If it sounds like I’m beating the same drum over the last couple of days, I confess, I am. But it’s not because I want to. It’s because the country’s religionists want to! They want to keep using disasters to their own personal and ecclesiastical advantage, via the rhetorical tool known as “disaster theology.” The latest example comes from America’s most famous paranoid, Glenn Beck. According to the Washington Post On Faith blog, he said the following on his radio show (WebCite cached article):
“How many warnings do you think you’re going to get, and how many warnings do you deserve? This hurricane that is coming thorough the East Coast, for anyone who’s in the East Coast and has been listening to me say ‘Food storage!’ ‘Be prepared!’ ‘Be somebody that can help others,’ you’ve heard me say this for years. People have made fun of me. That’s fine, I don’t care. I’ve been telling you, ‘Don’t be in a panic situation.’ If you’ve waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you — as was the earthquake last week — it’s God reminding you you’re not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you’re not panicking.”
You see, according to ferocious religionists like Glennie, the Almighty has nothing better to do with his omnipotent power except rain disasters down on people in an effort to “remind them” that they aren’t “in control.” Whatever that means. One would think an omnipotent being might find some better things to do with all that power, like wipe out cancer, cure hunger, comfort the bereaved, etc. No way … those things would be too useful and too productive! Much better to inflict terror and misery on millions of people at a time.
Oh yeah, that kind of cosmic terror-monger is precisely the kind of God I want to worship! Where do I sign up to join you, Glennie?
… Just kidding; there’s no way I’d be depraved enough to worship that sort of being! No one should. Such a creature ought to be scorned, not praised, by all thinking, moral beings.
Today, on his stupid radio show, [Beck] compared the Norwegian Labor Party youth camp that was the site of a spree killing that left 76 people, most of them teenagers, dead, to the Hitler Youth:
There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler Youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.
OK, so incendiary and insulting comments are something one expects from the Glennster. My guess is, he’s still enraged with the Norwegians because in 2009 they dared give the Nobel Peace Prize to Glennie’s mortal enemy, President Barack Obama. So really, I get that Beckie-boy would want to insult that country. Of course he would! He’s much too childish to be able to control his sanctimonious rage at anything and everything associated with Obama.
But there’s a problem with Glennie’s complaint about Norway’s Labor Party summer-camp … and Gawker also picked up on it. You see, guess what other political and ideological organization also hosts summer camps for kids? That’s right … a Tea Party outfit connected with none other than Glenn Beck himself (cached)! Yes, folks, even the Tea Partiers that Glennie so dearly loves, are guilty of doing the very same thing he condemns in Norway’s Labor Party!
The negotiations that led Glenn Beck to announce his departure from the Fox News Channel on Wednesday ended with an expression of “let’s part as friends,” according to several people with knowledge of the talks. But behind that moment was a torrent of acrimony that underscored just how fractious the relationship between Mr. Beck and the network had become during his three-year run on Fox. …
Notably, Mr. Beck became a daily broadcast platform for a libertarian strain of politics that is also evident in the Tea Party, a movement he embraced. Critics loudly condemned him for living with his own facts — but that only seemed to widen the conspiracy that he outlined each night, aided by a growing number of chalkboards in his studio.
But at that studio, he was unhappy from almost his first day on the job, which happened to be the day before Mr. Obama was inaugurated. Even in his first year, he was contemplating an exit from Fox and wondering if he could start his own channel.
In Glenn Beck’s world, you see, everything is all about “Glenn Beck” and to hell with everyone else — including the television network that hired him, aired his idiotic, insane drivel night after night, and even stuck up for him in the wake of criticism and an advertiser boycott:
As onerous as [the boycott] might have been to Fox financially, it did not seem to be an issue for Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation. In two recent comments to shareholders, Mr. Murdoch defended Mr. Beck. He said of the advertiser boycott, “They don’t boycott watching it. We’re getting incredible numbers.” He followed that by pointing out that even with his diminished ratings, Mr. Beck’s show provided a “terrific kickoff” to the lineup of Fox shows that followed.
Even so, it appears sliding ratings were the reason Fox News decided it wanted to be free of the egotistical Beck.
The problem is, I shudder to think what sort of lying liar for Jesus Fox News is going to scare up and put on their soon-to-be-vacated 5 p.m. Eastern Time slot.
