Bloody Microphones)

The secret and shameful thought that rattles around inside the little brains of radio demagogues such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage: “Freedom of speech allows me to say any crazy, demagogic, incendiary, inflammatory, rabble-rousing, grossly untrue thing I want on the radio, and nobody can shut me up!”

Right-wing radio talk show hosts and shock jocks feel free to say whatever they want during their broadcasts, no matter how provocative, dangerous, irresponsible, and false.

Why is this? The reason could not be more obvious: Such flame-throwing, burn-down-the-house rhetoric boosts their audience ratings and public profiles. As a result, radio demagogues make more money – which is what they are really all about.

Unfortunately, others often pay dearly for their hateful dialogue. Certainly, Gabby Giffords is the latest example of this, no matter how insane Jared Lee Loughner may be. And don’t try to tell me that the hateful rhetoric that spews forth daily from right-wing radio had no effect on Loughner.

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Why Does Glenn Beck Hate the Victims of Natural Disasters?

On his nationally broadcast radio show, Glenn Beck routinely goes out of his way to denigrate people whose lives have been ripped apart by disasters.

In September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck derided as “scumbags” the victims of the disaster who were forced to huddle for days in the Louisiana Superdome to escape the floodwaters. Apparently, what enraged Beck about these individuals, most of whom were black New Orleanians, was that they did not leave the city in time to avoid the disaster.

Of course, the majority of these people were poor. Many were elderly. Others were disabled, mentally or physically or both. Few owned cars or had money for public transportation. (Unfortunately, for the people of New Orleans, free emergency evacuation via school buses and other city vehicles was non-existent during the tragedy.) On top of everything else, most of the people in the Superdome had nowhere to go, or money to house and take care of themselves when they got to wherever Beck wanted them to flee.

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