Posts Tagged ‘Right Wing’

The Nobel Peace Prize, The Excluded Middle & Not Glenn Beck


The Nobel Peace Prize, The Excluded Middle & Not Glenn Beck

Aristotle said that people are political animals, that is to say they are social animals.  The recent Rasmussen Reports: on “whether the President deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and whether it is political” is an absurd poll.  The poll itself was obviously done only for political purposes and the questions reflect that purpose.  If we asked how many people believed in aliens, and then asked if those aliens were likely to back a Right Wing or a Left Wing agenda, then we would have had similar results. We could substitute any random idea for aliens here, but aliens will do. The real point here is that the idea that the prize is politically motivated has always been true.  What hasn’t always been true is that political motivation was not always a dirty word meaning that there was a hidden partisan agenda behind the selection. A valid visible political motivation would include that he deserved it due his attempts to change the world’s view on peace itself.  This can be seen by his acceptance speech, which has now disenchanted the Left as much as his nomination disenchanted the Right.

The reason that such distinctions are important is that they illustrate an alarming trend in thought in this country.  What is wrong with the poll is not the questions it contains, but the questions/options that are missing.  It includes no middle ground, no alternative options.  The question of the political role in the prizes can be presumed to have one connotative meaning and imply that the only alternatives are that it is rigged or not rigged. The answer that it is rigged flies in the face of it being considered the most prestigious award that can be given.  So one of my premises must be wrong or the law of the excluded middle is wrong.  The premise that people that think the prize is political, meaning it is biased, is flawed. The implication that it is connotatively construed as bad does not hold unless we would consider that people are paying more attention, think it more prestigious, yet think it is biased. Some would actually have you entertain this as true even though they don’t know the difference between Republican Theodore Roosevelt and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt.

So let us consider the idea that the political motivation is a bias toward the left. The oft-quoted error is that there was no Republican president that has won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Theodore Roosevelt was a liberal Republican President that won the prize and became Progressive after the disenchantment of his party with him.  The progressive roots of the Republican party run deep from its inception and those roots have been lopped off each time they looked south. Woodrow Wilson was a conservative Democrat that had some progressive ideas which emerged as he abandoned his Southern roots.  Nothing is black or white. The error in thinking is the same as in the poll. It is the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Ishtarmuz’s Rebuttal to : Glenn Beck advertises gold and who really cares?


From :Glenn Beck advertises gold and who really cares? published on December 9, 4:23 PM byGlenn Beck ExaminerRobbin Swad in Examiner.com

Robbin Swad starts the article this way:

The Glenn Beck buzz the past few days has been the topic of … gold advertisements. Fueled mostly by … the Beck-bashing site Media Matters, the fact that Glenn Beck and his program endorse gold purchasing is now a controversy, sort of.

Yes, it is a real controversy, just not the one that people are considering.  I do think that Glenn Beck believes what he is saying, as delusional as it may appear to be to any independent observer. I also think he is unethical about how he conveys what he believes.   This is demonstrated by how he delivers his message.  He presents what he believes in the manner of a carnival barker using whatever means necessary to hold the attention of his audience.  By so doing he often helps create the situations that are the subject of his commentary. I am reminded of two Wormwood quotes from The Screwtape Letters, “Tortured fear and stupid confidence are both desirable states of mind” and “Suspicion often creates what it suspects.”  It is not so easy to take some good ideas and twist them to follow Dave Bartley’s Law: Be suspicious of anything that works perfectly — it’s probably because two errors are canceling each other out.

If I make myself the beneficiary of life insurance I have on my employees, crowd them in a theater with my competition, then cry fire in the theater, not only have I moved beyond the bounds of free speech, but I have moved beyond the bounds of commercial speech as well. In a like manner, Glenn Beck attracts sponsors which support his half baked millennial conspiracy message because it is “good for business.”  By investing in, and until recently getting paid by, those that support the fear message and encouraging others to do likewise, he has a stake in continuing to exaggerate his message of fear whether or not it has any basis in reality.  He endangers all concerned by his unethical fire cry. Maybe we should be looking for dead peasants?

