Revise and extend

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So I think I’ve been unfair to Glenn Beck.

“But Jeff,” you say, “Glenn Beck is rarely fair to other people. Why should you be fair to him?” Well, dear reader, it’s precisely because I’m not Glenn Beck, and I don’t aspire to be Beckian in the way I conduct myself.

Last week, I wrote a post about right-wing violence, and in it, I cited a statement by Glenn Beck about “shoot[ing people] in the head.” I wrote, after reading an extended transcript at Raw Story, that Beck was telling his viewers to shoot liberal politicians in the head. He was not. After reading a longer transcript, it’s clear he was telling liberal politicians to shoot liberal activists in the head.

Is this better? Probably not, but it is different, and so I feel I should correct the record. My larger point stands: Beck and others on the right have used violent rhetoric repeatedly in order to whip up supporters, and that has had tragic consequences, and only through good fortune and good police work have those consequences been less horrific. But in this particular case, Beck was not urging his followers to kill politicians, and so for saying he did, I apologize.