In an April 9 NewsBusters post, Sheppard twists criticism of Beck for spreading anti-Obama hysteria that may have played a role in at least one mass shooting into a "War Against Conservative Opinion," insisting that "this new WACO strategy is about – getting rid of all the voices in America that don’t agree with the direction the far-left and the President they got elected are taking this nation."
Sheppard makes no mention about the details of the smoking gun evidence regarding Beck's link to cop-killer Richard Poplawski -- he posted a link at a discussion website for the neo-Nazi group Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul, and Beck has hyperbolically asserted that gun rights are under fire as friends of Poplawski claimed that the man feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way."
Instead, Sheppard puts his best spin on it:
So what's the tragic logic on display here?
Brace yourselves: folks like Beck and other conservative talkers are inciting the lunatic fringe in the nation by having the nerve to suggest an anti-gun rights Democrat president along with an anti-gun rights Democrat Congress are going to enact anti-gun rights legislation.
At no point does Sheppard offer any evidence that Obama is "anti-gun rights" or that there is an "anti-gun rights" legislation pending in Congress.
But such silly things like facts and supporting evidence would have gotten in the way of Sheppard's rant:
Sensing their dream of all radio stations resembling Air America was fading away, the Left concocted a new scare tactic: conservative talkers are a security risk because they are inciting violence. People like Beck aren’t just opposing the new President’s ideas; they’re making America a more dangerous place for law-abiding citizens to walk the streets.
Enter Poplawski stage right whose rampage the very next day by a man apparently clinging to his guns if not his religion perfectly fit the bill.
And the war was on.
As a result, for the foreseeable future, a conservative talker will likely be blamed for every criminal act that can be somehow connected to anything uttered by a right-leaning media member until such individual is fired.
Of course, Sheppard's employer is fond of linking media portrayals to influencing real-life when it suits them -- Brent Bozell, for instance, bashed pro wrestling by claiming that 12-year-old Florida boy was imitating wrestling moves he had seen on TV when he killed a 6-year-old girl (at least, until WWE sued him for libel and forced him to apologize and retract his claims and pay WWE $3.5 million). And Beck himself has blamed video games for "training our kids to be killers" and "our sons to treat women like whores."
So criticizing people for words and behavior that others might emulate is standard for conservatives. Why does Sheppard think Beck should be exempt? Apparently, inflammatory rhetoric without consequences is OK if you're a Republican.
UPDATE: County Fair's Jamison Foser reminds us of the story behind Sheppard's new favorite acronym: "But far-right extremists have a rather more ... excited view of what happened at Waco. They view it as a battle in a war between an oppressive federal government bent on taking away its citizens liberty, religious freedoms, and guns, and the freedom-loving patriots who must protect their families from enslavement by the government." Oh, and Timothy McVeigh, too.