable work) at the local high school , you could have a decent life. Those days are long gone. Yet in Europe they live longer and healthier and have lower infant death mortalities then we do - all with socialized health care!

    Is it harder to start a business in these Socialist countries - yes, but can you still do it and become filthy, greedy rich beyond your wildest dreams - yes.

    The bottom line is that the earth can no longer sustain the growth that the free market demands in combination with the mass unnecessary consuming just to keep the wheels of business turning and the sooner we face this fact, the sooner we can put our best minds toward creating a whole new system or infrastructure that is much less toxic and poisonous to ourselves and the earth. Otherwise Mother Nature is just going to spit us out and or a complete breakdown of the system based on definite bad scenarios involving rising sea levels and the huge multi-millions human refugee displacement problems it will create within our lifetimes. Wake up and break out from your old failed thinking constructs that are no longer a sustainable philosophy for the future of Humankind!


    Meesto writes,

    "It is worrisome to me when I read some of these political forum discussions on the internet and read the the complete rage of people who hate the current administration and have such fixed brain washed views of how liberals are all communists who are ruining our country."

    Where does one begin? Many people such as myself oppose the Obama administration for the same reasons we opposed the Bush administration:

    -Both administrations are driven by Keynesian economics, engaging in fiscal and monetary policies dooming Americans to greater debt, price inflation, and deeper, longer, and more frequent recessions.

    -Both administrations are keen to keep us in Iraq

    -Both administrations believe in maintaining faith-based initiatives, breaching the separation between church and state

    -Both administrations believe in the mass proliferation of subsidies to their particular interests

    -Both administrations believe in big government, in enhancing the authority of the State over the economy

    There are a plethora of reasons to hate this administration.

    Meesto further writes,

    "I am somewhat liberal and a little conservative and I am definitely not a dictatorship communist but I am a Democratic Socialist."

    Seriously? You're not a very good comedian. There is little difference between communism and socialism. I'm confident you would loose your socialist sympathies in a heartbeat if you had to live under socialism, especially pure socialism where the government could not piggyback off of foreign market prices. Real socialism is so chaotic, so hostile to rational economic calculation and production incentives that it cannot even last for very long.

    Meesto further writes,

    "The fact is there will always be a shortage of jobs and this is only increasing, getting worse as cheap over sea labor and new technology take more jobs away from America. So we do need a huge safety net to counter balance this fact or we will surely have enough desperate and frustrated people that we will end up in a new civil war where it will be the rich versus the poor."

    Unemployment in the U.S. has nothing to do with outsourcing jobs. Outsourcing jobs abroad has been going on since the 60s but unemployment has continued to fluctuate with the business cycle. Outsourcing benefits the U.S. as it reduces costs, increases profits and therefore increases financial capital which allows businesses to invest in R&D or acquire more productive factors such as land, labour, or capital goods. A "safety net," i.e., a government run system of wealth redistribution, robs entrepreneurs of their financial capital and therefore reduces the influence of consumers who patronize these entrepreneurs as well as decreases the productive capacity of the economy.

    Socialism + protectionism + redistributionism = abject poverty and social havoc

    Goebbels... This is how he operated...He dehumanized the NAZI political opposition until there were 11 million of them slaughtered by the Savage followers of the day.

    To those making comparisons to Keith Olberman and the like....How many of Keith Olbermans books have been found stacked in the apartments of Left Wing lunatics who commit mass murder in Christian Fundamentalist Churches?....Oooops, none....Promotion of murder is awfully un-Christian.

    Rush Limbaugh actually said on his radio show that the Holocaust Museum Murderer was a liberal.

    This whole thing is degenerating so very fast. There is no rational discussion to be had with people like Rush, Savage, Liddy, Levin who claim that A does not = A. They crave death and only death.

    I'm not at all surprised by the Univeralsist Church shooting. This is exactly what the shock jocks want to see happen. They want their listeners to go out and kill anyone who doesn't think like them and then they can run back behind thier microphones and say "well, we're just entertainers" and aviod that "personal responsibility" their always lecturing others about.

    This is how the conservative movement works: if you won't join them, then they'll kill you off. They want to see an American version of the Rwandan genocide where talk radio hosts tell their audience to go out and kill their nieghbors. If they can't win elctions, then it's kill anyone who stands in their way.

    Conservatives claim to believe in less government but the truth is they want a theocracy. They would kill off anyone who dares to actually practice freedom that doesn't conform to their way of thinking.

    I also notice none of the right wing trolls on here are addressing the concerns about violence and hate that the aritcle raises.

    Big surprise.

    We will not have true democracy in this country until we get rid of the ridiculous costs of campaigns = lobbyist & special interests = politicians being puppets as in this battle for health care reform. Also we should get rid of the antiquated electoral system! We must have one person = one vote - period. Until we change the election system these corporations will rule our country in their own greedy self interests and we the people will always finish last.

    As for all the super angry conservative folks out there, in particular these angry DJ agitators that propagate ignorance and violence - be careful! Our country has a bloody and violent history. 600,000 killed each other up close in the Civil war - more then all our foreign wars combined. This does not include our slaughtering of millions of Native people and the killing and violent treatment of all the black slaves and post slavery and the many conflicts and death for workers rights and the violence of the 1960s anti-war and civil right movement. It is worrisome to me when I read some of these political forum discussions on the internet and read the the complete rage of people who hate the current administration and have such fixed brain washed views of how liberals are all communists who are ruining our country. I am somewhat liberal and a little conservative and I am definitely not a dictatorship communist but I am a Democratic Socialist. The fact is there will always be a shortage of jobs and this is only increasing, getting worse as cheap over sea labor and new technology take more jobs away from America. So we do need a huge safety net to counter balance this fact or we will surely have enough desperate and frustrated people that we will end up in a new civil war where it will be the rich versus the poor. This huge discrepancy between the top greedy 1% that possess all the money and resources and the other 99% of we, the neo-serfs is leading this country down a dangerous path. This deep recession plus all the ultra conservative shock jocks promoting some kind of violent action to millions of listeners and the huge discrepancy between rich and poor is a formula of potential conflict. If (because 50% still do not vote)The last few elections are an indicator that our country is split down the middle between liberals and conservative with a tiny 2-3 % swing vote, then I just do not see how we will ever agree to anything. This is the reality of where our country is at.
    Just one last thing in reference to that very disturbing ignorant man Mr. Savage - Ironic that a Jewish guy from NYC who was so ashamed of being Jewish he changed his name to Savage and ends up being a DJ voice for millions of ultra conservative, working class, judgmental finger pointing white bible thumpers in the so called heartland! What a joke!

    It would be easier to understand Bill Moyers' anger if he had not directed his ire only at those ideologically opposed to him. Conservative media has not cornered the market on hatemongering. TV’s Bill Maher expressed disappointment that an assassination attempt on Vice President Cheney had failed and said Christians suffer from neurological disorder. Liberal commentator Randi Rhodes compared the evacuation of victims of Katrina to the deportation of Jews during the holocaust. Radio host Ed Schultz invoked ‘the Lord’ in wishing Dick Cheney dead. On the Today Show, one time Air America host Al Franken envisaged the execution of Karl Rove and Lewis Libby. Apparently Bill Moyers is ok with hate as long as it is directed at the right people.

    When they got Mr. Stien off the airwaves because of his language, they completely forgot the other unethical people. This is because they still want to make more money. CAPITALIST at its best.


    This is a country with too many sick people and they would follow what crooked idea they persieve.

    Well, there is something that gets the hackles up on the mild manored reporter from PBS. Good to see personal emotion Mr. Bill.

    Hate messagers, whether from skin-heads, or hardshell abortionist
    should be silenced! But does sound like 'them"?

    Why has this not been ask by the lily-livered liberals: Was the racial profiler the Harvard Professor? Or; Should a 'cop' expect a 'real Harvard professor' to be smart enough to avoid such an unnecessary confrontation?

    Is this the same Harvard professor that stood up for Wright-even when he was not right? (in my humble opinion).

    Some of YOU liberals sound like some of YOU conservatives--only different--that is--you HATE--just your views are justified & the other is not.

    The OLD Civil-rights activist did their part--

    Guess it should not be surprising the DNP & candidate CHANGE denied Florida Democrats their voting rights--but disappointing.

    Seems the CHANGE has been from Rip-ya-off-plicans to DUMMIE-crats.

    Billy Bob Florida

    i agree with the statement that right wing shock jocks are all about helping conservatives find scape goats for real and imagined problems. The scape goats have remained the same for ages and include minorities the poor woman liberals the aclu muslims....also obbvious is the neccesity of the right wing to group people toghether by stereotyping to make scape goating easier. For instance all hispanics are illegal aliens all minortities are poor and undeducated and live off welfare...and finally its all based off anger and mistrust of any one that is different from any perspective....liberals trash conservatives just as much the only difference is liberals dont talk openly about murdering people who are different and contrary to another gentleman on her liberals are more issue based while the right wing movement on the radio "no" and why and how the liberal movement is destroying this nation and using terms like describe liberals....there was a good point about using words like this to dehumanize the enemy there for making him easier to kill...


    Ad hominems and ad baculums. Happy.

    It's a shame that many radio and TV personalities have resorted to hate talk, whether they be conservative or liberal. This country was founded on free speech for all. We make it a practice to turn to another station rather than listen to any kind of hate talk. It is our God-given right to do so and it makes for a more pleasant day.

    It's a shame that many radio and TV personalities have resorted to hate talk, whether they be conservative or liberal. This country was founded on free speech for all. We make it a practice to turn to another station rather than listen to any kind of hate talk. It is our God-given right to do so and it makes for a more pleasant day.

    Recall the "un-American" characterization of non-rural, non-Republican citizens by Sarah Palin during the last election, and the "Kill 'em!" shouts from some of her audience. Things are way beyond out of hand when someone running for national office feels free to encourage such intolerance. Any long term way out of this national sickness will come from more people getting better education and doing work that leaves them feeling good about themselves. If that happens, a lot of the stewballs who patronize Fox News and rightist talk radio will tune out. A short term suggestion: push for a la carte cable TV, so those of us who don't want to subsidize Fox News or Pat Robertson can be free to opt out.

    Observation: This article oddly focuses on "right-wing hate media" and ignores left-wing hate media, which is just as pervasive, if not more so. No mention of Keith Olberman for instance, whose show is devoted to hate.

    I try to pay attention to as much political dialog as I can from both sides, and what observe is that right-wing personalities talk primarily about policy issues, and left wing personalities talk mostly about right-wing personalities. This article is a classic example, and it is lamentable. The irony is thick that this article claims that right-wing talk radio is hateful and non-constructive, while implying that conservative talk contributes to murders. If that is not hate, I don't know what is, and the idea that readers would not be able to see beyond the attempted subtlety of this article is frankly, insulting.

    The fact is that talk radio is popular because it provides information that is not provided by the other media outlets, which, even by the admission of this article, are more surface-level and shallow in coverage of issues. Until other media outlets recognize that there is a large group of intelligent Americans that want information and not just to be told how to think, talk radio will continue to be popular. It would be more productive to ask "why" questions about talk radio's popularity than to simply attack its personalities - that just makes you look afraid and ignorant.

    Moyers is the reason I no longer contribute to PBS. Rush Limbaugh is an angry white man? What do you call Gates and Obama?
    Obama fueled the fire to racism - i'm sick of your one-sided news.

    We are a very sick nation.

    Posted by: Wayne

    I think I made a mistake about it being a Fri - "Dancing with the Stars" is on Mon and Tues...hey, it all melts into each other when there were so many trips for a while...but what happened, happened - it is NOT illegal to change the channel - at least not yet :-)

    We DO have data on just how "sick" we are, Wayne.

    Current data can be gleaned from all the prescriptions being written for - ahem - "personality disorders".

    But the REAL data about the % of the population in USA that was REALLY mentally ill (deformed brains), back when there were asylums, is lost data. I remember it because I was a student. It was 30%. That's huge when you really think about it.

    It's a coincidence, maybe, but I believe that the % of people with frozen language development ("liberal"/"conservative") is also 30%. Frozen langueage development is one of the primary signs of brain disorder....

    Therefore, what is "entertainment" for functioning narcissists and sociopaths is a very dangerous "perception is reality" propaganda campaign to willy-nilly project over air waves as "news" to all the secluded, non-functioning, "personality disorders".

    Political opportunism, Machiavellian strategies, "religious" protocols, "isms", etc. - all abnormal human behaviour. People do roll out of bed to greet each day with "how many people can I make money off of today...?"

    Amazing that psychological ABUSE is the new age "normal" - the new SOPs.

    Michael Labeit and ilk, you don't seem to understand what "ad hominem" means.

    If I call you a moron, that is ad hominem, If I threaten to kill you, or incite someone else to kill you, that is NOT ad hominem.

    Do you see the difference?

    I don't think it's worth while to discuss whether or not right-wing shock jocks were at all responsible for murders like the one in Knoxville, because there is no doubt that they would never be responsible under the law. Violent speech is still speech, and so protected by and large by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, it can surely be agreed, among thinking people who value their freedom as well as the freedom of others, that the type of speech coming from people like Savage, Limbaugh, and Beck is mean, stupid, and utterly despicable. The idea that they are deserving of anyone's attention is entirely unimaginable and, so, the fact that they are the subject of a serious news show like Bill Moyers is a testament to their incredible popularity. There are doubtless violently-inclined people in these shows' audiences, and though it may be debatable whether the hosts actually influence such people to act, it certainly can be said that these hosts do nothing to dissuade such people from committing acts of violence. On the other hand, legitimate journalism--in my opinion--does dissuade people from doing so, because it exists to inform and educate, not to foment and enthrall.

    We are a very sick nation.

