If there was any question…
“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.” – Byron Williams
According to a police investigation, Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle.
When the smoke cleared, Williams surrendered; the ballistic body armor he was wearing had saved his life. Miraculously, only two of the 10 CHP officers involved in the shootout were injured.
In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams “stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”
Media Matters also spoke with his mother:
I ask Janice about Byron’s favorite TV and radio shows. She immediately bristles at the question.
“I’m not going to get into that. All the reporters who came out here last month were blaming what he did on Rush, Glenn Beck, and the tea party,” Janice says. “Why would you blame the messenger? If Glenn Beck tells us something, and everyone gets upset about it, why blame him?”
Janice says that FBI agents came to inspect Byron’s home and took with them a stack of notes Byron had collected. “He’s been doing a lot of research. He had several binders,” she says.
I talk with Janice about how Byron told police he was heading to San Francisco to “start a revolution” and ask her why she thinks Byron would have targeted Tides.
“I had never heard of the Tides Foundation before all of this,” Janice says. “But he researched it and realized it was a money laundering scheme for the radical left that didn’t want their names attributed to what they were doing.”
I ask Janice if Byron was a fan of Glenn Beck.
“Yes, he liked Glenn Beck, but he didn’t feel he went far enough,” she says. “He’d take it only so far, but stopped short.”
Again, Janice bristles at this line of questioning.
“I had only one hate call out of all the thousands of people who heard about this case,” she says. “Most people have expressed support — not for the act, but for the frustration behind it.”
Janice says that Byron had struggled to find work after his release from prison — he was a carpenter — and was “beaten down and depressed.” With no prospects in sight, Byron whiled away the hours watching the news on television and researching the “shadow government” online.
“Life in a small town can be very cruel,” Janice says, fighting back tears as she recalls her son’s failure to find a job.
“This economy, the way that it is, if people are going to hire somebody, they probably won’t hire an ex-felon,” she says. “If it was boom times, things would have been different.”
She seems eager to defend this stuff now, which is interesting given that she previously told the local news her son “frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas … I’d say Fox News or all of those that are really radical, and he — that’s where he comes from.” I wonder what she really thinks, and to what degree what she’s saying now might’ve been influenced by her son asking her not to help the librul media blame suchandsuch.
Obviously Beck wasn’t this nutball’s only influence — the article also mentions Michael Savage, Alex Jones of conspiracymongering PrisonPlanet.net fame, etc. — but the “conspiracy” this guy was reacting to was one fabricated by Beck, and I think the guy’s admission that he wouldn’t even have watched Fox if not for Beck says a lot. At one point Janice Williams gets all, “Well if Glenn Beck tells us stuff that pisses us off, why blame him? Don’t shoot the messenger.” Well, for one it’s interesting to hear in that it’s essentially a tactit admission that her son is an unhinged loon, but that aside I’m not buying it. Glenn Beck’s message is one that he crafted himself. It isn’t as though someone handed him a bundle of important documents that he decided to read on-air instead of delivering; he wrote the damn things himself, and any embellishments that “just happen” to to get people extra riled-up are on him.
I mean, you don’t get to incite a riot and then be like, “No way brah, don’t shoot the messenger! They’re responsible for their own actions!” That’s true crazy guy with a bullhorn ranting about jews; they are. But so are you. And it’s a damn shame seeing people get so taken by a moose diarrhea salesman that they’re willing to get all incompetent-homegrown-revolutionary over it; yeah, this guy’s not all there but ponder why he didn’t go on violent rampages earlier in life. All this over the collected “wisdom” of a guy who openly admits he’s just playing a character on TV. Fucking hell.
(And uhh, about that last part I bolded? Sorry lady, I know you love your son and all but “ex-felon” is not the appropriate classification for guy who’s currently in jail for engaging in a shootout with the Oakland PD.)