On the Real Effects of Cable’s ‘Deranged Demagogues’

Political Animal blogger Steve Benen (6/11/09) has a look at the remarkable occurrence of Fox News‘ Shep Smith “reminding the viewing audience, shortly after the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, of the DHS report that warned of potentially violent radicals” and “talking about the emails he’s seen from Fox News viewers” he calls “amped up and so angry for reasons that are absolutely wrong, ridiculous, preposterous”:

Smith, with good reason, seemed genuinely concerned about the severity of the right-wing rage. Just as important, he seemed to realize that these increasingly agitated conservatives are incensed, not because of justified concerns, but because of “ridiculous” developments that have been cooked up in the far-right imagination.

But here’s the kicker: soon after Smith had signed off for the day, his Fox News colleague, Glenn Beck told his national television audience “the Germans” during Hitler’s rise “were an awful lot like we are now.”

Benen dares to suggest that “the reason the emails to Fox News have become ‘more and more frightening'” and “‘out there'” is largely “because of deranged demagogues like Beck telling confused conservatives they have reason to be enraged, reality notwithstanding.” Read the current issue of FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “Glenn Beck Is No Howard Beale: Heâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Mad Like a Fox, and Wants to Take Us In” (6/09) by Steve Rendall.