… Monday … Glenn Beck began his  exposé on … the “convicted felon”– the other White House gate-crasher. … Robert Creamer… author of “Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win.”suggested … Obama … following Robert Creamer’s plan … “trying to stir up emotion, revulsion and fear to peddle this massive government takeover.”

I have said many times about Right wing commentators, that they have no insight into their unconscious biases which lead them to project onto the Left exactly what they are doing as they project it. Glenn Beck is clearly following Creamer’s advice with his every sentence. Sadly it often works for him with the help of many others.  Just consider Goldline‘s bottom line. The sadder thing is that he is protected as a commentator like the psychic who puts up the sign “for entertainment only” and like the many Glenn Beck satires that mimic his form and method perfectly, but can freely add any random content they please. Gold will do quite nicely.

… one day following … report by Glenn Beck on Robert Creamer,…the internet … titles like “Glenn Beck’s Gold Gate problem” and Glenn Beck’s Gold Endorsement Goes Too Far For Fox” … attacking Beck’s gold advertising…

Yes, and the articles go on and on from Salon.com to Businessinsider.com to bloggrunner.com to wikio.co.uk/news to CBS to ABC to MediaMatters to Mother Jones.

The issue here is not whether the man has the right to make money.  The issue is whether he has the right to make money by any means possible. We can see he is not restricted to telling truth as an entertainer and commentator.  The fact is that FOX NEWS has won it’s misinformation lawsuit and Glenn Beck could even be considered a reporter and legally lie like the rest of the Fox disinformation staff. So can he tell any lie to undercut his competitors and profit from the growth of his supporters with his lies or delusions? All of his accessories would tend to agree that he indeed can do this to their apparent mutual gain, but like any such scheme, politely called a bubble, it will grow until it bursts.

As for the propinquity of this gold issue coming up after the party-felon issue suggesting a causal relationship in this pissing contest, this is quite  ludicrous. Correlation is not causation. Association is not proof. Maybe the Left wing blogs should have talked about all the Right wing felons working  for the News Corporation the day after the event. Now that might have been causal. I have been blogging about the FOX geeks like Glenn Beck for some time, but many have been doing it since it’s inception.

… one finds that liberal/ progressive critics like News Hounds, Air-America and especially Media Matters are among the ones crying foul the loudest. [links added by me]

Obviously not loud enough for her to hear that she contradicted herself.  Either the gold gate issue just came up after the the party-felon issue or it has been something that has been talked about right along. Whereas, the strong articles like the LA Times article cited by the Glenn Beck Examiner below clearly showed that his monetary advice to individuals may not be sound economic advice.

That is a pretty loud yell by the LA Times that Ms. Swad just sidesteps.  Moreover, Robinn Swad seems to be miss the whole point here.  Glenn Beck’s viewers are free to make their own decisions, but if he backs his advice with huckster tricks that he profits from, can we really say this is ethical? And does the disappearing ‘paid spokesman‘ from the Goldline website make it any more right or just more suspect?

Nonetheless, concerning Glenn Beck’s alleged conflict of interest, Politico conducted an in-depth look at Glenn Beck’s endorsement of gold… various … hosts … advertise gold-buying, such as Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Fred Thompson G. Gordon Liddy, and Dennis Miller,

From the “Right-wing talkers go for the gold” at Politico.com

“But Beck has recently come under fire from liberals alleging a conflict of interest. …The Democrat-aligned watchdog group Media Matters asserted the segment was a ‘reward’ to his gold advertisers, while liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann charged that Beck is ‘in it for the money. He keeps trying to sell people gold, largely because a disproportionate number of his advertisers sell people gold.’ “

The glaring statement here is that if you traffic in fear, then you traffic in gold.  Also, by the way; diamonds, insurance, lawyers and sex seem to be a good bet too.

A look beyond the far-left attacks … seem to defuse the controversy– if ever there was one.

