Flashback: Media Blamed and Condemned Conservatives After Oklahoma City Bombing

April 19th, 2010 12:34 PM
“In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years with hot talk on the radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of the '90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast,” charged Time magazine Senior Writer Richard Lacayo in the May 8, 1995 edition of the news weekly, the first quote cited in a “Special Purveyors of Hate & Division Issue” published at the time of the MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter.

We also featured this gem from Bryant Gumbel on the April 25, 1995 Today show:
The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one's suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President....

Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue.