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Seamans: Rhetoric Of Hate

05/12/10 5:55PM By Bill Seamans
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(HOST) Twenty-ten graduates may be facing an uncertain future, but commentator Bill Seamans says that President Obama is urging them to make tolerance part of their outlook.  

(SEAMANS) President Barack Obama's laid-back cool disappeared when, for the first time in a major speech, he directly attacked Hate Mongers when he recently urged University of Michigan grads to restore civility in public discourse.  Obama warned that the rhetoric of Hatred was a serious danger to democracy that could ignite violence.  He said, "We cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down" and he added, "If you're a fan of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns of the Huffington Post web site.  It may make your blood boil, your mind may not often be changed.  But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential to effective citizenship."

Obama's call to restore civility seemed motivated by what could be called the rise of a billion dollar Hate Industry.  Hate has evolved as a fully mechanized product of toxic talkers spread uncontrollably by the Internet's electronic media.  Its leading practitioners, Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity, O'Reilly, Lavin are making millions tearing us down rather than uniting us to face our critical problems.

The Industry paid Glenn Beck $32 million last year according to Forbes.  Rush Limbaugh's $400 million contract lasts to 2016.  He owns a $54 million dollar executive jet, drives a $450,000 dollar foreign car, and lives in a heavily guarded Florida estate worth more then $24 million.  Their bundle is fattened even more by the millions they make for speeches, books, newsletters, T-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, hats, videos, etc, etc!

Since she resigned her $125,000 dollar job as governor of Alaska last July, Sarah Palin's take has shot up to $12 million and counting.  Her book "Going Rogue" won a $7 million dollar advance from Harper Collins.  She signed a 3-year contract with Fox at a million a year.  Sold her cable show for $3 million.  On the side, Palin charges $100,000 dollars per speech plus first class travel and accommodations.  Observers say her only limit to reaching Oprah's income level are her time and energy.  Meanwhile, Sarah Palin says she'd like to do a show imitating Tina Fey.

Is President Obama's warning a futile effort?  Are the people listening?  The Hate Mongers are more popular, more wealthy, and so politically powerful that some even are competing for the control of the Republican party.

The movie capitalist icon Gordon Gekko gave us that famous line:  "Greed is good.  I create nothing.  I own!"  I think that today those profiting from the Hate Industry can say: "Hate is good.  I create nothing.  I Hate!"
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