[h/t to Heather.] On Countdown, Keith Olbermann talked about the power of words and why Bill O'Reilly and the Fox News Channel are at least partially responsible for the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. As his guest, he had author Frank Schaeffer, who wrote "Crazy for God" about his years in the religious right.
Yesterday, Schaeffer wrote a heartfelt apology apology at Huffington Post for his part in forming the anti-abortion movement. Keith contrasted his apology with the response by Bill O'Reilly, in which Billo blamed - well, just about everyone but himself and Fox News.
Keith spoke thoughtfully about hate speech and how it influences people, then posed this question:
So, what to do? Viewer boycotts mean little. You are already here. You are not watching Fox News channel. Advertiser boycotts are of limited value, most make barely a dent in a company. Besides which, in this economy, an advertiser who found its sales boosted by association with malaria would start breeding mosquitoes.
If there is a solution, it is perhaps an indirect boycott. It is probably your experience, as it has been mine that stores, bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, often show Fox News on their televisions. Don't write a letter. Don't make a threat. Just get up and explain if they will not change the channel, leave the place and say calmly why it is you are taking your business elsewhere.
If you know a viewer of that channel, show them this tape, or just the tape of the attacks on Dr. Tiller that set the stage for his assassination. Fox News channel will never restrain itself from incitement to murder and terrorism. Not until its profits begin to decline, when its growth stops. So, not so much a boycott here as a quarantine, because this has got to stop.
I'd like to add that I already do this, and it really does have an impact. After all, businesses aren't going to anger the few customers they have left.