Rage on the Radio
In the segment, Rage on the Radio, from Bill Moyers Journal, we see just how influential “shock jocks” are to society. Moyers quotes Oliver Holmes who stated that “Language is sacred, and that it’s abuse should be criminal.” This is “verbicide” or use of words in a violent matter is something many would agree with as wrong, well everyone except for the “shock jocks” we hear so much about. Moyers leads into this idea as he recaps the events at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee where a 58 year old unemployed truck driver opened fire against innocent church goers. One person was left dead, one was mortally wounded and six were left injured. As the reverend, Chris Buice states, “This man was armed with not only weapons but with hate.” The next day, in a police statement, it was revealed that the shoot was frustrated over not being able to obtain a job as well as his hatred of the liberal movement, which was supported in this church. The killer stated that “all liberals should be killed because they were ruining this country.” Additionally, several books by right wing radio talk show hosts were found in his home. This might come as a shock to average people but for conservatives, maybe not. This type of language is heard all over by radical right wing talk radio hosts who take advantage of every form of media out there to deliver their hateful and quite frankly disgusting thoughts. By this I mean the ideas expressed by shock jocks such as Michael Savage who claims “liberalism is like the HIV virus”, “gays are pigs”, as well as attacking kids with autism by saying “they are brats who haven’t been told to cut the act.” Among these hateful people is Glenn Beck who fantasizes about killing liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. It’s one thing to keep these things to yourself, but to go out and say them on the radio?! Really?! These people are the reason so much violence and hate exists. These people scapegoat liberals, minorities, you name them, and they blame them. They blame liberals for the violence and wrongs in the country when in reality, it is these right wing talk show hosts that are spreading negativity. Someone in the interview pointed out that you never see Liberals using extreme hateful language against Conservatives but you see this type of talk all the time among right wingers. I honestly do not understand why no action is taken against these people. Sure, they have freedom of speech but when this speech encourages hate and killing then shouldn’t this be an indicator of perhaps too much free speech. I’ll tell you the reason, money. These shock jocks have millions upon millions of listeners each week and are bestselling authors. Therefore, they clearly make a lot of money, money which can be used to support right wing candidates and officials which is why nothing is done to stop all the hate being harnessed by these people. It’s going to take a tragedy for the government to realize that maybe something should be done.