Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Assails `Hate' Radio

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Assails `Hate' Radio

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton condemned on Monday "purveyors of hatred and division," suggesting that angry words nurture violent acts such as the bombing in Oklahoma City.

He made his remarks, including a slap at "things that are said regularly over the airwaves," in an emotional speech to the American Association of Community Colleges.

"We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other," Clinton said. "They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, violence is acceptable."

Clinton said the bombing of the federal building was "the end result of abject hatred."

He urged Americans to stand up to "the purveyors of hatred and division. . . . The exercise of their freedom of speech makes our silence all the more unforgivable."

Clinton has tangled with conservative talk-show hosts before, suggesting that they contribute to a national mood of negativism. But White House aides were quick to insist that he wasn't singling anyone out on Monday.

`Dissent, Not Hate'

But talk-show host Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience Monday that "a national hysteria is breeding and brewing" to blame conservatives for the Oklahoma City bombing.

And a fellow conservative talk-show host, G. Gordon Liddy, rejected any notion that he was somehow responsible.

Limbaugh insisted that the bombing was "an anarchist, lunatic nut case." He said, "The left is attempting to fashion political gain out of this tragedy," adding: "We have a group of people in this country trying to make any conservative feel guilty."

On Monday's show, carried by more than 600 radio stations nationwide, including KMOX in St. Louis, Limbaugh said true conservatives support "less government, not no government; fewer taxes, not no taxes; dissent, not hate."

He called any effort to connect him and other conservatives to the atmosphere that led to the bombing "an all-out assault on mainstream conservatism. …

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