From the article entitled “Glenn Beck’s Gold Gate” on Yahoo news:

“However, Beck, who responded to the conflict of interest allegations on his show last Thursday by saying ‘So I shouldn’t make money?’, isn’t devoid of defenders on the matter. Business Insider called the controversy ‘nonsense,’ adding ‘there’s nothing wrong with a commentator advising viewers, listeners, or readers to take positions that he is taking himself. In fact, you might wonder about the motivations of someone giving financial advice he wouldn’t take himself.’ In Beck’s defense, some have also noted that the price of gold has spiked since he started at Fox News.”

Again this misses the point. The whole idea of the sarcastic statement of  ‘So I shouldn’t make money’ is that it is value neutral.  The meaning and its truth are in the ear of the listener. Yes, you should make money, but then so should the mafia don that just wants a taste. The objection is off whose back you are making it. If the Right is selectively attending only to what it sees as destroying their worldview, and advertisers that profit from that view flock to them, then we are left only with a self fulfilling prophecy which they are uniquely placed with insider information to manipulate and  profit from the disinformation they promulgate.

Here’s more from the article at Business Insider entitled “Glenn Beck’s Gold Endorsement Goes Too Far For Fox”

“We’re not shocked that Beck’s role as an investor in gold himself and an advocate of others buying gold is drawning [sic] critiques from nattering nabobs of journalistic ‘ethics.’  …The presumption that taking money to endorse something corrupts the endorsement is basically a bias against commerce. Does anyone really think that Beck is secretly skeptical about gold going up and only advocating buying gold because Goldline is paying him? We didn’t think so. It’s far more likely that Beck is bullish on gold and found a way to make some extra money on that position.”

Another case of selective attention.  Yes, the thrust of the Business Insider was to question the questioners of Glenn Beck’s ethics, but the idea that it was the ‘journalist ethic’  breach of not disclosing that you are invested in what you are reporting about is a red herring.  Glenn Beck is not a journalist, nor is he a qualified financial adviser. To even attempt to give the appearance of being a financial adviser when you are unqualified to give that advice and to not disclose your financial holdings is unethical.  Glenn Beck is a professional comedian, entertainer and commentator.  For him to put on the guise of any other profession without a clear  disclaimer and disclosure is unconscionable. Unfortunately, the FOX lawyers have made sure Glenn Beck “noncommercial” speech is not illegal.  It is yet to be heard whether such commercial speech is illegal.

The article from The LA Timesalso refers to Fox’s take on Glenn Beck advertising gold:

“Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president for development at Fox, told DailyFinance’s Jeff Bercovici that Fox had granted Beck an exception to its rule prohibiting news personalities from making paid product endorsements. Cheatwood said the gold pitches were allowed to continue because when Beck moved to the cable station this year, he already had an “established, burgeoning radio business” that Fox didn’t want to interrupt.”

The LA Times concluded … Beck’s audiences… will “judge” just how much they really care.

“Ultimately, the audience will decide whether Beck pushes gold out of real knowledge and commitment and not, at least in part, to pad his personal bank account.”

Glenn Beck Examiner wonders … [if Beck is] pursuing free-market capitalism and exercising one’s individual right to earn a profit?

I wonder if  Robinn Swad really wants to go back to the days of the robber barons, where you were allowed to do just about anything to earn a buck? Maybe he should have Monsanto commercials? But more importantly she misses the point again, the real end of the LA Times article suggested that Glenn Beck should hope that he is not judged by the same standards he judges others.  Judging from the early returns, I suspect the tide will turn on him soon.

If you see a Goldline ad under this article be sure to click on it and tell them what you think of the golden calf.

The Twisted Thought of Glenn Beck


A recent Glenn Beck show took another of our president’s speeches and twisted it to feed the right wing hater blogs.   I begin to think that he thinks such blogs contain primary source information.  This is a typical example of a quote Glenn Beck used to go on a rant that is now so ubiquitous on the Internet that it is down right scary:

OBAMA: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security

Any fairly intelligence human being can follow Obama’s thought in the quote. No, it isn’t the KGB or the Schutzstaffel.  We already have the FBI. Might Obama be talking about our first responders or even a Peace Corp type force? Is Glenn Beck damning our men in blue and the like? Evil Army?

