O’Reilly’s Internet Cop Wants to Kill Liberals

Bill O’Reilly’s “Internet Cop” has posted death threats against liberals.

Sara at Orcinus has more:


The really funny part of this is that his “cop” is Amanda Carpenter of Townhall.com, a site that recently called Michelle Obama a “race pimp” and said that congressmen who “damage the morale and undermine the military” should be executed as saboteurs. And no, those weren’t comments — those calls came on the front page. You’d think that would pretty much disqualify her as the Amy Vanderbilt in charge of enforcing good manners on blogs — but, y’no, it’s Fox, and reality is what they say it is.

BIll O’Reilly is missing the point:

BOR is, as usual, missing the big story here. It’s no secret anywhere anymore: every national law enforcement and intelligence agency we’ve talked to is bracing for an onslaught of right-wing violence in the months ahead, which will intensify with an Obama win. (We may look back in a few years and realize Knoxville was the opening shot of a much larger wave of domestic terrorism.) The language and logic of that uprising are being worked out in the pages of Amanda Carpenter’s own blog — and yet he’s got her on his show, explaining to America why liberals will be the ones to blame when the shooting starts.

The problem is that where conservatives point to unhinged commenters on liberal sites (even a blog as small as mine gets its far share of violent oddballs), at the very same time mainstream conservative bloggers and news icons are making the sincere argument that liberals ought to be killed.

Now that liberals are being killed by violent conservatives, what do we do?

Making Killing Liberals Normal

Hate of liberals has been festering throughout the Bush years.  You’d think two terms of conservative rule would calm and reassure wingnuts, but the crazy contigent of the radical Republican army has been working on its foaming skills assiduously.

My “most active” posts are about a Obama: The White Supremacist Backlash, and on Eliminationism: Kill All Liberals.  I regularly see search terms like “white supremacist obama”, “fuck obama muslim nigger”, and “kill all liberals” rise to the top (also encouragingly “progress hope obama”).

While we wonder if the recent murder of the Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman was politically motivated, we do know the Church killings were (David Niewert at FireDogLake):

An update on the Knoxville shooting rampage, from the Knoxville News:

Police found right-wing political books, brass knuckles, empty shotgun shell boxes and a handgun in the Powell home of a man who said he attacked a church in order to kill liberals “who are ruining the country,” court records show.

Knoxville police Sunday evening searched the Levy Drive home of Jim David Adkisson after he allegedly entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and killed two people and wounded six others during the presentation of a children’s musical.

Knoxville Police Department Officer Steve Still requested the search warrant after interviewing Adkisson. who was subdued by several church members after firing three rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun into the congregation.

Adkisson targeted the church, Still wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, “because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country’s hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets.”

Adkisson told Still that “he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office.”

Meanwhile the presence of a possible terrorist in Denver has excited the right wing blogosphere to the point that they overlooked the probability that the terrorist was one of their own rather than the “Muslim Terrorist” they rushed to brand him as.

The ugly side of repeatedly insisting it would be acceptable, desirable, or even honorable to kill liberals is that some people are easily convinced.  That they believe the radio hosts and right wing shock jocks of news are rooting for them when they take a gun and aim it at a human being whose politics they don’t like.  Sad, sick people.

We ought to be more aggressive in pushing back against eliminationist speech.

The question is how?

The Sally Kern Video

She’s saying what other Republicans are thinking.

My friend Kelly emailed this to me.  Then I saw it pop up and up on Pandagon, and on C&L.  And of course its accompanied by commentary like “is this person bat-shit crazy, or is this nutjob bat-shit crazy?”.  That this is somehow outrageous.  It isn’t.  Let’s look at her statements piece by piece.  As written down by Pam:

Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades. . .

This is a familiar line.  I’ve forgotten exactly which Republican candidate echoed it (bonus points if anyone can point out who).  But it feeds into a standard, paranoid extremist narrative.  The same one that surfaces when some creepy ass to the right of George Bush starts using words and phrases like “birth-rate”, “europeans” and “white pride” together.  This idea that civilization is somehow doomed because two people of the same sex are in love is directly tied to stock racist fodder like the decline of the white Christian european race.

