Talk Show Hosts and Liability

United States
January 18, 2011 12:17pm CST
Should talk sohw hosts be held liable for inciting violence? What is being said here in the light of the Arizona tragedy is the fact that most talk show hosts, especially conservative talk show hosts, are notorious for dramatizing situations and telling half truths to their captivated and mentally imbalance audience who take all said as gospel truth and act upon these false or inaccurate information without verification. What I have been always concerned about with reference to the propaganda by talk show hosts is that most of them willingly and knowingly incite their ignorant audience, knowing fully well how the listeners would react to what they, the hosts, pass on their listeners. A most memorable observation would be in late 2008, just days after the election of Barack Obama as president: I had mistakenly tuned to my Houston AM 740 before 10 pm (to listen to Coasttocoastam) when I heard conservative talk show host Mark Levine coaching his listeners to stop the democrats. “We must stop them! Do not let them – democrats and the Obama team - succeed!” Levine shouted. A young male caller, very excited and frustrated, asked: “Mark, what do we do now?” I sat up holding my breath, knowing as knew Mark Levine whom his listeners also refer to as their leader, that any command from Mark Levine to this caller and his listeners would be an executable command. Mark Levine, aware of the state-of-mind of this caller (thank God) took a deep breath and told the caller “we must oppose anything they do!” Almost every talk show host is aware of the influence he/she has over the listeners. And some are also knowledgeable of the fact that we are currently a robotic society where most people can only function under directives (thanks to our control-obsessed government that is busy dehumanizing folks via nano-drugs and electronic manipulation). I believe it is diabolic for a person, especially an influential person, to knowingly and intentionally use zombies – people no longer capable of using their own minds – to commit crimes. Thus when influential persons take advantage of the unfortunate state-of-mind of the majority of society to further their wicked agenda, these persons then become accomplices. There is punishment in our judicial system for accomplices.
2 people like this
5 responses
@gladys46 (1205)
• United States
18 Jan 11
It has been said that the "Fairness Doctrine" will never be revisited ...personally, I think that would be totally useless anyway ... what with the advent of the internet! What troubled me the most of much irresponsible talk was Mr. Limbaugh's remarks wherein he suggested that the President of the United States should fail! That was what I call completely over the line! With all the bad talk and speaks of GW Bush's presidential behaviors, I never, ever thought to think he should fail ... I never heard any one of another political affiliation utter such a thing. Our nation fails if our president fails ... no matter who is in that oval office. It would be a perfect world if people would think and think some more before they speak to such vast audiences ... if they would be responsible news commentators and news reporters .. there is a difference between the two, the sameness ought to be that they both be responsible.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
18 Jan 11
Really? You've never head people say that about Bush? Apparently you were wearing ear plugs and blinders for 8 years. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/11/flashback-carville-wanted-bush-fail/ http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20010109&slug=dion09 http://patterico.com/2009/03/08/democrats-have-no-right-to-be-snooty-about-rush-not-wanting-the-president-to-succeed/ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,102206,00.html http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25727089/ Perhaps you need to dig your head out of the sand there gladys. Unlike you, I check the facts. Now, as to what Rush REALLY said. He made it very clear that if Obama wants to turn us into a socialist nation than he wants him to fail. It's pretty simple and straightforward, but anyone who knows him knows that he wanted the left to steal that soundbite and just play the "I hope he fails" bit. The morons who jumped on it without checking his actual words just fed him more publicity and that's all he really wanted. I know how Rush is. In reality, he wants Obama to stay in office. Why? Because that makes him more popular because people look for loud voices who shout against an incompetent president. Having a weak liberal for a president is great for Limbaugh's career. So are people endlessly repeating his half-quotes.
