pageok
pageok
pageok
Pro-riot radio commentary from Roseanne Barr and Rush Limbaugh:

A left/right convergence in support of a reprehensible idea. At least that's my analysis, in my media column for today's Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post.

DiversityHire:
Rosie O'Donnell or Roseanne Barr?

I get them confused, too.


[Thanks for catching that. I fixed the headline. My Rocky Mountain News column had the right name, yet I still got it wrong on VC. Maybe they're the same person.]
5.3.2008 4:12pm
fullerene:
The only person you are able to cite arguing for riots is Limbaugh. Although Barr's exhortation to cause a repeat of the 1968 Chicago Convention could be seen as a call for a riot, this only makes sense if the protesters caused the violence in Chicago. Given that this was largely not the case, I am not sure you can so easily claim that Barr is calling for a demonstrator-driven riot.

As you mention, Sharpton has called only for a demonstration in the even Obama is not handed the nomination. You turn this into a call for violence by claiming that Sharpton's demonstrations have a history of violence, citing two different examples from more than a decade ago. Given that Sharpton leads demonstrations about once every two weeks, I am not sure if this "history" is complete enough for people to draw any meaningful conclusions.

Wilder's comments seem the mildest of the bunch, because he is only predicting what he thinks would happen were Obama denied the nomination. Unlike Sharpton, Wilder does not have a following, and I strongly suspect that many whites and blacks have never heard of him (outside of Virginia). One would have to read this in the worst possible light and with tremendous ignorance of history to see this as a threat of violence.
5.3.2008 4:27pm
LM (mail):

Rosie O'Donnell or Roseanne Barr?

I get them confused, too.

Roseanne is to Rosie as Rush is to Michael Savage. More or less.
5.3.2008 4:45pm
Richard Nieporent (mail):
David, if I were you I would avoid referencing that column. Frankly I was embarrassed for you when I read it. You used tortured logic to in your attempt to convince your readers that your thesis had any validity. If the purpose of your column was to try and make Rush and Roseanne look like anarchists you failed miserably. They were both simply expressing their opinions, nothing more. Even Roseanne's rhetoric could be not be really construed to be that she was advocating that people riot. All she did was use a little hyperbole to indicate her dissatisfaction with what she believes will happen at the Democratic National Convention.

When it comes to Rush's comments you are not even close to being accurate. Only a political operative could deliberate misconstrue Rush's commentary so badly. Clearly he was only indicating that the more controversy there is at the Democratic National Convention the better it is for Republicans, which of course is an accurate statement.

If you wanted to write about this, I would have hoped that it was to strongly condemned Sen. Ken Salazar attempt to stifle free speech when he announced that "he was writing to Clear Channel, which syndicates Limbaugh's program, to ask Clear Channel to reprimand Limbaugh for what Salazar called "a clear exhortation that those riots are exactly what he wants to happen." The fact that that did not bother you in the least is quite troubling.
5.3.2008 5:01pm
Wahoowa:
Is it rational to think there is any overlap at all between the people who will be protesting in Denver and the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh?
5.3.2008 5:08pm
LM (mail):
Is it rational think any dittoheads are following his instructions to change their party affiliation and vote in Democratic primaries?
5.3.2008 5:20pm
glangston (mail):
I think even Rush is surprised how effective "Operation Chaos" has become. It's even gotten results on the VC.
5.3.2008 6:11pm
Flash Gordon (mail):
Rush Limbaugh did not call for riots he simply noted that some Democrats were threatening to "shut down that convention before it gets started" and said that would be just fine with him because it will let people see what a bunch of nuts and hooligans are in today's Democrat party.

Republicans, conservatives and ditto heads do not riot. That's what Left wing crackpots do.
5.3.2008 7:54pm
Nessuno:
You have to view both Barr and Limbaugh's comments as uncharitably as possible to find them full of ill will or dangerous.

