Off the Main Trail

Finding a Progressive Path in Kentucky

Ric Caric

Ric Caric
Location
College Town, U. S.
Birthday
May 14
Company
Regional University
Bio
I'm married with two daughters and have been teaching at a state university in a red state for 21 years. My blogging covers a lot of issues but I'm a progressive kind of guy who tends to focus on political process, conservatism, and religiosity. Living in the Bible Belt gives me a little different though not necessarily more friendly perspective on conservatism. I also get in the occasional sports post.

Ric Caric's Links

Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 14, 2009 11:01PM

Glenn Beck Plays Footsie with Mass Murder

Rate: 24 Flag

I wouldn't pretend to have opened any windows into the soul of Glenn Beck. Still, it appears that he's experimenting with justifying violent, terrorist-type acts in the Age of Obama.

A few weeks ago, I put up a couple of brief posts on Becks enthusiastic references to militias, depression, and revolution as examples of "freak show" Republicans in action.

But now Beck's gone farther in the direction of domestic terrorism in response to the shootings in Alabama. Nobody knows why Michael McLendon shot up his mother, grandmother, and a bunch of people sitting on their porches in Samson, Alabama.  A history of personal frustration and failure might have something to do with it.  McLendon tried to join the Marines but failed and later tried to become a policeman but failed. Likewise, McLendon had a list of people who had "wronged" him at his factory job and appeared to be involved in some sort of family dispute.

But right now, there's no public information on what kind of guy he was, how exactly he felt wronged, or what triggered his murderous rampage.
And there might not ever be any good information. McLendon killed a number of the people who knew him best.

But that didn't stop Glenn Beck from speculating.

According to Beck, McClendon's problem might have been that he was one of the people who's been "disenfranchised" by the recent liberal turn in American politics and social attitudes.

But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children . . . Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?
Beck's theory here is that people on the right are being "silenced" and that mass murders like the one perpetrated by McLendon could be a reaction to the sense of exclusion. One example of what Beck's talking about is the attack on a Unitarian Universalist Church outside Knoxville, TN where Jim D. Adkisson tried to kill as "many liberals as possible."  The logic here would be that Adkisson was so fed up with the shaming he felt from the media about racism, homophobia, and the other ways that he lashed out.

The question with this kind of argument is whether Glenn Beck is justifying mass murder as a legitimate expression of right-wing grievance against a liberal society. My impression is that Beck is experimenting with that possibility but has not quite made up his mind and is taking care about risking his cushy gig on Fox. Even Fox might have a hard time defending Beck if he began to openly justify domestic terrorism.

Still, Barack Obama has only been in office for two months and Glenn Beck is already toying around with the idea of justifying domestic terrorism.

It makes you wonder how far the fringes of the right are willing to go.

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abduction and recalibration of this beck required
Isn't there a way to do recalibration from a distance?
Glen Beck's soul is *mine*!
No - it's MINE. He's EEEEvil, not alien.
Paraphrasing Shakespeare's Henry V: "Every man's soul is his own."
Beck has long been an unstable and evil idiot, but it appears he's getting worse.
My God, Ric! How do you manage to watch Glenn Beck?

I had the misfortune of negligently having Fox News on in the background about a month ago, which I somehow tolerated reasonably well (my mind was on the Internet) until Beck's show started, at which point I could not do anything other than watch in a state of shock and disbelief. I felt slimed. And it wasn't even one of his worse days, as far as I have since been able to discern.

In any event, THANK YOU for keeping an eye on that wingnut's ravings. And if you haven't checked out Colbert's "Bunker of Doom" (a hilarious send-up of the earlier Beck episode you reference in your post), I would HIGHLY recommend it:

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Colbert_mocks_Glenn_Beck_with_doom_0305.html
This has happened before. Back when Clinton was elected we saw the "Patriot Movement" formed with militias springing up obsessing over black helicopters, imminent gun confiscations and UN takeovers of America. Ultimately, the kooks were beat-back only after the horrors of the Oklahoma City bombing, which was a direct result of "Patriot Movement" hysterics.

Back then, right-wing theocratic militants only had short-wave radio and primitive computer bulletin-boards to spread their agitprop.

Now they've got a major "news" network.
Beck is a member of the same religion as Romney.
The church of the almighty dollar? Beck is another shitbag with money and a platform, Just like Prescott Bush's old buddy Adolf.
Give me a break. An uninformed opinion on a 5 minute sound bite.
Do the majority of voters whose will was thwarted when the conservative Supreme Court installed Bush in the White House count for nothing? I venture to guess most Americans felt disenfranchised for parts of the last eight years, and somehow managed not to shoot up their neighborhood. Glenn's just bitter because nobody gave him a coffee cake when he joined the club.
Why do you torture yourself and deal with an alcoholic who's idea of post high school education is to "have a book in every room"?

You do a great service, however, by enlightening us about the sources for some of the more dangerous crap that is about to go on.
Glenn Beck is notoriously stupid. Even conservatives have commented on this. The fringe that can listen to a true dumbass like this has been with us always. The thing is how to best deal with it in an age of 24/7 cable. I guess the blogosphere and sites like these, and videos on You Tube and such are our best hope for "macaca" moments for racists, rabble rousers and bigots. These folks will eventually implode like presidential hopeful George Allen.
Alas though, other pushy idiots will take their place. Wingnuts seem to need spokespeople like themselves to keep the invective flowing.
For those in the religious or political far right, everything bad is always the fault of the liberals. Liberalism is the source of all evil.

On the other hand, conservatism is never wrong, and never the cause of anything bad. The only way a conservative can go wrong is by not being conservative enough.

If a liberal spits on the sidewalk, well, that's what liberals do. If a conservative spits on the sidewalk, he's acting like a liberal.

So I'm not surprised that liberals are blamed for some massacre done by a nutcase. It's their fault for everything.
Even in "Right Wing World" Beck is bizarre. He makes Hannity seem like a voice of reason. Keith Olbermann once predicted that Beck will eventually say something on the air that will end his career. I winder if that's true.
Well, I'd take Glen Beck over Ann Coulter . . . While he has made some good points lately, I think he is going a little far with it.

Did anyone watch his show last night? We did, and even though I don't agree with some of it, I understood where he was coming from.
LadyMiko
March 15, 2009 02:30 PM

I see your comment was the only one with some semblance of common sense without all the name calling that goes with the liberal postings. It's what they do when they have no coherent thoughts to share.
Glenn Beck is a clinical paranoid. He needs medication.
To LadyMiko,

What "good points" would Beck be making?
You claim, in your post that has no point other than whining and name-calling about "all the name calling that goes with the liberal postings. It's what they do when they have no coherent thoughts to share."

How then would you characterize Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham, and the rest of your right-wing ilk? Their entire schtick is based on name-calling, and I'll brand you a liar if you deny it. Are you suggesting that none of them have any coherent thoughts to share?

*I* would suggest that. They - and by extension, anybody who supports them - spread lies, disinformation, fear, and loathing that only the weak, angry, or unintelligent will fall for. This is not "coherent thought." This is anti-American screed designed to incite the rabble.

If you pay attention, you see they are playing a very dangerous game. Hannity has a poll on his website wondering what form the revolution will take; Beck is playing out doomsday scenarios and wondering if disenfranchised pseudo-cons are mad as hell and not taking it anymore; Dick Cheney is suggesting that our prisons aren't secure enough to hold terrorists, which means they're not secure enough to hold virtually anybody.

So Blackflon, perhaps you could expose us to a coherent thought instead of *more* name-calling.
Well, Ric . . . .Mr Beck is calling for people (notice how I said "people" instead of naming "parties?") to stand up and show DC that the change that America needs, should come from US as in "We The People . . . " instead of the fat cats at The Hill.

As i have said before, I think on some level he can take it a bit far but if one actually listens to what he is saying (take off the political sunglasses for just a second, I promise you won't go blind!) you find a person who sincerely cares about Amercia and is sacred for her. He's asking people to put aside their differences and stand together, support each other: bring back the sense of communtiy that our country was built on.

I fail to see how this is such an evil thing.
Anyone who takes exception to my use of the expletive should check both my blogs and comments to see how frequently I use them. The feeling must be pretty strong to elicit said response. I will repeat it again for emphasis, Glen Beck is a shitbag.
Renman53

Let's disect your post by paragraph.

1. I did not claim anyone was whining.

2. Pointing to Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and Coluter's bad behavior does not justify other's behavior.

3. I believe you are a little over the top calling them anti-american.

4. Throwing out our government is mentioned in the constitution. Remember, this country was born out of a revolution.

Yes, Beck is a little over the top but it's not illegal.

Terrorists, who fight under no flag or wear uniforms are not entitled to the same rights as POW's under the Geneva Conventions. You can look it up.

6. I did not call anyone a name in my previous post.
Ms. Miko:

I don't think Glenn Beck is a bad person. Indeed, [stereotype alert], he's a Mormon, and in my experience, all Mormons are genuinely very very good people (although I fundamentally disagree with most of them on just about everything).

But I don't think that his scaring less-intelligent people who already believe that Obama is a Islamic radical and communist into thinking that the End Times are being ushered in by his policies is particularly helpful at this point in time in our nation's history. (I am referring to his War Room segment; see link above for Colbert send-off.) Nor is it helpful (to say the least) to stoke white separatism (which is what I consider him to be doing in the segment discussed by Ric). Remember Oklahoma City?

In addition, we have a MACROeconomic problem that we're facing right now. More than that even: A global macroeconomic problem. "We the little-p people" can (and should) help our neighbors get through these rough times with acts of generosity and compassion, but it is going to take "We the Big-P People" (i.e., the government) to fix the financial crisis. Suggesting otherwise is simply irresponsible by anyone who, like Beck, is intelligent enough to have gained a national audience.
I've been seeing some dangerous excesses from liberal commentators lately, the sorts of things we would have cried foul about during the Bush years. Joan Walsh casually referred to belligerent Republicans as terrorists, which is an accusation we should think twice about wielding, even if we mean it metaphorically. This post is another example. I got to listen to Glenn Beck's radio show all the time when I lived in Texas, and I think he is a loathsome worm. But while I have not seen the clip in question, trying to understand the motives of a right wing mass murderer sounds like liberals who tried to explain to Warriors on Terror that terrorists had something to be upset about. We were never condoning their actions, just trying to find their roots.
Now it may be that if I were to see the footage I would change my mind, but from what I see here I would be careful about asserting anything else about Beck's motives.

It will be so easy, now that we're in power again, to fall into some of the same excesses that were heaped upon us for the last decade. We must be constantly on guard against it.
Lawyer8:

Oh, I understand what your saying, no doubt. I watched the War Room piece twice and the second time around, I realized that while some of it was "out there" . . .some of those situations, could happen and that while getting all parnoid and freaky won't help, being realistic and cautious would benefit everyone.

One problem I have is that we (in general) have this "head in the clouds" idea that the US could NEVER fall . . .BullShit . . .look at Imperial Rome (which we have molded ourselves after) when they fell, they fell HARD. I'm not saying that we are heading back into the "Dark ages" by any means . . but things are happening and it doesn't look good for the future and if we don't wake up and look in the mirror, our childern will pay the price for it.

Am I advocating another Revolution? No . . . but that card should never be removed from the table. Washington has forgotton themselves and so have "we the people" . . .
bobbot
March 15, 2009 03:52 PM

Using your expletives says more about you than it does about the subject matter.
Eric Raits
what is the relevance of your observation that Beck shares the same religion as Romney? This perhaps shows some intolerance on your part?
I am trying to figure out the relationship between Beck and Romney and "they belong to the same church".....come on....talk about "silent name-calling"...and painting with a way too broad of a brush. Check yourselves.
Come on, guys.

Yes, Beck is a doofus. But he didn't justify mass murder any more than someone saying, when we accidentally bomb a mosque we create dozens of terrorists is justifying terrorism.

It is very possible that the people who feel like they've been shut up and shut out by American society and the trend towards a more progressive society are angry. It is also possible that some of those people will act on that anger and do so violently.

To say this is the case is one of the most logical things that Beck has ever said. It's not condoning it or justifying it. It's simply stating the obvious.
I think we might do better than to take everything that is said on tv by ANYONE as a statement of their beliefs. Unless they go on record and say so we have to realize that when there is a camera present anything can happen and usually does. If you think I'm kidding go to your local mall with a big video camera and watch what people do to get on it. I've been listening to Beck for years and he has some "out there" ideas but he is harmless.
Responding to Tony Wang--my position is not that Beck is supporting domestic terrorism but that he's toying or experimenting with the idea. Still, I know there's a lot of room for uncertainty. I opened the post by saying that I had no window into Glenn Beck's soul and I meant that. But I still think it's significant that Beck's playing around with these ideas and would hazard a bet that he's being watched pretty closely by other figures in the right-wing media.

To Big City Bohemian--I don't think the comparison to left-wing rhetoric in the wake of 9-11 works in the final analysis. Most of the talk on the left was to the effect that "terrorists aren't just evil Muslims bent on world domination; they attacked the United States in opposition to these American policies." There's a firm line keeping "explanation" apart from "justification" there and there were very few Ward Churchill's trying to justify al-Qaeda.

If you look at the Glenn Beck video (http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/12/beck-shooting-pc/), you'll see that he's kind of excited about the possibility of "disenfranchised" people on the right engaging in mass murder. I'm not saying that he IS justifying mass murder as a way to attack the Obama administration or undermine American liberalism. But I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Beck is blurring the explanation/justification line here.

To Lady Miko--My question for you is exactly who Glenn Beck includes in "the people" or the "American people." My impression from Beck is that he limits his ideas of America or American-ness to conservatives who support the war in Iraq, support torture, oppose abortion rights, oppose any kind of gay rights, and oppose much in the way of government functioning beyond the police and the military.

Depending on how you look at the numbers, that's only 18-25% of the American population that Beck would consider "American."

If that.

So who would you and Beck be directing a revolution (which, of course, you're not really advocating) against? Would it be against the Democrats who were elected to Congress by majorities?

Or would you be revolting against the stimulus package, a cap and trade system, or health care reform? What if these things are supported by a majority and it's likely they will be. Obama's approval numbers jumped substantially after his speech on the budget.

Perhaps you would want to launch a revolution against the 65-70% of the voting population that supports Obama? Against the East Coast, West Coast, or most of the cities in general?

Good luck with that?
Extraordinarily thoughtful and considerate rebuttal, Ric. Your "Good luck with that?," however ... (unintentionally?) ominous, particularly your choice to include the question mark.
Glenn Beck is a vile individual. Bill Moyers did a report a while back on the shooting up of that Unitarian Church. That man had books by all kinds of rightwing pundits, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Bill Moyers played all kinds of radio tapes from these people calling the left wing cockroaches and saying they would be better off dead. I believe they are trying to start a real war.
"Disenfranchised" by the "liberal turn of events." What an interesting spin to put on the problems of people in America, Mr. Beck. It would be funny if it weren't so tired. These are the exact same people who have had their way virtually unchallenged for eight years. So why are they so "disenfranchised" now?

Perhaps they've been "disenfranchised" by the bigwigs on Wall Street who not only took everybody's money, but laughed about it, too, and got away with it? Maybe he feels "disenfranchised" by a "health care system" that costs 50x more than it delivers? Or, like so many of us, perhaps this poor man felt "disenfranchised" by the squandering of our treasure and our good name by the "war on terror"?

Could it be that some of those issues might be at the heart of this man's disintegration?

Of course not. It's because of the "liberal" turn of events. What utter cluelessness.

Thanks, Mr. Caric, for watching the virtually unwatchable and posting this essay.
@Latethink -
We should all go back and watch "Hotel Rwanda" and study the terrible events there to discover just why the unanswered bigots and fanatics MUST be answered, challenged, and routed out into the open. At every turn. I do not think Beck by himself is as bad as all that, but I do think that Hannity, Coulter (especially), Bill-O, and Limbo, taken as a group, have utterly denigrated the discourse into "us vs. them". There posit no policy discussions, no solutions, nothing beyong "libruls R destroying aMurica an' here's an example...."

We cannot hope to solve our very big problems with that as the other half of the discussion. Seriously.
I was too flip at the end--mostly because I consider all the revolution, chaos, Going Galt, and other kinds of apocalyptic talk to be pretty pathetic.

Is the right really going to go into their survivalist bunkers over universal health insurance?

Maybe, but I have a hard time seeing it right now.

But the question mark after "Good luck with that" was an editing error not a choice.
Beck is a tortured soul and Lea Lane said it best. He loves to be provocative for the sake of being provocative, as if that somehow makes him appear smart. I watch him once in awhile just to keep up with what's going on and I am never impressed with any factiual information - he just spouts platitudes. Really, anyone can do that. He seems incapable of holding mutually opposed perspectives long enough to discuss them rationally.
I think the fringe group will go as far as some of their truly crazy supporters will...and after some really terrible things happen, people like Beck will distance themselves from the atrocity and then claim to have never encouraged such behavior. Remember, these people are masters at "recasting" reality!
I don't see a single word in your quotes of Beck that shows he is condoning the violence at all. The question "how do you not have those people turn into that guy" is a very relevant one. It is something we need to ask as we move towards a more progressive country -- what do we do with those who don't want that?
Ric, I took your response to me seriously, until I read "good luck with that" (a rather childish footnote if you were being sarcastic)

Our govt has been corrrupt for several years and BOTH parties are guilty of adding to it. That needs to change, period. Congress doesn't give a flying fruit cake about people: they're more concerned with keeping their seats and their bribe quota, that's why shit doesn't get done.
I was raised by nice Evangelicals, conservative, but not very political, who often had full on confrontations with white bigots in our mixed neighborhood when I was growing up.

I grew into a pretty liberal young man, but I am horrified at times by the way people like my parents are vilified by the left. Casting traditional people as rabid hate-mongers is a form of de-humanization and gives guys like Beck their bunker mentality.

The same left that argues that 99% of Muslims are decent people, (with which I agree), ridicules and marginalizes traditional American people who are progressive by Muslim standards.
I bet you get all excited and a chill runs up your leg at just the sound of Keith Olbermann's tirades. I think Beck is over the top most of the time and I find his diatribe a little depressing....but not anymore depressing than Bush's socialistic spending habits being carried on by Obama's clan of clowns. Revolution is inevitable...
I used to hear Beck at WFLA in the Tampa Bay area in the late 90's. The man is a self-professed manic depressive and has said that if he doesn't take his meds "knives tell me to cut myself". A lot of his personal stories seem to corroborate this.

The fact the guy has his own show testifies to the fact that FOX will risk a loose canon saying the wrong thing for ratings' sake. He will say the wrong thing someday, and some marginal person will take him at his word. Then FOX will have no choice but to can his psycho ass.
Watching the video is a revelation, not so much because of Beck's demeanor—more pedantic than gleeful—but because it is so strange to see O'Reilly act as the voice of reason.

Still, Beck is arguing that someone might be moved to act this way out of desperation rather than only insanity, though he weirdly starts by saying the opposite, that the shooter is clearly insane. It so happens that he has an ideological stake in demonstrating that liberal policies are making people desperate, but don't progressives have a similar stake in demonstrating the effects of American imperialism? The dividing line is not between empathy and sympathy. We can sympathize with the grievances of terrorists (when they even have coherent grievances, which isn't often the case) while still fighting against their tactics. Beck clearly feels for the people driven to violence by their supposed disenfranchisement, though such people might be just as illusory as the "rational terrorist", but nothing he says indicates that he supports this violence.

It may be that you could decide, based on some gleam in his eye, what his actual thoughts are, but I am not so bold. We need to take the accusation of advocating mass murder more seriously, and give it a higher burden of proof than some foggy assumption about his inner life. Beck has said plenty of despicable things in his life. In this case, it would be perfectly appropriate to point out his hypocrisy—If he had his way, how quickly would he send one us to the electric chair for expressing similar compassion? But this kind of accusation interferes with our own purposes. Reasoned dialogue is impossible with someone like Glenn Beck, but we alienate more than just him with this kind of talk.
seems we are all different for a reason..
republicans are the weeenies and liberals are the bun..
just wish they didn't fit so well together
Living in KY, I have some sympathy with Schmadoff's thoughts on the demonization of traditional types. The recent Diane Sawyer report is an indication of the extent to which people in Appalachia are stereotyping targets. But the conservative versions of demonization almost always strike me as more hateful, virulent, and dangerous.
I you all think that Beck, Bill O, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter etc are such nutbags, how do you explain the ratings that they get?

If they are off base, then the millions who listen to them are also off base. But that begs the question, if they are wrong, who is right and why do these people have all the ratings and not the people you think are right?
Beck is another in a long line of people who have found it lucrative to expouse the conservative schtick on the radio and TV. Its money, clear and simple.
I am a businessman. I know many very conservative people. For the most part, they have been disgusted with the likes of Rush, Beck, Hannity, and certainly Coulter.
It is really those that choose to be uninformed or illinformed, who dont want to waste brainpower on thinking through positions who feed these idiots. Want proof? How many of you have 2 Clear Channel stations on your AM radio dial? 2 that serve up Rush and Ed Schultz, or Thom Hartmann opposite Rush or Glen Beck? Why? IT MAKES MONEY.
If you want to call me stupid for this, I will accept it. But I believe the right wingnuts on the air are there for the money and attention, not for any real conviction. They spew their crap because it makes them money, they get airtime because it makes money for the Clear Channel and Fox type owners.
And yes, Beck is just another avaricious scumbag willing to sell country for mammon.
Since Beck can't possibly have any actual data about what McLendon was thinking, McLendon merely serves as a blank canvas on which Beck projects his own censored impulses, in a Psych 101 textbook case.
A lot of people like my 75 year old dad watch Fox for what might be called the "train wreck" kind of entertainment. They want to see O'Reilly blow his top or say something outrageous or offensive. It's like waiting for the "big wreck" at Talledega or being scared at a horror movie.

Oh, my dad voted for Obama.
There are conservative wingnuts out there and Beck is one of them.

But the majority of middle america cons are not a bloodthirsy mob that wants to impose some kind of dystopian theocracy.

There are plenty of decent, kind people that believe in women's rights but also believe that a fetus is a full-fledged human being, who do not hate gays but believe that marriage is a sacred, religious institution that is the foundation of the man- woman -children nuclear family, even that Bush found himself in unchartered territory and did not come close to the liberty-for-security swaps of the past, like internment of Japanese citizens during WWII.

By all means, continue to try to persuade these people. And yes, I know that some on the right vilify the Left as neo-Stalinists, but more often I hear them characterize liberals as well-meaning "do-gooders" who foul things up on accident. Liberals may chafe at this, but they are better served by offering up a similar portrayal of cons.

Americans on both sides of the divide are crying, in the words of The Animals, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!"
I'm thinking about Schmadoff's last comment.
Hey blackflon, is that the picture you use on the fliers you hand out to notify parnets that you've moved into the neighborhood?
Does he think liberals don't own guns? We don't go around shooting people because thats what liberal means, accepting of others differences. Conservative means annal person who thinks they should control everyone elses behavior.
Conservative means annal person who thinks they should control everyone elses behavior.

amazednconfused
March 16, 2009 10:47 AM

Liberal=one who panders to the mindless whims of the masses.
Hey blackflon, is that the picture you use on the fliers you hand out to notify parnets that you've moved into the neighborhood?
seamus55
March 16, 2009 09:29 AM

Your lack of education and proper upbringing is astounding.
Good post -- I agree with your analysis. If Glenn Beck were not so predisposed to spout right wing propaganda, more people would realize that he "might" be on to something, however. Not that there is ANY justification for these things, but the fact that disenfranchised people might act out with violence again and again is not that far off base.

We have a country deeply divided, and as I have reported over and over again, many that just cannot stomach the idea of an Obama Presidency. These people tend to be guns owners, who most recently began stockpiling ammunition to the point of making both guns and ammo relatively scarce commodities. This behavior has increased since the election and walks hand in hand with fear over the difficult economic situation.

Entangle this political anger with job loss and home foreclosure, and we will see millions of potential powder kegs erupting around us. If only people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh could see that supporting the new President and showing some unity would lessen the growing frenzy for radical violent behavior within the "disenfranchised'.

Seriously, if Rush didn't tell them it was so, many would not even pause to worry about it. Many are consumed by the trials of everyday life. Their political views come from what they listen to while in the car on the way to work, or to the store, or to the local bar, and much of it does nothing but fuel anger and hatred in the masses...Beck himself could be held responsible for some of this behavior, if only in a moral sense...
It's interesting blackflon that you chose to make a cheap, and inaccurate, personal attack rather than answer the question directly. You tactics lead me to believe I am on to something. Are you legally permitted to use the internet?
if authoritarianism is the bedrock of your worldview, why wouldn't you resort to violence to accomplish your goals? i'm just saying...i don't think it's a particularly huge leap from "our oil is under their sand" and "my country right or wrong" to this kind of business.
on another note, i eagerly await glenn beck's upcoming piece about palestinians, who have endured a 40 year occupation with daily humiliations and reminders of their powerlessness, are now justified in carrying out various intifadas. can't wait!
It's interesting blackflon that you chose to make a cheap, and inaccurate, personal attack rather than answer the question directly. You tactics lead me to believe I am on to something. Are you legally permitted to use the internet?
seamus55
March 16, 2009 11:20 AM


OH! The irony!!!!!!
I have seen Beck only recently and listened no more than two minutes. Sometimes he pops up on weekends and I am horrified at the content of his show, his manner and everything about him. Fox has plummeted to the bottom of the barrel to let this guy anywhere near a microphone. The travesty that I cannot begin to understand is I am told his ratings are high.
Blackflon, that's twice I've asked you a direct question that you've refused to address. It leads me to believe that you have something to hide. Have you ever appeared on television with Chris Hanson?
Rather than talk about the subject of the blog, a lower life form which belongs ensconced under a rock in an insane asylum, I have a couple of other osbervations(can't spell observations).

The MAJORITY of the victims were FEMALE.
Due to that, I have questions about his motivation.
The killer wanted to be a cop.
Hmmmm, what does THAT tell us about the types who usually seek to become one of "those"?
Chances are that he was a phyiscal coward who didn't fit in which is a trait of both most cops and people who do things like the shotter did.
I am politically indpendent with liberal leanings.
As a REAL American who actually volunteered to go to Nam, I detest ANOTHER physical coward~~the chicken shit punk who hid behind a bar in Ala during that hell time.
I stated that I have lib leanings.
I WON GUNS~~MORE THAN A COUPLE!!
WOW!! I am NOT a neogoon yet, I own guns.
I also am NOT afraid that Prez O will "take them away".

Isn't it typically duplicitous that the neogoon screamers like this Beckerhead talk about Prez O "taking our guns" yet, when something like this happens, its kind is all up in arms(perfect pun) about them?
I don't listen to the so called "news" on tv as, it is slanted by whichever agenda hiding network's talking heads are reading it.

I commented in another blog here about this guy and saw the typical anti's "It's the gun's fault" diatribes.
I stated that, if I really wanted to do something to someone to really take their ass apart, I would MUCH rather use my hands than shoot them.
My rational thinking is sufficiently correct that I KNOW if you kill someone, you cannot hurt them.
If you beat them down, you CAN hurt them and, they are still alive to feel what I wanted to do to them.
Of course, at those times when I don't want to beat someone, this perfectly expresses my attitude,
Humiliating someone is so much better than hitting them.
It takes them longer to get over it.

Of course, this is exponentially easier to do to the neogoon ,religiomatic fundie crowd that those of us who are actually able to have an original thought.lol

Those of you who have a sense of humor understand that I'm having a good time here.

@bobbot,
To call the subject of the blog a shitbag is to insult the world's shitbags.

@blackflon,

Here in Wisconsin, when we troll, we bring back walleye.
You only bring back the fish story.

Well, since it's almost 60o & sunny today, XJS AND ME are going to go for a ride with the top down.
Later.
Why can't Americans who disagree with social benefits for the underprivileged accept socialism as a perfectly reasonable political viewpoint? Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, France, and Germany are all fairly civilized places, varying greatly in population, culture, ethnic mix and geography but all reflecting the possibility of socialism and capitalism living side by side. Why do so many Americans demonize the other's point of view? It is, surely, a national characteristic seen on both sides of the national debate.
Glenn Beck Rocks!! I'll take him anyday over the Chicago Thugs, Rahm Emanuel, David Axlerod and Barack Hussein Obama! Their evil agenda of trying to silence right wing talk radio and the un-American "card check" nonsense where Union THUGS can coerce employees into joining without a secret ballot is FACISM, clear and simple! And the simple minded majority Congress is the perfect vehicle Obama needs to implement his FACIST agenda. KEEP ON WITH WHAT YOU DO BEST, GLENN BECK. YOU HAVE A FOLLOWING OF MILLIONS!
www.the912project.com
Glen Beck is a narcissist. In his interview with Denis Leary he ACCUSED him of being an alcoholic , " Eh, that is, you look like one."
When Leary stated he was _not_, and looked confused as to why Beck would level such an accusation, Beck followed up with, "I'm an alcoholic. That is, I mean, a recovering alcoholic."
How pathetic is that? To use the ruse of accusing someone else of something so you can announce you are. So much for finding legitimate common ground when interviewing.
Beck wants to be liked at all costs...to others.

I find his small pudgy hands a complete turn-off, and most likely, indicative of his brain size.
As an Independent I like and listen to Fox News, but not Glen Beck.
He is the Jerry Springer of the that particular news milieu.

This message is confidential.
After reading, you must destroy yourself.

Marshall McCluhan
Yet another troll~~

peggy "o'riley".lol

They're all alike, aren't they?
Tim4change,

You're a businessman. Then you should understand.

"How many of you have 2 Clear Channel stations on your AM radio dial? 2 that serve up Rush and Ed Schultz, or Thom Hartmann opposite Rush or Glen Beck? Why? IT MAKES MONEY."

It makes money because people listen to it. If there were not millions listening every day then there would be no ratings and therefore no money. Which is why these people are still on the air and Air America went BK.

BTW, did you hear that Beck won 2 very big radio awards Saturday night? I wonder why, could it be because people want to listen to him?
I've heard Glenn Beck rant about guns almost every time I've caught an episode of his show (I'm pretty much TV-free these days, but I used to catch his act while exercising at the gym in my old apt.)

I think most of it is just cheap pandering. He's not sincere, just indulging in hyperbole. But I think it's irresponsible to casually bring up the use of fireams as a political method, in even the most offhand manner.

To me, it's the verbal equivalent of pointing an actual rifle or pistol at someone. You might personally "be sure" that it isn't loaded. Your subjective certainty means nothing. It's just plain unsafe.

The last time I heard Beck do this, it was a couple of months before the 2008 election. Beck had Ted Nugent on as a guest, and was really laying it on thick, playing up to Nugent. A Nuge wannabe.

At one point, Beck went into his "don't you think there's going to come a day when people just get their guns and..." spiel.

Nugent demurred. In fact, he shot a brief crosswise glance at Beck as if he'd lost his mind. Like "Settle down. No need to get out of hand, here."

I think that's because Ted Nugent nows as well as I do that this country is not going to tolerate any rifle-brandishing "revolutionary movement" around here, from either fringe of the political spectrum. If anybody seriously tries to go to the mat with that program- Right or Left- the U.S. government going to put the 82nd Airborne Division on their ass, and it will be over by lunchtime. While the normal sensible citizens applaud.

Glen Beck sounds like he's living in boyhood fantasyland. Unfortunately, his words get broadcast to a huge audience, undoubtedly including a few unbalanced people with access to deadly weapons.

Beck has his his 1st Amendment rights- and his 2nd Amendment ones too (although he sometimes makes it sound as if they'll both be gone by next Tuesday after lunch, with no justification for that feeling other than the fact that his beloved Republicans no longer have the serve.) But there's a dreadfully authentic streak of armed extremism in this country, and I wish he'd can the routine of pandering to its right wing.

I realize his response would most likely be to explain it all away as "just funning around." (Especially when making $10 million a year doing it...can Glenn Beck really field-strip, clean, and reassemble a carbine in the dark? When was the last time he went to the shooting range?)

Fun and games. Entertainment.

Like the guy playing around pointing an "unloaded" gun at people...and then it goes off.
This is another example of how a simple change in the laws of this country can avoid the unnecessary roiling of the citizenry. All content of shows like this should be reviewed and approved by a committee beforehand. Changes to the content should be made before they are broadcast. In this way, the citizens can remain focused on their tasks and become more efficient. These troublesome commentators can quickly be brought to heel with the appropriate enforcement methods hanging over their heads.
Ric et al.: Don't have time to read the new comments since my last post, but just wanted to provide links to the following, which I just stumbled upon and thought you might find interesting:

First, read this in the War Room: What's Beck doing with his bigger audience? Promoting Birchers (http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/)

Followed the link to the Frum blog posting (WHAT IS GOING ON AT FOX NEWS? at http://www.newmajority.com/ShowScroll.aspx?ID=30edc824-3d2c-40fa-b904-cb1442e2bcaf)

Skimmed down to the comments (it appears that most of Frum's readers hate him), found this: "I went to a 'We Surround Them' meeting on Friday. Most of the people there were regular, working people who don't like all the spending and this ever growing federal government. Most believed that America is getting too centrally controlled and socialistic. Beck's show was a disappointment. Lots of build up to nothing basically. However, I have met a lot of people and we plan to put our energy in the Tea Parties movement. So not all was lost."

[Query: Does "working" mean "working class" or "employed" in the jargon of someone who would attend a 'We Surround Them' meeting? I assume the latter?]

Thought it juxtaposed nicely with Frums point that "Of course, [Peter] Finch was only pretending to be crazy. He was an actor performing a role. Then again – so probably is Glenn Beck. But what about Fox News? What’s their excuse?"

Point in relation to your post Ric: Beck's merely " toying around with the idea of justifying domestic terrorism" (and Fox's irresponsibly providing him a platform) would appear to be enough (whether or not he is just playing a role or really believes his bs) to incite the "fringes of the right."

Incidentally, if you haven't checked out this, I'd highly recommend watching it: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/13/shep-smith-beck-mockery/. Most shocking to me was Wallace's defense of Beck.
@Chicagolawyer78:
Wonder if the members of a "We Surround Them" group think they're a union? Or Community Organizers?
I say, please, let them organize peacefully and take their grievances to Capitol Hill. It's how your voice gets heard, and apparently the RW needs some lessons on that, since they really only have Talk Radio and the MSM, neither of which were particularly successful in thwarting the last election. (At least this time they weren't...)
Fox News Glenn Beck does get emotional about what is happening to our country under (D) President Obama's administration. But, Beck's a law abiding US citizen with a right to free speech. And, to my knowledge Beck does not advocate terrorism, in any form.
But, Beck does appear to be an advocate for sustaining the republic of the USA maintaining its principles of constitutional democracy.

If you want to hear a real radical who is "toying around" with the idea of the overthrow of the democratic constitutional principles USA's constitutional in favor of socialism, I think you might want to watch and listen to far left wing liberal media cable TV host
Bill Maher and his generally like-minded guests. Talk about being "over the top"! Bill Maher makes one wonder how far the "fringes of the left" are willing to go to impose "far left wing liberal socialism" upon the republic of the USA's constitutional democracy. Thomas Jefferson and the other framers of our U.S. constitution would be recoiling in horror to see what's happening now to our beloved U. S. constitutional republic!
Thank you Salon.Com for allowing both left and right opinions/assessments to be expressed!
WTF??? Glenn Beck is trying to pin the blame on 'liberals' for this mass murder? I need to start watching his show. Just for the freak show entertainment value alone.
"to my knowledge Beck does not advocate terrorism, in any form.
But, Beck does appear to be an advocate for sustaining the republic of the USA maintaining its principles of constitutional democracy."

Margie Breaux, that's just the problem: Beck talks out of both sides of his mouth about those matters. He does so in sweeping, vague generalities that don't constitute criminal liability, in my view. But while being careful to maintain a stance of plausible deniability, he has repeatedly pushed the implicit threat of The Gun in the faces of his political opposition. (But "it's unloaded", of course. He's "just funning around." Resorting to metaphor, and all that.)

Beck also lies about the Obama administration's plans and policies, a point which is much easier to prove than attempting to demonstrate criminal liability for his vaguely worded sentiments in support of armed uprising. But anyone with an access to a representative sampling of his output can find ample examples of both in the content of his pronouncements.

Beck's exalted rank in the "liberal media" that he so often castigates (on top of $50 million/5-year contracts, they even give him awards!) does the truth no service.
A point needs to be made here, about Glen Beck's comment on this mass murderer:

"But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children . . . Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?"

This is rank apologism. For mass murder.

I dare anyone to find me a similar statement of such soppy bleeding-heart victimology- in defense of a trigger-pulling mass murderer- by any Liberal commentator or news person hosting a show in the American media these days.

Furthermore, you will note that Beck doesn't even make any reference of factual support for his statements. They're comprised of pure speculation.

And if you can find a way to interpret the intentions behind Glen Beck's remarks in any other way than as an exoneration in advance for similar atrocities in the future, as long as the murderer explains his actions as justified for the "reasons" put forth by Beck in the statement above- would you please tell me what you think it is?
And another thing, all you Glen Beck followers:

"...every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness."

What's it feel like being censored by the Liberals here at Salon, all you self-righteous conservatives whose posts I've been reading above? Your words are still here, aren't they? How much persecution are you really finding here, in Reality?

Glen Beck is a liar. Face it.
Catnlion...
I you all think that Beck, Bill O, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter etc are such nutbags, how do you explain the ratings that they get?

Why do people stare at car accidents? Or go to circuses? Or watch NASCAR races? Because they want to see blood and mayhem.

If they are off base, then the millions who listen to them are also off base. But that begs the question, if they are wrong, who is right and why do these people have all the ratings and not the people you think are right?

Yes, cat, the millions who listen to them are definitely off base.
No, it doesn't "beg the question." That does not mean what you think it means. I won't bother to explain it to you - use the google on the internets, and maybe you'll actually learn something.

But to answer your somewhat not-too-bright question...

Take a look at the most recent HUGE national political ratings poll - a little thing we like to call "the general election" - you and your ilk lost by a significant margin. Therefore, you are wrong, and we are right.
blackflon..

Let's disect *your* post in return...

1. I did not claim anyone was whining.
• I did not say you did. I said YOU were whining. I'm sorry that it was such a complex sentence, so hard to follow.

2. Pointing to Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and Coluter's bad behavior does not justify other's behavior.
• I was not attempting to justify other's behavior, as anybody with half a wit would have understood. I was stating to you that your heroes, as you define things, have no coherent thoughts to share as their entire schtick is an excuse for name-calling and childish behavior. I asked you to comment on that. It's clear that you lack either the intellect or the honesty to understand this and respond accordingly.

3. I believe you are a little over the top calling them anti-american.
• Do you really think I care what you believe? Their entire raison d'etre is to attack, smear, libel, and lie about more than half of all Americans - I call that profoundly anti-American. Your team does this solely to inflame the hatred of "the other" in weak-minded sycophants such as you. I see it's working. I am not at all surprised.

4. Throwing out our government is mentioned in the constitution. Remember, this country was born out of a revolution.
• Where, specifically, is "throwing out our government" mentioned in the constitution? And to be clear - are YOU advocating an armed revolution to overthrow our government? (I believe that is your intention - I also believe that you are a coward and lack the courage to say it here, which means to me that you also lack the courage do do anything about it.)

Yes, Beck is a little over the top but it's not illegal.
• I never said he was. I said Beck and the rest of 'em are playing a dangerous game, a game that has already cost innocent lives as a DIRECT result of the pandering to idiots like you.

Terrorists, who fight under no flag or wear uniforms are not entitled to the same rights as POW's under the Geneva Conventions. You can look it up.
• I made no claim that that was true. I made no claim that was false, either. My point was that the logical extension of Cheney's idiot maunderings is that our prisons are not safe enough to hold ANY prisoner. Reading comprehension just isn't your strong suit, is it?

6. I did not call anyone a name in my previous post.
• When you use a word both incorrectly and as an epithet, in your case your use of the word "liberals," it's no different. You can whine some more about that if you like.

Bottom line - you failed. I asked you to expose us to a single coherent thought of yours, and all you managed to do was to make an abject fool of yourself by showing us the balance between your intellect and your ideology is heavily weighted on the ideology side, and very very light on the intellect side.
Gosh, Beck has been rabid for a very long time. His approach builds rather rapidly to a rage and rant. His genetics bubble thru; he would be an excellent candidate as contributor or columnist for a modern version of Der Sturmer, with liberals replacing Jews.