…They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.

Democrats and liberals criticize the education system because they want to fix it.  Republicans and conservatives do so to prevent, literally, progress.  They want to keep people stupid and bigoted, and this ties neatly into that seething fear.  Children’s books, k-12 curriculums, anything that teaches equality and understanding is an old and practiced target for the right.

One of my colleagues said We don’t have a gay problem in our community…well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.

And top it all off with some eliminationism.

Folks, none of this is new, none of this extraordinary.  It is merely an extension of a single line of reasoning into our mainstream discourse. Expect the media to cover this video, as it is quite the fascinating little instigator.  But don’t expect any of them to link this to the rising tide of extremist discourse, or to explore the significance of combining anti-gay fear and the politics of race, supremacy, and hate.  Above all, don’t expect an intrepid paper reporter or news anchor to state the unspeakable discourse: That for every Sally Kern who says this stuff out loud, there are a hundred Delays, Bushes, Hasterts, McCains, and Huckabees who are thinking it, and basing the platforms and their policies on it.

O’Reilly: Context is Everything

That’s Bill O’Reilly’s late apology for his lynching remarks:

O’Reilly’s exact words:

“While talking to a radio caller, I said there should be no lynching in the case, that comment off Clarence Thomas saying he was the victim of a high tech lynching (he said that on 60 Minutes, you may remember). I’m sorry if my statement offended anybody. That, of course, was not the intention. Context is everything.”

What context could possibly make this look good?

finally, the apology: on his show last night, Bill O’Reilly apologized for saying, “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence.”

Let’s use the magic of blogging technology to find out! First, the full quote:

“I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”

(note: context is utterly made up from this point onwards)

Hmmm. That still seems kinda racist Billo. Let’s try again:

Billo: Lynching was great for our system of Justice, only problem was a lack of evidence. You see, we needed a trial first, then the lynching. The dixie’s just got the order out of whack, that’s all. I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. So we have a trial for “unpatriotic speech”, and then an execution if she is found guilty.

Guest: By a jury of her peers?

Billo: Hell no. A jury of white Christian male media pundits.

Ok ok. How about:

Billo: Lynching is a metaphor, see, for killing a person’s respectability, their reputation. Dig? It’s all about perception man. I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. Then see, why should we like, listen to her?

Guest: Could that tact possibly backfire on you Bill?

Billo: Cut his mike!

There’s just gotta be some context that clears Bill O’Reilly’s good name. Golly gee wilikers, I’ve got it!

Billo: Given the disturbing amount of white supremacist activity aimed at Obama’s run for office, using language that applies that bigotry and hatred to the candidate is unforgivable. The media ought to be on the lookout for such perversions and “mistakes” made by high profile pundits, who are actually fueling the fire of extremists so afraid of Democracy they’d happily resort to the language and actions of fascism. How would your recognize this kind of attack? It could, for example, be couched as a defense of the intended victim, as follows: I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. See? See how that seems like I’m defending Mrs. Obama, when I’m actually engaging in wink-nod racism and eliminationism?

Guest: Shit, that’s clever!

Billo: Exactly. Oh God…. What if the liberal media take my media criticism of racist rhetoric out of context? My hard won reputation as a serious critic and unbiased, hard nosed opinion maker would be ruined!

And that must be what happened.

Why They Call it Homo Phobia

There are a number of issues that arise around the notion of sexuality and gender that, honestly, could use a healthy debate. Issues like should a Church be allowed to practice discrimination? (4Simpsons):

4. Apparently churches shouldn’t be able to discipline according to the Bible

A gay Christian who won a claim against the Church of England has been awarded more than £47,000 in compensation. John Reaney took the Hereford diocesan board of finance to an employment tribunal after his appointment as a youth worker was blocked.

Or the possibly competing comfort levels of trans-gendered folks and women:

3. You’re transphobic if you oppose letting people go in the bathroom of their choosing. If your young daughter wonders why the bearded guy in the dress is in the women’s room, accuse her of hate speech.