    You're right. It would have been helpful to know, Jan. I put up a lot of links myself. I put them up to some extent for anyone who is buffalo'd by Michael. I can't say everything I want to say and for this reason use links also, so I can't fault him too much. I've read something that indirectly implied Kucinich had criticisms of FRB. That's mostly the reason I'm tryin to get ML to say what he means in a few words. No one'll get me to be a flat problem there (and that's why I stay away from Paul). It's not that I loathe him or his aficianados (plain and simple it's just that a flat tax would let too much get by; we are just regular people and this is a message bd where we don't have to embellish...or be cute and quaint or cryptic and we don't have to obfuscate...aren't matters serious enough? Do we have to pretend we're top'o the erudite crop at this stage? I can see, though, in a way why ML's reluctant to put these arguments in his own words...the last link he cited tried to say Tiananmen slowed down free markets! It's like some kind of Jimmy Tingle comedy routine). But there are a few theoretical matters where we might have a gene or two in common. If Mises is Ron Paul...I won't go there. That's my feeling too: please don't say all the good stuff is at thus & such place but I gotta dash now etc. Say somethin! I'll catch up anyway if I keep reading Greider, Kuttner, Galbraith, Palley, Dollars&Sense, Meltzer, maybe Soddy and on and on and on. Gotta catch up on hedge funds, many aspects of CDSs, algorithmic trading, and on and on and on...and like I say...gotta go back and try to remember the merits of that "low growth" idea. I wonder if that had anything to do with "appropriate technology." I wonder if we could have had tents with bamboo polls after Katrina, photovoltaic panels, inverters,

    No, I'm not. I became aware of the way someone on another site was trying to slide references who clearly had a political affiliation and/or agenda past people who probably were as unsuspecting as I was till I looked one of them up. That's so dishonest.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with using Ron Paul or anyone else as long as the reader knows where they're coming from.

    Today at 3pm on a local radio station's hourly news, I heard:"Obama said the police dept.handled the case stupidly" when,in fact, the president during his press conference said "the police officer handled it stupidly" (the Professor Gates/police officer controversy). By this subtle error of reporting, the controversy between the police and the President is ratcheted up unnecessarily and so is criticism of Obama,a political move. The news should inform us with the facts, not polarize us with inaccuracies and lies.

    Excellent point ANN D, you are not sleep walking!

    "Friday night, right before boarding plane delayed 2 hours, very crowded local waiting area...."invisible worker" sat down next to me for his official 5 minute break...I asked him why TV was on cable fox news...he asked, "you want change...?"

    How about ABC "Dancing With the Stars"....? He walked up and changed the channel...half the waiting room settled in to peacefully watch the competition - I was amazed how the whole mood of the place changed"


    Who made it a law to force public establishment to projects these channels only or to place a TV?

    What about something informative instead?

    Who said that a TV was the missing link in public places?


    My link was intended for David H who is well aware of the kind of links I offer. As a matter of fact, I have referred David H to the Mises Institute before.

    Countless people are affiliated with the Institute; I agree with some and disagree with others. These people include Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Thomas Woods, etc.

    This isn't Jan Narveson is it?

    At the end of the show, that was a superb commentary on right wing hate shows. They may outrage you, but get past your initial reaction and see how they help the liberal cause. The supporters of the right wing hate mongers may be fervent and even physically dangerous, but I think they are relatively small in number. I think that by their rhetoric, the hate mongers turn far more people against conservatism than toward it. On balance, the liberals and Democrats benefit from their hate. I believe Obama was elected in part in reaction to the haters' rhetoric. Every act of violence turns more people against conservatism. The problem is, that's a tragic way to turn them against it. I don't have an answer for that problem.

    In general political discourse in country has degenerated into emotionally charged sound bites largely devoid of thought. This is especially true of the right. I don't think they right even thinks thorugh what their agend is. I believe it is solely about money without care for the nation.

    Very little we attempt to do about the loss of civility on the air will have any affect until there is a way to deliver news with a truth-o-meter crawl on the screen, or a fact-check audio monitor that follows radio shows with a short analysis of content. News outlets need to be rated for truthfulness and factual accuracy the way we rate stocks and bonds for investment quality. If we did these things, and did them with surprise insertions, as urban gorillas of the airwaves, and we spread the spankings between right- and left-wing sources without prejudice, at least the corporate-media-propaganda problem would be made visible. True news could reach those who want it but are too busy to track it down, and would enlighten those who, in the interest of fairness, watch Faux News and are seduced by the sociopathic spectacle of Rupert Murdock. It is only because we cannot know how much of what we're watching and hearing is true and how much is false that propagandists even have a shot at conning the people. Until we can expose lies and deceptions with instant (or nearly so) truth checks, how will we know if the truth even matters to people anymore? If the truth has ceased to be important to the majority of us, then we have a whole different situation on our hands. I'm betting the truth still matters. It just needs to be validated so that liars and distorters can be invalidated. Then, we can have a debate instead of a schoolyard scrap where principled intelligence loses to twisted meanness every time.

    I find it vey intresting at the very ending of the show Mr. moyers says he doesn't support the fairness doctrine, but 80% of show how its all about talk radios's fuels right wing extreamists. Its not enough that they have CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS all have liberial leanings they still attack talk radio. Moyers supports playing 5 second clips and taking all theses host out of context. Mr. Beck expecially. If he and his liberial friends would take the time to listen and get the whole story and not just pick the stuff that the usefull idiots eat up, thier case wouldn't seem all that strong.
    They only thing that a liberial fears is that thier true feelings will be brought to the light. Conservatives have nothing to hide. I truly believe that America is in the middle not left or right. All we really want is honesty. Is it all that hard. If the liberials showed thier true colors they wouldn't have half the power they have.
    What we all have to remember is that if the country moves far left it will move farther right. If media was truly fair talk radio would not be as popular as it is.
    I feel that 2010 and possibly 2012 will be the true test of modern liberialism. only time will tell.

    While I only saw part of your program I did appreciate the effort you put into it. I don't agree with people trying to blame the shock jocks for anyones actions. My parents taught me to take responsibility for my own actions and not to blame others for them. I enjoy listening to some of these individuals and thier opinions even if my opinions differ from thiers. While yes, if you listen to someone you will be influenced by them I am able to make my own decisions and choose to make my opinions heard non-violently, and am disapointed when these shock jocks express such actions especially since most if not all of them express to be christians. While I enjoy listening to them I don't have to do what they say. If thier rhetoric bothers you there's a simple way to take care of it: don't watch them, don't listen to them, and stop talking about them! No audience, no soap box. Plus once we start to blame and censor them for thier opinions just because there may be a few people out there who are unable to think for themselves then maybe someone will decide that my opinion is too dangerous, or that perhaps yours is the voice to be quieted. So thanks for hearing me out and please put that gun away

    Would it have pained you to let people know that this is a website that is connected to Ron Paul? The people who appreciate Ron Paul may not be aware of the website and might be happy to know about it. People who don't like Ron Paul shouldn't have him sprung as a surprise or sneak attack.

    All I'm saying is that if you want to give a link, be honest enough to tell them any potential political affiliations the link is connected to.

    I have a spotless track record for links. I don't refer people to garbage. But, if you insist, sourcewatch away.

    Hint: Always check the background of sources given on the internet. Sourcewatch, it's affiliate PRwatch, and media matters are good. If, after you look, you have no problem with the source then go for it but be sure you know who they're referring you to.

    Mises Institute or Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    The Ludwig von Mises Institute describes itself as "the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics".

    The Mises Institute "works to advance the Austrian School of economics and the Misesian tradition, and, in application, defends the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive."

    The Ludwig von Mises Institute was established in October 1982 in Auburn, Alabama, by Llewellyn (Lew) H. Rockwell, Jr., who remains its President.

    Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is a "former congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul and founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is an opponent of the state, its wars and its socialism.

    "A student and colleague of Murray N. Rothbard, he is the editor of six books, most recently The Irrepressible Rothbard and Speaking of Liberty. For more on Rockwell, see his interview in Spintech Magazine.

    Thank you for providing airtime for a more thoughtful and deeper conversation about average American' concerns. It is people like yourself, who make this world a better place.

    I am rather surprised that anybody with Christian believes can listen to those hate mongers?

    Tell me, how can individuals on the left oppose Bush's wiretapping schemes through the Patriot Act and the Treasury Department and simultaneously support the "fairness doctrine" which would deliever the entire broadcast industry bound and gagged to the government for its disposal. Of course the answer is simple. Many left-liberals have no problem with government coercion, with involuntary compulsion administered by the State as long as the coercion is exercised in their favor, i.e., against conservatives. Talking about neo-sovietism.

    The issue of speech and criminal liability is a complex one far beyond the scope of the anti-talk radio "presentation" you all saw. If you want to lock up conservative radio hosts you had better prepare to do the same with their counterparts in T.V. and academia who employ the same tactics.

    David H,

    Klein's doorstopper/child booster seat is atrocious - it perfectly resembles the similarly trashy books I had to purchase for political science class in school. She's flagrantly ignorant of both economic theory and economic history, an ignorance she makes known by her willingness to extend credit to socialism. Read a book, not a tabloid-equivalent, slip-and-fall, sub-academic attempt at discrediting capitalism.

    Here are a suggestion (and its FREE!):


    The Mises Institute has a repertoire of free pdf books on economics.

    I'm waiting for Moyers to psycho-analyze Pvt. William Long's murderer & divvy out blame to leftwing anti-US military propagandists.

    If those watching this segment don't realize it is pure propaganda, they are being as mindless as those who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. Although not as abrasive as Limbaugh, Moyers is just as guilty of demonizing those he doesn't agree with politically. We have a sad state of affairs when fringe thinkers like Rush and , yes, Bill drive much of the political discourse in this country.

    Unlike Bill Moyers I am in favor of some type of fairness doctrine to counter the radical and shocking opinions of the Shock Jocks. They are making millions for their owners and there has to be a way to present a balanced viewpoint on major tv stations. Unfortunately, it is too profitable to be radical, shocking or hateful and not profitable to be rational, honest and loving.


    Hi Elizabeth, you wrote, in part, "Why can't we wrap our heads around the difference between dissent for the purposes of responsible debate (which I endorse wholeheartedly), and people who would be diagnosed CLINICALLY as abusive individuals: pathological egomaniacs who are narcissistic, controlling, and pathologically so insecure they feel they must go to the extreme of wanting to dominate others and make them conform to his or her way of life?"

    When deciding whether to return enough money stolen from the system back into the system, every "business' was up for dissection. If we let the auto makers go under, then the parts suppliers, the dealors, the leather and cloth makers, etc etc etc.

    I mentioned the "divide and conquer" political ploy that has been around since the Roman Empire.

    But like you, something is EXTREMELY wrong with "health care" in this country when political opportunism is actively engaged in rabble rousing the mentally ill among us through TV shows that people in the medical arts KNOW to be mental disorders!

    Fewer and fewer people are watching these shows or going to the coordinating "blogs" on the internet, or buying the newspapers - which, btw, went out of business because of the quality of the "news" they started to print and not because they were an obsolete technology.

    So who and what is behind this strategy of pushing drugs that make people psychotic into the water stream via so many "prescriptions", then brainwashing the damaged brains with mental abuse?

    Something is SO WRONG with this picture, that a NORMAL human mind can't grasp it, right? All we find ourselves saying is wtf...?!

    THIS is all the post WWII generation can come up with as a way to "make money"?

    Mass induced psychosis? THAT's their "political" playbook...?

    Friday night, right before boarding plane delayed 2 hours, very crowded local waiting area...."invisible worker" sat down next to me for his official 5 minute break...I asked him why TV was on cable fox news...he asked, "you want change...?"

    How about ABC "Dancing With the Stars"....? He walked up and changed the channel...half the waitig room settled in to peacefully watch the competition - I was amazed how the whole mood of the place much for the "theory" that people need to throw a virgin into the volcano or crucify the most innocent blood... which is what "religionists" still push along with the drugs.

    Talk about your dark under bellies...and the ROOT cause of today's insanity.

    "Religion"....go figure :-)

    These 'right-wing' 'shock-jocks' are not the true face of Conservative-ism at all. They are just sad frightened people who are full of loathing and fear for our changing world. They fear the 'collapse' of white, Christian, male dominance. This is only thing I derive from their rants and vile speeches.
    I always thought the USA was built on the principle of fairness, freedom and the right to hold whatever views you wished. That someone disagrees with your view point is not, as far as I am aware, an act the brings retribution or insult or even cowardly suggestions of violence to those others.
    The use of hyperbole and invective within the discourses only serves to highlight their own fears and the definitive lack of tolerance that they use to thrive. If it were not for the liberal, in the true sense of the word, attitude of the USA, these people would have no where to go.
    To invoke the use of the Christian message in their statements decries the true meaning of Christianity.
    To deny or ridicule the right of someone to act, believe or render an opinion on any subject is an anti-American sentiment usually only reserved for the Orwellian or Huxley's Brave New World. If you wish to live in a state that denies you and your opponents the right to say what they have to say, then the place of these people is surely in as as much peril as the erroneously labeled liberal movement they so venomously despise.
    People are people and it matters not one jot what they hold dear, what they believe nor what their social advantage is, they are people and should be treated with the respect, tolerance and understanding that we all expect others' to treat ourselves with.
    This is, unfortunately, something that so many people forget, whilst shouting about their own need for it.

    I cried after I saw this report. I am very, very afraid. We have so many seniors and children who need help everyday, why can't these wingnuts use their forum to promote helping them and taking care of them. Provide us with ways we can supplement our health, since they also seem to think there is nothing wrong with our health care system. Boycott their sponsors. We need to hit them in the pocketbook before any of this stops. So sad. Yelling, promoting hate and killing. What happened to America?

    If "you are what you eat", then you also have to consider the probability that you internalize and integrate what you read and listen to.

    Mr. Moyers:

    Tonight I watched the piece on conservative talk show hosts, writers, and radio announcers who denounce everything "liberal." One of the discussion points concerned whether this speech could be shown to influence individuals to act out their hate.

    That people act out what is suggested to them through the media is obvious every day. Our entire market economy is based on having advertising "work" by sending a targeted message to the public repeatedly until a significant subset believes the message and buys the product. In a horrific scenario, this tactic is exactly what Hitler and his entourage used against the Jews.

