Deconstructing Glenn Beck
From the July 27, 2009 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:
BECK: Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas. That’s what the Contract with America was — I mean, that’s what it was about? Really? Hmm. I completely missed that.
Now, he’s got friends that say things like that. There’s his friend. There’s Barack Obama’s good friend that says things like that, and he has some really, really extra special friends, also.
Well, deconstructing Glenn Beck is almost surreal here. We all know that he is about to do a high tech lynching of an uppity nizzle that just happens to be the President. Otherwise, why would he allude to Clarence Thomas? It’s odd really, in 1991 a conservative black being attacked for sexual harassment charges while he was at the EEOC during his supreme court confirmation hearing. This does not appear to be either a bigoted, or politically biased, positon taken by the Democrats in the Senate. This irrational start is only prelude. The only other real parallel here is that both are successful men that happen to be black. So perhaps his point, or his cover, is that the Democrats attack black men too. I wonder if he knows Clarence Thomas once represented Monsanto?
So she is proud of the involvement of people in the political process, unlike the apathy and defeatism of the past 40 years. I can see that she is black. Does that shade the meaning of her words somehow? Isn’t it more instructive that as a child she was proud of the political involvement she saw? The mood changed with the assassinations ending with that of MLK, but she did not say that.
BECK: We have demonstrated President Obama’s desire for racial justice. But how is he setting out to achieve it? Exactly the way a community organizer would: through intimidation, vilification, bullying, a system, an underground shell game.
Look how he has handled different things. Gates — he calls the cops stupid and racist before he admits, he says, “I don’t know all of the facts.” But he jumps to the conclusion that the cops are racist.
I am quite dumbfounded that so few can see that Glenn Beck’s rhetorical style is full of intimidation, vilification, bullying and the posing of arguments that are a shell game of fallacies, but then he would say he is not the President or a Senator. So that makes it all OK, because he only talks to millions of people daily. It is OK that he rallies hate, fear and war mongers and promotes power, money and glory hoarders through his bigoted millennial paranoia. Some would claim this his right to free speech, but I say all of what he says amounts to commercial speech.
Maybe I overstate the case, but stupid acts don’t make you stupid, nor does jumping to conclusions make you a racist. Otherwise, Glenn Beck would have been dismissed as a stupid racist long since. The President did act rashly by not suggesting that the cops appeared to be jumping to conclusions that made their acts appear stupid. This is a slip that Glenn Beck makes with every other sentence.
BECK: Health care — oh, those evil, greedy doctors that are ripping tonsils out at will. And it’s also no longer about access — universal access. It’s about preferential access.
In a free country with a democracy even the socialists and communists have a voice. Our constitution allows for every one to speak. It does not allow you to be a fear monger and yell fire in a crowded teatre. Facts, real facts, do not name call, do not appeal to fear, emotion, authority, past practice, popularity, patriotism or any other fallacy. Appeals are the hucksters trade. I do not want snake oil. I want universal health care, for example, like every other modern nation in the world enjoys. I want a government not afraid to stand up to the tyranny of small shallow minds. I want a government that stands for real values, not slogans, sound bits, and video clips, which are the hobgobins of little minds.
Glenn Beck needs to be dismissed. Especially considering his most insidious of all liar’s tools, guilt by association, that is his, and all the little minds at FOX, most popular fallacy. Maybe someone should mention the convicted felons that work for FOX.
BECK: His green policies — it’s easy to say he wants to bankrupt the evil, earth-killing coal industry. But now he’s got a czar who’s a self-avowed communist to make sure that it happens. Our president is not just bankrupting our country; he is fundamentally transforming it as he promised, and he is doing it to the core.
So what happened to freedom to think? I see Glenn Beck’s thought completely bankrupt here? The coal companies are not evil and earth killing, but the people that run them that think like Glenn Beck could indeed be evil. In the past the coal companies surely were so. If you don’t work to make your workplace and product safe until people die, then you are evil. If you don’t work for your investors to find valid alternatives when you know you are going down a slippery slope, then you are evil. However, this does not necessarily currently apply to any of the coal companies that Barack Obama appeared in advertising for, promoting the possibilities of clean coal.
