How long, Glenn Beck? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-08-2011, 01:21 PM
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Glenn Beck is walking toward a cliff -- or running, or skipping. The question is, will Fox News go flying over the edge with him, or give him a push?

For years, Beck has pitched various conspiracy theories with a rather predictable thrust: The left is out to take over and/or destroy the United States. (The relationship between assuming control of the country and scheming its decimation has always been a bit fuzzy.) And his targets have been sinister lefty outfits that are not household names: the Tides Foundation, ACORN, and others. As long as Beck stuck to this classic tale -- secret commies undermining this great land of ours -- he wasn't much of a problem to most conservatives and his patrons at Fox. Sure, some conservative commentators (such as David Frum) derided Beck. But Beck was more like the crazy uncle in the attic who could be ignored. And Fox News could bank the revenue Beck generated without worry. Good ratings forgive much.

But only so much.

The Egypt uprising has raised the stakes for Beck -- and Fox. In the past two weeks, Beck has viewed events in Egypt through his own rather warped filter. He claims that the rebellion is not about the people, not about democracy. Instead, he says, it's a move by radical Islamists to take over Egypt, as part of a larger plan to install a caliphate that stretches from the Middle East through Europe and toward the United States. And he contends that "uber-leftists" and Islamic extremists are "plotting together" toward this end. Last week on his radio show, he declared, "Groups from the hard-core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both a common enemy of Israel and the Jew. . . . Islam wants a caliphate. Communists want a communist new world order. They'll work together, and they'll destabilize. Because they both want chaos."

Austin Powers, anyone? But it gets better. This grand cabal also includes . . . the Establishment. Beck points out that Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush refrained from bombing "ancient Babylon" during their respective wars against Iraq. "Why?" he asks. "Because the Bible tells us that that is the seat right there of power of a global evil empire," meaning that Islamic caliphate. Bush father and son each wanted to preserve the heart of a radical Islam caliphate? That seems to be what Beck is saying.

This latest Beck craziness, now that it is not focused on lefties, has become too much for some conservatives. Bill Kristol, the top-dog neocon, gripes:

[H]ysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He's marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.


Beck fired back with a semi-quasi-coherent retort:

People like Bill Kristol, I don't think they actually stand for anything anymore. All they stand for is power. . . . And really, times have changed, Bill. Times have changed. It's time to see the world as it really is and to see how these big government solutions and getting into bed with dictators is really something the left does and not something that the right should do.


Get into bed with dictators? That's certainly something Kristol and the right did during the Cold War, when they supported autocratic regimes around the world, as long as these governments were anti-communist. But in this instance, Kristol is advocating opposing an autocrat in Egypt. What's Beck talking about?

Beck's problem, though, is not that Kristol has finally realized Beck is preaching nonsense. It's that now Beck has to expand his conspiracy to include Kristol, a prominent Fox News contributor, as either an active participant in the mighty plot or an unseeing buffoon exploited by the evil masters. And not just Kristol, but everybody else at Fox News who doesn't report and decry the Bush-assisted Islamic-communist plot against the United States. For Beck to be true to his cause, he will have to assail other conservatives who don't join him, for, my friends, this is about survival.

the rest here.

does fox finally give beck the boot?

cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#2 Old 02-08-2011, 03:18 PM
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No, I think he's a ratings draw, and that is what Fox cares about.

Beck himself doesn't trouble me much - it's how many people buy into the paranoia and conspiracy theories that's scary. We have representatives of that kind of *thinking* right here on VB.
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#3 Old 02-08-2011, 05:47 PM
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Beck may very well be shown the door for challenging the powers that be in the Republican party. If that happens, look for him to re-surface on MSNBC. Remember when they employed Michael Savage?
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#4 Old 02-08-2011, 06:17 PM
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look for him to re-surface on MSNBC.

That would be funny. Maybe he could be back to back with Maddow.
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#5 Old 02-08-2011, 06:25 PM
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Maddow is sane, intelligent, and well informed.

Beck is none of those.
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#6 Old 02-08-2011, 06:28 PM
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Maddow is sane, intelligent, and well informed.

Sez you (and several others on this board). To me, they are two sides of the same coin.
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#7 Old 02-08-2011, 06:34 PM
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Sez you (and several others on this board). To me, they are two sides of the same coin.

