Saturday, August 02, 2008

Talk Radio and the Conspiracy to Kill

By Rory O'Connor, AlterNet. Posted August 1, 2008.

Would Jim Adkisson have killed without prompting from extreme right-wing talkers?

Now I know how the others feel.

Having written extensively about talk radio's right wing shock jocks and the hate speech they regularly use to tar opponents -- equating liberals with terrorists, homosexuals with child rapists and the Mafia, and political and media figures with the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan (even calling on air for assassinations, as Michael Reagan, son of the late president, did last month) -- it was only a matter of time until the smear merchants took aim at me.

Still, it was a little surprising to hear that "O'Connor's mentor in spirit, Josef Goebbels, must be laughing in his grave." And it was more than just disconcerting that the charge of Nazism was made as part of an attack on the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the award-winning tolerance group named for the late 'Nazi Hunter,' after the Center's New York office offered to host a launch party for my book "Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio."

The allegation that Goebbels is my mentor came in an email forwarding a post by former Boston Herald writer Don Feder, which originally appeared on ("Give Your Values A Voice".) Feder, the email said, "believes that the Wiesenthal Center supports deceptive fools like O'Connor to appease its wealthy leftist supporters. If that is true (and of course no offical at the Center would own up to it), it is shameful."

What's really shameful, of course, is trotting out the ad hominem "You're a Nazi" meme when confronted with ideas that differ from your own. Feder's "exclusive commentary" was headlined "Obama and the Conspiracy to Kill Talk Radio," another false meme being consistently bruited about by the right. Its opening made Feder's thesis clear: "Looking ahead, liberals are determined to derail potential opposition to their plans to accelerate the deconstruction of America. Consequently, they have targeted talk radio. Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is just one facet of their scheme to eviscerate the only part of the media controlled by conservatives." ......(more)

The complete piece is at: /


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