During a television talk show discussion on tea parties and talk radio, Time’s Joe Klein showcased his crack investigative prowess when reflecting upon what he wrote on a napkin.Conservative talk radio must be protected from the Obama agenda, and this exclusive Townhall cover story will help Americans understand the importance of talk radio and the threat the government poses to it.
“I did a little bit of research just before the show on this little napkin here,” Klein told host Chris Matthews and fellow panelists. “I looked up the definition of ‘sedition,’ which is conduct and language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and, to a certain extent, Sarah Palin, rub right next—right up close to being seditious.”
Fellow panelist John Heilemann of New York Magazine was quick to concur.
“You know, Joe is right, and I will name another person here, his name is Rush Limbaugh, you know, who uses this phrase, talks about the Obama administration as a ‘regime,’” Heilemann said. “That phrase which has connotations of tyranny.”
A somber-faced Matthews—who used to refer to the George W. Bush “regime”—nodded compliantly expressing his grave concern. Matthews himself said months earlier, “The activists on radio are not afraid, because they’re not afraid of anything. But at some point, if we have violence in this country against our president of any form or attempt, people are gonna pay for it, the people who have encouraged the craziness.”
Craziness can apparently be defined as criticizing the public policies of elected officials.
“The typical liberal rhetoric is that free speech is only free speech when you agree with them,” said conservative talk-show host Mike Gallagher in an interview for this story. “I remember when Hillary [Clinton] shrieked, saying it is healthy to dissent when Bush was president.”
The intense attacks are because talk radio’s influence has skyrocketed with the burgeoning tea party movement and a potentially watershed mid-term election coming in November, Gallagher noted.
“Talk radio is quintessential. It is a grassroots medium. The tea party movement’s mindset is grassroots. So there is perfect synergy between talk radio and the tea parties,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been doing this since 1978. I’ve seen a lot of peaks and valleys. Now talk radio has the opportunity to make a true, real difference in the direction of the country. Most of us are taking that very serious. I know I am.” …
The use of absurd liberal demagoguery to accuse conservative talk radio of demagoguery is not new. Recall President Bill Clinton said “loud and angry voices” on talk radio who were “promoters of paranoia” were responsible for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which was, at the time, the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil.
But the smearing of conservative talkers seems to have reached another high point in today’s efforts by Democrats and some in the media to defend President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress and to discredit the tea party movement.
“The number of attacks on conservative talk radio has increased with the tea parties because they are accused of drumming up civil unrest,” Michael Harrison, editor of the trade journal Talkers magazine, said in an interview for this report. “To blame conservative talk radio for instigating violence is unfair and unhealthy. Demonstrations are the American way. That is politically motivated criticism. To question your government is what this country was built on.”
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