... Frank Schaeffer is the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back and the forthcoming Patience With God: Faith For People Who Don't Like Religion (Or Atheism). ...
Dear Rupert Murdoch, since you are responsible for what is on Fox News I have a question for you: Do you ever wonder how you'll be remembered by Americans and the world (not to mention your children) if someone takes a shot at President Obama, and when asked why they did it, quotes the misinformation spouted by Fox News as their "reason?"
You have dozens of far right and dangerous and/or crazy seeming commentators working for you but let's just talk about one as an example of the rest. What of Glenn Beck?
Does the name Father Charles Coughlin ring a bell? Do you want to be remembered as the facilitator of today's version of that deranged radio personality and hater who hounded President Roosevelt? What if a Coughlin devotee had assassinated Roosevelt? Instead of just being a nasty footnote to American history, Coughlin would be remembered as another John Wilkes Booth. What if Coughlin had had someone with money and virtually unlimited influence backing him and amplifying his remarks? How would we feel about his backer?
Glenn Beck is a second rate, not terribly bright Coughlin-type demagogue with rather dimwitted followers. And you are the paymaster making his silliness dangerous by giving him a voice that would otherwise be heard only by those who happened to hear him barking at the moon on some lonely street corner.
You've given today's Coughlins -- the haters -- a national platform. And they have taken the lies of the "birthers", "deathers", "Obama-is-the-Antichristers" etc., nationwide. It was a bad day for America when you became a citizen for the sole purpose of purchasing TV stations and invading us with your far right agenda. But you've gone way past politics, even the politics of hate. You have legitimized actual insanity by widespread repetition of extremist racist and religion-based lies to the sort of people who believe the earth is 6000 years old, that Jesus will come back soon and send everyone not like them to Hell, that Obama is the Antichrist. In other words, you've got the keys to the national asylum, are stirring up the inmates and threatening to unlock the door!
Here's a sample (compiled with the help of Media Matters and the online magazine Crooks and Liars) of just a small stock of the incendiary rhetoric and bare-faced lies your money pays for.
Fox News host Glenn Beck has:
# said President Obama has, "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture,"
# flirted with the idea that FEMA is building detention camps,
# suggested that President Obama is purposefully "tanking" the economy to force young people to work for AmeriCorps, ...
You can't claim you're not having a baleful impact. How about this? According to the Boston Globe ("Secret Service Strained" October 18, 09),
"The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency's overall mission." ...