The Big Hate


Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s — a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Conservatives were outraged. The chairman of the Republican National Committee denounced the report as an attempt to “segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration” and label them as terrorists.

But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.

There is, however, one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn’t say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.

Now, for the most part, the likes of Fox News and the R.N.C. haven’t directly incited violence, despite Bill O’Reilly’s declarations that “some” called Dr. Tiller “Tiller the Baby Killer,” that he had “blood on his hands,” and that he was a “guy operating a death mill.” But they have gone out of their way to provide a platform for conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric, just as they did the last time a Democrat held the White House.

And at this point, whatever dividing line there was between mainstream conservatism and the black-helicopter crowd seems to have been virtually erased.

Exhibit A for the mainstreaming of right-wing extremism is Fox News’s new star, Glenn Beck. Here we have a network where, like it or not, millions of Americans get their news — and it gives daily airtime to a commentator who, among other things, warned viewers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be building concentration camps as part of the Obama administration’s “totalitarian” agenda (although he eventually conceded that nothing of the kind was happening).


  1. What can be done about them? Freedom of speech seems to trump yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, which is what these wingnuts are doing. Their audience seems incapable of any kind of rational thought.

  2. Another right wing extremist murder, this time including a little girl. How can anyone do something so horrible to a child?

    It has to be pointed out on television, over and over and over again, these US extremists are the same, and more dangerous, as the ones “over there” that Fux News is shrieking about.

  3. ninabi: that’s a sad story but i don’t see anything about “right wing extremists” in that article. only psycho, drug dealing, border patrolmen.

    or is there something more to the story that i don’t know of?

  4. As far as I know, thugs who call themselves ‘Minutemen American Defense’ and shoot Mexicans crossing the border have ‘right-wing extremists’ written all over them.

Comments are closed.