There’s a fair amount of speculation by leftists that rightist radio and TV contributed to the violence recently seen against police in Pittsburgh.
Careful folks, if you believe that, then it follows that violent video games and rap lyrics have the same effect.
Now, I’m on record that I believe that some comments by rightists are over the top and in some cases seditious.
But I think now that there is no such thing as sedition in the US. For good reason the Sedition Act was repealed in 1920, after 2 years in service. It was grossly misused, poorly written and is unlikely to have stood a constitutional test. God help us if it had been in place over the past eight years.
There’s other law to cover this:
INCITE A RIOT – Urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.
“…a public disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual, or (2) a threat or threats of the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat or threats, where the performance of the threatened act or acts of violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual.”
Or, in many jurisdictions:
Inciting to violence.
(A) No person shall knowingly engage in conduct designed to urge or incite another to commit any offense of violence, when either of the following apply:
(1) The conduct takes place under circumstances that create a clear and present danger that any offense of violence will be committed;
(2) The conduct proximately results in the commission of any offense of violence.
I have to be honest, I think most of this rightist rhetoric walks right up to the line, but it would be hard to show that the circumstances in which these comments are made are those wherein a “clear and present danger that any offense of violence will be committed”. Namely because the statutes are written on the assumption that the person inciting the violence is physically present in the situation described, or at the very least is directly and knowingly communicating with a person in such a situation.
So I say back off on the claims of causality. You can condemn them for being irresponsible, but you can’t tie them to the crimes. That is, unless you want to see Dee Snider in jail too.