Angry America

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Clockwise from top left: Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage.
Clockwise from top left: Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage.

But the language lately on air has grown particularly fierce and apocalyptic: President Obama called a dictator and sympathizer with terrorists. His policies called socialist, Marxist, Bolshevik, dangerous. Americans called to rise up in revolt. All this while the economy tanks and gun sales surge.

Is this just the hurly-burly of American politics, or something else?

This hour, On Point: Hot airwaves, fear and anger in the age of Obama and economic bust.

You can join the conversation. Have you heard the talk-show calls to rise up and take back the country? What do you think when you hear President Obama called fascist, Manchurian candidate, terrorist sympathizer? Is this just democracy in action — free speech and political protest? Is it different from the kind of attacks leveled at George W. Bush?

Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Joining us from Montgomery, Ala., is Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which tracks extremist groups across the country.

Joining us from Washington, D.C., is Allan Lichtman, professor of history at American University and author of "White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement."

And joining us from Princeton, N.J., is Mickey Edwards, Republican Congressman from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1993 and a member of the House Republican Leadership in those years. He’s now a lecturer in public and international affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. His new book is “Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost--And How It Can Find Its Way Back.”

More links:

A big thanks today to Media Matters, which tracks, catalogues and fact-checks political rhetoric.

You can link to some of the media personalities whose sound bites were played on today's show: Rush Limbaugh; Glenn Beck; Sean Hannity; and Michael Savage.

This program aired on April 13, 2009.


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