But that really isn’t possible for some folks, and Neil disappoints by joining their ranks. His positions and conclusions reek of hysteria:

Political perspective: These folks have successfully infiltrated churches, the education establishment and government. It is only going to get worse if “civil unions” are approved more broadly, because they establish a precedent for sexual preferences being civil rights.

This is the old “the world is going to end if we recognize the equality of gay people” argument. And hey folks, its true, just look at the smoking hole in the ground where Massachusetts used to be. God totally zapped that heathen state. (Emphasis mine):

2. Judges: ‘Gay’ exposure OK for kindergarteners

As WND reported in 2006, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed the civil rights lawsuit by David and Tonia Parker of Lexington, concluding there is an obligation for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.

Is he kidding? Endorse? From Wing Nut Daily (emphasis mine):

In a case that could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, an appeals panel upheld dismissal of a lawsuit by Massachusetts parents seeking to prevent discussion of homosexual families in their children’s elementary school classrooms.

They don’t even want to talk about homosexual families. Your personal faith can be bigoted I suppose, but that is just denying reality. (emphasis mine)

“Public schools,” wrote Judge Sandra L. Lynch, “are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them.

I guess these parents will opt to keep their kids home to school, where they may remain shielded and dumb to the outside world. Sandra Lynch is absolutely correct in her opinion. Note that last part. How does an optional discussion of the existence of homosexual parents constitute either endorsement or even acceptance? Thats just dishonest.

4. Apparently churches shouldn’t be able to discipline according to the Bible

A gay Christian who won a claim against the Church of England has been awarded more than £47,000 in compensation. John Reaney took the Hereford diocesan board of finance to an employment tribunal after his appointment as a youth worker was blocked.

This is an interesting case. Should Christian Identity churches be allowed to keep people of color from working for them? (Frankly, stunts like these are just another reason for removing the tax-exempt status of Churches). As an employer, why should they be allowed to discriminate while secular employers cannot? Why should Churches operate above the law?

Unfortunately there are some interesting issues to discuss here, without getting frantic.

1, Christian photographer hauled before Human Rights Commission for refusing same-sex job. I wish it would have been a Muslim photographer. That would have made it more interesting.

“I wish it would have been a Muslim photographer”? Wow. It would have been every bit as heinous. Why stop at photography? Why not allow hotels to ban gay customers, or restaurants to refuse to server LGBT individuals? What’s even more disturbing is the couple’s insistence (it was actually a couple who owned a small photography business, if you read past the headline) that this was “communicating a message”. It was a marriage. They wanted pictures for their album. This just heads back to the Christianist hysteria that the Gays are trying to spread homosexuality.

Neil ends on a positive note with a quote from his favorite holy book (which is faultless and dictated by God, btw):

Matthew 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

That’s beautiful Neil. That’s effectively calling for the Lexington school district, teachers, gay rights advocates, lawyers in the case, and the judges along the way who affirmed those rights, to be killed. Neil has crossed the line that divides bigotry and hate, and done so with an eliminationist flourish.

UPDATE:  A commentor at 4Simpsons, one “Bubba”, has invited folks who comment here to journey on over and offer their opinions right into the gnashing teeth of the beast.  (It seems the fundies don’t like coming over to play on the liberal /rational side of the fence, Neil and Theobromophile excluded).

I Just Want to Slam the Fucking Pie Into Her Face

A while back I caught a story via Feministing about a truly awful gym.  Well, I got an email from one Keely Spencer (Marketing Manager at 5280) suggesting I head on over to check out an article.  He thought I’d be interested.  He was right (5280):

“Can…can I just smash her right now?”

“No, Michael, not now.”

“But, I really want to.”

“Not yet, Michael.”

It was a late-summer afternoon and Michael Karolchyk, a chocolate pie in one hand, stood in the family room of a LoDo penthouse loft, in front of an overweight actress smiling wearily from a faded floral-print couch. Karolchyk—already notorious for yelling into a bullhorn and throwing cupcakes at clients—was filming the latest commercial for his unorthodox, vulgar, and suddenly booming Anti-Gym business, but the script still wasn’t outrageous enough.

