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(WATCH VIDEO: Crooks & Liars “Glenn Beck ‘You’re Going To Have To Shoot Them'”)
I see Glenn Beck as actually dangerous, and not just abrasive and dishonest like other right-wing media pundits.
I first became mildly aware of Beck when he was scathing the Bush White House, but back then he never ever called himself “conservative” and only called himself “libertarian.” Today he has fashioned himself a New Media Joe McCarthy and wants to teach the children of America a distorted and fictitious version of U.S. History.
What has actually risen to the level of public danger is centered on the TV show aspect of what he has done with his career. If anyone doesn’t already know he has mocked setting people on fire, shown a shaky rape video for no reason beyond fear mongering and to cap it all off he called a sitting president a racist on live TV.
Because television gives the illusion of credibility putting the character (I believe he is playing everyone, he said so in an interview around when he got all freaky) of Glenn Beck out there has sent horrible and extremely dangerous repercussions into the nation that can never be taken back.
Without pulling out a pack of URLs it’s quicker to just say that historically the U.S. has kind of “self-policed” this kind of extremism and incitement to violence disguised as free speech when it has happened before and always the figure that resembles Glenn Beck of today had a fall from grace. Usually getting fired. The best recent example is “Dr.” Laura getting the axe: she went into something from a KKK rally and that was the “the line.”
It sounds too simple, I know, but the most serious offender here is News Corp and Fox News.
Glenn Beck is only especially dangerous because his bosses won’t fire him no matter what “line” he crosses. If you minus Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers from this situation then Beck would have been canned for being disrespectful to a sitting president or too libel for his “here’s some violence, but don’t do violence” message he delivers regularly. Since this heartless media empire keeps him alive the kind of normal “quality controls” are not coming into play.
In the wake of the Tucson shooting, another act of domestic terrorism that the mainstream media refuses to label as such, and the moving speech delivered by President Obama there is a strong need to assess ourselves in our words and also more deeply to our mind state. This cannot, however, negate the need for people to speak their opinions about the current state of the nation.
America is on a road of a long, slow decline into moral ambiguity and a complete lack of ethics, and Glenn Beck combined with Fox News and the tea party is the first step toward this destruction of all that is good and decent in America. I don’t say these things to get a rise out of anyone or to single out Glenn Beck, but rather only because I see these words as the simple truth.
If Beck and those similar to him would only stop the incitement to violence, racism and bigotry then I would never raise issue with them beyond to merely disagree. Since this next evolution of political dialogue looks more like McCarthyism and Nazism combined I simply refuse to call it anything else.
Meg Whitman showed a clear disconnect with California voters when refusing Jerry Brown’s offer of taking down all but the two positive ads from both candidates. People in this state are not looking for the best smear agent, we are looking for the person best qualified for the job as governor.
Another aspect to Whitman’s reaction to this proposal that I have not heard discussed is that of the huge sums of money she has spent on the political attack ads flooding the media–they have effectively committed her to the political strategy of negativity since she decided to make the majority of the ads negative instead of positive. Now that they spent millions trying to convince people the “other” is so awful it would be somewhat like throwing all that money away to suddenly switch stance to a “I’m the better choice” position.
If Whitman was a smart, pragmatic leader she would have taken up Brown on his offer to cut the TV ads down to the two positive ads from each. It appears she lacks the ability to think in terms other than dollar signs, or so it seems.
I find this sort of thing very typical of the conservative-Republican side of things. They never want to actually agree to being held to ethics and standing against the smear season tactics. When the chips are down and both sides are ready to deal on how negative things are getting, it always seems to be the right-winger who simply refuses to make it more civil. Perhaps because they understand that the Republican base seems to be fueled by negativity, scapegoating and fear mongering.
I think it’s all a big grand master plan to get everybody on Facebook in the whole universe. We will make you Facebook even if you don’t own a computer, all devices must have Facebook Apps to be worthy of creation!
As is usually the case, it is left to the Comedy Central programming of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to point out these funny aspects of our media and our society that go mainly overlooked.
From “The Blogs Must Be Crazy” segment:
It’s almost as if these headlines are freakishly out of proportion to the content contained within them.
Oh, did you Comedy Central writers notice that too?
A good headline makes all the difference, and if somebody isn’t getting castrated, eviscerated and then decapitated its just not a good headline.
