How Glenn Beck's Twisted Worldview Goads Disturbed People into Acts of Violence
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Here's one idea: Stop encouraging them.
A Call for Accountability
In a previous report on free speech and irresponsible speech, People For the American Way wrote:
Among Americans' most prized possessions are the freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. In a free society, controversial public policy issues should be expected to generate vigorous and even heated debate. Our political leaders should expect to be subject to exacting scrutiny and energetic criticism. And Americans must be willing to embrace the First Amendment rights even, or especially, of those whose opinions we disagree with and find offensive.
But Americans must also be willing to use their First Amendment freedoms to challenge those who exploit their political positions or media megaphones to promote lies that are intended to inflame rather than inform, that encourage paranoia rather than participation, and whose consequences are at best divisive and at worst, violently destructive.
Those who are challenging Beck and Fox are taking on the responsibilities of engaged citizenship, and are acting to promote the nation’s best values.
Peter Montgomery is a senior fellow at People For the American Way Foundation.