Conspiracy Theories Inspire Shootings

Is Glenn Beck inspiring the crazies? Hey, I’m just asking the hard questions, here.

Byron Williams, aka, the “Highway Shooter”, the man who engaged in 12 minutes of gun play with the California Highway Patrol, has confessed to an interviewer that he was inspired by conspiracy theories he learned from Fox News ranter Glenn Beck. He also mentioned Alex Jones and David Horowitz in his interview.

“In the interview, Williams details what he saw as an elaborate global conspiracy and tells the journalist — whom he sees as his “media advocate” — to look to specific broadcasts of Beck’s show for information on the conspiracy he describes. (MediaMatters says Beck’s show provided “information on the conspiracy theory that drove him over the edge: an intricate plot involving Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, a Brazilian oil company, and the BP disaster.”)”

Anyone with a few year under the belt is all too aware that these sort of wacky theories tend to pop up whenever Democrats are in office. There must be something inherently scary about social programs. Not to worry, I’ve heard that holding and shooting guns helps to relieve the pain.

“In a 2009 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the anti-government militia movement — which had risen to prominence during the Clinton administration and faded away during the Bush years — has returned. According to the SPLC, the anti-government resurgence has been buttressed by paranoid rhetoric from public officials like Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and media figures like Fox News’ Glenn Beck.”


Explore posts in the same categories: Confused Thinking, Conspiracy Theories


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5 Comments on “Conspiracy Theories Inspire Shootings”

  1. well..i don’t know. Sounds like “the video game made me do it” defense. But lets not forget, when it comes to whacky politically motivated conspiracy theories, the right wing doesn’t have a corner on the market.
    Not a month passes that my local newspaper doesnt have some dipshit foaming at the mouth about how Bush Jr. created the 911 attacks.
    Wherever fanaticism exists there will be fucktards willing to fan the fires of confusion, misinformation and hostility.
    Lets also remember…the John Birch Society was probably the first right wing “militia.” Maybe not as well armed, but clearly this element has been with us a long time.

  2. Victor Says:

    True enough. There are plenty of people teetering on the edge of sanity out there. I just don’t think shows like Beck’s should be on a “News” channel. It gives them too much credibility to those that have no idea what credibility is. It’s billed as “commentary”, but whenever anyone talks about it around here they refer to Beck as “the news”.

    I can’t believe anyone falls for the 911 bullshit. Out of all the events in the world that one was right out in the open for all to see.

  3. Kassul Says:

    “I can’t believe anyone falls for the 911 bullshit. Out of all the events in the world that one was right out in the open for all to see.”

    EXACTLY Victor! That’s how they so deviously hid their involvement, by making it absurdly obvious that they didn’t do it. Such cunning and high level deception…

    “A plan within a plan within a plan leading to a trap.”

    The architects of 9/11 (obviously not Bush/Cheney/etc, they were the fall guys) are Cardassians!

    It is a bit …crazy to think that people take crazy people like Beck seriously, but tbh I’m not sure how much blame I’d put on Beck himself. I’d prefer it if he wasn’t a raving lunatic, or at least that he strongly emphasized that nonviolence is key when protesting the actions of the leftist/commie/nazi/demoncrats alliance… but I also feel like the crazy bastards that are actually out there shooting with their guns get the lions share of the blame. Regardless of what Beck et. al., say you and I aren’t out shooting people.

    Beck doesn’t actually (afaik) directly incite violence against specific people or groups of them. Until then, he might be helping/inspiring the crazies, but not in a way that actually distresses me all that much. If Beck wasn’t, I imagine the crazies would latch onto something else to justify their hate and violence. Even if he did push a person or two over the edge from muttering quietly to themselves into actual violence, I think I value free speech more(provided he didn’t clearly incite said violence in a way that any rational outsider would expect)

    Need some good data on what the effects of Beck’s show have been before I could confidently say anything more.

  4. Victor Says:

    Well, if it was the Cardassians. Yeah, they could pull it off. Sneaky bastards!

    Yeah, Beck is free to say all he wants. It’s not enough for me to desire censorship of any kind (I actually got verbally abused by a co-worker for saying that I didn’t think Don Imus should be censored. Which is kind of funny, really.

    And all sides are guilty of it. Insighting pure emotion for votes/ratings is just not right. And it does drive home how many people out there are teetering on the edge of sanity. It would be interesting for a real study, though. How many people that subscribe to crazy theories actually act on them? There was a notorious murder here in my home town last year and once they caught the guy they found out that he was raised by an anti-government militia member with ties to all kinds of groups. Can’t do much for a person’s grasp on reality to be raised in an environment like that.

    I think if critical thinking was required at schools, it would help people over come things like that. Of course, there’s also movements to eradicate public education as well. Oh, well.

  5. If Twinkies and video games can be blamed for violent acts, why couldn’t Glenn Beck’s mouth.

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