By Richard Sisk
Daily News Washington Bureau
Originally Published:Friday, April 16th 2010, 3:40 PM
Updated: Friday, April 16th 2010, 5:32 PM
WASHINGTON - Former President Bill Clinton warned Friday that the anti-government fringe could provoke the kind of political extremism that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.
"Before the bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever" in the political dialogue that was in ways similar in content to the anger currently boiling up on talk radio and on the Internet, Clinton said at a forum on the 15th anniversary of the attack by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168.
"The fabric of American life had been unraveling" in 1995 amid high unemployment, Clinton said.
"The structure of the Cold War -- the clear bipolar world -- was coming to an end," Clinton said. "There were more and more people having trouble figuring out where they fit in. It is true that we see some of that today."
Clinton said people have the right "to advocate whatever the livin' Sam Hill they want to advocate" but they must observe "the basic line dividing criticism from violence or its advocacy."
The enthusiasm for the current Tea Party movement was essentially within bounds, Clinton said.
"This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they are making us justify every dollar of taxes we raise and every dollar of money we've spent," Clinton said.
"But when you get mad, sometimes you end up producing the exact opposite result of what you say you are for."
Fox News orders Sean Hannity not to broadcast from Tea Party
Friday, April 16th 2010, 10:12 AM
Conservative Fox News threw a big wet blanket on to talk show host Sean Hannity's plans to broadcast his show at a Tea Party tax rally in Cincinnati Thursday night. Top Fox News brass learned that Hannity's nightly show was turned into a fund-raising event by Tea Party organizers.
"Fox News never agreed to allow the Cincinnati Tea Party organizers to use Sean Hannity's television program to profit from broadcasting his show from the event," executive vice president Bill Shine told the Los Angeles Times.
"When senior executives in New York were made aware of this, we changed our plans for \[the\] show."
Rally organizers had listed Hannity as the headliner of a four-hour Tax Day rally that organizers hoped would draw as many as 13,000 people to the University of Cincinnati.
Participants were charged a minimum of $5, with seats near Hannity's set going for $20, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, which reported that any profits would go to future Tea Party events.
Media Matters for America noted that Hannity's personal website directed supporters to a link to buy tickets for the Cincinnati rally.
Fox News executives said they first learned of the event Thursday morning from John Finley, Hannity's executive producer who was in Cincinnati to produce Hannity's show.
Furious, top officials recalled Hannity back to New York to do his show in his regular studio.
Critics of Fox News have accused the network of promoting the Tea Party even as it covers the political movement as a news story.