Over the last 10 years or so, talk radio in Hartford has taken a remarkably Right-wing turn. All the nationally-syndicated vehement Right-wingers are aired here, by one station or another (the two chief talk-radio stations being WTIC-AM and WDRC-AM). The local shows are, in many cases, even more extreme in their Rightism. Local talk guys like Jim Vicevich and Dan Lovallo sometimes make Rush Limbaugh look like a Marxist.
What makes this trend as odd as it is, is that Connecticut is more or less a reliably “blue state”: In the 2010 mid-term elections — which saw the Right and the GOP make gains across the country — Connecticut actually veered back toward the Left, electing a Democratic governor to succeed a retiring Republican, and keeping every statewide and Congressional office squarely in Democratic hands. This, of course, has enraged the Right and the local talk-radio hosts, who’ve done everything but burn the new governor, Dannel Malloy, in effigy over his proposed tax increases — and I expect that, soon, they’ll hold an anti-tax “tea party” rally in Hartford, where precisely that will be done!
The management at the Blooomfield-based station suggested the Glenn Beck syndicated show was gently being dropped so it could add a new daily morning show with Jones, and a second featuring her and Davis sharing co-hosting duties.
But the real story, the Courant suggests, might be something else. The president of Buckley Radio which owns the station offered this:
“Some of his direction has changed over the last year and a half,” [Rick] Buckley said. “He is preaching a lot more than entertaining.” …
Buckley, whose father started the company in the 1950s, said Beck’s show had changed and taken on more of a religious tone since his August 2010 rally in Washington, D.C.
“There is no question I think he had a big change after his Washington conclave. Something hit him down there. His show changed after that,” Buckley said. “In its basic elements that he had been doing for a long, long time. He got much more into the doomsday and a lot more talking of the religious aspects of people’s lives and stuff like that. For us in New York and in Hartford, we just felt that a local program would be better.”
In recent months, Beck’s show has frequently veered into apocalyptic religiosity.”
What I don’t understand is, if the Glennster is somehow “too religious” for Hartford’s talk-radio crowd, why did WDRC’s rival station, WTIC-AM, give the convicted felon and former Connecticut governor John Rowland and his preacherman and erstwhile theo-political operative, Pastor Will Marotti a three-hour show called Church and State State and Church? I’d love to think Beckie-boy is “too religious” for Connecticut talk-radio, but I’m not really convinced it’s the case. I expect that it’s simply because the Beckster’s audience is beginning to unravel and he’s losing some of his loyal following — enough of it, at least, to cause his ratings to decline measurably.
We saw all the character traits from one figure looming over the Egypt story: the massive shows of emotion, the sketchy command of others’ views, the megalomaniacal refusal to recognize facts on the ground. And, as always, the willingness to say and do anything to command the stage for one more day.
We speak not of Hosni Mubarak, but of that other master of manipulation and misdirection, Glenn Beck. …
In the case of Egypt and its democracy movement, the Fox News performer sees not the energetic amalgam of students, shopkeepers, bureaucrats, intellectuals and professionals who virtually every real journalist in Cairo has described in recent days. Beck’s evening chalkboard talks instead fulminate endlessly about the shadowy forces that will surely bring “the coming insurrection.”
Beckie-boy is worried about something he calls “the Caliphate,” which — somehow — will plunge the entire world into a new Dark Age:
The menace that he envisions far outstrips that described even by other conservative commentators. Beck forecasts a wave of Muslim extremism sweeping from Egypt to the rest of the Mideast. He says this “caliphate,” or at least its revolutionary soul, could well darken Europe, if not our own shores.
But much worse than this nefarious Islamic conspiracy to destroy humanity, Beckie-boy claims the mass media are actually part of the conspiracy, actively working to prevent anyone from knowing about it:
Beck rolled out a battalion of bogeymen who he said willfully refused to recognize his vision. The crazy lefties in the press stood first among the accused. He belittled the New York Times, for one, because it identified “liberals, socialists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood” among the protesters, but did not recognize them as a) a mortal threat and b) part of a worldwide cabal. “Notice they don’t say communist yet,” he intoned darkly of the Times report.