I guess the real title of this post is: Lightborn Eviscerates The Blogosphere
But I have a suggestion: the “versus posts.”
Someone vs. Someone, instead of Someone metaphorically cannibalizes Someone else.
Just a thought…
LiberalViewer of YouTube attempts to set the record straight on mischaracterizations of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.”
It appears based on watching this video that the ruling is greatly misunderstood by both sides and I myself am inspired to try and read the whole 180+ page Opinion of the Court.
I am in no way advocating the chilling of free speech by value of it simply coming from a corporation or union.
It is a falsehood to state that this ruling allows for “unlimited contributions to political candidates” and also a point that is not within the primary argument against this ruling, as it did not effect those existing limitations.
I believe, personally, that the argument made that this will benefit non-profit advocacy organizations over private sector special interests has some serious flaws in it, while it is not altogether untrue.
It’s true that some of the confusing regulations surrounding political advocacy have been discarded in this recent decision, but it is the structure and measure of what they have done that is so reprehensible.
Were it to be the case that a corporation had to declare their logo and “I Support This Ad” with the CEO standing there; then this decision would be far different in implications to our political process.
This logic that major multinational corporations will for some reason “not go there” with political issues is true to a certain extent but it precludes the simple truth that when seeing itself as threatened, as the insurance companies did the early days of the Health Care Debate, they will spend whatever they can as fast as they can to flood us with … media. Media like television ads.
How quickly we forget as a nation, as a people, that Sen. John Kerry was literally “slimed” out of his equal opportunity at the democratic process in a bid for president no less by what we now call “swing voting” but if you track this story out it was a bunch of frauds who demeaned their personal character in a outright smear campaign. One of them lives right here in Santa Cruz, California and just like the Bush administration itself they are taking no responsibility for this in public.
How easy it will be now for a nameless silent corporate partner to just bankroll a bunch of TV ads either pro or con for a candidate that had policies that just might ask them to give a little back after they take so much from the environment, for instance. If understand that McDonald’s is Pro-McCain, just as a random example, then many of my concerns go away. But as it stands the Sierra Club, the NRA and the example of the video clip Microsoft could all wildly flood a campaign with media while grassroots money and dedicated social advocates of any position would be overshadowed.
Also this argument that money doesn’t win elections is also partly false. Money is not enough, as the examples of Ross Perot and Mitt Romney illustrate, but the 2008 Campaign for the White House was in part decided on the dollars and cents. Of course you need the solid candidate, as the Democrats held with Obama, to seal the deal but my studies in Political Science completely disagree with the scoffing of this notion of looking at the financial impact and earnings to get the best picture.
As I stated before, I believe I may have to read this entire decision before I am totally satisfied I understand it fully.
For now, I am strongly standing with the words of President Obama in his State of the Union address calling this decision a means by which we will “open the floodgates” to foreign special interests and corporate lobbyist influence over the actual results of our elections themselves.
I feel both the SCOTUS and perhaps LiberalViewer as well have concerned themselves too much with entities that deserve very little concern or express protections of the court while neglecting to see the ramifications of said decision on the people that truly represent democracy at it’s core.
To put it plainly: this appears a “open door” policy in terms of slash-and-burn negative political ads at the end of a campaign cycle to force a candidate to lose based on hyperbole, as we have seen before in politics. Slime works, and I as I understand it the SCOTUS just ruled in favor of slime in our elections.
Russ Feingold at CounterPunch.org explains what Sam Donaldson was speaking about that I referred to as “inaccurate” in the above piece.
I was under the impression that he was saying that Soft Money limits are now gone under this ruling but in fact it he was speaking to the issue of spending directly out of the treasury without limit.
***Thanks to Paul J. Rourke for bringing this to my attention and providing the link.
(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)
Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?
At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.
His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.
The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from COMEDY CENTRAL to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.
It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.
Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media-hate & mass misinformation.
These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment-television.
Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.
There is nothing wrong with doing agenized-news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called “Fair & Balanced” Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.
All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television-propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.
The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.
The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.
Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to The News Wars between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:
It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out FOX alone when all the news agencies screw something up.
FOX is just the biggest offender of the smears.
I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.
This sensationalist-reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to FOX NEWS is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and COMEDY CENTRAL, to also declare as non-news formats.
It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.
A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.
The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by FOX NEWS should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.
If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.
It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.
I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.
But I certainly agree with the point that FOX has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their opinion-makers.