Glenn Beck. I don’t get it.

Glennbeck On New Years' Eve, after we passed a certain threshold of exhaustion, we stayed up and channel surfed until 2:00. We stumbled upon the Glenn Beck show on FOX News. We were glued to the television in shock and horror. This guy is very popular?!! He is obsessed with communism and had a puppet of Karl Marx saying things that he never really said. He claims that the founding fathers said things that they never said. He just makes shit up.

You know who else likes health care reform? Castro and goose-stepping Nazis, that's who!

Check him out.

17 thoughts on “Glenn Beck. I don’t get it.

  1. I was at the orthodontist’s office one day last fall and saw a woman and her teenaged daughter reading “Common Sense” and passing it back and forth.
    I’m curious: what is the appropriate thing to do in that situation? I was trying to decide between outright confrontation vs. a passive-aggressive compliment to the woman for exposing her daughter to the ravings of the mentally ill, but then the girl was called in to get her braces checked or whatever.

  2. I’m curious: what is the appropriate thing to do in that situation?
    When in public, you should always be sure to confront strangers over mistaken political beliefs, especially in front of their children. And, you should tell people when their hair style isn’t flattering, even if it means sprinting across the street and shouting out loud. How else will anybody learn?

  3. Are we talking Thomas Paine, here? I suspect not, but I think that when a teenage girl & her mother are discussing whatever, it’s not my job to interfere. I guess nothing prevents you with having a discussion with your own daughter, though.๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Having encountered that very book in my father-in-law’s stack over the holiday, I definitely vote for just thinking less of the reader. No outward display is required. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Surely the right thing to do is to summon up all the charm at your disposal and engage her in a discussion of Beck’s political views, and gently and kindly explain why you might disagree.
    I find Limbaugh similarly unsettling (and I have many, many relatives who listen to him adoringly). He is self-important, pompous, deeply dishonest, unfunny, laughs at his own jokes, and, most unforgivably of all, leaves a lot of dead air. My relatives occasionally resort to the claim that he is an entertainer. Yes, I suppose. An extraordinarily bad one.
    How much less you think of the reader depends. Among my Limbaugh fan relatives, there are some who lack, I think, the emotional and intellectual resources to mount a serious critique of him. I’m deeply fond of them, and do not judge them harshly. There are others who are entirely capable of seeing through him, and choose quite self-consiously, not to. They are moral cretins, and I feel contempt for them (and am therefore a lot less fond of them than I otherwise would be.

  6. There are others who are entirely capable of seeing through him, and choose quite self-consiously, not to. They are moral cretins…
    “Uncle X, you have an, uh, interesting taste in radio shows. Would you please complete this brief IQ test so I know whether or not to feel contempt for you?”

  7. Its not exactly an IQ issue. It has to do with the extent to which their experience in the world has provided them with relevant intellectual and emotional resources to reflect critically and knowledgably about the specific issues that Limbaugh is dishonest about. There’s also a broader moral dimension — the people for whom I do not feel contempt have a moral compass which, while I disagree with some aspects of it, directs them to attempt to help those whom they feel are less privileged than they are; whereas the other group do not. (Its the difference, in this case, between being devoted and sincere Christians of a fundamentalist and evangelical kind on the one hand, and Christians whose moral attitudes are merely rationalisations of their own self-interest in the other). These are quite fine-grained attitudes about people I know very well (so about whom the question you elaborate would not yeild any new information). I imagine they are not unaware of some of the nuances of my attitudes (I try to be very open about my positive attitudes, and to conceal my negative ones, but I daresay I fail from time to time).

  8. Christians whose moral attitudes are merely rationalisations of their own self-interest in the other
    In that case, you should call 1-800 numbers and give their contact information when you ask for more information about fancy Swedish mattresses, Sears siding, and little electric scooters.

  9. “In that case, you should call 1-800 numbers and give their contact information when you ask for more information about fancy Swedish mattresses, Sears siding, and little electric scooters.”
    Oh my, the thought of doing that had never occurred to me. It must be my foreign breeding, rather those darn Nebraska morals.

  10. I haven’t done it in years, possibly because I’ve grown but more probably because I don’t watch much TV anymore. Once I sent my roommate’s name in for whatever correspondence school used Sally Struthers as a pitchman and said he was interested in gun repair. That course catalog came, soon followed by NRA advertisement, soon followed by ads from groups who thought GHW Bush was a commie followed by ads from groups that thought Reagan was a commie. Good times.
    (Of course, that kind of thing wouldn’t occur to most people of foreign breeding since apparently they aren’t allowed to have good guns.)

  11. The problem is that the kind of people who listen to Beck or Limbaugh do not, like Laura, know the difference between the truth and the garbage spouted by the talking head. The entities we should really be ashamed of (aside from the asses themselves) is Fox or whoever is putting these jerks on air, because they shouldn’t just let them lie to the public.

  12. Once my sister was riding the bus with her toddler daughter, and a middle-aged woman told her that she should make her daughter stand up and give her seat to an older person. My sister asked the woman why she was riding the bus, had she lost her broomstick? So I’m really hoping that someone runs into my sister at the orthodontist, and attempts to correct her political views.

  13. The entities we should really be ashamed of (aside from the asses themselves) is Fox or whoever is putting these jerks on air, because they shouldn’t just let them lie to the public.
    Again, as nearly always, I blame capitalism.

  14. The last couple of times that I taught political theory, there was always one guy in the class who thought he really knew about Marx and the Federalist Papers. Actually, salivated at getting to those readings in the class. The problem was that he had them all wrong. He tried to turn Marx into a progressive liberal and Madison into a libertarian, which is totally insane. He always looked so disappointed when they actually read the readings. I didn’t understand where those crazy ideas were coming from. Now I know.
    Smart people who should know better have justified Beck to me as entertainment + politics. They say that entertainment + politics means that it’s okay to be sloppy with the facts. They say that Jon Stewart makes it all possible. Ugh.

  15. Excepting a trivially small number of people, it’s all driven by affect anyway. Your student knew enough to tell that he didn’t like Marx or liberals. Which put him well toward the ‘informed’ end of the political information spectrum.

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