@gladys46 (1205)
• United States
18 Jan 11
If you don't mind Taskr36 ... I have never heard any of my political affiliates say such a thing ... that is if you don't mind.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
19 Jan 11
Well I just provided you with proof. You're free to look at it or bury your head in the sand. That's up to you.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
18 Jan 11
"Should talk sohw hosts be held liable for inciting violence?" Only if you can prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that they incited violence. Otherwise you have a built in legal defense for each and every single person who attempts to kill a politician. EVERY politician has enemies. Most have enemies on the left AND right. Should we blame Keith Olbermann everytime some moron tries to kill a republican? Should we blame Rush Limbaugh everytime some moron tries to kill a democrat? Both concepts are ridiculous. From your post though, it's clear you would blame Limbaugh and let someone like Olbermann off the hook. "especially conservative talk show hosts, are notorious for dramatizing situations and telling half truths to their captivated and mentally imbalance audience who take all said as gospel truth and act upon these false or inaccurate information without verification." Kind of like the way YOU are acting on the crap currently being spoonfed to you by the left wing media when YOU have clearly made no attempt to verify any of it yourself. You also failed to link to any transcript of Mark Levine for anyone to verify your own claims. Even so, for sake of argument, I'll address that. "A young male caller, very excited and frustrated, asked: “Mark, what do we do now?”" Your reaction to this is quite laughable. I see a guy asking "Mark, what do we do?" You see a maniac asking "Who should I murder?" That's your own prejudice and has absolutely no basis in reality. The guy could have easily been wondering if he should campaign against democrats, protest, call his congressman or senators, and yet here, you assume this is a man ready to murder someone if Mark Levine tells him to. The simple fact, CRIMINALS should be held liable for their actions, not political pundits who may have unwittingly inspired them. That's like blaming Steve Jobs if some moron killed Bill Gates.
• United States
19 Jan 11
Why did you not defend the two sisters in Mississippi who received double-life for setting teen boys out on acts of violence? Darm hypocrite!
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
19 Jan 11
What does that have to do with anything here? You're comparing statements by pundits to two women who lured their victims into an ambush where they were robbed at gunpoint. Now the sentences for these women were beyond excessive as they had no priors and nobody was physically harmed and I'm glad their sentences were commuted. As for me not defending them, show me where I've ever said they deserved the sentences they received. Calling me names doesn't help you prove any point, if you had one to begin with since these two cases aren't even remotely similar.
• United States
19 Jan 11
Most of our talk show hosts do exactly what those 2 sisters in Mississippi did! They intentionally set the gullibles on paths of violent acts by feeding them with semi and inaccurate information! The weapons in this case are anger and hate for people with opposing viewpoint. I used the mild word INCITE when I ought to have used the word INSTIGATE, seeing these propagandists are aware of exactly what they are doing and aware of the possible results! In my opinion, these hate-driven propagandists who are out not to inform but to stir violent acts by delivering inaccurate information are accomplices to the acts of their driven zombies.
@anniepa (26468)
• United States
19 Jan 11
The thing is, it would be very difficult to prove the liability of a talk show host. Heck, even if it seemed to some of us to be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" there would still be those who wouldn't accept it as fact. Someone could say, "I got the idea from Glenn Beck" and Beck's defenders would say that's not enough evidence! Annie
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
19 Jan 11
"Someone could say, "I got the idea from Glenn Beck" and Beck's defenders would say that's not enough evidence!" Of course it's not enough evidence Annie. If I killed Sarah Palin and said "Annie told me to!" Do you think ANYONE would be dumb enough to say that's evidence? Do you really think people would jump on that and blame you without looking into what my REAL motivations were? Another reason that nobody could accept that alone as evidence is that it could be used as a built in excuse for murder. "I was hypnotized by Sarah Palin and convinced I had to kill Obama to save the country!" That there is your little insanity defense. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if this guy's lawyer tries it just because the left wing media has been spoonfeeding him that as a defense while trying to make Palin out as a villain for using a map. Note that the funniest part of that map is that I've been talking about it and posting maps that democrats have used to see if anyone can tell the difference. So far you, gladys, and every other liberal calling Palin's map "violent imagery" have failed to realize that the maps I was posting weren't hers.
