Media Matters…Not Much

A friend sent me the Media Matters article below. I couldn’t resist having at it. My response follows the article.

Media Matters: Under pressure, Glenn Beck somehow finds a new low

If you wondered how long it would take Glenn Beck to make his simulation of President Obama pouring gasoline on a person look comparatively tame, the answer is about 13 months.

Welcome to the meltdown. It isn't pretty.

Apparently feeling pressure from an investigation by Rep. Anthony Weiner into his promotion of Goldline and ongoing scrutiny from Media Matters and others, Beck uncorked an impressively paranoid conspiracy theory this week. According to Beck, the SEIU, AFL-CIO, Van Jones, Jim Wallis, the White House, Rep. Weiner and Media Matters are engaged in "Alinskyite" plots that seek to "destroy" him, his family, Fox News, Christianity, and the Founding Fathers.

Though all facets of this conspiracy theory are equally absurd, it's worth noting that Beck's call to "leave the families alone" rings especially hollow when viewed in light of the fact that earlier in the same radio show he suggested that Sasha and Malia Obama think "Jews are destroying the world" because they were exposed to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Later in the week, he mocked 11-year-old Malia for several minutes on his radio show by impersonating her voice and saying things like "Daddy, why do you hate black people?" He proceeded to attack "the level" of Obama's daughters' "education." Despicable -- and entirely in character. While Beck subsequently apologized for his comments mocking Malia Obama, he has yet to address the balance of his attacks against the first family.

Earlier this week, while lauding his supposed Nostradamus-like ability to predict future atrocities, Beck suggested that his detractors merely rely on labeling him crazy, rather than factually debunking his paranoid ranting. Trying to "factually" debunk ideas like a widespread progressive effort to destroy Beck's family and the Founding Fathers is akin to trying to debunk the conspiracy theory that the world is actually controlled by shape-shifting lizard people: It is self-refuting ridiculousness.

And while the idea that nobody can refute Beck on factual issues is a good line for his viewers, it simply isn't true. Here are several examples just from this week.

Yet, Beck's factual inaccuracies pale in comparison to his recent use of violent rhetoric. Starting with his speeches at Liberty University and the National Rifle Association two weeks ago, Beck's fearmongering about impending violence from progressives has reached a fever pitch.

During a tear-soaked, unhinged commencement speech at Liberty, Beck told graduates that they "have a responsibility" to speak out, or "blood ... will be on our hands." His advice for graduates (as well as his daughter) included "shoot to kill." He also claimed that God installed an "alarm bell" in people that is telling them that "your rights are being taken." If you were wondering which rights these might be, he cleared up any confusion later that night during his speech at the NRA, when Beck agreed with Mao Zedong that "power comes from the barrel of a gun," and then asked the audience, "Why do you think they want to take yours away?"

Since then -- keep in mind we're just talking about the last two weeks here -- Beck:

  • informed listeners that "what's coming is horrific. I don't even want to speak it out loud."
  • continued his bizarre obsession with administration official Cass Sunstein, who Beck suggested has "frightening similarities" to Joseph Goebbels and who "controls everything" and "will control your every move."
  • talked about how the "world is on edge" and told his viewers that "those who survive" will "stand in the truth" and "listen."
  • discussed the ongoing controversy over Arizona's immigration law, telling his listeners that "we are being pushed" toward civil war and that Obama is "trying to destroy the country."
  • told his listeners that "you have to be prepared to take rocks to the head. You have to be prepared to lose everything."
  • responded to criticism from Media Matters and said, "You will have to shoot me in the head. We are not stopping."
  • and attacked Jewish Funds for Justice's Simon Greer for putting "the common good" first, which Beck claimed "leads to death camps," adding, "a Jew, of all people, should know this."

While he previously relied on vague hints about what progressives were going to do to people by running "documentaries" supposedly linking Hilter, Stalin, and Mao to progressivism, Beck has now discarded the relative subtlety. On Thursday, Beck continued his recent fearmongering about the "soft revolution" that is supposedly taking place in America (purportedly designed to silence voices like Beck's), and claimed that if the administration "can't get everyone to silence, that's when the arrests come, or that's when they start a hard revolution. That's when they start just shooting people."

Taken as a whole, Beck's recent actions are outrageous and potentially dangerous. Beck claims that he is a Vatican-approved, "wildly important" warrior fighting on behalf of good against forces of "great darkness." He also spends a lot of his time boasting about his purported ability to predict -- with unerring accuracy -- everything that is happening right now. He then transitions into predicting the coming death camps, imprisonments, shootings, and "rivers of blood" as a result of progressive policies.

What, exactly, is Beck trying to do here? Is this the kind of guy the GOP wants to elevate as the heir-apparent to Rush Limbaugh as the leader of the party?

Media Matters…Not Much

I wonder if MM would feel a tad paranoid themselves if a Congressman were singling out them and one of their sponsors for an investigation or if the head of the agency which controlled their right to exist was calling for an annual licensing fee equal to their gross annual operating budget or if that same person extolled the virtues of taking control of their company. If MM had their political opponents writing articles about them in which they were labeled absurd, despicable, ridiculous, fearmongering, unhinged, bizarre, outrageous, and dangerous in the space of a few hundred words, I wonder if they might feel under attack.

I would suggest to MM that they would be wise to avoid bringing up the connection between the Obama children and the Wright church. Although the daughters can easily avoid the commentary of Glenn Beck, they could not avoid the Reverend’s hate-speech if they were sitting in the pews. Exposing a child to that sort of evil is not only sacreligious but tantamount to child abuse in my book.

It is either extremely sloppy viewing or misapplication of logic or outright distortion to suggest that the type of predictions that GB is touting as correct are things such as a “widespread progressive effort to destroy Beck's family and the Founding Fathers.” He shows video clips to verify his predictions. They are never as nebulous as the above citation or he could never verify his accuracy. He also does not claim to be infallible.

MM would be well-advised to steer clear of Woodrow Wilson in their efforts to discredit Beck. Even though they may win on a given factoid, they most certainly lose by exposing possibly the worst tyrant to ever occupy the office—a point that GB has made abundantly clear.

As to Beck’s worries about gov’t control, we have seen the gov’t take control of banks, car companies, health care, and are working to pass legislation to control all businesses and proposing legislation to take control of energy. This may not be control of everything but it is a long way down the road.

I don’t know why GB worries about violence. He receives daily death threats on him and his family. He has heard such illustrious celebrities as Sean Pean call for the arrest of those who oppose Penn’s idol, Hugo Chavez. He has followed the news of unions surrounding homes and harassing the occupants for hours, rocks through windows, and assaults on TP protestors. He knows that the first order of business for tyrants is to strip the population of its guns and he must be aware that, recently, Obama has signed a UN small arms treaty which is one more step toward taking away our guns. I guess that the only reason that he might worry about violence in our future is that he is a ridiculous, absurd, bizarre, outrageous fear monger.

I’m glad we got that straight!

B

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Comment by patriotm1 on June 4, 2010 at 10:02pm
Mr. Beck's facts are documented/footnoted and his attempts to uncover corruption and graft shows courage and perseverance.

Media Matters would not matter were it not for its significant left-wing radical financing.

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