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Time Mag Cover Story: Mad Man: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America?

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:24 AM
Original message
Time Mag Cover Story: Mad Man: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America?
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 11:31 AM by RamboLiberal
On Sept. 12, a large crowd gathered in Washington to protest ... what? The goals of Congress and the Obama Administration, mainly the cost, the scale, the perceived leftist intent. The crowd's agenda was wide-ranging, so it's hard to be more specific. "End the Fed," a sign read. A schoolboy's placard denounced "Obama's Nazi Youth Militia." Another poster declared, "We the People for Capitalism Not Socialism." If you get your information from liberal sources, the crowd numbered about 70,000, many of them greedy racists. If you get your information from conservative sources, the crowd was hundreds of thousands strong, perhaps as many as a million, and the tenor was peaceful and patriotic. Either way, you may not be inclined to believe what we say about numbers, according to a recent poll that found record-low levels of public trust of the mainstream media.

-----

Glenn Beck: the pudgy, buzz-cut, weeping phenomenon of radio, TV and books. Our hot summer of political combat is turning toward an autumn of showdowns over some of the biggest public-policy initiatives in decades. The creamy notions of postpartisan cooperation poured abundantly over Obama's presidential campaign a year ago have curdled into suspicion and feelings of helplessness. Trust is a toxic asset, sitting valueless on the national books. Good faith is trading at pennies on the dollar. The old American mind-set that Richard Hofstadter famously called "the paranoid style" the sense that Masons or the railroads or the Pope or the guys in black helicopters are in league to destroy the country is aflame again, fanned from both right and left. Between the liberal fantasies about Brownshirts at town halls and the conservative concoctions of brainwashed children goose-stepping to school, you'd think the Palm in Washington had been replaced with a Munich beer hall.

-----

As melodrama, it's thumping good stuff. But as politics, it's sort of a train wreck at once powerful, spellbinding and uncontrolled. Like William Jennings Bryan whipping up populist Democrats over moneyed interests or the John Birch Society brooding over fluoride, Beck mines the timeless theme of the corrupt Them thwarting a virtuous Us. This flexible narrative often contains genuinely uncomfortable truths. Some days "they" are the unconfirmed policy "czars" whom Beck fears Obama is using to subvert constitutional government and he has some radical-sounding sound bites to back it up. Some days "they" are the network of leftist community organizers known as ACORN and his indictment of the group is looking stronger every day. But he also spins yarns of less substance. He tells his viewers that Obama's volunteerism efforts are really an attempt to create a "civilian national-security force that is just as strong, just as powerful as the military." While scourging Obama and the Democratic Congress, Beck takes pains to say that the ranks of the nation's would-be oppressors know no party. In his recent instabook Glenn Beck's Common Sense, a huge best seller, with more than 1 million copies moved in less than four months he wrote, "Most Americans remain convinced that the country is on the wrong track. They know that SOMETHING JUST DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT but they don't know how to describe it or, more importantly, how to stop it." The book's pox-on-both-parties populism evokes the quixotic campaigns of Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot, but with an eerie sound track.

-----

The inevitable question is, How much of this industry is sincere? Last year, shortly after the election, Beck spoke with TIME's Kate Pickert, and he didn't sound very scared back then. Of Obama's early personnel decisions, he said, "I think so far he's chosen wisely." Of his feelings about the President: "I am not an Obama fan, but I am a fan of our country ... He is my President, and we must have him succeed. If he fails, we all fail." Of the Democratic Party: "I don't know personally a single Democrat who is a dope-smoking hippie that wants to turn us into Soviet Russia." Of the civic duty to trust: "We've got to pull together, because we are facing dark, dark times. I don't trust a single weasel in Washington. I don't care what party they're from. But unless we trust each other, we're not going to make it."

How can we trust each other, though, when the integrated economy of ranters and their delighted-to-be-outraged critics are such a model of profitability? A microphone, a camera and a polarizing host are all it takes to get the money moving. Because audiences have been so widely fragmented by the new technology, ratings that would have gotten a talk-show host canceled in the late 1980s create a superstar today. (In 1987 comedian David Brenner bombed in syndication with about 2.5 million viewers at midnight which is roughly what Fox, the leading network for political talk shows, averages in prime time.)

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,192434...

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. is water wet? nt
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. That this man has continued access to a mass audience
says everything. HALLO RWANDA HOTEL!
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corkhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. Trying to remember if Howard Beale made the cover of Time in the movie Network
everything else about him seems to be a parallel. It would be impolite for me to hope his career ends the same way, so I won't.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. Not directly, but there's this famous cover:

Now compare to:
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. The author tries way too hard to be "fair and balanced".
For example, he won't even refute Beck's claims of a 1.7 million turnout for the recent 9-12 event. He "balances" it claiming the left says it was only 70,000 but won't weigh in on which claim is more credible.

And the worst part is the asshole is making $23 million a year to misinform the uneducated angry mobs.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Greg Mitchell in Huffington Post agrees with you (as do I)
New TIME Cover on Glenn Beck Ignores Facts, and Worse

I have no quarrel with TIME magazine devoting a cover to Glenn Beck -- so long as the accompanying story sticks to hard facts and harsh truths. The issue coming tomorrow, online today, sadly fails to do so in an apparent effort to woo the rightwing with a ludicrously "balanced" treatment of equally dangerous and wacko "ranting" coming from left and right.

