In a truly bizarre coincidence with other posts on the blog today, information trickling out about Jim David Adkisson reveals that he was the abusive ex-husband of a long-time member of the church, and that a search of his house recovered, among other things:
"Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.As I've said before, and will no doubt say again, this shit doesn't happen in a void. The conservative media has long been centered around violent, eliminationist rhetoric and "jokes." I would like to think this tragedy will make people reconsider the wisdom of "jokes" exhorting violence against other Americans (or anyone else), and fear that it won't.
It's all too easy to shirk responsibility for one's contributions to the culture in which this happened with pithy statements like, "Millions of people listen to that stuff and only one guy took it to heart." Thing is, all of us who put ideas "out there" into the public sphere know damn well that we influence people, which is why it's important not to be flippant and toss around dangerous ideas as "jokes." And somehow, "Hey, I was only kidding; it's not my problem if the guy couldn't understand a joke" doesn't strike me as being of particular comfort, to the people who lost someone in a real-world manifestation of such "hilarity."