Are Radical Right Media Feeding Political Violence and Hate?
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
That's the question posed this past week at PBS' Bill Moyers Journal. The program is a hard hitting examination of the impact of radical right talk radio, books, and TV shows not just on the nature of political discourse but also their link to violent actions against elected officials and fellow citizens.
When Glenn Beck says: "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it," is it just harmless rhetoric or something more?
When Michael Reagan says that 9/11 deniers should be taken out and shot, is that harmless?
When Michael Savage refers to liberals as psychotic, as traitors, and as a virus on America, how does that shape audience perceptions and even actions against liberals?
What about when Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners to launch Operation Chaos against the Democrats with an explicit goal of generating violence at the Democratic Convention. As Limbaugh told his audience: "This is about chaos, this is why it is called Operation Chaos[...]the dream end, if people say what is your exit strategy. The dream end is this keeps up to the convention. And that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots and all of that. That's the objective here."
What do readers think? Could radical right media actually incite violence against liberals and or various out groups in society?
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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