^Goes to show how attempting to maintain a kind of bipartisan position at all costs sometimes leads to hilarious results.

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#8 Old 02-08-2011, 06:36 PM
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Not following you??? (Doesn't sound good, though)
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#9 Old 02-08-2011, 06:39 PM
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^Goes to show how attempting to maintain a kind of bipartisan position at all costs sometimes leads to hilarious results.

Agreed 100%.

Julz, I thought you were more clear sighted. If you wanted to equate someone like George Will with Maddow, that would be one thing, but Beck and Maddow?!?!
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#10 Old 02-08-2011, 06:41 PM
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julz,

could you mention some examples where Rachel Maddow has done something that, in your mind, is equal in its insanity to drawing conspiracy theories on a blackboard, pouring gasoline on someone as a metaphor for Obama's politics, or even saying that the president doesn't care about white people?

Do you have examples of how Maddow has caused people to receive death threats (as I think happened to some sociologist Beck was ranting about)?

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#11 Old 02-08-2011, 06:44 PM
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I don't know who George Will is. My point is that both are extremely partisan and perpetuate divisiveness. The fact that you agree with Maddow does not make her any less divisive. They both do it, but go about it different ways.

And I am clear sighted.
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#12 Old 02-08-2011, 06:50 PM
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You're comparing probably the most level-headed person from MSNBC to probably the most extreme person on Fox News. It just makes no sense, even if you think the two networks are similar.

And from what I can see, anyone who has a point of view and exists within the extremely polarized context of American politics is going to be "divisive".

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#13 Old 02-08-2011, 06:52 PM
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SS's questions are good ones.

I would add these even simpler ones:

Can you cite instances of Maddow questioning the patriotism of conservatives? Stating that conservatives are out to destroy America? Stating that conservatives are not "real Americans"?
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#14 Old 02-08-2011, 07:06 PM
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I could no more name a show or action of Maddow as I could Beck. He's annoying; she's annoying. Although I have watched both shows and found them both irritating, I do not commit their antics to memory. They have different methods and different talking points, but the outcome is still the same.

I know that you (collective) agree with Maddow and feel she is a voice of reason. But conversely, there are people who feel the same way about Beck.

It's not just those two...it is almost all of them. They run the other side down in their own way.

I enjoy listening to Wayne Root because I agree with him. I would not expect you to find him a voice of reason, because you have a completely different expectation of the role of government.
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#15 Old 02-08-2011, 07:10 PM
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I have agreed with George Will maybe one time. He's pretty damn conservative, and I almost always find his opinions annoying. However, I would never equate him with Glenn Beck.

I think you are either missing or ignoring the point.
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#16 Old 02-08-2011, 07:12 PM
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I could no more name a show or action of Maddow as I could Beck. He's annoying; she's annoying. Although I have watched both shows and found them both irritating, I do not commit their antics to memory. They have different methods and different talking points, but the outcome is still the same.

I know that you (collective) agree with Maddow and feel she is a voice of reason. But conversely, there are people who feel the same way about Beck.

It's not just those two...it is almost all of them. They run the other side down in their own way.

But I hope you don't view yourself as existing in some (fictional) neutral middle ground between two opposing sides of the political spectrum.

The middle point between -8 and +3 isn't a neutral 0, more like -2,5.

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#17 Old 02-08-2011, 07:15 PM
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I could see equating Ed Schultz and Bill O'Reilly - both are over the top, and not very bright, blowhards. But I wouldn't even equate O'Reilly with Beck - Beck is in his own class of crazy.
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#18 Old 02-08-2011, 07:16 PM
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I could see equating Ed Schultz and Bill O'Reilly - both are over the top, and not very bright, blowhards.

The very same pair came to my mind earlier too.

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#19 Old 02-08-2011, 07:33 PM
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The very same pair came to my mind earlier too.

Dylan Ratigan is another one on MSNBC who is annoying. I'm having less tolerance for Chris Matthews too - too full of himself, with no alleviating sense of humor about himself. In fact, the only ones I like watching anymore are Maddow and O'Donnell.
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#20 Old 02-08-2011, 07:38 PM
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But I hope you don't view yourself as existing in some (fictional) neutral middle ground between two opposing sides of the political spectrum.