    The famous experiment by Stanly Milgram of Yale was designed to investigate the behavior of “followers” of Hitler during the Holocaust. Milgram summarized the experiment in his 1974 article, "The Perils of Obedience", writing:
    The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation. Milgram, Stanley (1963). "Behavioral Study of Obedience". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67: 371–378. (Wikipedia)

    What the conservative media personalities who were discussed on the show are engaging in is hate speech. For those people who see them as speaking with “authority” (even more easily accomplished when they are delivering similar messages), it is a powerful incentive to act in accordance with that authority.

    Hate speech is designed to victimize a population in the same or another country by rendering them inhuman and dangerous, and by doing so, remove any moral boundaries to attacking them. While each of us is free to speak our minds in a democracy, to put no limits on hate speech in mass media is a threat to a democratic country, which is designed to encourage disparate populations and ideologies to live in tolerance and prosper together. Instead, the country becomes a body attacking itself. Hate speech is in direct conflict with our democratic ideals.

    The fairness doctrine was likely an attempt by the FCC to put a safeguard in place by those much closer to the Holocaust who had fresh memories of the destruction generated by “authority” speech on a mass scale. However, whether or not we choose a return to the fairness doctrine, hate speech must be banned on public airwaves. It is to our peril that we forget the lessons of history and the power of the media.

    Janis I. Amberson, Ph.D. (former experimental psychologist)

    Two terrific shows again. I think you're getting better and better. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for coming out of retirement and back into the fray.

    It might be helpful to explain to folks who think your show is biased that the insurance and drug companies WON'T come out and do any public interviews like this. They had an opportunity to do so during "our" congressional hearings led by Baucus, and chose instead to convince "our" legislators to exclude any and all single-payer proponents from any and all discussions. The highly-paid lobbyists from these two powerful industries effectively controlled that discussion, disallowing the American people from being able to choose, from ALL options, how "our" health-care reform moves forward.

    I would love to hear their side of the health-care debate, placed in a debate/rebuttal context, open to the public, not in closed sessions, where they must answer our concerns about their message, rather than have American citizens simply be coerced to adopt the health-reform plans proffered by these two industries. It'll be a cold day in you-know-where before that ever happens.

    As far as your show on right-wing hate is concerned, I would point out to those who see that show as unfair that the lunatic right is not representative of sensible conservatives in this country, any more than people like Ted Kazinsky are representative of sensible liberals in this country. You never made that assertion in your show, and it's interesting how some have jumped right over that river and assumed that you have. Why do people do that? Now THERE is an interesting show. There's increasing talk these days about the triggers in our society for unproductive mass behaviors, like overeating, driving like a mad person, buying all kinds of things we don't need while spiraling ourselves into debt, scapegoating, etc. How about a show featuring a couple of cutting-edge psychologists in this new area of interest?

    I tend to avoid listening to people who talk about wanting to murder someone.

    "GLENN BECK:I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out of him. Is this wrong?"

    Statements like this are enjoyable entertainment? Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I wouldn't listen to anyone who made comments like that whatever side of the political spectrum.

    I get my news from many sources including FOX News. In case you missed it, I mentioned two PBS shows I watched recently. Where is it a hardcore journalist like yourself gets her information?

    You all really do hate the "right", and I would to if they were really as portrayed by Bill Moyers. Are you trying to say Bill is not of a particular slant and does not have an agenda? Most of what I see here is hate speach but you really have no idea about the PEOPLE you hate, only what you have been told to hate. You should really look at some of the "left wing" stuff thats out there, every bit a vial as the protrayal presented on this show. You all want to pretend it's not there and only exists on the "right". I'm sure from your comments that some of you don't know it's there, but i suspect the majority not only know it, but contribute greatly to them and the "cause" on every chance. Lets all keep silent about this, OK? This is what you call fairness of couse, I can see that. Everyone who is not a liberal is a radical right winger and needs to be silenced. What I saw made me very angry but not in the way it was intended, I'm sure.

    You listen to FOX news? This FOX news?

    Yet Another Fake News Epidemic

    As a result of "hospitals' desperate need to compete for lucrative lines of business" and "TV's hunger for cheap and easy stories," healthcare companies are increasingly getting into the (fake) news business. Sometimes "the hospitals pay for airtime"; sometimes "they don't but still provide expertise and story ideas" -- or prepackaged video news releases. "Viewers who think they are getting news are really getting a form of advertising," reports Trudy Lieberman. One healthcare company, Cleveland Clinic, "sends out prepackaged stories" every day, including to "Fox News Edge, a service for Fox affiliates that in turn distributes the pieces to 140 Fox stations." And, "since TV news operations are finding that they can get this kind of health 'news' supplied to them -- and might even make money on the deal -- they are tempted not to invest in a legitimate health reporter who would ask harder questions and look at the larger picture." Not surprisingly, Lieberman finds that "too often the full nature of the arrangements is not disclosed, or inadequately disclosed."

    Just checkin' again. You did say you listen to FOX news? Aw-right...

    I watched your program on Friday evening concerning Healthcare with the two ladies. I watched one other PBS program almost a month ago with two doctors also concerning healthcare. The thing that struck me instantly in both cases is that you had no desire to tell both sides of the issue...NONE. This is PBS and it should not only be controlled by liberal points of view. PBS takes taxpayer money from ALL Americans for funding. Well it isn't really ALL Americans, is it now? I am a former "Blue Dog Democrat" that now listens to FOX News. I decided the Democratic Party has grown far to liberal for me. I have actually found that FOX is more willing to have guests with opposing points of view. They also refer you to specific legislation, data, or surveys. I enjoy listening to Alan Combs, Greta V., and Juan Williams just as much as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. That is how Americans can get the facts and make decisions. They do this even though most anchors are Republicans and/or Conservatives. Maybe PBS will decide to do more of the same.

    You can't possibly compare the effects of rhetoric spewed by the right wing to those by Bill Maher and comapny. Most times their irreverent humor is truth in jest. They yearn for more equality and tolearance and if that means to crack awful jokes at the expense of the intolerant and bigoted that is well and good. About a month ago I was speaking to a lady who is a strong right wing supporter and we were having a conversation about the Somali pirates. I explained to her that the poverty and lack of a cohesive government fueled the pirate activity. Her remedy for the situation there was to "just nuke the whole country and its insects to save America all its trouble." You will never hear such moronic rhetoric from even radical liberals.

    In order to form a more perfect union, we the people need to form a more perfect system of representation.

    Perfect representation demands we give everyone an equal voice and not pursue a louder voice than others. Not to do so is unconstitutional and impolite.

    Here are some examples of imperfect representation:
    • donating money to promote a viewpoint suppresses the relatively poor;
    • writing letters to promote a viewpoint suppresses the lazy and the untalented;
    • political activism suppresses the lazy and the meek;
    • political organizations suppress the unorganized and the unpopular.

    The poor and the lazy might give us frugality, conservation and free time; the untalented might give us simplification and gratefulness; the meek might give us civility; the unorganized might give us random representation; the unpopular might give us revelations.

    If a nation does not command the poor, the lazy, the meek, the untalented, the unorganized and the unpopular be given an equal voice to the rich, the ambitious, the loud, the talented, the organized and the popular, we inherit an inconsiderate, self-righteous, disrespectful, disrespected, rebellious and a less perfect union.

    If compelled to be loud, champion giving turns randomly until we have civility with a more perfect system of representation. Adding branches of representatives filled with people randomly would likely inform and entertain while not overthrowing familiarity with less perfect systems of representation.

    The kind of vitriolic hatemongering spewed out by these rightist pundists and shock jocks to mass audiences are not so much in the tradition of Ben Franklin, Edward R. Murrow, or even William F. Buckley, but in line with such as Julius Streicher, the Nazi propagandist whose antisemitic and xenophobic outbursts, with few word changes, have a similar ring to our more contemporary ranters. For his efforts, he was tried and executed for Crimes Against Humanity - the Nuremburg Tribunal cited his relentless incitements to murder and extermination of millions of Jews. Hopefully, we will not get to the point where Streicher's modern day counterparts will have to answer for the deaths of millions, but, in the meantime, they should be, at least, regarded as beyond the pale of civilized political discourse and not upheld as models of press freedom.

    Sorry, I was unclear below. Whatever it's advantages, "low growth" would not seem to me to be a dimension to shoot for in connection with alternative energy technology. Of course, "labor intensive" would be.

    "...the ones on the left that seem to have the most mass influence tend to be entertainers and commedians. They deserve the same scrutiny." Tyler

    Oh yes, they get the scrutiny...but far more. They get it in "editorializing." Compare right wing talk show editorialzing air time to that of the liberal persuasion. You're wrong, Tyler. They do have the monopoly. The liberal competition equals a bunch of side-ops at flea markets.

    elizabeth and lea are so right. It's the "clinical" thing I think they don't get; notice no attempt here to refute elizabeth's naming of this category. I'd almost be willing to spend time with a group dedicated to getting some of these cats permanenently removed from broadcasting...iow tried for inciting violence against individuals. But each day I must ask myself, what does this particular trail to fascism (the one covered by The Journal 7/24 in this case) say to me re my overall activism time budget? elizabeth says "all of us" (and she is right), but my personal take is that shock doctrine hurts all of us in the sense of the world. The Bush tax cuts hurt the majority of Americans (and ultimately will impact the quality of life even for those not effected at inception). HMO lobbying hurts 40,000,000 Americans. Lobbying that serves to enable the same level of carbon dioxide emission will ultimately hurt all of us in the world. "Protecting markets" (tantamount to shock doctrine) hurts everyone in the world who didn't benefit from the Bush tax cuts, and recruits enemies of the U.S.

    To attempt to stop or slow down shock doctrine is a thorny endeavor for us little members of the polity. Getting to the heart of it, however unfortunate it may seem, involves thrashing out economic issues...which might on occasion return us, for instance, to the things Michael considers economic truths (don't know the host's position on this, Michael, but I vote you go ahead and link your blog; please link specific article). But Michael, here's the deal with me: I work. Truth be known, I don't have time to go to your blog every other time you post. If you can, give me your arguments here and please boil'em down.

    Michael, what Boaz says about Naomi Klein not naming her accuser (slinking away from fair debate) is just projection stemming from the right's own unwavering allegiance to a veritable convention hall of slinkers, out of which they never emerge. There are people who could debate O'Reilly, and I'm not talking Colmes sttting/standing over there on O'Reilly's turf (Colmes quit that gig). I wouldn't mind hearing such debate. Let all extremist partisan wind bags like Limbaugh be required to debate an opposing viewpoint. If they spend 80% of their time dissing Democrats they must also step up to the plate on a dedicated debate channel for X amount of time per week and debate the opposition, otherwise get gone. For obviously what we have now is biased grandstanding all day and night on behalf of one side only. Is this the fairness doctrine? Yes? Well then ok, bring it the heck back! This current situation does not constitute freedom of speech. What it constitutes is propaganda facilitated by Texas pols/money pushing free speech aside.

    Warning: At first glance what's below in this post may appear to be off topic (but the nuts and bolts of economics is what right wing and even liberal talk hosts refuse to make interesting).

    I don't think you should call Klein's tome a "doorstopper," Michael. Even if one never gets past the chapter on
    the good doctor (Chap 1), that alone should make it worth keeping on the shelf. Of course I realize, as elizabeth has implied, psychological categories seem to be a non-subject for defenders of shlock radio.

    From Michael's Cato link...

    "For example, Klein alleges that the Tiananmen Square crackdown was intended to crush opposition to pro-market reforms, when in fact it caused liberalization to stall for years."

    Well, I see that below that nice logo is nothing but bull. I'm not gonna waste my time trying to guess what I think your definition or Boaz's definition of "liberalization" is. Suffice it to say: with the Ayn Rand notion of "liberalization" in mind...China has been liberalizing full bore since the 70s and nothing on God's green and/or parched earth has stopped them one iota for one nanosecond.

    The only evidence of any slowdown is recent, not from the days of Tiananmen...

    "You know, when we have France, and we have the developing world, and China and India, telling the United States that what we're negotiating on, which is the Waxman-Markey Bill, is not strong enough, that means that we're not leading the world. We're still following behind." Erich Pica (see 7/17 Journal transcript)

    "Any further thoughts on FRB?"

    Yes, a few. I am thinking back to my Hazel Henderson reading. I am thinking about her phrase [I think it was her phrase but it may have Galbraith Jr's too]..."low growth." Consider all the construction the way of which was facilitated by corruption in NJ (as revealed in the recent FBI sting). It was constr that will not benefit the people, the voters. The need for it, the use of it, and/or the environmental least one of these is obviously in question. But we know that this is the way things go on all over the place. Many, many resources are going to things non-productive, inappropriate. This it seems to me backs up somewhat the imperative for low-growth. At least until such time as we figure out what beneficial growth constitutes. But as a matter of policy it seems to me "low growth" coupled with "labor intensiveness" may have bearing on how banks would end up investing their deposits [nowadays this phrase would obviously not apply to the alternative energy sector]. Of course, it could be that objectivists will never back off on "growth," and will never give a care about "labor intensiveness." Nevertheless, if our side does, then what you say about how a bank should be capitalized might have bearing for our approach, that is...where the deposits are invested may need a lot more thought and planning.

    PS I have one question. One waits a long time to talk to Limbaugh. During that time does Limbaugh get a profile of the caller's politics derived from caller-ID?

    I must have missed the part where Coulter, Savage, Limbaugh, Boortz, Beck, O'Reilly, and company declared themselves comedians rather than news commentators...

    That said, I don't find Bernhardt's, Letterman's, or Maher's comments amusing either.

    The violence which the right wingers are winking and nodding at, is not a joke. I'm old enough to remember the last presidential assassination in this country. It was horrible. I don't think we want to go the Ruwanda/Bosnia route either. Having read some old, rare books of accounts of our own Civil War era murder and massacres that were local and therefore pretty much forgotten or unknown by the general public, if you think it can't happen here, you're wrong because it already has happened and it can happen again.

    Posters like Jessica, Phyl, and owldog who attempt to deflect, excuse, or otherwise smooth over and ignore the statements of Beck, Savage, Coulter, etc. are definite cause for concern.