If we nationalized the energy and transportation grids and redistributed 300 million shares to the people would that be socialism, communism or a democratized capitalism? Would that be evil? Talk to the Appalachian population about their B & O taxes and see if they wouldn’t prefer that model.
BECK: In the next few years, I promise you, America will look more like ACORN in structure and less than anything that our founders had in mind. Obama handles every issue like a community organizer would, and he wants to create a civilian army.
Anybody remember this from the campaign? A civilian army in the form of community organizers, more well — I’m quoting him — “more well- funded than the military.” Last year, he said, and I quote, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we have set. We have got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well-funded.
“You gotta be kidding me. If you want a government-funded civilian army of ACORNs, well, you’re gonna be a happy camper very soon if America keeps sleeping.
Community action organizations are just that, they organize the community to get involved in the process instead of sitting back hopelessly and helplessly getting told by the backers of the likes of Glenn Beck that they should buy gold and prepare for the apocalypse. The apocalypse his backers fear is that someone might wake up and see that we don’t have to be slaves to the marketplace of war, fear and hate which help make us a country of self centered narcissists interested more in our appearance than the welfare of our neighbors. If you don’t see the logic in this, then just picture any professional wrestling star as you look in the mirror saying, “consumer patriot” five times.
BECK: Keith Ablow is here. He is a psychiatrist and Fox News contributor.
Keith, am I jumping the gun here? I just see this ACORN thing and also the thing at the White House as a sign. This guy has real issues with race, real issues.
ABLOW: Unfortunately — and I really mean it, Glenn — unfortunately, I have to agree with you. I don’t think you’re jumping the gun. Americans had as their fondest hope and prayer, I think, that they were electing a colorblind president who could embrace everyone equally. I think that was the hope. I think it was the hope — more than some of his policies — that here was a man who could treat everyone equally.
You mean like universal health care and rights for gays?
ABLOW: Instead, I think we get a transparent president, in this case, whose feelings about white America are coming forward again.
ABLOW: And I don’t know — listen. As a psychiatrist, I’m trained to look at facts and say what fits and what doesn’t, what’s a theory that can hold water as to someone’s personality and nature. You have someone who sat in a church with a pastor who called white people the devil, whose wife has not been proud of this country in her adult life until quite recently, who calls a Cambridge police sergeant stupid without knowing the facts, and whose friends are community organizers with questionable pasts.
Sad fact is that psychiatrists are not trained to look at facts. Psychiatry is a practice. A practice that revolves around the notion that people that cause a problem, have a problem and the cure is to agree with the psychiatrist. Yes, exposure to radical notions like those expressed on FOX News day in and day out could brainwash a person, but that does not mean it will.
ABLOW: And so, you add all that up, and say, look –
Questionable pasts? You mean like Glenn Beck’s? One that might make him a poster child for the need to make things be either black and white because of his past impulse control issues leading to his need for structure and control at all times. This would also explain his choice of religious affiliation matching his worldview and his frequent shows of bigotry.
BECK: Questionable pasts?
I will not commit the fallacy here of ‘look at you, you are one to talk’. The fact is that the past leads people to decisions. It does not determine them. Those decisions do influence your actions, but again, they do not determine them. It is only when you remain stubbornly blind to your past decisions and remain unaware of your own biases do you let them control you. The most affected by this lack of introspection appears to be Glenn Beck and Doctor Keith Ablow.
ABLOW: – there’s more than an apology necessary here. This is a question of introspection. The president needs to look at himself and say, “Do I have prejudice that I wasn’t even aware of, perhaps, toward white people?”
Physician heal thyself.
BECK: Well, he’s not — you know what? He’s not going to do that. I think he’s one of the more arrogant people I have ever witnessed in the office. I mean, I — I don’t think he is — this man has absolutely no fear, and no fear of the American people — no fear in a good way, like as in fear God. No fear for the office of the presidency of the United States