If the President offered everyone free cherry ice cream, then Glenn Beck would be right there saying, “see it is red.”  Saying, “I told you he was socialist.”  This is the level of social discourse that Glenn Beck has reduced his viewers.  It is right up there with the World Wrestling Federation for its intellectual stimulation and honest reporting of the real world events.

Glenn Beck: Why do we need a civilian national security force that is “just as strong, just as powerful” as the military?

We need one because the military marching in the streets is fascism. Civilian national security force (i.e., local militia, called police and deputized agents of the people, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) monitoring of terrorists is reasonable aim. It is more reasonable than fomenting war across the globe while not protecting those within our borders. This is actually the second Amendment meaning. Glenn Beck, are you against the second amendment of the constitution? I know twelfth grade was hard to get through, but American History was included. I wonder what a well-regulated militia might look like? Not the vigilantes on the border, for sure.

Glenn Beck: Here’s why I ask this question: Who are we fighting? Who internally is threatening our security?

Well, the last I heard we were at war with terrorist and supporters of terrorists. I guess you might fit into one of those categories. So maybe you do have reason to fear. Glenn Beck the liberals are not responding to you for the same reason you don’t argue with a drunk. Drunks pose no rational argument to fight and do not respond to what you say in a rational manner either. I have read three sentences and, you sir; have made no sense, common, or otherwise, in what you say.  You are clearly more comfortable putting up straw men to argue with rather than actually debating with someone armed with facts.  You appeal to belief, authority, fear, emotion, flattery, popularity and common practice.  These are fallacies all.  You have not demonstrated even the most basic understanding of a well-formed syllogism.  In short, you are illogical.

Glenn Beck: It’s clearly not because we feel there is a threat from illegal aliens crossing the border, because anyone who would say that has been deemed a racist.

First off, the Hispanics crossing the border come from a different culture, not a different race. Unless you want to classify Italian-Americans and Greek-Americans a different race as well. Such misinformation shows a lack of education, if not that, then blatant racism on its face. And who are these people that call criticizers of crossing the border racist? I have seen more Right wing bloggers wanting immigration reform suggesting they are being called racist than anyone actually doing the calling. What I have heard is that those that object to the legislation suggest that the immigration legislation had a racist agenda.  That means it is more fear based than fact based and setting up another enclave of institutional ethnocentrism feeding the world opinion that we remain ugly Americans.

The Hispanics I know are a pretty conservative Christian group. They don’t want their jobs undercut anymore than anyone else. They, I predict, in fact, are going to be the future of a more rational Republican Party. Yes, they have sympathy for the oppressed, and yes they will defend themselves against wild-eyed slurs, but no, they are not crying racism anymore than I believe you intentionally advocating for itBorder crossings make their communities much less safe than it makes yours.  The truth hidden in this last sentence is the heart of the issue.  Why is their any their community at all?

Glenn Beck: It can’t be a civilian national security force against Islamic extremists, because according to this administration we aren’t even at war against Islamic extremists anymore.

I last heard we had a war going on two fronts, at least.  If it is not the terrorist we are fighting, then we are spending a lot of money for nothing.  So we need all our troops called home now.  Is that what you believe?  Maybe we should bring the troops home and fund health care reform?

Obama: “Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not and will never be at war and with Islam,”

That is pretty clear. We are at war with ALL terrorists.

Obama: “In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.”  [Mr. Obama continued by adding that the U.S. relationship will not only be] “based on opposition to terrorism.”

Beck: Is this administration really going to ask the American people to profile and call-in tips on Muslim Americans who act suspiciously?

I think that skinheads with guns might be more to the point.  What is not to the point is that every event that upsets Glenn Beck does not rise to the level a terrorist attack except in his mind. Unless what he means to convey is that it his worldview that is collapsing under an attack by a fusillade of lucid moments.

Sound bites and photo ops are not facts, like Glenn Beck thinking that the color of a man carrying an automatic provides sufficient context to make any point whatsoever.  Even if the point was to impugn the motives of those that used the photo op originally without showing that he was Black.  There is nothing that can be implied from the information shown other than that Glenn Beck is an ass and has three-fifths of a brain.

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