    Loved the episode until you opposed reinstating the "Fairness Doctrine." While I agree we cannot limit freedom of speech, there has to be some sort of regulation against lies and slander; especially the vitriol being evoked today. The visual charade pranced beyond our conscious on radio, FOX, CNN, MSNBC being called journalism is 80% editorial, 1% news, and 19% advertising. So when you say, "The Doctrine is a throwback to a time when there were a lot fewer ways to hear news and opinion than there are in today's universe of websites, blogs, and tweets." all I hear is MORE reason for it. There is so much disinformation out there that when you have reputable news agencies: PBS, NPR, Democracy Now!, who uphold those standards at a far lower budget, competing against the major networks (General Electric, Time Warner, News Corp.) who use slander intentionally to bump up ratings, why not impose fairness? I think news was better before 1987, don't you?

    Mr. Moyers and his informed listeners and bloggers,

    No discussion of this topic of is complete without the inclusion of some of the viceral rhetoric spewed by some folks left of the centerline.

    I recall a stand up comedy bit by New Yorker Sandra Burnhardt calling for the gang rape of a female Vice Presidential Candidate.

    I also recall the politically incorrect Bill Maher commenting that He was sorry that the assasination attempt on our Vice President wasn't successful.

    Dave Lettermans attempt at humor with his bit about the teenage daughter of a former Vice Presidential Candidate being Knocked Up by Baseball Star Alex Rodriguez.

    There are many other examples of this type of speech from left leaning public figures.

    While the most influential public figures on right tend to be these talkshow hosts; the ones on the left that seem to have the most mass influence tend to be entertainers and commedians. They deserve the same scrutiny.

    My main point is that the right leaning radio talk shows don't have a monopoly on this type of hateful rhetoric and any news commentary that claims to cover the subject but leaves out one side's contributions isn't being honest.

    Pointing fingers and blaming a radio host for someone's murderous behavior is ridiculous. The man that goes into a church and opens fire is CLEARLY mentally unstable.

    Somehow, tens of millions... let me repeat that... TENS of MILLIONS of Americans are able to listen to Boortz, Hannity, and Savage and not pick up a gun and shoot people.

    If you want a discussion about something substantive, address the issues and topics that these guys bring up. Who knows, you just might learn something.

    It will never change. We are an irresponsible and destructive race.

    I'm not sure I understand why it is so hard to deal with this issue. We have laws against libel, slander, defamation, and obscenity. To me, speech that is deliberately intended to inflame or defame, or speech that is ad hominem should be illegal. Period. We arrest people when they threaten important officials. We even put people on trial when they threaten individuals. Why is it different when they speak threatening language on the radio or TV - especially when they direct it at specific individuals? If we weren't overwhelmed by corporations in Washington twisting our representatives in their pursuit of the Almighty Dollar, someone might have the good sense to take a breath and say, gee, do you really think Michael Savage's and Bill O'Reilly's specific and direct and ABUSIVE ad hominem attacks on SPECIFIC individuals is what Madison and Mason and the other founders had in mind when they wrote and passed the Bill of Rights? To let any single man or woman use his or her speech to verbally ABUSE other people for MONEY? No, that's why it's LIBELOUS. (In the case of Ann Coulter, and some of these others, Libel AND Slander. They are not defaming public figures here, we're not talking about Absence of Malice. They're defaming ALL OF US.)

    We don't let people commit physical battery. Why do we let them commit verbal battery against individuals in front of an ENTIRE NATION? Why can't we wrap our heads around the difference between dissent for the purposes of responsible debate (which I endorse wholeheartedly), and people who would be diagnosed CLINICALLY as abusive individuals: pathological egomaniacs who are narcissistic, controlling, and pathologically so insecure they feel they must go to the extreme of wanting to dominate others and make them conform to his or her way of life? They then browbeat whomever is closest and most vulnerable into submission, be it verbally or physically, and they only associate with those who agree with them. This is cult thinking, "my truth is the only truth." IT'S ABUSE! This is the TEXTBOOK case of the domestic abuser, and some disc jockeys in Rwanda were recognized similarly and tried and convicted for war crimes for helping to incite the murder of almost a million people. Why can we not see that this is the classic abuser profile? I really don't think the framers intended for battery - physical or emotional - to be protected by the Constitution. (And some of those newspapers back then were pretty bawdy, hence Adams' obsession with sedition.) And make no mistake about it, these people are abusing all of us - not just the borderline cases that cross the line and do unspeakable acts (for which the act-or is responsible, of course), but also every single one of us? I listened to the piece, and the things being said and thought, these people speak like the batterer I divorced after being beaten down for years both verbally (in the same manner as these people in your piece) and physically. Why should we allow this kind of abuse? It is destroying ALL of us! It literally physically hurts me to listen to this (which is why I generally don't, but couldn't avoid it in your piece), and I suspect I'm aware of my feelings about it because of my past experience. But I'm no different from anyone else, I have to believe it hurts anyone who hears it, whether they know it or not. Are we so desensitized that we cannot see that it crosses the line (WAAAY OVER THE LINE) into CLINICAL ABUSIVE behavior, pure and simple? When it's abuse, it's supposed to be illegal. When it fits the textbook for abuse it should be SHUT DOWN. PERIOD. THIS IS NOT HARD. AND IT IS WRONG. THIS IS ***NOT*** PROTECTED SPEECH BECAUSE IT IS ABUSE. It is also obscene, in my opinion, which is also unprotected speech, but that could be argued as a matter of opinion. But as a matter of science, this is textbook. The clinical evidence is in, and there's even legal precedent, and it's time for us to use it.

    I think it should be illegal to slander people and not be required to bring proofs.
    The right came about because the military complex is a huge money making machine with many interested parties in government, who are lining their pockets.
    In the papers related to the declaration of Independence and letters from the founders it is clear we were not to do what the CIA did and our government did by getting involved in other nations business. Face it the mentality of the right is autocratic,lacks in discernment and arrogant.
    They are not the force for good neither in this country or around the world. Money and power to make money is what drives them, they can care less about you and me.They are incapable of reasoned discourse and hide their true goals behind the need to defend the country, or leave people free to do what they choose...etc.

    They have distorted the spirit of the founders so much it is impossible to recognize it.
    They are the closest thing to fascism I have ever seen. Read the definition of fascism: A movement with no manifesto, they make one up as they go...
    Bush went as far as pushing a law to use the military if needed and infringe on the sovereignty of the states.
    When it was realized what had been done it was repealed but not without him, Bush , writing in that he did not have to abide by it if he thought it was necessary.
    The right is inciting people with books, speeches and advertisement. They are the most dangerous party we have ever had.
    Hiding under the christian mantle they continue to conspire against this country and hope to gain absolute power.They have been able to destroy the people;s wealth at intervals to keep us under their thumbs.Their 1999 deregulation bill is the sole cause of this economic downturn. It gave powers to banks to turn mortgages in to investments and deal with insurance and investments with no oversight and no punishment. They have gallantly ruined millions by taking their pensions, savings and pension plans.They were supposed be in charge to protect people's interest and failed. Their deficit are legendary, every single year they have been in power in congress and the white house.
    Research fascism and you find the right wing all over it.
    Washington warned about this and Jefferson warned about the banks and the large corporation that will grow around them.
    That will bring us to poverty and loss of freedom.Sounds familiar?
    I say they need to go and we need to be on guard because they are as ruthless as the devil.

    David H,

    Don't tell me you were taken by Naomi Klein's best-selling doorstopper. Johan Norberg has torn her a new one - twice.

    Any further thoughts on FRB? You can see my definitive critique of it on my blog.

    The anger and hatred that fills these right-wing radio ideologues reminded me of W.B. Yeats's lines in his poem "A Prayer for my Daughter." Yeats lived through the Irish Civil War and knew from experience that "to be choked by hate may well be of all evil chances chief." There will always be maliciously angry people, but shame on the radio stations that broadcast them!

    My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
    The sort of beauty that I have approved,
    Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
    Yet knows that to be choked with hate
    May well be of all evil chances chief.
    If there’s no hatred in a mind
    Assault and battery of the wind
    Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

    One possible reason for the popularity of right wing hate radio might be found in a movie by another shock jock of a different kind - Howard Stern's 'Private Parts'.

    There was a scene where a researcher tells the radio station that the average Stern listener listens for an hour and twenty minutes. The most common reason why was that they wanted to see what he would say next.

    Then the researcher says the average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours. The most common reason why was that they wanted to see what he would say next.

    Sometimes logical analysis explains less than emotional sensationalism.

    Rush Lumbah:

    What a name?. Can anybody publish the names of the Companies that sponsor Lumbah.

    Remember Stien: (Talk Radio)

    who was fined for fowl and demeaning language, and sent packing and taken of the radio circuit. Well, the same should be done, with those who spew hate. DRAW THE LINE!!.

    Mr. Moyers
    I truly hope you live and work for a very long time. We would be less a country if you did not continually remind us of our spectrum of humanity, and America is a fraction of its composition.
    Thank You!

    It is becoming rather frightening around here when more and more waiting rooms have a TV with Fox News running. When I asked at two of these places to be put on the no side to TV in waiting rooms, one receptionist jumped up and started screaming at me. In another, three chairs have been placed in a row in front of their Fox TV. These are nice people but I fear for my safety and ability to obtain medical service.

    Insightful, Tippy and Richard.

    Jeffrey, sounds like Schopenhauer to me. I'd update that with Girard's take. The big shots look at us like...don't you know there aren't as many slots/opportunities to allow your desires to become our desires...anymore? On top of that dilemma we say...oh, shoot, what was cool used to be something folks all agreed on (what earned one ones place in the meritocracy). Now, as Jeffrey says ISMW...the more reviews available the more that knowledge and the expressions of that knowledge seem to gain in importance...seem to disagree with one another more and more as they multiply as well (over which celeb danced best and why..important stuff). Now...we both have Google but we don't agree on the economic approach our Googles' citations actually support as best. A lot of us have the same stuff, but we interpret the direction of legislation as...on the one hand threatening our stuff...or on the other hand protecting it. Our society is split down the middle thusly re the conservative angle and the liberal angle on almost every bill in Congress.

    Get right down to it...both sides are vying to be recognized as possessing the most reliable knowledge. Knowledge is the thing...or wisdom. The tree of the knowledge. For the "abundant life" is a reward, and grants both stuff and...wisdom. Ah, but the truth is we no longer go to the Great Spirit for an opinion (cause we have the wisdom which was a gift!). We fight over who's got the knowledge. Gotta be an expert. Gotta write a book. If you don't, you flip burgers.

    Thank God it gets a little more concrete. You don't have the knowledge, so you should work harder...they say. We
    say: they don't lift a finger, so they can help a little more with single-payer. If there is no mechanism to recognize what we say, then, guess what? We're gonna work harder, and some of the hard workers'll end up tote'n guns (not me but some will). Have you been in the neighborhood of the guns? I have. Yes, ultimately, that's what happens when there's no mechanism. Mandella went to prison because he believed in ones right to have a voice in promoting an alternative. Granted, the place is still a mess, but how do we know eliminating apartheid couldn't actually have yielded something better in a number of alternative scenarios?

    The parable of the lost sheep is extremely important, but as a citizen I go with a triage approach...doing the most good where the opportunity's available. And even though Christ wouldn't have...I confess...I'll call the police.

    Christ did not preach: Work for theocracy. The anti-Tillerites are arbitrarily fixated on one theocratic abortions. In Leviticus the penalty for abortion is a fine only.

    Governments and the laws of lands possess tremendous inertia, and it's not gonna disappear cause you think the millenium is at hand. Even if I thought Roe v. Wade was bad, I wouldn't waste time on trying to overturn it. Why? Why is because the edge of endorsement on the part of voters might be small, but it's not gonna change. Why not work on prohibiting the implementation of
    "shock doctrine" instead
    whereby you can: 1)Help more humans, 2)Get consensus more readily, and 3)Slow down the recruitment of US enemies? Naa...yall are superhuman; you're gonna start your theocracy arbitrarily with an abortion ban.....cause it suits you???

    "Klein [Naomi] introduces two of her main themes.

    1. That practitioners of the shock doctrine tend to seek a blank slate on which to create their ideal free market economies, which inevitably requires a usually violent destruction of existing economic order.

    2. The similarities between economic shock doctrine and the original shock therapy - a psychiatric technique where electric shocks were applied to mentally ill patients."

    I told ya before, Atlas is hold'n up nothin.

    I wholeheartedly believe that the American people can quickly stop the right wing hate on the airwaves by collectively engaging in one simple action: Turn off the offending radio/television programs. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to the stations that carry such programs is money. No audience means no advertisers which means no money. Take back civility in America. Stop listening!

    Regarding the dangers and tragic consequences posed by hate speech from right-wing radio and TV hosts in America, one of the strongest defenders of the First Amendment, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, wrote in 1919: "The most stringent protection of free speech does not justify shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater and causing a panic. It does not protect the use of fighting words that may have all the effect of force." If we do not recognize that some forms of hate speech such as what your program so throroughly documented are so inherently dangerous they must be prohibited from the realm of public discourse, then our cherished free and democratic America will one day cease to exist, to ultimately be replaced by ideologically separate, extremist enclaves bearing no semblance to the "land of the free and the home of the brave." Let us remember the childhood lessons from our parents and grandparents who once spanked children who used the kind of language in public we hear from the right-wing ideologues and hate-talkers! WAKE UP, AMERICA, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

    I am a Canadian and I would like to share some facts about our own economy and our experience with universal health care. We have:

    - 100% coverage at 10% of GDP
    - the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada as having the best banking system in the world
    - not one Canadian bank has needed a government bailout
    - we are the only G7 country to pay down its debt
    - we posted 11 consecutive budget surpluses
    - this year we posted our first budget deficit (after 11 years of budget surpluses)
    - the forecast is a $50 billion deficit (population 33 million people)

    While a majority of Americans consider their health care system broken. Moreover the crisis in the financial system is estimated to cost US taxpayers $12.5 trillion over the next decade.