Starting to get a kind of sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?

He was giddy at the thought of slamming a pie into her face.

“Leave the pie out for now, Michael. I know you’re dying,” the director called, sensing the uneasiness swell. “God, we’re so far off the script right now.”

Karolchyk silently scanned the faces looking back at him. He had paid these people, and dammit, they were going to listen to him.

“I want to push her into the couch.”

If you read the rest of the article, it gets really easy to see this guy as buying into the very worst of the destructive memes he’s using to sell his business.  He’s reinforcing the idea of women as sex objects, and violence as a means of expressing male sexuality.  He’s the super buff alpha male here to show the loser woman her place in the world, and offer her the only salvation, the next and final rung on the ladder:  sex object:

To leverage and promote his brand, he’s created a spin-off modeling agency, Sexellence, to use as a launching point for a website that, for $3.99 per click, will include videos and photos of nude women, alone and together.

“How many of you have gone to college?” he asked. Several hands shot in the air. “Wow,” he said in mock surprise, “educated girls, fantastic. So, since you’re in school you know some things. Things like how to get to the next level.” He paced in front the room. “San Diego and Arizona, the girls are on fire. They all have big boobs already. They already have big lips. Nice loooong legs that go on all day. You can go to a restaurant and get six chicks like that,” he said. “Now you guys, if you work hard enough, you can be the Midwest Queen.” He paused for effect. “You all are hot as shit for Denver. But that’s like saying you’re hot as shit for South Dakota.” The women nodded in agreement.

Let us suspend our disbelief for a moment, and take a magical journey into a land where Michael’s motivations are as pure as snow.  He wants to help more women become fit, and believes the only way to do so is the take the worst stereotypes and expectations throws at women and use those to manipulate women into a healthier lifestyle.  Even if this was somehow the case, the manner in which Michael is promoting his business is actively hurting women.  It is fueling the fires of misogyny, self hate, and violence against women.

Even if he was just cynically exploiting the fears society drills into women, he isn’t even aiming them at fitness.  “They all have big boobs already. They already have big lips.”.  And do they get those by working out at the Anti-Gym?  How many pushups equals a silicone implant?
But beneath it all, there is an unmistakable whiff of something more than a little off:

Daylight was fading in the loft. Karolchyk was getting restless.

“I just want to slam this fucking pie into her head!”

Whatever pretenses Michael makes, he is not a healthy man:

She says her family witnessed the transformation after her son moved to Colorado. His explanation for the rift with his mother is a radio interview Karolchyk says he gave in 2007 in which he called her fat; she heard it and was deeply hurt. This is news to Pat Karolchyk, who says she has never heard her son on the radio. “Why does he lie?” she says. “What does he have to gain from hurting his parents? What is he trying to do to his family?”

Healthy? His effect on people is anything but:

During one filming at his Cherry Creek gym, Karolchyk harangued about a dozen women, all of them in their early 20s, some with children, most with stories of drunken sexual escapades. They were easy targets, vulnerable to his criticism. Their breasts were too small, he told them. Their asses were too big. He wanted them to kiss each other and dance nude in his hot tub. One woman, a tiny, 20-year-old wannabe model named Samantha, told him her C-cup breasts “were a good size” and said she kept fit by jogging regularly. Karolchyk seized the opportunity, asking her to turn slowly, take off her top, and jog in a circle. She complied with each request, kicking her legs like a horse, her breasts flipping while a half-dozen cameras preserved the moment. “Niiiice,” Karolchyk said.

A few days later I called her.

“I told my boyfriend what I did, and he said it didn’t sound like me,” Samantha said. “My mom would be disappointed.” She said she found herself getting embarrassed for the other women at the audition. “I thought, ‘That poor girl,’ but that’s probably what the other girls were thinking about me. I mean, I’m so not even like that.”

She went quiet for a few seconds before whispering, “That’s not who I am. I’m disappointed in myself.”