I don't know why you would think that? In the past, I have tried to stay out of the snarkfest that some people on the board try to incite, but never have I said that I was a moderate. Some of my views are considered extreme (like veg*nism) by others.


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The middle point between -8 and +3 isn't a neutral 0, more like -2,5.

I don't look at political views in a linear model. I think it has more dimension than that.
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#21 Old 02-08-2011, 07:41 PM
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I don't look at political views in a linear model. I think it has more dimension than that.

That's a fair point. But what I meant was just that saying that Maddow and Beck, as partisan figures, are "two sides of the same coin", is in itself, a partisan statement. (And in my view, a strongly partisan one.)

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#22 Old 02-08-2011, 07:44 PM
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I think you are either missing or ignoring the point.

Maybe you and I were making different points? My original comment was that I thought it would be funny if Maddow and Beck were on back-to-back because they are opposite.

I have met people who think Maddow is a complete wingnut. It is easy to think someone is reasonable when you agree with them.
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#23 Old 02-08-2011, 07:46 PM
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I have met people who think styrofoam is secretly an alien lifeform trying to destroy planet Earth. Some people holding this opinion doesn't make it reasonable, however.

"and I stand

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#24 Old 02-08-2011, 07:52 PM
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That's a fair point. But what I meant was just that saying that Maddow and Beck, as partisan figures, are "two sides of the same coin", is in itself, a partisan statement. (And in my view, a strongly partisan one.)

Partisan in what way?

They are both entertainers; not jounalists. They both hold very stong politcal views. They both get paid for rallying their "side". That is what I meant. That is the two sides of the same coin.

I really liked Alan Colmbs in the early days of Hannity and Combs. He had a very reasonable demeanor and then he changed. I think he did it so that it would appear that he could go toe to toe with the others. It's a shame really. Even though I did not agree with him, I always listened.
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#25 Old 02-08-2011, 07:54 PM
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Maybe you and I were making different points? My original comment was that I thought it would be funny if Maddow and Beck were on back-to-back because they are opposite.

I have met people who think Maddow is a complete wingnut. It is easy to think someone is reasonable when you agree with them.

Well, if they think Maddow is a wingnut, maybe that says more about them than her.

As I said before, I don't agree with George Will, at all. His opinions irritate me. However, he is not a wingnut. There are other conservative commentators who I would put in that same category as Will.

I mean, even Ann Coulter is not a wingnut - she's just nasty - I wouldn't put her in the same category as Beck.

IOW, recognizing that someone is rational, even though their values are antithetical to one's own, is possible. At least for some people.
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#26 Old 02-08-2011, 07:54 PM
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I have met people who think styrofoam is secretly an alien lifeform trying to destroy planet Earth. Some people holding this opinion doesn't make it reasonable, however.

You need to hang out with a better class of people.

People having a different political opinion than you and people who have delusions are apples and oranges.
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#27 Old 02-08-2011, 07:58 PM
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You need to hang out with a better class of people.

People having a different political opinion than you and people who have delusions are apples and oranges.

Yeah, you're missing SS's point again.
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#28 Old 02-08-2011, 07:58 PM
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Well, if they think Maddow is a wingnut, maybe that says more about them than her.

Conversely, they might say the same thing about you because of the above statement.

I don't think that, (about you, that is) but it is a matter of preference.
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#29 Old 02-08-2011, 07:59 PM
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SS did not give an example of an opinion. He gave an example of a delusion.
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#30 Old 02-08-2011, 08:02 PM
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Partisan in what way?

Evaluating a moderate/reserved voice on the left (compared to other people on the left) similarly to an extreme voice on the right (compared to other people on the right) is only possible, if your feelings about the voice on the left are emphasized due to your partisan political views.
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They are both entertainers; not jounalists. They both hold very stong politcal views. They both get paid for rallying their "side". That is what I meant. That is the two sides of the same coin.

I'm not sure I agree with that journalist/entertainer distinction. I think many talking heads on American TV are something of a mix of the two.

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I really liked Alan Colmbs in the early days of Hannity and Combs. He had a very reasonable demeanor and then he changed. I think he did it so that it would appear that he could go toe to toe with the others. It's a shame really. Even though I did not agree with him, I always listened.

Isn't that the guy whose main role seems to have been to be one of the few lefties on Fox News? Can you name an example of some reasonable person on the left that hasn't been a Fox News mainstay?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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