"You need to riot": Right-wing uses violent rhetoric


In the wake of reported threats on Democratic officials due to their health care votes, Media Matters for America takes a look back at the right-wing media's history of violent rhetoric.

Right-wing media figures call for "riots" and "revolution" and use other violent rhetoric

Right-wing blogger: People should "have a swing at" lawmakers "if you're willing to do the time." In a March 24 post on his blog, Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens wrote:

No matter what you think of Obamacare and the craven ideologues that passed it, is totally unacceptable to threaten their relatives or friends and put them in danger.

Go to your Congressman's office and scream at him in the most colorful language possible. Hang him in effigy at protests. If you're willing to do the time for the crime, have a swing at him.

Better yet, throw a shoe... after all, the left values such behavior as a form of "vigorous dissent," and will no doubt ask for any charges against you to be dropped.

Perhaps one day stronger action will be required if Progressives continue to trample on our liberties in their blind quest for power. But that time is not now.

At this time, I suspect Shikha Dalmia's call for massive civil disobedience is the correct path. Show your anger. Make sure those who have trampled your liberties are stuck down by ballots. With your help, the Democratic Party's assault on the Republic can be undone.

The right way.

Owens: "Jackasses" who call health care a right "deserve to be drawn and quartered." From Owens' Twitter account:


Palin: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" Fox News contributor Sarah Palin posted a list of House Democrats who voted for health care reform with crosshairs aimed at their locations. In a March 23 tweet about her map, Palin wrote: " 'Don't Retreat, Instead -- RELOAD!' " Palin's list was criticized by conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who introduced and endorsed Palin during the 2008 campaign, as helping foster a climate of violent rhetoric. Hasselbeck added that the list is "purely despicable" and "insane."

Huckabee: Members of Congress "should be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done." As RightWingWatch.org noted, Fox News host Mike Huckabee said of members of Congress in January:

HUCKABEE: Every member of Congress knows in his gut what's in the people's interest and what's in K Street's interest. If you think your real boss is some smug guy in a corner office with his Gucci loafers up on a mahogany deck and not the folks back home, those folks who voted for you, who gave you 25 or 50 hard-earned bucks, who put up yard signs and made calls for you, you deserve to lose. Shame on you, you shouldn't just be fired, you should be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done. That's my view and I welcome yours.

Morris: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." During a long conspiracy theory about a "super-national authority" that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, Fox News contributor Dick Morris asserted that because President Obama's policies are "internationalist ... [t]hose crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." [Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09]

Erickson: "At what point do the people ... march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?" In a March 31, 2009, post on RedState.com discussing a Washington county's ban on certain kinds of dishwasher detergent, Erick Erickson wrote: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" Later in the post, Erickson added: "Were I in Washington State, I'd be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation."

Savage: "We're going to have a revolution in this country"; "These people are pushing the wrong people around." Michael Savage discussed multiculturalism and predicted: "This is not going to go on in this country much longer. We're going to have a revolution in this country if this keeps up. These people are pushing the wrong people around." Savage further said that "the rage has reached a boil. If they keep pushing us around, and if we keep having these schmucks running for office catering to the multicultural people who are destroying the culture of this country ... guaranteed the people -- the white male in particular." [Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation, 8/21/09]

Stossel said he has "Barney Frank in effigy" hanging above his sofa. In a February 3 interview with New York magazine, when Fox Business host John Stossel was asked, "What's hanging above your sofa?" he responded: "Barney Frank in effigy." [New York, 2/3/10]

Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said, "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." [Glenn Beck, 3/30/09]

Beck talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine. Beck stated:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck 8/6/09]

Beck: "To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter." Telling his listeners that they "are going to learn so much on Friday," Beck compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters" and commented, "I'm going to find these big progressives and, to the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter." He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care where -- I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they have done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution, our republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people are waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to losing our republic. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 1/20/10]

Beck: "Grab a torch." Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch." [Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]

Beck speaks for one third of the nation: "[Y]ou will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun" and "before I acquiesce and be silent." During the July 30, 2009, edition of his radio show, Beck warned "ACORN, GE, Obama, SEIU" that "you are awakening a sleeping giant, and I have nothing to do with it" and that "America is waking up. You know the American Revolution took place with 12 percent of the population? Twelve. Are you telling me there is not 30 percent of this population that you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I let somebody into my house to tell me how to raise my children; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I acquiesce and be silent."

Beck: "There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America." On his radio show, Beck stated that "there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly." Beck further claimed: "At this point, gang, I'm not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they're dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the -- the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time." He also said, "And they're gonna say, 'we did it democratically,' and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency." [The Glenn Beck Program, 8/31/09]

Beck pours gasoline on "average American," asks, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?" On his Fox News program, Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an "average American." Beck said during his demonstration: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic." [Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]

Newsmax columnist Perry asserts Obama "is inviting" a "[m]ilitary intervention." John Perry wrote: "There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the 'Obama problem.' Don't dismiss it as unrealistic." He added:

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible. [Newsmax.com, 9/29/09]

Quinn calls for "riots": "Our country was built on revolution, and it's about time we took it back." Discussing health care reform, Jim Quinn stated, "You have got to say no to this, and if they push this through, you need to riot in the streets. You need to riot in the streets." He further said, "Our country was built on revolution and it's about time we took it back. These people are dangerous," and, "It's about time to put an end to this leftist control of this country, and if a revolution is what it takes, damn it, then that's what it's going to take, because liberty will not be denied." [The War Room with Quinn and Rose, 9/10/09]

Chuck Norris: "[W]ill history need to record a second American Revolution?" In his March 9, 2009, column for WorldNetDaily, actor and political activist Chuck Norris wrote: "How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority according to America's Declaration of Independence." Norris also wrote, "On Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped in response to our wayward federal government, 'I may run for president of Texas.' That need may be a reality sooner than we think."

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