    In the province where I live (British Columbia) a family of three or more pays $108 a month in medical premiums. This covers every major and minor illness, injury or need. For example: birth, premature birth, pediatric care, primary care, specialists, hospital care, vaccinations, cancer, stroke, dialysis, diabetes, organ transplant, HIV/Aids, broken limbs, spinal chord injury, catastrophic injuries, palliative care. You name it.

    In addition, many corporations (public and private) will top this up with benefits including:

    - paying the insurance premium
    - providing dental, vision and prescription benefits extended to dependents
    - life and injury insurance
    - paid sick days, extended maternity leave, bereavement days, extended sick leave

    In Metro Vancouver (where I live) Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Disney Pixar have located large operations. While rural communities in my province have suffered from the downturn in the forest sector.

    Universal health care supports Canadian business operations and makes them more profitable and competitive. Thus, one of the incentives to locate in Canada. For those Canadians who have lost their jobs during this recession they and their children have the social safety net of universal health care.

    I agree with experts, like Dr. Michael Rachlis, who contend the Canadian health care system (after 50 years) can be improved by restructuring, and without the need for "large infusions" of private or public capital.

    Rachlis' option being community-based health care, with family doctors and specialists, working as a team out of one clinic. I believe this approach received "high marks" in Dr. Atul Gawande's now-famous article in the New Yorker.

    Oldest schtick in the book - "Divide and conquer".

    Opportunism is an "x" lubricant factor in the machine of society. Like it or not, rabble rousing is how "divide and conquer" works.

    Back when the "health care system" in the USA made provisions for housing the epileptics, schizophrenics, psychotics and "extreme" anti-socials, the numbers of how many truly mentally ill people, percentage-wise, there was in USA society was worrisome.

    Today, economoic opportunism has been "mamaging" the mentally ill, mostly through television.

    In a conversation about what to do about "grandfathering" an observatory that the town's high school students had erected with the permission of the farmer who owned the land now that the farmer passed on and deeded that piece of property over to the state as a permanent no-develop zone, I entered in a third option into the two opposing viewpoints, and was called "nazi" by one side and "liberal" by the other. Sigh.

    I worked it from the air-head angle, and managed to get the group refreshed through humor - what the heck is a "liberal nazi"? After 10 minutes of guffawing, we had the solution to our problem. NORMAL minds are competant in managing the material world in a way that not only protects and maintains things like observatories built by high schoolers with the "knowledge" base present in the community culled from the school principle on up to the adroit tool and die factory owner, but also inw what SHOULD be on TV if that's the cheapest way to manage the mentally ill.

    One part of a NORMAL person is always fully present in the present when out in the public square. At a lonesome pit stop on a stretch of highway across the Arizona desert, a trucker walked in, looked around to see a gaggle of children, and went off on some kind of rant about "immigrants". I found the situation "scary". Since I was the only one in the store who understood HIS English, I asked him, "Been listening to talk radio too long?" His eyes came back into focus ON ME in the moment....I think I live too dangerously in this world where the lunatics have caged in the normals through the "air waves".

    Pantomime is a lost art form and probably too dangerous in today's world. It did serve as a form of political satire the last time massive theft of other people's labor was commited in the USA.

    Divide and conquer. Rabble rouse the crazies...definitely NOT the kind of "society" the warriors who came back home from WWII set up, is it?

    We may not be able to do anything about the hate that comes out of the mouths of conservative talk show hosts now.But some day they will have to stand in front of their maker and explain themselves. Only then will they get what they deserve I hope they can stand the heat

    When you really think about it, it isn't too surprising that so much hostility exists out there. An old saying goes "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives." Well, one can't also choose his or her fellow countrymen. In the past two hundred years the United States has become so mind-boggling pluralistic and with its supposed promise of "freedom of choice", finding even one mutual best interest or common agreement of values, among 300 million disparate people living on such a diverse landscape of over three thousand miles across, is even more difficult than finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Add to that the fact that we live in a society in which one increasingly has such little control over one’s life. We're dependent upon faceless others for supplying our food, making our laws, building and maintaining our social infrastructure, and dealing with other societies. We are supposed to put our trust and fate in the hands of people we will never come physically in contact with, even though in the past thirty-odd years, those people, the politicians, the businessmen, the journalists, the celebrities, the scientists, the soldiers,, have betrayed that trust far too many times.
    I long before arrived at the conclusion that the "American Experiment in Democracy" has proven itself to be a failure. I don’t think it's possible for the average human animal to have the psychological make-up, to develop the basic maturity, to deal with the constant change and the increasing enlargement of the world as it goes on today. While human beings are not innately "evil", they are innately egocentric, insecure and self-serving. Of course, there are exceptions, but so what? For most people the frustration and rage that results from the insecurity, the lack of control over so many aspects of their lives will, sooner or later, be visited violently on others, no matter how essentially "human" those others are.

    Phyl your wrong, but hey if this was a right wing forum you would be getting flamed into the ground right now.

    Your entitled to your opinion however warped, misguided and extremist that they are.

    However I take issue to having my intelligence insulted. Saying that Glen Beck is informative a bit of a stretch, Beck is many things. He's a bigot, misogynist, he hates gays, Mexicans and anyone who does not agree with his line of BS gets screamed at.

    If you find this kind garbage a dialogue I feel sorry for you.

    RE:Posted by: David H

    Didn't he imply that all the late term abortions were performed due to situations in which the mother's life would have been otherwise jeopardized?

    The "Transcript" icon is right up there to the right.

    "Dr. Tiller was one of the few physicians in the country performing 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."

    The great majority of surgical physicians would do whatever necessary to save a woman's life. Dr. Tiller was not the only one. As for his abortion being only under such conditions, there is no evidence in the statistics to support this. In fact, in the 2008 forms he submitted there wasn't even one termed "emergency." Neither in any case was death imminent.

    ... and to the question: "The patient would suffer substantial and irreversible
    impairment of a major bodily function if she were
    forced to continue the pregnancy." Tiller answered "yes" to only 192 out of 323 abortions performed at 22 weeks or more. Furthermore, he recorded none of the abortions were to prevent the death of the mother. In the 188 remainder of the abortions (where she would not suffer "irreversable impairment" Tiller stated on forms that the fetus was viable.

    Go figure. In any case, the false implication we continue to hear about Tiller from my liberal/progressive colleagues is that Tiller was some kind of hero guy, when all he did was perform abortions for whomever wanted them for whatever reasons, for those who could get the required reference signatures.

    This is false propaganda and does not help the cause of liberalism, or even the right to privacy.

    Great Wall of China scale sans the infamous labor methodology.

    Good one, ch.

    Anyone have any ideas for a novel entitled "Joe Six Pack Shrugged"?

    "Might I suggest that the rise of conservative talk radio and conservative think tanks is a response to the domination of academia by left-liberalism and Marxism. I myself can a few of my numbskull socialist-sympathizing professors..." Michael Labeit

    Due to the nature of my own studies I have a certain sympathy for people who wish we'd refashion society from tabula-rasa...up. Your college should have provided a forum in which your ideas could have been debated. It may be true that most liberal professors would not go to the trouble of endeavoring to convert objectivists. In my opinion it is true that most liberals in academe do not even know about the Young/Lasch critique of the puffed up meritocratic water-milieu in which they swim. But maybe further along.

    But the rise of the shocks is by no means a response such as you describe. It's opting for inflamatory-hate-demagoguery to prevail in the polity's collective mind re given issues. Pretty dagone smarmy IOW. Case in point...the raving of Glenn Beck. Once they're groomed (by whatever anamoly) these guys are sought out. That Media Matters link I gave below makes it plain Limbaugh is paid like the king of the world. His car's worth near half a million, and his jet's worth more.

    IMO we need a Roosevelt-scale mortgage refinancing program, a Roosevelt-scale CCC devoted to organic agronomy, a Roosevelt-scale home renovation CCC, and a Roosevelt-scale jump into alt-energy-tech manufacturing (no, more than that--make it a Great Wall of China scale jump). That's asking a lot. But you want what seems to me a thousand times more difficult--you want banks not to invest their deposits...for instance. If you haven't done so yet, I recommend you scroll down to my Zanny Minton Beddoes link and watch that NOW interview. Have you? If your camp demands secession and keeps killing doctors, it's not gonna do anything but bring on fascism, more hate-babble, and the war of all against all like we've never experienced it. Listen to what Beddoes sez about it being a "global system." It's not Atlas who's holding anything up--it's shock doctrine jack'n up water bills in Bolivia 400%! Yeah boy, gov makes way for "private." You should love it. It's us that should desire secession from that system, not you. But I don't demand that. In the political realm I opt instead for piecemeal change, triage, a utilitarian approach. And it seems to me that if you'd recognize the true inertia of the global system you'd do the same, and give up on this utopia-built-atop-tabula-rasa stuff.

    "Please note, Bill, this otherwise marvelous piece was tarnished by your erroneously stating 'all Tiller's procedures were to save women's lives.'" owldog

    Didn't he imply that all the late term abortions were performed due to situations in which the mother's life would have been otherwise jeopardized?

    The "Transcript" icon is right up there to the right.

    Life on earth is not black and white. Some defensive right-thinking commentors here seem to think Moyers and this show are one-sided. I disagree.

    It's true that there is an extreme left. But while Weathermen, the SLA and others fizzled out from lack of interest, the violence from the extreme right is alive and well as much as ever.

    A fair viewing of this show does not lead to the conclusion that Moyers thinks everyone right of center is a violent extremist. He and his guests I'm sure are well aware of the difference between reasonable and extreme. While Moyers seems to be decidedly liberal, he's also ordained as a Baptist minister; and has agueably rubbed shoulders with more of differing views than most.

    But since right wing violent extremism is so much more prevelant, it is proportionally more of a problem. Glenn Beck contemplating murder out loud on the air is not the same as a Bill Buckley editorial.

    This show does not amount to an attack on reasonable conservative thought. It is though, a hard criticism of calls to violent action by right wing hate speech, whether they be direct or implied.

    As I say this, don't worry, I'm not going to kill you.

    This was a good expose. It would have been a great piece were it not for the portraying of Tiller as a saint. I don't see Tiller as the devil incarnate, but I certainly don't see him as martyred saint in the religion of "choice" either.

    He was just a rich doctor who somehow craved the opportunity (or felt a commitment) to do a nasty procedure thousands of other GOOD physicians did not have the scruples to do (hate to agree with O'Reilly) "for any reason."

    Please note, Bill, this otherwise marvelous piece was tarnished by your erroneously stating "all Tiller's procedures were to save women's lives."

    Check the statistics. In half of them Tiller admitted Dept. of Health forms stating both mother and fetus were in good health at the time of the abortion.

    Please read my other post below for details of how this is done.

    I realize we cannot outlaw the hate speech on which Bill commented so well last night--nor do we want to. But I sure do not want to pay for it. Is there any nonprofit organization for free, but fair speech identifying the advertisers for Savage, Rush, O'Riley et al? I would like a list so I do not inadvertantly support this behavior.

    I think dissent is so important to our Republic and I do consider myself a republican, not a democrat--in the root sense of those words. But when people castigate a person or a race or religion or a lifestyle by a label or call for its destruction, well, I just don't want to pay for it.

    If no one is yet providing such a list, anyone want to join in doing it?

    Bill, It amazes me what falls from a tree when you shake it. ChrisG , I to would like to know who these paymasters are? We listen to their soldiers spew the same right/[and]left bullshit rhetoric day in and day out but, to what end…..maybe division?
    As a independent I marvel at my right and left winged friends squinting as our country goes super nova-while drinking their favorite "shock" KoolAid.

    reply to Jan: "I've never seen so many so-called "christians" engaging in behavior that is distinctly and obviously in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus"

    Not long ago, I was at a meeting, at church no less, and we were kicking around ideas for having discussion events. One guy suggested a seminar based on some video called "22 minutes in hell".

    Trying to be diplomatic, I replied maybe we could work that in somewhere, but maybe we should try and lead with something more positively oriented to Jesus' message of love.

    So this guy leaps to his feet and starts ranting about evil folks derserving hell, Obama's the anti-christ, and everything else along with the kitchen sink.

    It was all the rest of us could do to talk him down, and re-focus on open hearts, open minds, and open doors.

    After seeing the show about 'shock jocks' and reading some of Media Matters this morning I really believe that we need to do one of two things. Make it illegal for someone to deliberately lie for monetary or political reasons or bring back the fairness doctrine. When people are constantly flooded with lies they tend to believe what they hear is true because they never hear it being rebutted. If there was a more balanced flow of information on both sides, there would be more chance for people to hear the truth. People tend not to believe that people they consider to be good people lie deliberately but they do. This would work for both sides.

    The eternally persistent Michael Labeit writes:
    ' "Chmoore writes,
    "Technically, the public owns the airwaves. But in reality, media conglomerates own the transmitters."

    Why do you suggest that "the public owns the airwaves?" '

    Geez Michael, you practically made my argument.

    If the public does not own the airwaves by way of their government, then I guess we can pretty much forget about a government by and for the people.

    It just happens to be law that the ability to broadcast is by way of a license which has to be renewed periodically, although there is a licensing fee. I really did not make this up, just ask the FCC, who manages these licenses.

    Used to be the number of licensees in any area were limited. But then come-with-the-cash members of congress passed the telecom act, widening the limits, and resulting in today's de facto plutocracy in broadcasting.

    You seem like a talkative fellow. Why don't you try and start broadcasting. Don't waste time shopping for a transmitter. Just let us all know how far you get with the licensing.

    So we just kick the dirt over it and pretend it isn't there? That never works.

    Alternatively, we pretend that the things that Olbermann, Franken, etc. are comparable to what O'Reilly, Coulter, Beck, Malkin, etc. say? ...Yeah, right. (sarcasm)

    Like I said. There isn't any point in trying to talk to the rightwingers.

    Dear Bill,

    Two wrongs will never make right, and your media attack on the right is no more correct than the rights' deadly attack on others.
    Shame on you all,


    In fact, I'll go further.

    I've never seen so many so-called "christians" engaging in behavior that is distinctly and obviously in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus as I have since Falwell and the religious right first began their modern crusade.

