Archive for August, 2009

how does glenn beck get away with it?

August 15, 2009

And then, it happened again. Glenn Beck talkedĀ  from both sides of his mouth. This time it was about the ‘best health care system’ in the world that only 16 months ago “did not care about the president of GE, let alone working class schlepps” to paraphrase.

I have to thank Jon Stewart for exposing me to the work of Glenn Beck because I am not the demographic that Fox News Network caters to. I have tried hard to understand their ‘fair and balanced’ point of view in the past, but I have concluded that they give conservatives a bad name by being very liberal with the truth.

Glenn Beck, far and away, takes the cake. While his tragic personal story is very inspiring, his punditry is downright comical. In my mind, Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart are the opposite ends of the spectrum. Glenn Beck is pretending to be both a comic and a pundit and being quite poor at both, whereas Jon Stewart is a pundit who uses comedy effectively to make his arguments.

The conservative movement has a history of distinguished intellectuals who have held forth on various complex issues of their day with great clarity. You know who I am talking about; the William Buckley’s of the world. Fox News claims to be the bastion of conservatism on cable, and presumably their pundits should represent the intellectual creme-de-la-creme of the present day conservative movement. Now, I do not expect these guys to be erudite scholars with PhDs, or JDs, but one does expect that their discourse, while not timeless, has a shelf life greater than 90 seconds. Especially, when one is talking about serious issues like race, the president, and the president’s attitude towards race. One does expect that their discourse is distinguishable from inane banter. At this point, I am not sure that is the case with Fox News. One would expect as stewards of public opinion, there is some responsibility, and that is taken seriously. I think Fox News in general is behaving like a sore loser after the Republicans got their butts kicked in the last election, and Glenn Beck is the poster child.

Glenn Beck managed to say one thing, and say the exact opposite in 90 seconds. What amazes me that Fox News does not consider that incompetence. I am glad to see that many corporate sponsors of the Glenn Beck show are calling it quits because of his behavior, but, what amazes me that Fox News still thinks he is competent. If this had happened in the corporate world, that guy would have been fired multiple times by now.

The only explanation I have for his behavior is that it is a new tactic to attract new users. Say such outrageous things on purpose that people will tune in to get entertained by a lunatic. Any publicity is good publicity, right? But, when such lunatics shape the agenda of important things like the health care system by making up concepts like death panels, or call everything socialism and potentially derail the future of the nation, it really worries me. A few dumb men from Fox News are desparately trying to derail the hard fought victory in the 2008 elections and god forbid if they should succeed.