@gladys46 (1205)
• United States
20 Jan 11
Perhaps if enough Americans start suing these so-called news makers in civil courts for huge sums and winning those suits, people would re-examine their speech! In civil courts the burden of proof is only the preponderance of the evidence .. much different than the more onerous criminal courts of beyond a shadow of doubt.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
20 Jan 11
Great idea gladys, let's sue until we take away the right to free speech for everyone we disagree with! What a utopia!
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
18 Jan 11
It's always been a popular cry to call people "ignorant," "zombies," and to claim the hosts have some sort of strange voodoo influence over their "robotic" listeners. But where are the cases where people have acted based on what any talk show host has said? You site some guy calling in and asking "what should we do." Well, what did he do? I don't remember reading about a case where a Levine listener beat someone up or tried to kill someone. Until people prove that they're affected by talk radio, TV, video games, rap music, etc, to the point they go out and act violent in its name, everything is just wild speculation. The fact that people haven't done such is actually disproving all the "zombie" and "ignorant" and other names that they're called, because if they're not doing what people think they might do--and have been speculating they might do for decades now--then who's to say they ever will? It might be that people are more intelligent than what you're giving them credit for. It all sounds good, it really does. The dumb, ignorant, zombie-like society that's heavily influenced by what they hear and are driven against their broken wills to act violent in the name of propaganda. Brilliant! But where is the evidence to suggest any of it's true? And even if someone could manage to find one or two cases in the past decade, that's still nothing in the context of calling society gullible as a whole. I don't get it...
• United States
18 Jan 11
Matersfish, it happens all the time! We have heard over and over again how celebrities and prominent folks have made their ill wishes known and those ill wishes were indeed fulfilled by obsessed fans. And, I said the majority. While you may (or may not) be a part of the majority, I know that we are in fact a robotic society! For more details check out Human or Robot? - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3015454/human_or_robot.html?cat=15
• United States
18 Jan 11
Stalking is obsessive and often delusional. It is a psychological thing, not a societal thing. It doesn't happen "all the time." Few celebrities pick up stalkers in an age where damn near everyone and their mama is a celebrity. And it isn't due to the influence of the celebrity. It's the fragile mind of the stalker - a mentally ill person whose psychosis manifests delusional beliefs. These people usually have very little interest in popular culture and focus their efforts on their delusional lives, wherein they create a fantasy of the victim and work toward an ultimate goal - usually of "being together." This has absolutely nothing to do with society and everything to do with the unhealthy fixations of a few disturbed people for every 10,000 celebrities.
• United States
19 Jan 11
Matersfish, is not a few: Your so-called "disturbed people" is a ploy that had been going on for several years in an attempt by our government to dehumanize and control society.
@Rollo1 (16674)
• Boston, Massachusetts
18 Jan 11
Your post is full of assumptions and things that either have been proven false or could never be proven false because they are supposition. "A young male caller, very excited and frustrated, asked: “Mark, what do we do now?” I sat up holding my breath, knowing as knew Mark Levine whom his listeners also refer to as their leader, that any command from Mark Levine to this caller and his listeners would be an executable command. Mark Levine, aware of the state-of-mind of this caller (thank God) took a deep breath and told the caller “we must oppose anything they do!”" You believe that his listeners would execute his every command, no, you say you KNOW they would. Moreover, you then can tell that the fellow on the phone is a robot waiting for orders, moreover, Levin knows he must give an order and it will followed. But, then as you further are able to discern over the radio, Levin follows his better instincts and just says " we must oppose everything they do". As opposed to what? What did you think Levin was going to say instead...bomb them all? And if the right wing talk show host is so violent and has such control over these listeners, why on earth would he restrain himself? I think there are robots and there is paranoia. I just don't think I see them in the same places you do.
• United States
19 Jan 11
I make no assumption, pal. What I have written are plain facts.
@Rollo1 (16674)
• Boston, Massachusetts
19 Jan 11
I didn't realize you were psychic and can read minds.