Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Beck’

“Did anybody help me out? No.”

July 2, 2011

Actor Craig T. Nelson, appearing on the Glenn Beck show a few months back, said he is going to stop paying taxes until the government stops bailing out failed corporations.  “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare,” he said.  “Did anybody help me out? No.”

I had to smile at Nelson’s idea of what government help is and isn’t.  But when I viewed the whole segment and listened to his full comments, I found that I sort-of halfway agreed with him.

It doesn’t make sense to continue with bailouts, subsidies and special tax breaks for big corporations, and at the same time cut back on education, fire protection and other basic services, on taking care of our veterans and, yes, on food stamps and unemployment compensation for people temporarily down on their luck as Craig T. Nelson once was.

I don’t see eye to eye with Nelson in every respect.  I think he probably gets too much of his information from Fox News. I think the Glenn Beck wing of the Republican Party is part of the problem rather than part of the answer.

But I think Nelson’s moral outrage at our current national priorities is thoroughly justified, and I even agree with Glenn Beck on recommending people read the Declaration of Independence and Tom Paine’s Common Sense.


Why Glenn Beck should not be trusted

February 3, 2011

Double click on the graphic to enlarge

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Right wing radio duck

October 4, 2010

Watch this while you can, because it may not be available on YouTube forever.

Jonathan McIntosh, the maker of this Donald Duck / Glenn Beck mashup, asserts fair use of copyright, but Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. may have other ideas.


What do you mean “we,” white man?

August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck

“We will reclaim the civil rights movement,” Glenn Beck says.  “We will take that movement because we were the people who did it in the first place.”

Glenn Beck of Fox News spoke Saturday from the Lincoln Memorial, on the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  He is one of many right-wingers who are trying to associate themselves with Dr. King’s legacy. They quote Dr. King’s statement, that he wanted his children to grow up in a country where they will be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of his skin, to mean he was some kind of libertarian conservative.

According to their interpretation, this statement means that Dr. King was some sort of rugged individualist who was merely asking for a level playing field.  This not only rules out any kind of government action, especially those that help black people proportionately more than white people, but also collective action or solidarity.  Using this logic, right-wingers say the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or the United Negro College Fund are themselves racist, because they’re concerned with black people and not with white people.

This chain of thought takes them some distance from what Dr. King actually thought, as well as some distance from reality. Dr. King’s ideal was not a fair competition, in which some people wound up in palaces and others in the gutter because they deserved to.  His ideal was the beloved community, in which we lived according to the ideals of the Gospel.

Dr. King was the foremost proponent in his time of the Social Gospel, the idea that social justice is part of Christianity.  His last action, before he was murdered, was to rally support for striking garbage collectors in Memphis, Tenn. Glenn Beck is on record as saying you shouldn’t belong to a church that preaches social justice.

The contemporaries of Dr. King now regarded as conservative heroes – Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley Jr. – were all opponents of the civil rights movement.  The living people who actually took part in the movement – Jesse Jackson, Rep. John Lewis, the Shirley Sherrod family – get no respect from Glenn Beck and his comrades.

“We are the people of the civil rights movement,” Glenn Beck keeps saying.  “We are the inheritors and protectors of the civil rights movement.” As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger in the old joke – “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?” (more…)

President Obama and the race card

August 23, 2010

President Obama at the Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Fla.

Ever since Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President, he has been accused on a fairly regular basis of “playing the race card.”  This is a great example of the principle of accusing your opponent of the very thing of which you are guilty.

It is Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Andrew Brietbart and the rest of the radical right, not President Obama, who are the ones who are trying to make every issue a racial issue.

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said during the campaign that Obama was a threat to “the white power structure that you and I belong to.”  Rush Limbaugh said Obama’s election was a form of affirmative action. Glenn Beck has said repeatedly, based on nothing at all, that Obama is a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”  His economic stimulus plan, his health reform plan and his other initiatives have been called a form of “reparations” or “affirmative action.”

Black kids and white kids get into a fight on a school bus, and Rush Limbaugh said this is “Obama’s America.”  After the Haitian earthquake, Limbaugh said the reason Obama ordered aid to the stricken population was to merely to boost his credibility with “the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community.” Glenn Beck said during the Gulf oil spill that the problem is that Obama “hates white CEOs.”  Limbaugh said Michelle Obama’s expensive vacation in Spain escapes criticism because of a feeling “it’s only fair that people of color get a taste of the wealth of America.”

The latest and most absurd attack on Obama, by Commentary magazine, is based on an interview he gave to the South African Broadcasting Corp. about al Qaeda in Africa, in which he said terrorist organizations “do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself.”  Supposedly this shows that Obama only cares about attacks on black people, not on white people.

In this game, President Obama has no race card to play.  Whenever there is a conflict with a black person on one side and a white person on the other, he tries to keep out of it, even if the black person is clearly in the right, or a valuable political ally.  His enemies chip away at him, week by week and month by month. If he were to argue back, it would just reinforce the meme of white vs. black.  It is a lose-lose situation.

Barack Obama is not the first President to be the target of unrelenting attack.  It is not as if the right-wing media treated Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore or John Kerry with kid gloves.  But the use of race as a wedge issue is more than a problem for President Obama, it is a problem for the country as a whole.  Framing every issue as a question of white against black is deeply divisive.  It puts at risk all the progress toward racial tolerance of the past 40 or 50 years.  Unless there is a push-back, the conflict could become violent, as in northern Ireland or the USA itself in earlier eras.