I felt sorry for her, an impressionable young woman who craved acceptance so badly that she’d compromised herself in a roomful of strangers. But I had been just as susceptible to his influence. A few weeks earlier, as we walked along 16th Street downtown, Karolchyk announced that he needed a tan, even though his skin was its typical warm honey color. A few blocks from the salon, he stopped. “You know, why don’t you get a tan, too?” he said. “My treat.”

I told him I’d never sought a tan, solar or otherwise.

“No, really,” he said, deadpan. “You’re whiter than shit.”

He kept insisting; I kept declining. Finally, in the drawn-out voice of a schoolyard bully, he said, “You…are…whiter…than…shit.”

Minutes later I was filling out a form acknowledging that tanning can cause skin cancer.

Read the part about Samantha again.  Now try and tell yourself there’s nothing wrong with that.  Differentiate it from the sleaze of Girls Gone Wild.  Now read the part where a staff writer falls under the same spell.  The article goes on to talk about how the image this man projects is so effective, and how it pulls people into it the power of its narrative.

One of the things I try and point out here is how various strains of extremism keep slipping into mainstream culture.  Generally when I write about this topic it centers around racism, anti-semitism, islamophobia, homophobia, and eliminationist rhetoric.  However a strident and nasty strain of anti-feminism is taking giant strides where violent racism and anti-semitism are limping.  When you stop and consider the incredible scale of hate aimed squarely at women it is enough to completely overload one’s ability to even consider it.  And its growing.

So when some jackass liar decides the best way to market his gym is to appeal to this growing tide of fear and hate, we ought to pay attention.  Not to him, but to the trends around him that are pulling this into the culture we all live in, and to the effects of that negative energy.

That we may effectively counter it.

Republicans: Eliminating Muslims

Its always startling when a nasty bout of hate breaks out close to home. There’s a lot of nastiness in Herndon, VA. I was living in Reston when this joyful little gathering took place. So again I was startled when I came across this item over at Feministe (Jill):

19t489nj.jpg

That’s a short metro ride away. The post itself is about the comments by Rudy’s Aide, suggesting we need to “get rid of” Muslims. Jill goes into a bit more depth:

Deady later clarified:

“When I say get rid of them, I wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide. What I was referring to is, stand up to them every time they stick up their heads and attack us. We can’t afford to say, `We’ll try diplomacy.’ They don’t respond to it. If you look into Islamic tradition, a treaty is only good for five years. We’re not dealing with a rational mindset here. We’re dealing with madmen.”

“I wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide?” That may be more telling than the original comment.

Indeed. I hadn’t caught the clarification. It is worse than the original comment, all the more so in that its unfolding in a responsibility vacuum on the part of Giuliani.

Via Jill, Ali continues:

I will leave it to each individual to determine whether the GOP’s “gaffes” are just that, or that they are part of a sustained campaign to not only lose as many American-Muslim votes as possible (you guys are succeeding!), but to further demonize Islam in order to perpetuate some kind of religious standoff consistent with Tim Lahaye’s vision.

I think we have two things going on here. The first is that the Republican field is rife with riffs on the original Southern Strategy. We see it with Huckabee’s winks and nods to hardline evangelical Christians and anti-immigrant rants, Ron Paul’s winks to the white supremacist set, and Rudy’s Islamophobe nods.

The second is a rising tide of eliminationist rhetoric on the right, targeting Women, Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Homosexuals, and of course, Liberals. Sometimes this speech is hidden, as in the references to “New York/Hollywood liberals” (Jews) or “San Francisco liberals” (Homosexuals). And sometimes it is right out in the open, as is the case with the Georgetown poster up above targeting Muslims. In each case, the right wing in the country is working its base into a violent frenzy. All of this virulent hate seeping into and around the mainstream is normalizing notions of inferiority and “otherness”, as well as the appropriateness of violent reactions.

We cannot stand silently by while this tide of hatred and violence rises.

UPDATE: Just a note, the poster is satirical (the actual poster, which you can see here, is arguably worse than the satire (which adheres nicely to Tom Tomorrow’s rule of right wing reality).)