There is some very dangerous -- as in red-hot incendiary -- hatred going on, and it's being advanced by the national news media directly.
The panel of judges for the Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2010 found that theme time and time again while selecting the year's worst reporting and punditry.
PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley won "The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble." On May 25, he was interviewing author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a bold critic of radical Muslims -- at the risk of a fatwa against her own life since 2004. Ali said jihadists "got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter."
Smiley shot back: "But Christians do that every single day in this country."
Jaws dropped. Ali couldn't believe her ears: "Do they blow people up every day?"
Read very carefully Smiley's response: "Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools. That's what Columbine is -- I could do this all day long."
Smiley wasn't done. Next, he smeared the tea party movement, repeating falsehoods as fact: "Here are folk in the tea party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people."
What, oh, what is the U.S. Congress doing underwriting this radical leftist dishonesty with taxpayer money?
Liberals like Smiley cravenly plead that Islam is no more violent than any other faith. Then they blame Christians for violently persecuting Muslims. When controversy erupted this fall over a mega-mosque proposal at ground zero, Christian conservatives were put in the cross hairs. The dreadful ABC host Christiane Amanpour won "The Ground Zeroes Award for Impugning Americans as Islamophobic."
In an Oct. 3 "This Week" special on Islam, Amanpour opened fire on Gary Bauer in that snooty British accent of hers: "As you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center, have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns. ... My question is: Do you take any -- after some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer -- do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro (Tenn., where a mosque site was vandalized)?"
Bauer, like Ali, was stunned. "Are you serious? Absolutely not. I have never encouraged violence. I condemn violence."
But Amanpour would have none of it. "You don't think the rhetoric lays the groundwork for others?"
When conservatives warn America of the potential threat of Islamic radicalism, they're "rhetorically laying the groundwork" for violence. When Islamic radicals actually plot -- and undertake -- violence, America is to be blamed for its failure to be open-minded enough. Such is the worldview of our increasingly radicalized "news" media.
If conservatives are going to be called terrorists, the megaphone-in-chief for that clarion call must be the rabid Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. He won the "Obama's Orderlies Award for Prepping America for ObamaCare" with a Jan. 5 screed about our allegedly murderous private health care system: "What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies and those who support them are doing just that. ... Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, (radio host) Neal Boortz and those who ape him in office and out approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them -- a year -- in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"
Boortz wasn't alone as some kind of talk-radio terrorist in Olbermann's cockeyed view. Olbermann also took the "Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh" for his rant on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. He wouldn't blame the actual (executed) bomber, Timothy McVeigh. He was still painting with liberal smears from the Clinton years: "What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno's hands-on management of Waco? ... Obviously, the answer is talk radio. Specifically Rush Limbaugh's hate radio. ... Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now, and you have had it for 15 years."
You can dismiss these as the ludicrous utterances of Smiley, Amanpour and Olbermann. But what does it say that they are headliners for PBS, ABC and NBC? It is those networks, not just their reporters, that are advancing a very dangerous form of hatred on the airwaves.