Thursday, October 14, 2010

Media Matters: Glenn Beck Motivated Byron Williams To Plan Rampage Against Progressives

Byron Williams, 45, an ex-felon, engaged in a shootout with California highway patrol officers on July 18 after being stopped for erratic driving. He used three firearms, including armor-piercing rounds, and was saved by the body armor he wore. Two officers were injured; fortunately, none were killed. In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that Williams was headed to San Francisco to kill people at the Tides Foundation, which supports liberal causes, and the ACLU.

Media Matters, in a report, "Progressive Hunter," focuses on how Glenn Beck's incendiary conspiracy theories drove Williams to plan mayhem against his perceived liberal enemies. Despite Beck's disavowals of violent intent, one wonders how many other unstable personalities are planning similar mayhem. Dana Milbank warned in the Washington Post, "Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it, warning that 'it is only a matter of time before an actual crazy person really does something stupid.' " The following is the Media Matters video and an excerpt from their report:

After the 2008 election, Fox News personalities filled the airwaves with increasingly violent rhetoric and apocalyptic language. On his Fox News show, Beck talked about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine.

Observers...were mystified by one of Byron Williams' reported targets: the Tides Foundation, a low-profile charitable organization known for funding environmentalists, community groups, and other organizations.

Beck, it turned out, had attacked Tides 29 times on his Fox News show in the year-and-a-half leading up to the shooting.

Now, in exclusive interviews and written correspondence with journalist John Hamilton, Williams speaks for himself. He asks Hamilton to be his "media advocate" and repeatedly instructs him to watch specific broadcasts of Beck's show for information on the conspiracy theory that drove him over the edge: an intricate plot involving Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, a Brazilian oil company, and the BP disaster.

…Williams tells Hamilton that "Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence. He'll never do anything ... of this nature. But he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need."

...Beck, in particular, he says, is "like a schoolteacher on TV." Williams tells Hamilton, "You need to go back to June -- June of this year, 2010 -- and look at all his programs from June, and you'll see he's been breaking open some of the most hideous corruption."

..."I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. I said, well, nobody does this."

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