But the media couldn’t cover up the looming catastrophe all by themselves, he suggested. No, that would take the collusion of the people Beck on Thursday called “the Harvard know-it-alls that have no clue.” And then there’s the Fellow Traveler in Chief, whose name Beck doesn’t even need to say. Instead, he merely compares those wild-eyed Tahrir Square maniacs to “community organizers.” We get the message.
Indeed we do! In Beckie-boy’s twisted universe, “community organizers” = “Barack Obama” = “ACORN” = “George Soros” = “fascism” = “communism.” Beckie-boy is pathologically incapable of separating things he dislikes or has subjectively determined to be bad. Everything he hates is equivalent to, and marches in lock-step with, everything else he hates. Conflation is his stock-in-trade.
For the record, Glennie, the reason the New York Times hasn’t mentioned “communism” yet, in conjunction with the Egyptian revolution, is because there is zero evidence that the protestors who finally got Mubarak to quit, are communists, or directed by them! The Times can’t report something for which there is no support.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I must observe that the Beckster himself is part and parcel of the very same mass media he claims is orchestrating this horrific scenario; he has a nationally-syndicated radio show, he’s published several books, he’s on Fox News nightly, and formerly had been on CNN Headline News. One must wonder why he’s biting the hand that feeds him. When Beckie-boy talks about the mass media, he is, by definition, also talking about himself and the rest of his furiously sanctimonious Religious Right colleagues at Fox News! Talk about hypocrisy! (By the way, Glenn … hypocrisy is something your own Jesus clearly, explicitly, and unambiguously forbid you to engage in. Christians such as yourself cannot ever be hypocritical. Period. So please, for the sake of your eternal soul, stop kvetching and griping about how horrific the “mass media.” Every time you condemn them, you condemn yourself.)
A coalition of rabbis wants Fox News chief Roger Ailes and conservative host Glenn Beck to cut out all their talk about Nazis and the Holocaust, and it’s making its views known in an unusual place.
The rabbis have called on Fox News’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, to sanction his two famous employees via a full-page ad in Thursday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal – one of many other media properties controlled by Murdoch’s News Corp. …
The rabbis were prompted by Beck’s three-part program [cached] in November about liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom Beck described as a “Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps” during World War II.
My skepticism caused me to wonder why the rabbis waited a couple of months to take out their ad, but the Post explained its timing:
For the record — and as I posted earlier — I do not think Beckie-boy or his boss are anti-Semites. They are, rather, furious with the Left, and so juvenile that they think they’re entitled to stoop to any kind of rhetoric — no matter how fallacious or vile it may be — to discredit the Left. Their anger and immaturity are so overwhelming that they just can’t help but act like tiny little children.
Can’t we all put away the tired, worn tactic of the reductio ad Hitlerum? Isn’t it time for a little more maturity and a little less caterwauling?
After his pledge to destroy Jim Wallis over the issue of Christianity and “social justice” fizzled like old ginger ale, Glenn Beck has decided to take on another one of his old foes: George Soros. Soros, you see, leads a “shadow government” in the US and has been the puppet master of the country for years. He’s a Communist who rules the Democratic Party, and now the country, with an iron fist. (Forget for a moment that, for long stretches during the 80s, 90s, and 00s, we’ve had Republicans in charge — at various times and in various combinations, including all three at once — of the House, the Senate, and the White House. So it’s pretty hard to see how the Democratic Party’s “puppet master” could have been running the country for so long.) He recently ran what he considers an exposé of Soros, which, as the New York Times Lede blog revealed, included some stretches of the truth as well as some outright lies (WebCite cached article):
In his indictment of Mr. Soros this week, what Mr. Beck did not say about the list of governments he claimed the philanthropist had helped to topple was striking. Before naming America as Mr. Soros’s next “target,” Mr. Beck ominously intoned:
Soros has helped fund the ‘Velvet Revolution’ in the Czech Republic, the “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia and Yugoslavia.
What Mr. Beck failed to mention is that in each of the countries he named, Mr. Soros in fact provided support to popular pro-democracy groups battling repressive regimes led by Communist or former Communist autocrats. The Fox host also seemed confused about some of the events he described in those nations.
To start with, the mass street protests led by the Czech playwright Vaclav Havel in 1989 that brought down Prague’s Communist regime took place in what was still Czechoslovakia, not the Czech Republic, which did not exist at the time.
