Archive for category Glenn Beck
Ezra Klein once shrewdly described Dick Armey this way: “He’s like a stupid person’s idea of what a thoughtful person sounds like.” Tweaking his sentence, I would say that Glenn Beck is a stupid person’s idea of what an ethical public figure sounds like. (Just like Justin Bieber is a tweener’s idea of what a good singer sounds like.)
I forced myself to listen to Glenn Beck’s speechifying at Whitestock this past weekend. Beck’s entire shtick is based on presenting a character who is earnest and earnestly distressed by what he perceives as the harmful direction of the nation he loves; everything about his style – his relatively unassuming attire, his sincere sounding delivery, even the addition of his slightly professorial eyeglasses is designed to create the impression of an honest, trustworthy figure. Even in his interview with fellow Fox news propaganadist Chris Wallace, Beck portrayed himself as a humble, trustworthy, ethical man, someone who is just so pained by what he sees going wrong in America. (Here’s a link to part of that interview.) Watch Beck’s body language throughout the interview, listen to what he says. He has created a persona that is (at least superficially) very humble and almost achinginly earnest: Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday’s Beck-a-thon at the Lincoln Memorial was billed unconvincingly as a “non-political” event, and “not a Tea Party rally” in order to circumvent National Park Service rules. But somebody forgot to tell the participants to leave their right-wing partisanship at home. Which is OK by me because, you know, free speech is as American as apple pie.
Incidentally, if anyone is serious about restoring the honor of America then how about calling for prosecutions of torturers and torture conspirators — as required by the U.N. Convention Against Torture?
More info: BuzzFeed: The Best Anti-Glenn Beck Signs At The Glenn Beck Rally
On Saturday, Glenn Beck wants to “reclaim the civil rights movement” for right-wingers. Huh? The right was always against equality, and still is.
August 28th is an important day in American history. On that day, forty-seven years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Lincoln Memorial. His message gave voice to the voiceless and his vision promoted a just, equal, diverse and compassionate country.
This year, a very different message is going to be spread from the very ground on which King once stood. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
The racist, raging and hate-filled tenor of Beck, Palin and the Tea Party movement is in direct contrast to the noble vision of Dr. King. We cannot sit idly by and let King’s vision and legacy be hijacked for political purposes.
Dr. King once declared that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
We will not be silent on this matter. Honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s struggle for a just and equal America.
It’s almost impossible to think of two well-known Americans who could be more opposite than Glenn Beck and Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, Beck’s event is a purely partisan affair (how did he get a National Park Service permit for a political event?) Unlike MLK, Beck says he won’t have a prepared speech. He says he’ll be channeling The Almighty. God speaks to Beck, Beck tells the people!
Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” from American Rhetoric.
UPDATE: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will also speak along with Beck and Sarah Palin at Saturday’s all-Republican “non-political” event. Which is technically being sponsored by a veterans’ charity to get around National Park Service rules.
UPDATE: JM Bell: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Glenn Beck – A Comparison
It’s difficult to find two people whose philosophies are so distinctly different than Glenn Beck and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While King fought for all people to be able to live a decent life, championed a compassionate version of Christianity that sought to create a better world, and established dialogue with those who disagreed with him, Beck shows little compassion for those worse off, has derided the social gospel, and has viciously smeared and attacked his political opponents. As Media Matters writes, “Martin Luther King would have been on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.”
From the Campaign for America’s Future, Sara Robinson interviewed Alex Zaitchik, author of Glenn Beck’s Common Nonsense. One part of the interview jumped out at me. Here’s how Robinson summarized Beck, based on Zaitchik’s book:
Who is this guy? A precocious former Top 40 deejay with a longstanding drug problem, no discernible book learning, and a mean streak a mile deep. A “morning zoo” radio host known for his ruthlessness in ratings wars, yet unable to keep any job for more than a couple of years. A Mormon convert who immediately gravitated to the farthest edges of that faith’s orthodoxy. The hottest host on cable TV. And soon, if all goes according to “The Plan,” America’s next great spiritual leader, stepping boldly forward to guide the Tea Party faithful in a complete re-making of this nation.
Here’s the part that jumped out at me:
SR: What influence do you think his conversion to Mormonism had on Beck? And how do Mormons view him?
AZ: Mormonism has, I think, had a pretty big impact on Beck in a couple of ways. First, he didn’t have much of a political education before he went to talk radio. There was a big void that needed to be filled. He sort of poured the liquid from right-wing Mormonism, in the form of this guy Cleon Skousen, into this empty vessel. That’s what formed the bedrock of his political education.
Cleon Skousen’s this very right-wing Mormon involved with the [John] Birch Society and later got more and more into conspiracy culture. In the 50s, 60s, 70s and into the 80s, he was a very influential guy in Mormon circles.
SR: Although he was also something of an embarrassment to the Mormon elders as well, wasn’t he?
AZ: He became so, yes. He became too extreme, and he was causing problems for the church. But he did manage to drag the church fairly forcefully to the right, and now you have this orthodox Mormon culture that is in many ways the product of Cleon Skousen. And it’s the same Mormon culture that embraces Beck. So that’s one way that the conversion deeply influences his development.
