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Sounding the Alarm on Beck

The Southern Poverty Law Center is warning of a rise in hate and extremist groups, including the Patriot movement. In a new report, the center singles out Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann for stoking fears of government-run concentration camps and “political reeducation camps,” and the org’s leaders also point to the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and Lou Dobbs.

Mark Potok writes in his report, “As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like Fox News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.”

Dobbs tells ABC News, “It’s sad that Mr. Potok insists upon maintaining his paranoia, and I hope that he recovers.”

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