I'm not quite sure where to go with this factoid, but quite a bit is being made of Knoxville church shooter Jim Adkisson's having books from a trio of combative conservative talkers, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the very aptly named Michael Savage.
I don't spend much time listening to any of those three. I'm usually teaching when O'Reilly's show is on at 8PM and am more likely to watch Good Eats or Sportscenter during its 11PM rerun if I'm winding down from a night of teaching. I'm usually in my office when Hannity is on the radio, and I can live without his recitation of conservative talking points. I just miss the end of Hannity and Colmes by getting home about 10.
Savage raises my blood pressure more than any talker with the possible exception of Neal Boortz; his bile at anything that disagrees with him wears out its welcome in very short order. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder? I'm heading into pot-calling-the-kettle-black territory, but I'd venture that Savage would be more in need of therapy than Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi. I have people that are in my clan who like him, and that worries me.
Not everyone in the right-wing talk brigade is as caustic as Savage, but most will be quick to dismiss foes on the left as either corrupt, crazy or stupid. I wound up pulling the plug on Michael Reagan, usually one of the classier right-wing talkers, when he dissed one of the main lefties (either Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, if memory serves) as either "stupid" or "an idiot;" they may be misguided frequently, but they aren't dumb.
Such dismissal and dehumanizing of one's political foes makes the prospect of killing them less problematic. That doesn't mean all those folks are supporting such actions, but it makes it easier for troubled folks to go over the edge when you're demonizing and dehumanizing your foes.
Some of the talkers are church-goers (Hannity is a practicing Catholic; yes, he does need a lot of practice) and others like Savage and Boortz are essentially secular, but most come at things with an essentially godless take; it might be the nature of the talk-radio beast, but you hear very little love on talk radio and a lot of bile. Calmer, saner, and more caring talkers don't get the ratings.
There were angry conservative guys before talk radio came of age in the 90s. They just hear people echoing what's in their gut these days.
If doesn't seem that conservative Christian thought was driving Adkisson; Adkission had stated his hostility to Christianity to his neighbors. It was secular conservative thought that seemed to be a driving force. Some of that thought may have come from Irish Catholics like O'Reilly and Hannity, some from backslidden Protestants like Rush and others from Jews like Savage, but it was a largely secular hatred of the other that seemed to drive Adkisson.
He took out his frustration on a church that protected minorities, including gays.
Did those conservative talkers cause him to go over the edge? Probably not. We've had similar attacks prior to talk radio.
However, these guys don't help the cultural climate; angry folks might decide to take the concept of a "culture war" literally.