I think it takes one further step toward absurdity to get upset in the case of Limbaugh, given that the people that listen to him can never be expected to actually go out and riot in Denver in defense of Obama.
5.3.2008 8:02pm
ithaqua (mail):
"Republicans, conservatives and ditto heads do not riot. That's what Left wing crackpots do."

Well said.
5.3.2008 8:04pm
PersonFromPorlock:


Republicans, conservatives and ditto heads do not riot.

Except near chads; and then, very decorously.
5.3.2008 8:15pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
To play the devils advocate what is a reasonable estimate for the loss of life if their were riots at the democratic convention? Probably a handful of people. The expected economic cost would be large on an individual scale but compared to the impact and scale of governmental policy (e.g. Iraq, defense budgets etc..) it would still be quite small. Therefore I think a reasonably compelling argument could be made that if you have good reason to believe that one parties nominee will enact much worse policies than yours a riot at their convention is the lesser of two evils.

Ultimately the misbehavior of both Barr and Rush isn't that they are advocating or hoping for a riot but that they are gleeful or at least seem uncaring about the people it is likely to harm.

I mean it's the difference between saying, "Staying in Iraq is the lesser of two evils and it's very sad that US soldiers are sacrificing their lives but it's a lesser evil than allowing a genocide," and saying "Hey, isn't Iraq a hoot. Let's invade more of these fleabag countries so we can have some entertaining TV."
5.3.2008 8:41pm
Jay Myers:
Sheesh, Kopel. You spent a lot more time going on about Limbaugh, who basically said he would like to see the Democrats self-destruct via infighting, than you did on all of the people who are actually encouraging people to commit the infighting. Do you have some personal animus against the man that prevents you from keeping things in proportion?
5.3.2008 9:23pm
LM (mail):
"Republicans, conservatives and ditto heads do not riot. That's what Left wing crackpots do."

Examples?
5.3.2008 11:23pm
Dave D. (mail):
..1968. Chicago.
5.3.2008 11:48pm
Dave D. (mail):
..1968. Chicago.
5.3.2008 11:48pm
Randy R. (mail):
Shay's Rebellion was hardly leftists. It was mostly farmers. I would not think of them as leftists in any case. That would only leave them as moderates and conservatives.

There were the riots during the civil war, when deferrments were given to people who had money. So the poor and middle class rioted. Probably a mixed lot there.

People have been rioting recently in third world countries over the high price of food. Are they all lefists? I don't think so -- I think they are just hungry.
5.4.2008 12:51am
LM (mail):
Chicago, 1968: Put aside for the moment that it's disputed whether the demonstrators or the police were principally responsible for that riot. Assume, arguendo, it was the demonstrators. If you have to go back 40 years for an example, it hardly suggests a reliable trend.

It seems the most frequent cause animating rioters nowadays, possibly other than hunger, is religion. It's usually Islam, but also Hinduism and Buddhism. And in each case the rioters' objectives are culturally conservative (though the cultures are obviously non-western).
5.4.2008 3:20am
CDR D (mail):
>>>If you have to go back 40 years for an example...

Ironic for you to say that, since it was you in another thread who had to go back 4 years to find an example of Limbaugh making an incorrect statement on the air in order to brand him a "liar". (Mohammed Atta/Prague).

Also, I don't think the rioters who destroyed their own neighborhoods in L.A. because they didn't like a jury verdict were "culturally conservative". Guess you could try to blame it on the jury. (Rodney King).

(the topic of this thread does seem to me to be about western/US riots, and not Islam/Hinduism/Buddhism)
5.4.2008 8:06pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
LM:

Or just fun. Think of the WTO riots, a lot of people seem to have gone just because they knew other people who were going and it sounded like a fun event they could hook up with other young people at.

