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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inciting Hatred

This video is making the rounds. I'm including it here because so many people have been discussing "civility" and "politeness" in the wake of the Tuscon mass killing. In my opinion, it's not lack of civility that's the problem. The problem arises when you start treating your opponents as anti-American and unpatriotic and their ideas as illegitimate (not just a difference of opinion). That's when it becomes reasonable to consider using force to prevent your enemy from destroying the country. You are protecting America against dictatorial traitors and that's exactly what reasonable citizens should do.

Glen Beck is a master of this technique. He should not be surprised if some of his followers jump to the obvious conclusion. Indeed, CUNY professor Frances Fox Piven (78 years old) has been receiving death threats ever since Beck's rant aired on television last November [Glenn Beck's Ranting Sparks Death Threats Against 78-Year-Old Sociologist]. Is anyone surprised?

Why does Glen Beck still have a job?

A note to Canadian readers. Pay attention. This is the real problem, not simple lack of politeness.


  1. You are protecting America against dictatorial traitors

    The far right likes to throw around the terms "traitor" and "treason." Meanwhile, someone in the Bush White House actually, literally, committed treason in the Valerie Plame case.

  2. Of course Beck's standard defense is that he's just joking and that Jon Stewart does it too. In fact he defended himself just this past week in that way:

    Skip to 6:15.

  3. The only people who watch Glenn Beck are individuals who want to get upset about something. His advertisers are gone. His show loses money for FOX News. His ratings are roughly 1/3 of what they were one year ago. The other loonies on American news, namely Olbermann, Hanity and even Sarah Palin's reality show have all seen ratings collapse in the last year. Beck and those like him are fading away; please help by not watching. His cause is only helped by complaining about the nonsense he spews. His critics are the only thing keeping him on the air.

  4. His advertisers are gone. His show loses money for FOX News.

    This sounded unlikely, so I checked. Well, seems like it's not true at all. His ratings are better than all of his time slot competitors combined. Unless you are saying that everyone on TV is losing money? Here are the ratings:

    GLENN BECK 1,780
    HARDBALL 612
    FAST MONEY 200

    Beck is so grotesque, it's almost like watching a freak show. And the thing is, freak shows are, and have always been, big crowd draws.

    So he has his job because he makes money for his bosses. Simple.

  5. This is something that Canadians might not understand the depths of when it comes to Americans. Americans have this as a basic idea drummed into them since childhood, the idea of revolution when threatened by dictatorial overlords... and that's pretty much the way the teaching goes, despite the fact that the overlords weren't quite as dictatorial and extreme as we're taught.

    This makes demonizing your opponents as "unAmerican" and dictatorial necessarily okays violence against them, bvecause that is the idea at the base of America as far as most Americans are taught. It would be nice if we'd also remember the parts about rights and a changeable Constitution etc., but those ideals tend to go by the boards way too easily.

  6. His critics are the only thing keeping him on the air.

    That is wishful thinking and wrong to boot. His employers keep him on the air, just as the Rev. Moon keeps the Washington Times publishing even with year after year of massive losses. They want this viewpoint heard, and this can also be seen in the fact that liberals with much higher ratings (Phil Donoue being one example) got axed while conservatives with lousy ratings prevailed and still do.

    The idea that if we just ignore these people they'll go away doesn't work; it doesn't work with creationists and it doesn't work with these loonies either.

  7. Sandwalk readers may be interested in similar posts on this blog
    and especially 'Quote of the Day: “Our job is to resist such language”'
    Posted on January 11th, 2011

  8. The problem arises when you start treating your opponents as anti-American and unpatriotic and their ideas as illegitimate (not just a difference of opinion)..... etc

    I think you have a good point there - I very much agree, in fact.

  9. The individuals touting Beck's ratings do not understand American TV. His sponsors have left. Who sponsors the Glenn Beck show? Name them. His contract with FoxNews is up soon, and his show is not profitable for the network. I'll leave you to judge what will happen.

    You compare his ratings to other cable news programs, where he is still on top in his time slot. But the real story is: NO ONE WATCHES CABLE NEWS UNLESS SOMEBODY BLOWS SOMETHING UP OR UNLESS SOMEONE IS HOLDING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING HOSTAGE. Take the top rated cable news show in prime time: it wouldn't last two months on an actual broadcast network with those ratings. Cable news networks cannot afford to keep a show on the air for very long, even if it is winning its timeslot against other cable news shows, once the advertisers have left: and this has happened to Glenn Beck.

    Before he came to FOX, Beck was a total afterthought and ratings bust at the CNN-owned Headline News. My guess is he will be off the air and exclusively on radio within 18 months. It is very interesting to me how people who disagree with his nonsense have built him up into some sort of worthy adversary. He's the media version of Sarah Palin: just let her fade away - she could not get elected dog catcher at this point in the U.S..

  10. I’m no fan of Glen Beck, but as someone who has lived in the U.S. for 67 years, I see a whole lot of nonsense going on in this thread, especially anthrosciguy’s comment, “Americans have this as a basic idea drummed into them since childhood,” You guys ought to stick to science and religion.

  11. @the other Anonymous

    I think it's worth pointing out, however, that the exodus of sponsors away from Beck was largely the result of a coordinated campaign after he said Obama hated white people. So, although it seems like he is "fading away" now, it is only because of the successful activism of those who you now see as overreacting.

  12. Nope. Glenn Beck's ratings have been collapsing both on TV and radio for the past two years. The reason: people watched his show and listened to his radio program to hear what all the media tumult was about. They watched, they listened - and his ratings plummeted from that point forward. People just are not watching and listening anymore.

    The "campaign" mentioned was simply comedy shows and youtube posts reairing what this moron said. So now, instead of 309 million Americans not watching his show, 310 million choose not to. Wow. What a campaign.