    Think about the fact that we now live in a world in which "christians" lie routinely and quietly support violence any time they think they can't be seen doing it(see the abortion issue and statements on this page).

    Think about the fact that we live in a world where "christians" support withholding medical care and food from those unable to afford it via their ongoing attacks on and attempts to destroy and eliminate the safety net for the poor, elderly, and disabled (said safety net being something that could be labeled as christian values in action).

    Think about the fact that we live in a world where "christians" value their money over other people's lives.

    Now. Go ahead and label this hate speech if you wish, but know that somewhere deep inside you know this is the truth.

    Civil discourse? I refer you to Phyl's reply below for providing a textbook example of the right's idea of civil discourse.

    I just caught part of this show and was amazed at the one sided comments by Mr Moyer. How can you ignore all the commentators on TV and their hate mongering and vile comments. Keith Olberman on MSNBC is a perfect example. What about Al Franken and his former talk show. The Huffington Post and others are outright bashers of all those who dare to not be an ultra liberal. If you believe that these conservative talk show hosts can cause people to go out an murder then I believe you need to then look at those who insight hate against our military. How about the man who shot two soldiers and killed one outside a recruitment center just a few months ago. Where is the outrage, who inflammed his mind? The media with all their negative slants on the soldiers defending us against Islamic terrorists who came here and killed thousands of innocent Americans. There are many excellent, intelligent conversations taking place on these talk radio shows. Too bad you do not take a fair and balanced sampling. I have been listening since the beginning of 2008 to these shows and have to say I have become better educated and informed by those like Bill Bennett, Michael Medved and Glenn Beck. They are informative and invite dialog. They make you think and not just be manipulated by the mainstream media. You can hear a conversation and decide. If you listen to some commentators on TV, who often act like they are just giving the news but in reality are giving their opinion and believe you are getting a fair view you are being fooled. At least you know that the radio talk shows are honestly talking to you from their view and you can decide. Stop the one sided bashing. Unfortunately the liberal media is everywhere and so to get a fair balance of information you need to seek other outlets like Fox News and the radio talk shows.

    I think this was a very good, moving piece, and definitely illustrates how hate language can result in violence. However, I am not so sure Dr. Tiller was the saint my progressive brothers and sisters have "canonized" him to be.

    Also, Bill, I have tremendous respect for you and love your show, but you may have unwittingly told a lie. I will explain below and you be the judge.

    Yes, Tiller may have performed abortion procedures for medical reasons, and he was the foremost authority on how to do that, but were all his abortions (or most, or even any) the only necessary way to save the women's life without killing a viable human being?

    We can argue whether a viable fetus it is a human being, or not (according to judgement in Roe v. wade, I think it was) and further argue that even if it is human, is it still the mother's moral and/or legal right to kill it, but these questions are for another debate.

    First of all, there are other ways to get a baby out. There is drug induced labor and Cesarian section. If this is true, then what Tiller did was not necessary to save the mothers' lives.

    Secondly, there is a loophole in the Kansas State law that allows for aborting healthy viable fetuses inside healthy women. It invokes a broadly defined "mental health" exception, and requires the opinion of two doctors. Now we all know that a woman seeking such an abortion can easily find doctors to sign such a referral, through the pro-abortion activist grapevine, whether such doctors sign for money, ideology, or truly believe in such necessities, is another debate.

    How many patients of Doctor Tiller's fell into this category? Kansas has a system of medical statistics on women who have abortion of viable fetuses. It requires that the attending physician performing the abortion fill out a form. Since Tiller was the only doctor performing late term abortions in Kansas, these statistics would be exclusively his, from forms filled out by him.

    According to these statistics, which can be found at this web site - - about half of the abortions performed by Tiller, both the mother and the fetus were in good health at the time of the abortion.

    Please look at these statistics and judge for yourself? Is this infanticide?

    Also, if this is correct, I believe you owe us a retraction, Bill. You said all of the abortions Tiller performed were to save the mother's life.

    Don't believe everything people tell you, including your truly. Do your own fact checking.

    Do right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and their rhetoric bear any responsibility for violent incidents like the shooting in Knoxville and various other places and incidents? Yes. Too many ultra-rigid, black or white world without any gray areas, true believers who think they need to act on those beliefs for it not too.

    I disagree with Mr. Jenkins but I also think he is not that unhappy when extremism is in the news because that's an opportunity for free publicity for himself and his cause as well.

    Civil discourse is a great idea but I have noticed that the right tends to "confuse" civil discourse with an opportunity to make the left capitulate and abandon their stance on issues. I've given up on the idea of civil discourse on issues with committed rightwingers. The two terms simply don't co-exist.

    While considered more leftist than not, I notice that both sides use the same techniques to induce fear in the listeners for whatever agenda is on the plate du jour. I find this offensive. Getting factual news...not opinion, not mere the hardest thing to achieve now. I can form my own opinions based on verifiable information.

    I find the notion of free speech works better when one hears what one wants to hear. Hypocritical? A resounding yes. While I think a lot of television and radio personalities on both sides are full of crap, I don't have to like, agree or care what is said, I must defend their right to say it.

    With an attitude of with me or against me, we have no true discourse. Politics has become a career. I believe the word career says it all. Polls and ratings keep everything going. It's so closely related.

    Watch the movie, Network, again. One could see it coming if one paid attention.

    I give my thanks to all those people who put this show together, it is nice to get the 'gears' turning in my dome. It is interesting, and so often self-destructive, that when people inevitably react to emotionally charged people such as O'Reilly, often their rhetoric can take on the same style. What appears to be a natural response to threat is at the same time the most harmful. Just like the human immune response to invasion, it provides us protection while at the same time killing a part of us. Conflict is the inevitable consequence to the 'us' against 'them' attitude which is so pervasive.

    There is a nearly endless supply of negative things to focus on and become dominated by. At least I do know that the negative is not all we have to offer the world, humans have such great potential to affect positive change in the world.

    Wow, great report. These men just don't get it, they don't get the power of suggestion. The Becks, the OReillys, the Savages, and so on, don't get the words of Socrates either, that, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

    They think they do, however, and perhaps this is why some find them so entertaining. But this is not a joke.

    One can only exercise the discipline of compassion for them. And compassion is a discipline to be practiced each and every day. It's the way of Love. On the other hand, what we have here on the "Shock Talk" airwaves, like it or not, are a bunch of souless, organic, opinion making machines.

    These are men who have no souls. Again, what makes them entertaining is that they "think" they do. Often the truth is more obvious to others than to ourselves, for again, if one might add, What profit a man if he gain the whole world (or a wide listenership) and lose his own soul?

    In this world, they will have it all, and for their entertainment, and coffers, and they will leave here with nothing. They will end as blobs of energy. Blobs. Blogged, not forgotten, having asked others to give up their own souls...and for what? for What purpose?

    One hasn't left one's url on this blog this evening, to see if it was easier to make unfounded statements about other through a glass darkly, rather than face to face. Yes, it's easier, and is what one is saying true?

    In any event, Yes, ye shall know them by their fruits, I think is the point of this really disturbing but great report on PBS tonight.

    And the World rolls on -- in the immortal words of John Gardner, a man who did depart with a soul -- from his book, "In the Suicide Mountains"

    Thank you

    Chmoore writes,

    "Technically, the public owns the airwaves. But in reality, media conglomerates own the transmitters."

    Why do you suggest that "the public owns the airwaves?"

    I would seriously counter the claim that "the public owns the airwaves." What does this mean? Public ownership is an abnormality as "the public" cannot own anything exclusively. The public is merely a group of individuals. To truly own something means to actually control its use, to be existentially able to dispose of it. Property cannot be collectively owned since such a framework involves an infinite amount of contradictions due to the fact that multiple people cannot lay equal claim to a given piece of property - multiple people cannot claim the right to exclusively control a scarce resource. My claim to control the airwaves conflicts with 300 million plus other Americans, as we are a part of the public. A piece of property cannot both be available to me and not available to me simultaneously and in the same respect.

    When we speak of "public ownership" we inevitably mean government ownership, for its individuals in government who determine how "public property" is used. The problem with government ownership isn't just that it tends to politicize business decisions - government ownership ruins rational economic calculation. If the government owns the airwaves, the broadcast infrastructure essentially, then it cannot properly gauge its costs of production. If the government owns the braodcast appartatus, the transmitters, radio stations, etc than those broadcast goods cannot be labeled with market prices for genuine government ownership means broadcast goods are not for sale. If broadcast goods are not for sale, then they cannot be labeled with market prices, a price being a term of exchange. If broadcast goods cannot be labeled with market prices, then the government can't possibly know the cost of acquring and using broadcast goods. If the government can't know the cost of using broadcast goods, then we can assure ourselves that inefficiency and waste will follow if the government nationalizes the broadcast industry. Only a private broadcast industry can generate accurate market prices.

    I don't listen to the radio because it's all right wing talk shows or religious programs. Recently, I cancelled my cable TV because it's impossible to find a good news program, other than "The Daily Show" and I can watch that online. I feel my airwaves have been taken over by the right. Surely we should all have access to the truth, and I don't.

    Dear Mr. BILL MOYERS;

    All my respects to you. Also, I would like to thank you for proving excellent quality journalism, it takes a special kind of human being to have the passion to embrace this kind of topics.

    I have also noticed as Miss. Terri Stewart, mentioned earlier of this pattern in past 8 years or so, of the so call hate Mongers club. In such manner my questions are:

    1.Why this type of behavior is not classified as TERRORISM? After all, lives were lost and terror has been created in various sectors of communities. Quoting: ----GLENN BECK: I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself----

    2.Isn't the Media Channel (FOX, Radios and CNN) responsible for the content of their broadcasters? People have lost loved ones, there should be penalties for their actions? Doesn't these fall under a class action lawsuit to both FOX... and The Radio Host?

    3.Why The FCC has allowed this type of behavior for the past 9 years?

    I am sure you do not have all the answers, but I am totally confused on how a system so corrupted has the audacity to think this atrocity will fall under the 1st amendment. Which society in their right given mind promotes this type of hate? This is not different from Nazism. Regardless of the angle anyone will love to justify it, there is not excuse to allow anyone with a microphone access to airwaves to preach this inappropriate public talk.

    It's my understanding that these individuals have taken advantage of the current media condition, --radical talks give them attention and fame! Otherwise, important or intelligent journalism like yours is boring and will not ignite their ignoramus pack of listeners. These are grown men, have they forgotten they are not kids anymore, that everything is fun and games until someone looses a finger. And this is the limit, people have been killed and the FCC does not think this is a serious problem.

    There is an old saying, --[The right to respects others is Peace]

    " right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and their rhetoric bear any responsibility..."

    They preach fear. As Yoda said; fear leads to hate; hate leads to anger; anger leads to suffering.

    John Hamilton commented earlier, expressing futility, "It's just talk...". There may actually be a point there. How else to explain, in spite of Moyers well laid argument of the dangers of hate speech, we still have people supporting it here.

    Thomas James Watson commented, "HELLO! The truth is the Left are for the most part and to various degrees economically challenged, politically uninformed, historically illiterate, biblically ignorant and most of all spiritually depraved!"

    Having a bad day Thomas? By the way, you left out evil. C'mon, lighten up.

    Keep in mind what happens when one dwells too much in a fundamentalist attitude. If those you disagree with are all the bad things you say, then you're one step away from asking yourself, 'what must we do with this infection?' You can guess where I'm going with this.

    I also agree with Moyers that trying to legislate fairness in broadcast speech is not a solution. Free speech is what we have, warts and all.

    I don't think the right wing media attack machine resulted from repeal of the fainess doctrine. More likely, a bigger boost came from the telecommunications act which allowed greater amounts of media outlets in local markets to be owned by fewer and larger media conglomerates.

    Technically, the public owns the airwaves. But in reality, media conglomerates own the transmitters.


    I can imagine it must seem very harrassing to be berated that way. Up in NYC I have the same problem but it comes from the left. This just goes to show that THE problem is the use of the argumentum ad hominem PER SE completely unaccompanied by legitimate arguments, not the particular use of ad hominems by a particular group of political pundits, especially when the use of pure ad hominems is pervasive among many.

    I guess this is what you call “ bringing it”. Objectivity has gone unabashedly out the widow, and with this show’s rebroadcast it would appear the gloves are off. Objectivity is by it’s very nature is a precarious perch, to attempt to present yourself as “above it all” demands that the virtues you preach are in fact practiced by the same. Mr. Moyers has indeed fallen into his own trap. What I saw was a timid version of Keith Olbermann, by the way, an excellent candidate for Mr. Moyers critique, utilizing the same techniques. The clumping together of suspects into a spectacularly sinister cadre, the desperate association with the more extreme elements and of course the juggling of context, an Olbermann specialty, as witnessed by yours truly.

    I fear the battle lines have only thickened with this production. To rebroadcast it means the blatant imbalances and notes of hypocrisy have been overlooked. It is therefore not at all far to say that this has been a one sided debate, especially when one considers what’s on the other side, who are themselves not entirely defenseless, I know, because I use to follow them avidly. Michael Moore, Mike Rupert, Amy Goodman, Alex Jones to name a few. They spouted their own brand of fear. The likes of PETA, the Weathermen, or the Unabomber can all be cut from the same cloth as those previously mentioned if we follow this programs formula.

    Instead of extolling the wisdom of one from a higher vantage, Mr. Moyers chose to step into the mire of his own criticisms, only without the same level of vitriol. By making the tenuous connections of talk show hosts and murderers, then turn around and criticize a comment made about Al Gore and the Nazis, has left me for want of even the most basic of credibility from this program’s presenter.

    One reason I no longer attend church services at my mainline Protestant church in Baton Rouge is that nuts who listen to hate radio echo it in Sunday school and small groups. Then one of my brother curses me with repetitions of this mean nonsense. Horrible.

    Reminds me of the warning from Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Herbert Marcuse from 44 years ago about "repressive tolerance."

    Good synopsis, Thomas. I won't completely agree with all the religious statements, but you did outline the primary tenets of conservatism.