Another thing: I have a chapter in the book where I talk about this very Mormon ritual known as “bearing testimony,” which involves members of the ward house getting up and telling what amount to radio monologues. They talk for a couple of minutes about some sort of gut knowledge that they have, and very often they get emotional and tear up. It’s very stylized. If you look at video of church leaders doing it off the LDS website, often they look like they’re imitating Glenn Beck. It’s a very Mormon thing.
So it seemed that he sort of embraced that aspect of Mormonism, and it’s informed his persona, which is very much tearful, and has this sense of having direct access to spiritual truths.
What fun. I’ve been targeted by Glenn Beck.
Part whev in a never ending series.
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words…. ‘Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right.’ That’s what people say. But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner…On each banner, read the words, here in America: ‘social justice.’”
– Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck did not disappoint tonight. He even brought his chalk board. He was not afraid to criticize Republicans by name, and named one: Teddy Roosevelt! Via HuffPo:
“I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit yet that they have a problem,” he said. “I haven’t seen the Come-To-Jesus moment from Republicans yet.”
All we’ve heard, the Fox News host complained, is “we need a big tent. We need a big tent. Can we get a bigger tent? How can we get a big tent? What is this the circus? America is not a clown show. America is not a circus.
…Said the guy who describes himself as a “rodeo clown.”
The pro-torture crowd has taken over modern conservatism. People at the CPAC convention are firing themselves up with cries of “waterboard them” and cheering wildly as speakers advocated locking political prisoners away forever at Gitmo. Republicans are embracing a movement that trafficks in secessionism, birtherism, and making threats about armed revolt.
It’s a dirty job, but bloggers attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and watching the speeches online are getting the Republican b.s. while it’s still fresh.
Today’s CPAC speakers included Tea Party senate candidate Marco Rubio, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), perennial presidential candidate Willard (“Mitt”) Romney, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), and the tag team of Liz and Dick Cheney. Glenn Beck will be the keynote speaker on Saturday night.
[W]atching Rubio’s and DeMint’s CPAC speeches is literally like stepping into a timewarp. It is as though the years 2001-2009 never happened.
The words “Bush” and “Cheney” were not uttered. There was no acknowledgment that under conservatives, the country collapsed into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. There was not a single mea culpa, not a hint of regret that the wars conservatives launched have still not ended in victory. Low taxes and less regulation were repeatedly cited as the answers to all our problems — despite the fact we’re coming off three decades of lower taxes and less regulation. There were endless complaints about the deficit, and no admission that conservatives are responsible for most of it. There were no answers for stagnant middle class wages, no concerns that about half of America’s children at some point depend on food stamps. Just endless refrains that Americans should have the freedom to make lots of money.
In a nutshell: “Freedom, freedom, freedom, socialism, socialism, socialism, tyranny, terror, taxes. In conclusion, America fuck yeah!”
Via Think Progress, Rep. Jason Chaffetz was interviewed by a 9/11 “truther” from a group called We Are Change, and had this to say:
Q: A reopening into the investigation of 9/11?
CHAFFETZ: Well there’s a lot we still need to learn. Of course we want to look into that issue, look at every aspect of it. [...] Who was the BYU professor? [...] Steve Jones, yeah I’ve met with him. He’s done some interesting work.
Q: Have you given much thought to the possibility it was a false-flag terrorist attack on 9/11?
CHAFFETZ: Well I know there’s still a lot to learn about what happened and what didn’t happen, we should be vigilant and continue to investigate that, absolutely.
Q: Appreciate that. We at We Are The Change believe it was a false-flag terrorist attack, that the buildings came down with internally placed demolition.
What’s Glenn Beck going to say? He once told Michelle Malkin, “9/11 Truthers are truly disturbed people.”
From the group’s website:
We Are Change is a citizens based grassroots peace and social justice movement working to reveal the truth behind the events of September 11th, as well as the lies of the government and corporate elite who remain suspect in this crime.
…We reject the official explanation of the events leading up to, during and after the attacks of September 11th, 2001 as well as the fear-based politics and state mandated propaganda being disseminated by the Corporate Media which has facilitated the cover-up of 9-11.
UPDATE: Rep. Chaffetz has issued a clarification regarding his views on the 9/11 attacks.
“I am not sympathetic to claims that 9-11 was a government conspiracy. I have never believed the government was in any way complicit or responsible for those attacks. When asked on February 16 during a
town hall meeting about the need to investigate the attacks, I answered truthfully that we should always continue to investigate new information. The 9-11 attacks were the biggest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States of America. We should always be asking questions, looking for answers, and learning from that experience, but I have no reason to believe claims that the government was responsible for the attacks.”
UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune interviewed Rep. Chaffetz, who said, “I haven’t followed these folks very close because I think they are in part nuts.” Chaffetz said he was attempting to give a “very benign generic answer” because he didn’t understand the term “false-flag.”
Free advice for Rep. Chaffetz: If someone asks you if you’ve given much thought to the possibility the Moon is made of green cheese, do not say NASA ought to investigate the matter.