This is priceless. Apparently John Cusack, playing on the whole 'Islamic Mosque at Ground Zero' kerfuffle, tweeted the other day that they should build “A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS.”
Of course Fox News went crazy
: Cusack is attacking people and calling for the "Satanic death" of people, etc. Whatever. After claiming that their own commentators such as Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, etc, don't incite people to violence when calling on people to "reload" and for "revolution", of course they take the opposite position when a celebrity
makes an ironic post contrary to their agenda.
Cusack has long been outspoken about politics. He supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and has contributed to The Huffington Post, but this is the first known time he has stooped to the level of making threats.
And while the U.S. Constitution protects Cusack's right to speak his mind, some critics say he should be more careful about what he says, since he has more than 200,000 Twitter followers.
“His provocative tweets could easily incite a rabid fan to commit violent acts against Fox News Headquarters and others he names," said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills-based psychiatrist and author of "Coping With Terrorism: Dreams Interrupted."
"Fans could not only be influenced because of their devotion to Cusack, the man, but also because of their love for one of the characters he plays,” she told Fox411.
Cooper Lawrence, the author of “Cult of Celebrity” told Fox 411: “The fear isn't that a celebrity will influence someone to do something violent or out of character due to the sheer devotion to the celebrity, the fear is that someone who is already vulnerable, mentally disturbed, already considering something dangerous, may be encouraged to do so if it is advocated by their favorite star,”
Lawrence explained that while celebrities don't make healthy people do things they wouldn't normally do, they could impact someone who is on the fence or mentally unstable.
“John Cusack has to know that his words carry weight because he is an actor beloved by many generations of folks who may not get his humor and might think he is calling for something more sinister. The responsibility is on him to not abuse his fame to influence something negative on the off chance that even one person takes his words to heart,” Lawrence said.
Stanley Fish has a good column
which expresses something I've thought for quite some time:
If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. But if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going on or is in the air (he came from nowhere) and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable, sui generis phenomenon.
How long before Fox News begins attributing the actions of the guy who was killed at the Discovery Channel to "his leftist agenda" or call him a "radical environmental terrorist" or some such thing?