The Hannitys, Limbaughs and Becks of the World are "Feeding the Lone Wolves"

The Washington Post',s Eugene Robinson, seems to be on the same page as Paul Krugman this morning: Fox News, their Conservtive hosts, the RNC and bumbling head are inciting the lone wolves of the world to terror and violence:

Form Eugene Robinson:

In April, a prescient Department of Homeland Security memo predicted that the election of the first African American president and the advent of economic hard times could worsen the threat from "right-wing extremist groups." In particular, the memo warned of an increase in anti-Semitic activity by extremists who buy into the whole Jewish-banker-secret-cabal paranoid fantasy -- and would blame "the Jews" for engineering the global financial crisis, just as they blame "the Jews" for everything.

For days, some conservative commentators tried mightily to paint the memo as an underhanded attempt by the Obama administration to smear its honorable critics by equating "right-wing" with "terrorism." It made no difference to these loudmouths that the number of hate groups around the country has increased by more than 50 percent since 2000, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It didn't matter that the memo was backed up by solid intelligence and analysis. For these infotainers, the point isn't to illuminate a subject with light but to blast it with heat.

And it wasn't just the Sean Hannitys, Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the world who pretended to be outraged. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele accused the administration of trying "to segment out Americans who dissent from this administration, to segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration, and labeling them as terrorists." Steele seems to have decided that telling the truth isn't nearly as important as the high-temperature exercise known as "firing up the base."

The thing is, though, that words have consequences.

There's profit for the pundits, and perhaps personal advantage for some politicians, in calling President Obama a "socialist" and calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor a "racist Latina" and claiming that Democrats want to "take away your guns" -- in creating and nurturing a sense of grievance among those inclined to be aggrieved. But what about those who might not understand that it's all just political theater?


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