From Media Matters:
“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.”
– Byron Williams
Byron Williams, a 45-year-old ex-felon, exploded onto the national stage in the early morning hours of July 18.
According to a police investigation, Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armour-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle.
When the smoke cleared, Williams surrendered; the ballistic body armour he was wearing had saved his life. Miraculously, only two of the 10 CHP officers involved in the shootout were injured.
In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams “stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”
The Tides Foundation is a low-profile charitable organization known for funding environmentalists, community groups, and other organizations.
Beck, it turned out, had attacked Tides 29 times on his Fox News show in the year-and-a-half leading up to the shooting.
Now, in exclusive interviews and written correspondence with journalist John Hamilton, Williams speaks for himself. He asks Hamilton to be his “media advocate” and repeatedly instructs him to watch specific broadcasts of Beck’s show for information on the conspiracy theory that drove him over the edge: an intricate plot involving Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, a Brazilian oil company, and the BP disaster.
Williams also points to other media figures — right-wing propagandist David Horowitz, and Internet conspiracist and repeated Fox News guest Alex Jones — as key sources of information to inspire his “revolution.”
Tom Funk a neighbour of Byron Williams spoke to the media describing the man:
“He was up there cussing and saying that America is not going right by having a black president… He was using words he shouldn’t be saying after 9-11, because it would have put him in jail. Threatening words towards the president.”
Speaking on why her son was so angry, his mother had this to say:
“Life in a small town can be very cruel,” Janice says, fighting back tears as she recalls her son’s failure to find a job.
“This economy, the way that it is, if people are going to hire somebody, they probably won’t hire an ex-felon,” she says. “If it was boom times, things would have been different.”
A very typical scenario that we in the actual left see all the time. Once again the crimes of capitalism is being blamed on people who don’t support capitalism. Right wing big business, particularly banks, causes a major recession kill millions of jobs, and we get the blame for it. The mindless drones that follow the right wing ideology, fall at the feet of hate mongers like Glenn Beck and Sara Palin dump their own stupid actions and beliefs on us in the Left. These people have no idea how to think for themselves at all. I can’t understand how stupid these people are.