Bryon Williams the man who is sitting in a California jail currently accused of four counts attempted murder after a freeway shootout with police had even bigger plans, he wanted to assassinate member of the Tides Foundation, and he considers Glenn Beck his schoolteacher. Do you know who else said in a speech that they consider Glenn Beck and his chalkboard a teacher? Sarah Palin.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
In a jailhouse interview, Williams told freelance journalist John Hamilton, “There’s only one conservative channel. That’s Fox. All the other ones are liberal channels.” When asked by Hamilton if he thought that Glenn Beck has gotten better, Williams answered, “You need to go back to June…June of this year, 2010, and look at all of his programs from June, and you’ll see he has been breaking open some of the most hideous corruption. I would say like a year ago I was watching him, and it was okay, he was alright, you know? A little young, but now he’s getting it. He really, really is a lot better. He’s getting used to it. I don’t think he’s a natural newscaster, you know what I mean? I look at him more like a schoolteacher on TV, you know? He’s got that big chalkboard, and those little stickers, the decals. I like the way he does it. He’s gotten a lot better at it.
Byron Williams is justifiably getting most of the attention, because he is the first person to openly discuss the influence of Beck’s teachings, but there is another person who has been deeply inspired by, and very helpful in pushing Beck’s message, Sarah Palin. Palin has told her ample following to watch and learn from Beck. On September 13, she tweeted, “Lamestream media: watch rerun of Glenn Beck’s show today. Listen/Learn/Don’t underestimate the wisdom of the people. Times,they r a’changin!”
According to Media Matters, on August 29, 2009, Palin invited all of her Facebook friends to watch Glenn Beck expose the truth about who is really running the White House, “”FOX News’ Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House. Monday night he asked us to invite one friend to watch; tonight I invite all my friends to watch.”
During an April speech in Oregon, Palin credited Beck by saying, “his chalkboard technique he’s changing our country.” That is the same chalkboard technique that lead Byron Williams to view Beck as a schoolteacher, an opinion that I’m sure that Sarah Palin would not have disagreed with before Williams landed in jail. Just as Glenn Beck was a source of information and “truth” for Byron Williams, he serves the same purpose for Sarah Palin.
Williams may have acted on Beck’s teachings, but it is Palin’s platform that gives the message a face and a political entry point. Palin has been Beck’s doorway into Republican politics, and it is she, not Williams, who is Beck’s most valued disciple. Palin has been labeled Beck’s enabler by Media Matters, but I think her role is more important than that. She is more than an enabler. She is a legitimizer. By believing and adopting Beck’s message herself, she gives it legitimacy within the media. There are media outlets that ignore Beck daily, but they cover Palin’s repetition of Beck’s lessons.
If Byron Williams represents the danger of extremist and violent rhetoric, Sarah Palin represents what happens the language of conspiracy and hate are legitimized into the politics of fear. Beck would still be popular without Palin, but she will be providing his disciples a Beck messaged and approved candidate for 2012.
There are different ways to define danger. Sarah Palin is not going to shoot policemen or attempt to carry out an assassination plot, but she and Williams both share a belief in Glenn Beck’s message, and for this reason it is time for the Left to stop dismissing Beck. It is time to take him seriously. Sarah Palin does, and she is running for President in 2012, and this threat is not taken seriously she could carry Beck’s message with her all the way to the Oval Office.