Three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officers were killed on Saturday, and according to prominent left-wing bloggers including the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, it's because of conservative talk show hosts on radio and television.
Most frequently named as the culprit in such vitriolic postings was Fox News's Glenn Beck.
Such a disgusting conclusion stems from comments made to the press by friends of assailant Richard Poplawski as to why he might have carried out such a heinous act.
As the Associated Press reported Saturday:
A gunman wearing a bulletproof vest and armed with an assault rifle held police at bay for hours as their fallen officers were left bleeding nearby, their colleagues unable to reach them.
When it was over four hours later, three officers were dead and more than 100 rounds had been fired by SWAT teams and the gunman on the quiet Pittsburgh street, police said. [...]
Richard Poplawski, 23, was charged with three counts of homicide, aggravated assault and a weapons violation. He had gunshot wounds in his legs but was otherwise unharmed because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Harper said. [...]
Poplawski had feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon," said Edward Perkovic, his best friend. [...]
Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said Poplawski feared that President Barack Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he "wasn't violently against Obama."
The Left sprang into action. Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas published the following:
This appears to be an inevitable result of the bad economy, a conservative movement circling the drain, feeling betrayed, isolated, and defeated, and the rampant eliminationist talk from right-wing nutjobs on the radio and TV.
I know Barb blogged this below, but it's important to see the aftermath of right-wing hysteria, because this is likely just the beginning. Unless the Becks (and Beck-wannabees) walk back from that ledge, they'll be to blame for more atrocities of this sort.
Obama isn't coming for anyone's guns. The NRA won that battle years ago and the Democrats have long since moved on. Yet the eliminationists carry on, whipping their readers and listeners into a frenzy of panic and fear, and as a result, four little girls (and a young woman) don't have dads tonight. And I fear today was just the beginning.
Ummm, Markos: after being recently laid off from his job, the guy got into a fight with his mother over a dog urinating in the house, and you blame this on right-wing talkers? Are you joking?
Sadly not, for the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan reached the same conclusion:
Many of us have worried that the heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces might spill over at some point into violence in the hands of individuals prone to lashing out. We now have what seems to be a clear instance of that and three dead police officers. One wonders whether Fox News or the Second Amendment fanatics will chill it out a little. And then one realizes who we're talking about.
How disgusting, Andrew. You should be ashamed of yourself.
But Moulitsas and Sullivan weren't alone, for David Neiwert made the same hateful, unfounded observation:
And Taylor Marsh:
He feared an Obama gun grab? Gee, I wonder where he could have heard that.
[O]ne element in today’s world that also plays a part, particularly since the shooter mentioned an Obama gun ban that is a fear threat of the right used by people like the N.R.A., is that people like Poplawski are the perfect target for the right-wing fearmongering hate speech circling the media airwaves since conservatives lost their hold on everything.
John Cole called it "Glenn Beck's America."
Steve Benen wasn't shy about this either:
As David Neiwert, who documents these kinds of right-wing activities, recently reported, there was a lengthy segment on Fox News two weeks ago in which Glenn Beck and the NRA's Wayne LaPierre insisted that Americans' 2nd Amendment rights are "under attack" from the Obama administration. What's more, as Neiwert noted this morning, the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran a story just three days ago about "speculation that President Obama might pull the trigger on tighter regulations for gun ownership." The article quoted a gun-store salesman raising the specter of a "confiscation of firearms" from the government.
Everyone would benefit if the right could just lower the temperature a bit.
And Jay Stevens:
Of course, it's not ju st [sic] extremist rhetoric on firearms -- it's all over the place lately, even extending to calls to arms over sparkly dishes and embodied by the weird rantings that Glenn Beck has engaged in since getting his Fox News gig.
If Neiwert is correct, this is probably only the beginning of some unpleasantness. The radio gasbags are getting more and more incoherent and wild and the population most subject to their violent rants are armed to the teeth. I think we can all see where this might be headed.
Of course, one could make the case that these folks got their marching orders concerning this issue from two of their heroes as Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann pointed fingers at Beck's supposedly inflammatory rhetoric on the March 20 installment of HBO's "Real Time."
But when an unstable, highly-armed, recently laid off guy who was kicked out of the marines for throwing a food tray at his drill sergeant gets into a fight with his mother and shoots three police officers, it is absolutely irresponsible for people to blame it on anyone BUT the man pulling the trigger.
Alas, it's probably just as irresponsible for me to think any of those cited in this piece would be responsible about anything.
Post facto commentary: Let's be clear what these attacks on folks like Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are all about -- the left-wing in our nation want to silence ALL opposing voices in the media, and they will do it using all tools at their disposal INCLUDING blaming journalists and political commentators for the criminal behavior of others.
As much as the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress are leading America down the path of irreversible socialism, their minions in the media -- particularly those in the liberal blogosphere -- are doing everything in their power to eliminate opinion not in lock-step with the revolution.
Those who disagree with the direction our nation is heading better be willing to stand up and fight or there will soon come a day when you don't recognize the land you live in.
Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.