So, Glenn Beck has discovered “social justice” and pronounced it evil.
I would laugh, but it hurts too much. Beck is, pure and simple, a crazy man, as was reported by the BBC.
I have not seen the full programs, but the BBC commentator Charlie Brooker has done good work in describing the nature of modern media, notably the contrasts between British and American media. He has had two shows “mediawipe” and “newswipe,” both on BBC networks. I suspect I might not like him as well if I saw the full programs—British humor is a bit blunt for American tastes and the authoritative repository of all human knowledge (Wikipedia) calls his humor “savage.”
The Brooker snippets I’ve seen, however, are brilliant.
See the link. I agree with Brooker—the anchors of Fox News seems like they were cast for a bad 1980s frat boy comedy. A fake looking blonde or crazy brunette ex-governor from some large but under-populated state will occasionally be thrown in to change the mix, but overall Fox looks like a country club reunion in a particularly small-minded little town where the “good” white men folk still rule the world.
I’ve seen three of Brooker’s clips that I really enjoy: Even better than his analysis of American news personalities, in which he compared Glenn Beck to Peter Finch’s crazy anchor movie character and correctly notes that Beck seems loonier, is his faux news report. Although it dissects the conventions of BBC news, the practices he cites are universal enough in American TV that we recognize the same genre.
“And now, a lighthouse keeper being beheaded by a laser beam.” Watch the clip, it will make sense. Or not, which is the point.
A bit slower, but still clever, is Brooker’s fake “reality” TV show. There is no such thing as “reality” TV if it’s not live, and Brooker illustrates how editing twists the narrative however the editors want it changed.
As much as I enjoyed the Brooker clips that I’ve seen, though, I was pretty much knocked for a pleasurable loop by the March 18 episode of “The Daily Show.”
Jon Stewart opens the show aping the mannerisms of Glenn Beck. I am not sure of the point of the Calvin Klein joke (Questioning Beck’s sexual orientation?), and the “masturbation” humor threatens to degenerate the routine into a bad SNL level. But then, Stewart starts playing with the blackboard. And, as it goes on, even before the letter E becomes Hitler’s mustache, the routine had both Ben and I almost crying with laughter.
As a bearded man, I sense our worldwide theocracy conspiracy has been uncovered by Stewart, who must now be eliminated—shot, to paraphrase Glenn Beck, on the battlefield.
Stewart took on Beck in 13-minute monologue. It starts a bit slow, but gets better and better as it goes along. Don't believe me? Ask Bert.
Now there is a paragraph, if taken out of context, Brooker style, would totally misrepresent my point of view.
Anyway, copy this URL or click on it to see the clip :
I am a liberal, so it’s easy for me to enjoy Stewart’s performance. But I’m not an automatic liberal on all issues. I prefer fiscal conservatism, and want government to take a fairly libertarian attitudes towards its citizens personal behavior, for example. I think of myself as a political moderate who has some liberal tendencies—and frankly, to be honest, I am not ashamed that I started my political adulthood as a Republican.
That was back in the days when there was some diversity in the Republican Party. I know the Will Rogers line is trite, but it still rings true. I don’t believe in organized politics. That’s why I’m a Democrat.
Anyway, a professor I know at Simpson College posted a Facebook link to Stewart’s brilliant parody of Beck. He got some longish comments, one of them from a person in the “a pox on both your houses” point of view—noting how tired she was of the left and right sniping at each other.
I absolutely will agree there are loonies on the left. But I don’t think there is a balance here. The popularity of Fox News is a somewhat frightening phenomenon, because as a “news” organization it violates so many precepts of the business. It constantly shouts “fair and balanced” because it is so un both.
And the fact that Glenn Beck has an audience is a scary indictment of the ease with which a new “know-nothing” conservatism will accept irrational prattle as long as it’s “our” irrational prattle.
The man himself. History prof down the hall says she's an expert on rugs and he wears one, but I don't know if that is true. If it is, there's something really scary under the rug ....
A few years ago, Stewart appeared on “Crossfire” and had such an impact that the show was cancelled. Of course, that was CNN, not Fox. The fact that one of its stars appears to be a raving lunatic probably doesn’t bother Fox. This is the network where, after all, Sarah Palin feels at home.
And almost, by comparison, seems a little sane.
Folks, there is a serious point to be made. When Bush the elder was elected way back in 1988, I knew someone who seriously considered leaving the country because she said that, as an ex-CIA chief, he would probably bring a right-wing tyranny.
He didn’t. In fact, his son gave that idea a much better shot.
But I didn’t plan to leave America when either Bush was in the White House. Tea Party talk of “revolution” ignores the key point that, in our country, we have maintained the world’s oldest democracy precisely because the losers in elections are willing to be governed by the winners until the next election, when we agree we can throw the rascals out if we want to.
Like Glenn Beck, I fear for my country. But in my case, it’s not when I look at our current President. Beck, it’s you—your 9/12 nutty club, your ovals to China, your shoot on the battle field bravado, your wacky commentary that causes me fear. Or more precisely, that you have a willing audience.
The real danger? Not Obama. Not socialism. Not the cancer of progressivism.
The real danger? There’s a Fox in the hen house.