There were also no coups in Slovakia, Croatia or Yugoslavia. Slovakia was created by the so-called “velvet divorce” [cached], the peaceful dissolution of the federal state of Czechoslovakia by democratically-elected leaders in 1993; Croatia’s wartime president, Franjo Tudjman, an authoritarian former Communist general, died in office [cached] in 1999 and was replaced by a former member of his party after a democratic election; Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav leader who was most responsible for the brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that killed tens of thousands in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, resigned in 2000 [cached], following street protests after his loss in a democratic election.
Thus, if one looked only at Soros’s activities during the late 80s and early 90s, one would have to assume him to have been a vehement anti-communist, rather than the devout Marxist Beckie-boy tells us he is.
And while it is true that George Soros does bankroll a lot of Democratic Party operations and Leftist groups, the Times shows he doesn’t leave the Right untouched by his money:
The Fox News host also made no mention in his program of the fact — first reported by Justin Elliott of Salon on Friday — that Mr. Soros has paid more than $150,000 to Randy Scheunemann, a Republican lobbyist who is a senior adviser to Sarah Palin, to press Congress and the White House to keep sanctions in place against Myanmar’s military junta and promote a resolution “calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” whose party won the last free elections held in the country.
The Times goes on to say that Beckie-boy’s rhetoric is eerily similar to that of the Islamofascist regime of Iran:
Oddly, Mr. Beck’s conspiratorial reading of the recent history of Eastern Europe puts him in complete agreement with Iran’s intelligence ministry, which for years has been working to discredit the country’s reformist leaders and their calls for fair elections as the puppets of foreign plotters. …
Anti-Semitism, like all ideologies, tells a story about the world. It’s a story about almost occult Jewish power, about cabals that manipulate world events for their own gain. In classic anti-Semitic narratives, Jews control both the elites and the masses; they’re responsible for the communist revolution and the speculative excesses of capitalism. Their goal is to undermine society so that they can take over. …
If you know this history, you’ll understand why Glenn Beck’s two-part “exposé” on George Soros, whom Beck calls “The Puppet Master,” was so shocking, even by Beck’s degraded standards. The program, which aired Tuesday and Wednesday, was a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles. …
Soros, a billionaire financier and patron of liberal causes, has long been an object of hatred on the right. But Beck went beyond demonizing him; he cast him as the protagonist in an updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He described Soros as the most powerful man on earth, the creator of a “shadow government” that manipulates regimes and currencies for its own enrichment. Obama is his “puppet,” Beck says. Soros has even “infiltrated the churches.” He foments social unrest and economic distress so he can bring down governments, all for his own financial gain. “Four times before,” Beck warned. “We’ll be number five.”
Now, for the record, I do not believe Glenn Beck is an anti-Semite. And that’s not just because I believe Fox News’s denials of it, or because Beck claims he’s a supporter of Israel. No, it’s because I think he hates Soros so vehemently and so passionately, that he will stoop to nothing, including using Protocols of the Elders of Zion-type claims against him, in his campaign to destroy Soros. He’s so driven by hatred, that he simply doesn’t care that he’s using traditional anti-Semitic rhetoric against a Jewish survivor of the Third Reich.
Two final points: I’m not a fan of George Soros myself. He supports the ideological Left too much for my taste; I consider Americans’ thralldom to ideology of any sort to be counter-productive if not dangerous, and Soros is as responsible for this as anyone else at the moment.
And lastly … I’d like to point out that Glenn Beck, and the “Tea Party” movement of which he is a core part, is itself the product of secretive ideological philanthropists; David and Charles Koch, to be exact (cached article). Beck is very much an officer in their army, if not its Field Marshall. Presumably he has no problem with the Koch brothers’ own large, “shadow” ideological apparatus (seen as how Beckie happily does their bidding); yet he points an accusing finger at another ideological philanthropist. How dare he! What a fucking hypocrite. Glennie, haven’t you read your Bible recently? You must have missed the parts of it where your own Jesus instructed you never to be hypocritical … ever … not for any reason. He said it clearly, unambiguously, and offered no caveats or exceptions to this rule. Christians such as yourself, Glenn, must never be hypocritical. That’s just the way it is.