Tiller the Baby Killer

This post has to do with new media accountability and giving a voice and motive to the criminally insane.

On May 31st of last year, an American physician named George Tiller was shot in the head and killed.  George Tiller had become a public figure when political commentator and general psychotic American citizen, Bill O’Reilly, started referring to George Tiller as “the baby killer” on his television show “The O’Reilly Factor”.

It is up for debate if Bill O’Reilly, who had slammed George Tiller for years on his conservative talk show, is to be held accountable for Tiller’s murder.

My Ethical question is where does the LAW draw the line when it comes to media accountability?  Bill O’Reilly never said that we need to kill George Tiller, but he implied that he needs to be “stopped”.  Can the media have some ethical [or legal] accountability when it comes to what their audience does with their biased news?

If that’s the case, could JD Salinger have been responsible for the murder of John Lennon?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Tiller the Baby Killer

  1. First of all, I would like to point out that Fox “News” is in no way “news.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Even their “news” department does not report the news. Please do not insult journalists in this way.

    While I would like for Bill O’Reilly and the rest of Fox “News” to be “stopped,” I’ve been watching Bill-o long enough to know he probably didn’t mean “shot.” Well, maybe a little. But Bill-0 didn’t cause Tiller’s death.

    I suppose the pertinent question is should the entertainers at Fox News and MSNBC, knowing that their audience is bound to include some psychopaths, be more careful with what they say on air? Unfortunately, suggesting someone should be “eliminated” on public television seems to be protected under First Amendment rights – such as when Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Or maybe it’s because they’re on cable.

    Ethically, yes. They should take care that their message does not spark anything so drastic. Practically? No. They shouldn’t have to alter their entire message while the bulk of the audience won’t do anything more than offer Bill-0 a standing ovation. Care needs to be taken when addressing the minority so as not to infringe upon the freedoms of the majority.

    While Bill-0 should be careful in choosing suggestive words, his whole franchise is based on such language. Aggression has been his golden goose, and he’s not about to grow some common sense (or a soul) any time soon.

    1. I agree on most points you touch on, but journalists are the watchdogs of society and should hold people accountable. And if something drastic is necessary for peoples’ safety and well-being then it should be done.

      The problem that I see is that O’Reilly and Fox News feeds off of the moral panics they create. This economy of fear (both inspired by and responsible for the Neo-Conservative movement over recent years) is intentionally driving its followers to hold O’Reilly’s opinions as strongly as he fights for them on his show. It’s not information; it’s brainwashing. So I do believe O’Reilly and other strong-arm media personalities with the same beliefs are to blame in this case. But there is no way to hold them accountable.

      Also, JD Salinger should have no responsibility for Lennon’s death. Nothing is explicit in Salinger’s work. The dude was a psycho. I fail to grasp the comparison between the two situations.

      1. Well that’s where a lot of viewpoints differ. Is the media a watchdog, or is it just an entity propagating the establishment? I suppose in that case, it is a watchdog in a sense that it attempts to keep people in line with what the establishment desires. For you, it would seem, the media – journalists in particular – should play that watchdog role. I would agree to a very limited extent, but there’s a fine line the journalists would have to walk.

        As for Glen Beck and the like, there’s really nothing anyone can do about or for them. In a sane and normal country (countries Americans like to bash on but secretly envy) like, oh I don’t know, Canada, it’s probably hard to find someone who argues that progressivism is just a euphemism for marxism or communism, that taxes are evil and gov’t spending is evil, then goes on to say he educated himself by reading books in libraries, “they’re free,” on tv very often. But then again, even a four year old in Europe could properly explain what the difference between revolution and evolution is to Glen Beck, who obviously does not understand the nuances of their meanings. But now I’m just rambling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s