Book review part 2: The Republican Noise Machine–Aftermath

Too late, extremism has already been given a voice


A letter and an editorial were both placed in the Spokesman-Review 11 September 2010 edition, the letter by Ron Harris echoed the views of the editorial board of the newspaper in that, Pastor Terry Jones who threatened to burn some Qur’ans on 11 September 2010 especially if Muslims did not move their proposed cultural center somewhere else…  As far as the editorial board and Mr. Harris were concerned, this pastor and his threats should have been totally ignored.  Given the international furor that was stirred up, that might have been a good idea.  Only, because this pastor put his venom on YouTube, well; the Middle East isn’t exactly without internet connections.  They would have discovered his particular threat on a video gone viral in due course.  They would still have protested, and further, would have been willing to endanger American servicemen and women as well as American civilians living, working or even as tourists in their country.  Pastor Jone’s threat was already “out there.”  The news media should have served as a warning about nut cases like this.

Instead, it would seem that the Spokesman-Review and Mr. Harris missed the point, and in a truly big way:  if the news media should not serve as a megaphone for extremists; then what of the publications of Mona Charen, Michael Barone, Thomas Sowell, Cal Thomas in the Spokesman-Review?  The radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh?  The TV Personalities such as Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck?  The news media that follows poodle-like in the steps of “TEA Party” fave former Governor Sarah Palin?  Or more locally, such as “The Inlander” who gives coverage to a former Representative George Nethercutt who can find nothing original to say and spouts nothing but GOP talking points?  The megaphone was already passed, so why should it come as any surprise that Pastor Jones could ultimately get on the news?  Call it cause and effect.  The more “out there” extremists are, there are going to be fellow-travelers who go even more “out there” if possible.  The kind of warning, after all, that David Brock provided in his book, “The Republican Noise Machine.”

Extremists such as noted above who rant their delusional paranoia about the “liberal” media, Democrats in general, Obama in particular, the government and the U.N. are staple fares in syndicated columns, websites such as townhall.com, creators.com, newspapers, radio, talking heads on CNN, Fox News, etc.  They have been at it for more than 20 years.  And yes, as long as their paranoid rants can be qualified as “conservative,” they can get away with just about anything.  Until they cross the line such as Laura Ingraham using the N word while putting down an African-American woman calling into her show.  By the way, not very “Christian” of her, was it?  Oh yes, more than 20 years in which the megaphone was willingly passed by the “liberal” media to extremists such as this, and only now when Pastor Jones goes YouTube with his threat to burn the holy books of another faith, then suddenly, we “see” extremism for what it is, and would rather it was “ignored” and just went away.  Actually, if people had “ignored” Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, et al a long time ago, would they have gone away?  I’m quite sure they would have.

Pastor Jones would have been less inclined to act, I think, if he hadn’t seen the megaphone for hate speech against people of another faith appearing daily on various news outlets.  If internet outlets such as Creators.com and townhall.com kept the decibel control to moderate and shut off the more extremist rants, then what would be the incitement for Pastor Jones to want to burn the Qur’an?  None.

There are consequences to vomiting verbal bile in front of a webcam, television camera, radio microphone or in front of a televised “TEA Party” rally.  But so far, the extremists who try to make their behavior seem more palatable by calling it “conservative,” don’t seem to want to accept responsibility for “out there” pastors such as Mr. Jones.  Although, they were quick to blame videogames, rock groups, etc. when ever teenagers acted out and violently killed their classmates.  If videogames could be blamed for Columbine, then Mona Charen can be blamed for Pastor Jones.  Why not?

“Polarization” is too mild a word for what is really going on in this country today.  “Conservative” to mean free to hate you and turn around to declare how *I am a victim* if challenged on it; requires truth in labeling.  This is not how conservatism should be.  This is ugly, and declaring that the worst devils of human nature is far more preferred than the better angels of his humanity will ever be.  This is worse than being children, especially when these people should know better.  Set in judgment, and so you too will be judged. —Christ.

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