    Conservatives or the so-called right wing are mostly a God fearing, law abiding, educated people who love this country and the principles it was founded upon- all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Government does NOT give us these rights- GOD does! The government should protect us and these rights. The Right want a small and limited government, less taxes, a strong national defense, free markets, entrepreneurship, individual liberties - FREEDOM! (I wonder how many people are familiar with or have read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States?!?!) These principles have been under severe attack for decades. All the major TV networks and Newspapers (except for Fox news and I think the Washington Times), Hollywood, local newscast, and other media are so aligned and have brain-washed and dumb- downed the masses. The voices on the right (talk radio) are sounding an alarm with great concern (and times with hyperbole) HELLO! The truth is the Left are for the most part and to various degrees economically challenged, politically uninformed, historically illiterate, biblically ignorant and most of all spiritually depraved!

    The noise of the crickets is deafening.

    Conservatives or the so-called right wing are mostly a God fearing, law abiding, educated people who love this country and the principles it was founded upon- all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Government does NOT give us these rights- GOD does! The government should protect us and these rights. The Right want a small and limited government, less taxes, a strong national defense, free markets, entrepreneurship, individual liberties - FREEDOM! (I wonder how many people are familiar with or have read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States?!?!) These principles have been under severe attack for decades. All the major TV networks and Newspapers (except for Fox news and I think the Washington Times), Hollywood, local newscast, and other media are so aligned and have brain-washed and dumb- downed the masses. The voices on the right (talk radio) are sounding an alarm with great concern (and times with hyperbole) HELLO! The truth is the Left are for the most part and to various degrees economically challenged, politically uninformed, historically illiterate, biblically ignorant and most of all spiritually depraved!

    David H,

    I justed finished a conclusive critique of fractional reserve banking on my blog.

    A bank cannot enter into deposit contracts with depositors promising to keep all (100%) of their deposits available to them and simultanously NOT make all of their deposits available to them by loaning out a portion of those deposits. Such a contract would be must be considered null and void. You as a depositor cannot contract to have 100% of your deposit available to you and simultaneously grant the depositary the option to loan a portion of the deposit to another. Its contradictory and would make any other contract null and void.

    Now increasing reserve requirements would decrease inflation, but it ain't 100% which is the magic number for us market fundamentalists.

    Oh yes, and don't pretend that saying your opponents are not educated is not ad hominem.

    David, others, so you continue to assert that conservatives lack education. I would like a reaction on your part to conservatives like Charles Krauthammer, Mark Steyn, etc. Again, you seem to lack the graduated thinking necessary to deal with opinions that are both intellectual and conservative.

    Fred Clancy,

    Secession could very easily be a good thing. It would after all reduce the power of the federal government and be an inspiring exercise of decentralization.
    Might I suggest that the rise of conservative talk radio and conservative think tanks is a response to the domination of academia by left-liberalism and Marxism. I myself can recall many experiences of propaganda and attempted intimidation within the classroom as a few of my numbskull socialist-sympathizing professors launched attacks against conservatives instead of lectured. This phenomenon saturates academia and makes conservative talk radio inevitable.

    Really inspiring post, Terri. Thank you. They lack education. When I think about my own lack of discipline, I realize it was a miracle I got any.

    Michael, I'll get to the reserve requirements in a minute [which is off topic folks].

    But first I'd like you to respond to a little reason on this talk radio issue. Can't you see that if liberals in the recent past had employed even a tenth as many perfect examples of
    ad hominem as those The Journal sampled tonight from the right wing Republican ideologue end of the universe, that O'Reilly would have collected'em and aired'em? The simple fact of the matter is that the penchant for slathering in that mire is a much bigger hit over in the the plutocratic pep ralley camp.

    Did you watch the show, or are you just writing from some playbook? If you write without watching you might end up sounding like you took a snooze.

    "GLENN BECK:I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out of him. Is this wrong?" from show transcript, scroll four fifths down page

    Off Topic: A stricter capital reserve requirement was seeming to me like it would agree with your philosophy (I see I was right). At the moment it seems to me that if the creation of value is prudently anticipated (say a thousand photovoltaic panels), then a bank's loan would be justified with less than 100% reserve...provided the type of loan jived with a gov list of "worthy borrowers." I haven't thought out much at all re percentage of real assets the money supply should reflect, but I know there were fundamental weirdities (by the time the world economy had reached the early 20th century stage) about enforcing "the gold standard."

    My idea about bringing about a more civil discourse requires us to back
    out of the details of internal strife and look at this with a sort of
    detachment from afar. When, for example, Russians proclaim a
    forthcoming US Civil War, they have to be looking at deep, broad
    sociological, economic, religious ... macro forces -- not the
    personalities of "shock jocks" or Michael Moore or Obama or ...

    I grew up in an atmosphere of political hate in NW Texas -- a center for
    recruits to the John Birch Society and the Minutemen. My conclusion
    from living in that atmosphere is that the size of the country (caused
    by Lincoln "saving the Union") breds distrust -- especially distrust of
    the political center of power in DC. And .. just as the distrust of
    politicans a thousand miles away can allow for extreme politics, email
    does the same. One no longer has to learn to "get along with their
    neighbor" since political bedfellows can always be found via the
    internet and email.

    And then there is a political alliance between right wing Jews and
    Christian Evangelicals -- both take militant positions against
    Palestinians. The Evangelicals do so to bring about the 2nd Coming and
    the Rapture which involves the prophesied death of many Jews -- it's an
    unholy alliance for sure, but it has political power nonetheless.

    Perhaps some of the anger could be reduced if Texas would, indeed
    succeed from the Union but that can't happen because the triggers for US
    hydrogen bombs are manufacturered just outside Amarillo, Tx.

    Contrary to the Russian view that Civil War will subdivide the US into a
    half-dozen or so separate regions, I can see only as far as a Falling
    Empire from growing internal fighting, both verbal and otherwise. The
    only force that can possibly bring about cohesion for a stable political
    system is for the signs of environmental destruction to become so evident
    that politically divergent groups (other than those waiting for the
    Rapture) have to come together to save life on the planet.

    Bill, in addition to your segment's insufficiencies, your posters here seem to lack the ability to think in the gradations that they demand of other subjects they hold close to their hearts. You no doubt are contributing to this lack of finer thinking. I am wondering whether, as my previous post critiques, I should ask more thought of you. After all, leftist experiments such as Air America can obviously not compete. You can contribute this to "red-neck," "conservative," soccer mom American citizens who are uneducated in your estimation - and this would just fulfill the analysis I heretofore laid out here - but maybe we in the conservative movement will be surprised by you some day. I hope so.

    Thanks, Bill--

    I'd been trying to figure out where all the hatred, and mind-numbing ignorance was coming from. --I'd been trying to figure it out for a number of years now.

    Between 2000 and 2007 I've had 3 different "far right" neighbors (in 3 different neighborhoods), and all three of them have shocked me with the things they've said, the things they've believed. I'm still in touch with all of them.

    Over time, with each of them, friendships grew up out of shouting at each other, trying to convince each other, seeing each other's politics as scary and wrong.

    Somewhere in it all, they each figured out that I was not out to ruin the country...and so I must therefore be "some kind of an exception" to what they think of as Liberals.

    I did my best to shoot that idea all to smithereens. I'm not an exception, --and I'm about as liberal as they come.

    I wish I could believe that our just talking to our neighbors, even having dozens of Donnybrooks with them, between invitations to dinner and being good, helpful neighbors every other which way...I just wish I could still believe that that stuff might be enough to stop this weird, sad civil war in our country.

    But they all still listen to the hate guys, to Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, and Fox news.

    I suppose I at least give them the face of a real person they wouldn't want to see get shot. And once in a while I can get them to think something through somewhat.

    One neighbor gave me a hard copy of the "Neurologist's Report" on Terri Schaivo, saying she was actually in pretty good shape, or something to that effect.

    This neighbor hadn't even bothered to notice that this "Medical Report" looked and read as though it had been written by an eighth grader. I took a red pen to it and then gave it back to him. He was crestfallen to see that it couldn't have been written by a doctor of any kind, yet it didn't bother him to learn that he'd been lied to by his "sources."

    Another neighbor (in her eighties) was terribly distressed about the Atheists. Truly frightened.
    She was worried enough that she came out told me about her fear, and she said it in a please-explain-this-if you-can tone. --So I did.

    It turned out that Limbaugh or somebody had been talking about athiests as though they were devil worshippers.

    When I explained that they weren't against God, and didn't hate God, and that they just didn't think there WAS a God (and might well eventually come around someday anyway if not pushed) she was visibly relieved.

    I reminded her that one of the freedoms we hold so dear is freedom of religion (and freedom from it, as well). She felt better, after hearing that, too.

    Clearly, she believed what I said to her -- but she, like my other neighbor, didn't seem bothered by what the guy on the radio had put her through.

    This is what I don't get. When somebody shows themself to be a liar, I just cut them out of my life, but these people just keep going back for
    more lies.

    I'm sure looking forward to hearing your ideas on these kinds of things.

    It would be interesting to know the demographics of the listeners to these demogue-hate shows. From what I hear, listening to these into the mike word-spewers with their angry, off-the-wall violent minds, the dictatorial screech to their voices and unwillingness to listen to others without a put-down, I imagine the people who are mesmorized by this are the same ones that made Jerry Springer a pop afternoon hit. That is, they are the uneducated, disenfranchised, lower class whites and clueless, "unpopular" young loners who need something, anything to identify with. Especially if it's simple to grasp and can express their pent-up anger. So I don't pay much attention to them--except when they do something that everyone deems looney, including mainstream conservatives, and blow-up or kill something or someone. This is White Trash stuff. And they don't matter, unless things, the important things we should be thinking about, like the poisoning of our planet and ourselves, or overpopulation that leads to, say, a pandemic, or even greater unemployment and widespread poverty, or the failure of consumptionism as a way of life, make people a lot more desparate then they are now. Dictators and demagogues do much better in really bad times. But right now, there's better, or worse, things to think about.

    It would be interesting to know the demographics of the listeners to these demogue-hate shows. From what I hear, listening to these into the mike word-spewers with their angry, off-the-wall violent minds, the dictatorial screech to their voices and unwillingness to listen to others without a put-down, I imagine the people who are mesmorized by this are the same ones that made Jerry Springer a pop afternoon hit. That is, they are the uneducated, disenfranchised, lower class whites and clueless, "unpopular" young loners who need something, anything to identify with. Especially if it's simple to grasp and can express their pent-up anger. So I don't pay much attention to them--except when they do something that everyone deems looney, including mainstream conservatives, and blow-up or kill something or someone. This is White Trash stuff. And they don't matter, unless things, the important things we should be thinking about, like the poisoning of our planet and ourselves, or overpopulation that leads to, say, a pandemic, or even greater unemployment and widespread poverty, or the failure of consumptionism as a way of life, make people a lot more desparate then they are now. Dictators and demagogues do much better in really bad times. But right now, there's better, or worse, things to think about.

    This facile segment is a symptom of what has plagued our media: the yellower and more reductionist as possible a report - complaining about conservative straw men while resorting to the same tactics to describe their opponents - is the only way such an inconsequential programme as BMJ can compete with today's new media options. While Moyers may not have supported the reinstatement of the fairness doctrine, his statements are as simple as one can get - perfect for the 15-minute reports that pose as the sham "balanced" journalism hopelessly trying to compete for eyes in the voyeuristic video age. All media is subject to this new market, but let's not pretend your reports are sufficient to properly educate the populace - just to entertain.

    I am sickened and sad after listening to this -- and reading a few of the comments. I didn't realize that it was this bad, because I never listen to these hateful people and wouldn't think of reading any of their books.

    It sounds so hopeless and impossible to do anything about, until you said one thing, Mr Moyers -- sponsors. Who pays these people? Who are their publishers? I might not be able to do much, but I at least don't have to buy any products from these sponsors and can let them know how I feel about them paying these people and condoning what they do. It's not much, but it will be something, even if just a small thing. It will be something.

    I am sickened and sad after listening to this -- and reading a few of the comments. I didn't realize that it was this bad, because I never listen to these hateful people and wouldn't think of reading any of their books.

    It sounds so hopeless and impossible to do anything about, until you said one thing, Mr Moyers -- sponsors. Who pays these people? Who are their publishers? I might not be able to do much, but I at least don't have to buy any products from these sponsors and can let them know how I feel about them paying these people and condoning what they do. It's not much, but it will be something, even if just a small thing. It will be something.

    David H,

    100 percent reserve. The monetary irregular deposit contract requires a 100 percent reserve. Now that's worth fighting for.

    Frank Crouch writes,

    "Conservatives took advantage of President Reagan's repeal of the Fairness Doctrine to such an extreme degree that the Fairness Doctrine is the only way to correct the overwhelmingly lopsided imbalance that resulted from that decision."

    So you would have the government use its coercive instruments to forcibly determine the content broadcasted by the media. Well, there goes the right to private property.

    First of all, the implementation of the fairness doctrine alone would be absolutely chaotic and arbitrary. There aren't simply two political viewpoints, left and right. There are Marxists, communists, fascists, anarchists, right-libertarians, left-libertarians, libertarian socialists, environmentalists, etc. A genuinely "fair" fairness doctrine would have to take into account a legion of different politico-economic perspectives when re-engineering the media.

    Secondly, who are you to tell a radio broadcaster he cannot employ his private property in the way he sees fit? The conservative pundits in talk radio successfully satisfy a tremendous consumer demand for conservative discussion, rants, etc. Their profits prove it. PBS, by contrast, is government subsidized.

    Given the less than pleasant history of government censorship I can fathom why one would renew government censorship in this country. Bush advanced censorship by signing "Broadcast Decency Enforcement" giving the FCC greater speech regulation authority. A new "fairness doctrine" would obliterate the 1st Amendment by granting the government the power to completely control the media, even more so than it does today.

    John Bohstedt, Knoxville TVUUC writes,

    "Ready - set - go -- your ten minutes has started - did you believe what you said?Find ten liberal statements as violent as those on by Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Liddy, Savage, etc. You called it -- let's see it.Otherwise - stop this -- "They-do-it-too" childishness, and deal with what is really out there on the radio, day after day.The question about who's getting rich off this gutter-flow is exactly what we need to ask, and journalists need to pursue."