I think if you looked into it the fact that women are attracted to guys for caring about sensitive type issues explains a surprising amount of the support for the dumb aspects of liberalism (I would call myself a liberal but try and avoid the dumb parts). The guy who climbed a tree at Berkeley to demand we democratize the regents (never mind that they are appointed by an elected official and that making them regularly run for election would be an awful idea) got an amazing amount of attention from the girls.
5.5.2008 1:43am
LM (mail):
CDR D,

Ironic for you to say that, since it was you in another thread who had to go back 4 years to find an example of Limbaugh making an incorrect statement on the air in order to brand him a "liar". (Mohammed Atta/Prague).

Wrong. I linked to 5 or 6 random lies, one of which was about Mohammed Atta. Another was about Barack Obama, and it was no more than a month or two old at the time.

I don't claim to know what you remembered or intended when you left this comment, so I won't accuse you of lying. But I do consider it uncivil of you to (mis)characterize what I said in another thread without linking to the original thread, or at least checking it for the accuracy of your recollection. I hope you'll agree that we shouldn't have to vigilantly check open threads we have comments on to make sure somebody isn't mis-stating what we said on some other unlinked thread.

As for the LA riots, they had nothing to do with leftists, which was the charge above. And speaking of irony, how many years ago were those riots? More or fewer than four?
5.5.2008 2:50am
CDR D (mail):
>>>But I do consider it uncivil of you to (mis)characterize what I said in another thread without linking to the original thread, or at least checking it for the accuracy of your recollection. I hope you'll agree that we shouldn't have to vigilantly check open threads we have comments on to make sure somebody isn't mis-stating what we said on some other unlinked thread.


My bad. I apologize. I did not review that thread as thoroughly as I should have.

(Also, I haven't yet figured out how to make links on here.)
5.5.2008 12:17pm
Germanicus:
I'm always surprised and impressed by a civil apology in an internet debate. On the internet simple misunderstandings and minor mistakes seem to have a way of escalating into insults and accusations that drown out the original discussion, and it's a credit to the readership here that the signal-to-noise ratio stays as high as it does in spite of the controversial topics being blogged about.

CDR D - There's a button above the message window with the word 'Link' on it, and if you press it, it will open a box you can type or paste a link into. That's probably the easiest way to put links into your posts.
5.5.2008 2:19pm
Germanicus:
Also, I agree with those posters who defended Limbaugh and Barr from the characterization that they were advocating rioting. Given that speech that invokes concepts like rioting, revolt, and even murder as rhetorical devices, intended only as a hyperbolic expression of disapproval, I think the bar should be pretty high before we take talk radio hosts to be literally advocating public violence.

As for the debate over what ideological group is most likely to riot, I'm sure I don't care. I don't think that our understanding of "liberalism" is improved by this sort of discussion, nor is our understanding of the social or philosophical factors that result in behavior like rioting. If someone wants to make an argument that political liberals are more likely to riot because that's a fundamental part of the ideology, that might be interesting, but simply citing a few examples isn't even close to a compelling argument.

Riots seem to occur in very specific circumstances, which include factors like immediate social frictions (like a major political event or imminent starvation), a certain threshold of mob size/density, the perception of the mob of their own power to change things through rioting or other means, the degree of perceived anonymity, and the existence of something to focus discontent against, even if that thing is only symbolic, e.g. and effigy.

It may be that the class of person most likely to be in circumstances like these are also more likely to be politically liberal, or it might be that liberals will tend to riot when these circumstances are less severe than would be required for a conservative to riot. It may be that there's no relationship at all between liberalism and rioting. It would take serious scholarship to deal with all the issues involved, certainly much more than a few examples of riots and the perceived affiliations of those involved.
5.5.2008 2:38pm
LM (mail):
CDR D,

I appreciate the straightforward apology, and like Germanicus, I wish such apologies weren't so rare.
5.5.2008 4:50pm
LM (mail):
... and by the way, first you highlight the word you want to serve as your link (i.e., left-click and drag over the word), then press "Link" and type the url into the box that appears.
5.5.2008 5:01pm