It starts right away with a first paragraph that claims that only "liberal sources" estimated the protest crowd in D.C. last weekend as about 70,000, while conservatives say up to a million or more. Actually, virtually all mainstream media sources, along with nonpartisan factchecking organizations such as PolitiFact, cite the lower number.

-----

In this nugget TIME's Dave Von Drehle revealed his method. The "left" says one thing, the "right" another and, hell, who is to know the truth? He returns to this late in the piece by raising the crowd estimate gap again and explaining it as merely "who do you trust?"

Repeatedly he refers to mere "suspicion and feelings of helplessness" -- as if that was all to the ugly words and behavior we have seen, and that it was a natural response to Obama's "takeover," not something darker, and Beck-related. Ditto for casting these Americans as "scared" -- but why and on what basis are they scared?

There's a scattering of extreme Beck quotes lost in many paragraphs on the money deals. And groups like Media Matters are accused of "cherry picking" the bad ones. But then, they are just part of the "rant industry" on the left. There's a long, long graf quoting Beck on 9/11 and the Freedom Towers but no mention of his attack on the 9/11 widows. It notes his assault on the Obama "czars" and "he has some radical-sounding sound bites to back it up."

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-mitchell/time-cover-...
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Thanks for the link.
The Time magazine author seemed to go out of his way to downplay Beck's extremism by falsely claiming that the left does it too!!!

I don't remember the left threatening an armed insurrection and showing up at Bush rallies with weapons. There has been a 400% increase in death threats to Obama as compared to Bush. I am so sick of the "liberal" media's ridiculous appeasement of of the crybabies on the right who whine that they are not "fair" when the truth occasionally gets reported.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Facts are facts, Time magazine..why didn't you investigate
and come up with your own estimation? Or would that have involved getting off your bar stool?

Fucking time rag..cancelled them in 2002.

I suggest massive ltte on their incompetent reporting.
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Do you think it's laziness or cowardice?
I'm leaning toward cowardice at this point because I think they fear losing readers from Glenn Beck's clown brigade. Too bad Time hasn't figured out that those people don't read. They rely on their savior to tell them how to think.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Oh, they're fucking cowards of facts..that's a definite.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 01:04 PM by Cha
It's just that the reporting smacks of a cocktail swilling lackey too self absorbed to do any real reporting..and really all they can manage is to phone it in.

Of course they want to do everything to pump up the idiots against Health Care Reform and bring down the "Liberals"..like the Liberals were trying to underestimate the crowds.

What they need to do is lose Liberal readers like they did me.
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Yeah, we dropped our subscription a few years back.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. I totally agree with you.
This is a poor article at best. I am so sick of the MSM and Congress catering to the radical 10% of the racist, gun stroking right wing as this article demonstrates.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. The turn-out line struck me as sloppy or disingenuous writing/reporting
Liberal groups use the number 70,000 because that is the number that the DC fire marshall gave for an official count. Is Time magazine asserting that the DC fire department a Liberal group?
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
5. Mine, minus the cover, sank to page 3 in record time!1
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. If the teabaggers/town hall interrupters are chosen Persons of the Year, I think I'll puke.
They have had a big impact on the news ... but I'll still puke. And I'll puke when this magazine lands in my mailbox. I'm definitely ripping off the cover so I don't have to look at the putz.
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chemenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. Is the Pope a Catholic? Does a wild bear shit in the woods?
Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is as immature as a 3 month old?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is a flaming asshole?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is an idiot?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is totally irrational?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is monumentally ignorant?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is a racist?

Did somebody finally wake up to the fact that Glenn Beck is the worst example of a human being on the face of this earth?

Maybe ... but don't count on it. At least 2.2 million people on average watch his show so that means that nearly 1% of the population of the US is: immature as a 3 month old, flaming assholes, idiots, totally irrational, monumentally ignorant, racist, and generally poor excuses for human beings.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. I know it's wrong, but I want to hit him so bad I can taste it. nt
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chemenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Me too, asdjrocky!
Me, too.
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. Beck reminds me of a grown-up Pugsley Addams ...
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. he seems like the kid everyone picked on in school because he DESERVED it.
The kid that taunts and insults others until they react, sort of a masochist who gets off on the response.
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. That's what I think.
Others think he was the bully, but I think he was the one getting beat up every day, and he's now exacting his revenge.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. he was probably a wannabe bully but not tough enough to pull it off
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Hahahaha!
"In this first incarnation, he was portrayed as a deviant child with a vicious nature, shown committing deplorable acts with his sister. In all incarnations, he is overweight. In the television series, Pugsley usually eats over five pieces of cake at birthday parties."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pugsley_Addams

Sounds about right! And instead of five pieces of cake, it's overindulging with drugs and alcohol. (Although the very doughy Beck probably does eat five pieces of cake...)
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Stand and Fight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
19. I don't know how many actually read the article here, but it's crap.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 12:55 PM by Stand and Fight
It is entirely too slanted to the right for my taste and even praises Beck throughout. I felt I needed to shower after reading it. Hence, my reasoning for unrecommending this thread -- there is NOTHING great about this article. The headline is misleading.

In fact, there is an article on Huffington Post about this bullshit article in TIME:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-mitchell/time-cover-...
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. I know, and it's David von Drehle!
Von Drehle wrote a wonderfully readable book about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, but in this article he repeatedly praises Beck at "talented." Talented?! We could pick four people at random on the New York subways or the Washington Metro, and they'd be more talented.

But what the article does reveal is what a hypocrite Beck is, calling for trust and unity at the same time he promotes the patented us-versus-them demagoguery.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
26. Short answer: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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