    The point is that both conservatives and contemporary liberals are guilty of resorting to this type of tactic, of submitting their political opponents to crude ad hominems. To focus exclusively on the conservative-based ad hominems, as Mr. Moyers has done, seems to me to be a fallacious, last-ditch attempt at overemphasizing conservative irrationality while underemphasizing left-liberal irrationality. A truly honest and accurate presentation would have been one aimed against the argumentum ad hominem per se within politics, not simply conservative ad hominems. That both conservatives and left-liberals are capable of this lousy argumentation, as well as willing to employ it, is public knowledge. Mr. Moyers, I believe, misrepresents the political reality of ad hominems by suggesting that they are used primarily by conservatives. Don't make me laugh. This is a chronic intellectual problem that has infected pundits of all stripes.

    Go ahead on, John B.

    If Bill can't answer you, Chris G, I hope someone will post that can. I hope someone gets on here who can straighten me out too, cause all I can do is opine...

    but before I opine...Limbaugh seems to remind me of Berlusconi (a little smaller scale maybe)...

    "I wonder about Limbaugh and the thousands of his laid-off Clear Channel colleagues, because the dichotomy is striking: Last July, just months before the radio economy went into free-fall, Limbaugh's bosses at Clear Channel, who enjoy deep ties to Texas Republicans and who have been at the forefront of promoting right-wing radio, rewarded the turbo-talker with the biggest contract in terrestrial radio history." by Eric Boehlert 6/5/09

    It appears as though we are moving from ye olde Main Street paradigm to the Mean Street one (I first read this break-down terminology as written IIRC by economist Thomas I. Palley in "The Atlantic," and I guess he was right). Everything that's happening forces me back to the theory that the Pubs could have lived with another Pub or with Obama. What else but such insanity as Bill has not let us forget...could bring home the supreme camouflage of the progressive-maya we construct for our own la la land consciousness? If they hedged that Obama would be expedient for an Thomas Frank pointed out they probably figured they'd simply spend the country into oblivion just prior to when the Dems inherited the mess, just like they'd done before. Who knows how long prior to the election they realized they had no candidate that would fly? You might think that I'm get'n off the point, but my point is actually the bizarness of their means (including the least suspected means to which they resort to conjour the most ignorant and improbable political demands from the prole population...copisetic of course to this population's wealthy non-counterpart). It's sort of analagous to the practice known as "nickel & diming." These whacked out positions (I'm theorizing) are nickled and dimed out of fact right out of the nescience, because in truth there is nowhere out of which such positions could have otherwise materialized. Do you think the big Pub machine wouldn't stoop to this? It's no weirder than the fear that a modest financial recovery (because of the quick intervention taken) will be used by the powers that be to downplay the need for thorough financial regulatory reform...a fear of Economist Magazine writer Zanny Minton Beddoes. They take advantage of our stupidity every time we turn around.

    [Hey, Michael, Beddoes mentioned more requirements for better capitalization...which sounds like it should jive with your criticism of the current trends in our fractional reserve system???]

    I'm sorry to disagree with Bill, but when it comes to AM radio I'm afraid Frank C seems to make a good point. The fantasy monologue from that one dude re Moore was nothing other than Two Minutes Hate, but with some kinda comic book twist. I picked up The Watchman compendium at the book store...that's what it reminded me of. In truth we need our own version of the BBC when it comes to AM radio. They took Alan Colmes off in my town (though I still manage to hear the show), but get this: even the ads for the Colmes show (on a liberal station mind you) in my opinion push shoddy products on an unsuspecting and uninformed public. [I know, it's not Alan's fault.] That's why I say in re to AM radio...our own version of the BBC.

    Boy, if I were a conservative I sure wouldn't want these wacko shock jocks screeching for me. They are a whole different breed. They are not "conservative" or "liberal" - they are unhinged. Let's not partake, OK?

    Have you ever really watched or listened to Glenn Beck? He is on the side of the American people and will go after any party that wants something that is not in the best interest of the people. Remember when our Mom said "if he jumped off a cliff would you to?" You saying that talk radio is to blame is wrong.
    OK Obama's religious adviser, ok former adviser when he was TOLD that the good reverands works were very hateful, preached hate the goverment and white people. This you can not argue as Glenn did play an entire serman not just little clips. In your words this minister should be to blame for every act of violence against a white man or the goverment right? Just listen to Obama, we can not do what he want to do. We can not afford it.
    You preaching hate against talk radio makes you no better. God help us and God bless America.

    Bill what a one sided hack on people you don't agree whith, proof that pbs is worthless propaganda. You spoke of "fairness" and posing aposing veiws. Where does pbs broadcase its aposing views to this trash piece. You spoke about talk show host doing these shows for money, and i'm sure you don't get paid for your crappy unveiwed show.I would love to see how you would apply your same bogus arguments on talk show hosts to rap artists or any other entertainer. bill with a lower case B, Bottom line your a discrace to your profesion, a propagandist, and I think its you who insites violence with your weak one sided, calculated, misinforming, smug, show.
    P.S. love the show keep up the good work

    Wow! What a show. I often watch Bill's show to investigate my suspicion that PBS has totally gone liberal. This one-sided tax payer funded station often confirms my suspicion. I am more offended that my tax dollars have gone to PBS every time I hear the liberal slant and I do not donate to this station for this very reason. Its amuzing that conservative talk radio receives no tax funds while Bill's show needs these funds to stay on air to push his ideals. Its no secret that Bill is a liberal.
    In reference to liberals not killing conservatives: Liberals are killing every day. They are killing our conservative heritage. The inhabitants of this country who sided with the British oppression remind me of the socialist movement of today. Freedom and the individual have taken a back seat to the nanny state and government run charity instead of individual driven charity. Conservative talk radio seeks to remind its listeners of what has made our country great and what seeks to break down our greatness. No nation will destroy us. We will destroy ourselves from within by falling victim to socialism like countries before us. PBS and Bill's show hopefully will not contribute to this in the future.

    P.S. Great one-sided show on the health care debate. No opposition to rebut the misinformation from the two pro-social medicine guests.

    Your program concerning (right wing) talk radio airing July 24th '09 appears to be a broad attempt to portray the voices that you don't seem to agree with as extremist and threatening in general. Anyway, millions of talk radio audience members are regular folks who seem to be happy, well adjusted and doing fine, and I'm sorry you seem to feel uncomfortable with those who largely don't share your political perspective. I have worked in industries that cater to media for over 20 years, and am aware of an overwhelmingly left-leaning bias and voting pattern with those I have worked with over the years. Half of my family left a Socialist country, yet I can understand a concern by many that many freedoms are being taken from us here.

    It is also interesting to note also that you seem to tailor your programming to a left-leaning audience, yet you do accept, at least partially, public funding.

    Of course there is a link from shock jock hate-radio to our own David Adkisson, the shooter at my Knoxville church. If you doubt that, go read his 4-page manifesto, that he intended as a suicide note for his death by cop -- in his words you'll hear echoes of shock-radio.
    Don't bore us with irrelevant lumping -- of course we are not accusing all conservatives etc etc. Just take a little responsibility to either speak against hate-speech, or be complicit in it. You're not guilty by association (that's cheap) -- we are ALL guilty by INACTION.
    -- Consider some real-world questions, not throw-away put-downs (we are way past that)
    Do you AGREE with the half-dozen hate-mongers who tell listeners to go out and shoot, hang, or beat up liberal opponents (see for dozens of examples)? If not, please be brave and speak up.
    -- If you are a Republican (I have good GOP friends) -- do you like Limbaugh and Cheney speaking for your party? How small would you like it to get?
    Do you think a debate by hate and put-downs does anyone any good? Isn't it just like kids insulting each other's mother on the playground? .
    And, no, you do not hear Olberman and Maddow and Stewart engaging in that.
    Look at the shootings over the past year -- Since McVeigh it does seem all the violence has been one-way - Knoxville; Pittsburgh; Tiller in Wichita.
    What would it take for good conservatives to say - We are against broadcasting incitements to violence? ---
    Mr LABEIT: your STATEMENT: "Seriously, contemporary liberalism is as asinine as conservatism. A quick 10 minute search on youtube will yield videos of unhinged liberals foaming at the mouth attacking conservatives as well."
    Ready - set - go -- your ten minutes has started - did you believe what you said?
    Find ten liberal statements as violent as those on by Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Liddy, Savage, etc.
    You called it -- let's see it.
    Otherwise - stop this -- "They-do-it-too" childishness, and deal with what is really out there on the radio, day after day.
    The question about who's getting rich off this gutter-flow is exactly what we need to ask, and journalists need to pursue.

    No effective legislation to fix any of our problems is possible in the US plutocracy.

    All private money must be taken out of political campaigns, federal, state and local. With the present interpretation of the first amendment, this is not possible.

    Conclusion: nothing of consequence can be done.

    To Bill O'Reilly - I'm all for breaking down the white male christian power structure! May it rest in the peace it has not afforded us.

    the only way to eliminate these people is to stand up and fight them every step of the way by peaceful means.

    This report on "shock jocks" was not
    only frightening but left one with a
    feel of outrage and helplessness. All
    I could think of was the SS Troops in
    Hitler's Germany. And they did kill
    people or cause the sadistic lunatic
    fringe to participate and do so.
    It seemed that the only effective approach might be to do what Mel
    Brooks did with Hitler. Ridicule! Ridicule them to the point where they are no longer relevant. Jon Stewart has made a good start. This should be encouraged. No other approach has worked while they become billionaires. Miriann

    Mr Moyers-- As always, excellent program. Do you remember John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience? When I got to the part about authoritarian personality, I knew that I finally had an explanation for my brother-in-law. In this book he cites the research of Bob Altemeyer. He invited Altemeyer to travel with him to speak to audiences about the matter. I read Altemeyer's The Authoritarian Specter and The Authoritarians (online). Now I'm almost finished with Theodor Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality. Mr. Moyers, no one can fully understand these unfortunate souls (authoritarian followers) or their authoritarian leaders Rush Limbaugh, Genn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, etc. until they understand the authoritarian personality. In The Dialectic of Enlightenment, Adorno says anyone who thinks that the way to cure these people is by dousing them with reason, is mistaken. I strongly urge you to read these books and invite Prof. Altemeyer to be on one of your programs. When you understand, you'll wonder how you got along without this valuable information.
    Rose Mason
    Austin, TX

    #1 In your view, do right-wing ‘shock jocks’ and their rhetoric bear any responsibility for violent incidents like the shooting in Knoxville? Absolutely, they are criminally complicit by creating a fictitious parallel reality that millions choose to live in in order to exonerate themselves from the fact that they have voted for those that destroyed their country through Reaganomics. Instead they blame others for this patent mismanagement.

    #2 Do you agree with Philip Jenkins that partisans have used tragic events to stigmatize legitimate opposition? Why or why not?
    Answer: Oklahoma City. Think we paid "too much attention" to Timothy McVeigh?

    Hi -

    I'd like to address this directly to Bill Moyers. About the hate radio program - I've often wondered who ultimately is the paymaster to these hate speaking hosts? Who's going to profit by this hatespeech? I think it's a very important question and I'd like to know if there have been any journalistic efforts in this direction . Please let me know that you've personally read this, and a response would be better. I'd be satisfied to know that my message didn't disappear anonymously into a server!



    What an awesome segment. Far from "toothless" it was a lucid, coherent and well developed piece from beginning to end. A classic piece of journalism. Also a searing depiction of some of the more despicable parts of the current American cultural landscape. I enjoyed watching Bill's synthesis of these egotistical bullies. Michael Labeit, you are wrong, wrong , wrong. The truth of the matter is no Liberals have killed conservatives, but plenty of conservatives have killed liberals.
    BA Phillips has an excellent point, as long as our country is mired in self-pity, xenophobia and hatred we no longer deserve to be "the greatest nation on earth". Not that any nation should think of itself in those terms, but our finest attribute was to be both great and humble. We have long lost that combination. We have completely lost ourselves.

    How wrong you are, Mr. Moyers, regarding the lack of need for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine. Conservatives took advantage of President Reagan's repeal of the Fairness Doctrine to such an extreme degree that the Fairness Doctrine is the only way to correct the overwhelmingly lopsided imbalance that resulted from that decision.
    The nation may never survive the time it would take for a natural return to twenty plus years of
    viscious one-sidedness enjoyed by the Rush Limbaughs of this country.

    I find segments like this really annoying. It's just talk, reinforcing the weakest aspect of "liberalism." What it amounts to is whining, complaining. It gets laughed at by "conservatives," because they know it reinforces toothlessness. Somehow Bill Moyers thinks discussion alone has the power to shame, cajole, or convince. It doesn't. I watch the show because it informs, and I can write my own ideas better by referring to evidence and analyses presented there. But I don't take the toothlessness of Bill Moyers as my inspiration. If we just wring our hands, we get nothing but wrung hands.

    Few things can provoke an "Oh please!" more than the bit on the "great conservative threat."

    Save us from the evil conservative media!!!

    Seriously, contemporary liberalism is as asinine as conservatism. A quick 10 minute search on youtube will yield videos of unhinged liberals foaming at the mouth attacking conservatives as well. Left-wing rhetoric can be as scathing and uninformed as right-wing rhetoric. As if the left does not have its fair share of simpletons. Please.

    The differences between contemporary liberals and conservatives are negligible, superficial. Both camps are woefully ignorant of the politico-economic issues as well as the politico-economic solutions.

    Something MUST be done to tone down the disrespect in political discourse. I was shocked at the language used in the campaign - let alone, shock jocks.

    We live in a culture of violence - supported, alas, by the Obama administration's failure to condemn torture and to prosecute key people who brought it about. This culture is consistent with the disrespectful tone of political discourse.

    Obama shone in this regard, in the campaign. If only he would stick by his words.

    The only way I know of to turn this around, is to cultivate a culture of caring. Yes, health care. Yes, new economy jobs. Yes, our promising new surgeon general.

    And as to her - who ever attacked a surgeon general because of their shape? It takes a black woman to draw out such impudence.

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