An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Glenn Beck’

Glenn Beck Comes Back to Bash Oslo Tragedy Victims

One would think that after his fall from Fox News, nobody would be hearing this man coming back onto the airways and doing more of what he does best – demagoging for his old white audience.  Really, the fact that his audience has to go to be bed 7:00 pm doesn’t alarm anybody?  Although, it was Keith Olbermann who has coined the greatest moniker for Glenn Beck – Lonesome Rhodes Beck.  If only there was a clip from the movie where Olbermann got this nickname from.  Alas, the only thing that one could find was Olbermann explaining his position in a vlog he had before his return to television.  Here is what Walter Matthau’s character said to Lonesome Rhodes in the film –

Suppose I tell you exactly what’s going to happen to you?  You’ll be back on television, only it won’t be quite the same anymore.  After a cooling off period someone will say ‘why don’t we try him again, in an inexpensive format.  People’s memories aren’t too long.’  And in a way he’d be right.  Some people will forget, some won’t.  You’ll have a show.  Maybe not the best hour, the top ten, maybe not even in the top fifty.  You’ll have a show, it just won’t be quite the same as it was before.  Then a couple of new fellas will come along, and a lot of your fans will be flocking around them.  Then someone will ask, ‘whatever happened to, what’s his name?  The one who was so big, the number one fella a couple years ago.  He was famous!  How could we forget a name like that?”

It is almost prophetic, but low and behold, apparently Glenn Beck actually did get his 24-hour network.  It’s only on the radio, so nobody cares, but hey, it exists.  So it was kind of prophetic.  And after his descent into the relative obscurity, you would think he would go away, but lo’ and behold, Glenn Beck is back doing what he does best – making a tragedy all about him.

The tragedy that is being referenced here is the terrorist attacks in Oslo, Norway.  In this attack, a man named Anders Breivik used a car-bomb, killing seven people, and then subsequently did an attack on a youth camp for the local Labor Party, killing 85 people.  He was arrested and looks to face a very long time in prison, and rightfully so.  He deserves to be put in a place where he will never see the light of day again.

But when this issue came to Glenn Beck’s attention, his response was a little bit different than one might expect.  A person would naturally expect somebody to be remorseful, sad, or even at least a little bit phased by the events that took place and all the lives that were lost by a maniac who believes that he was doing the right thing.  Instead, his response was heartless, horrid, and not worthy of even the slightest bit of respect.

I don’t think we made a comment on it because we didn’t know other than there was a bombing that happened.  And as the thing started to unfold, and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or whatever.  I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics?”

That’s right, Glenn Beck has actually made a point to call out the kids who were killed in this attack and make a reference to them being the “Hitler youth.”  This is sick in a way that is not deserving of any respect, or even for people to talk about it respectfully.  This is sick.  And what’s more, the fact that when people rightfully jumped on the bandwagon of this man, he decided to talk about who the real victim of this tragedy in norway was – him.

They’ve been taking something that I’ve said completely out of context, and they’re trying again to destroy me.  Give it your best shot, gang!  You tried to get me out of the mainstream media.  Be careful what you wish for, because now I’ve got a 24-hour a day, seven days a week network!  Oh wait, in a year from now you’ll pray for me to be part of the mainstream media.  You’ll pray…”

People won’t be praying for you to be part of the mainstream media, Lonesome Rhodes, they will be praying for you to shut and leave the rest of us alone.  Glenn Beck’s 24-hour network is nothing but an internet pay-per-view network.  How many people will want to hork out their cash for this man to spew his vitrial for very long?  Economic situations are pretty bad.  If the Tea Party Republicans decide, as they said they would do in an article in the Anchorage Daily News, to prolong this battle past the August 2nd deadline in order to make the House Republicans more compliant with their demands (there are signs they won’t take that route, or that at least a few are deciding not to), nobody will care about Beck’s network.

And nobody already does.  It has been on for over a month, and nobody cares.  Nobody cares at all about this man.  Like Lonesome Rhodes, someday people will ask what happened to him, but nobody will know, and nobody will care.  But back to the matter at hand, comparing the victims of a tragedy to the Hitler youth is absolutely unacceptable.  It is unconscienable.  There is absolutely no reason or excuse.  He can claim to be taken out of context all that he wants.  The fact is that Glenn Beck has said something, finally, that all the anger that people have is justified.  Of course, the right-wing blogosphere came out in support of Beck, talking about how he was right to compare kids to the Hitler youth, that a political camp is a bad thing.

But wait, does anybody remember that 9/12 campaign that Beck had run?  He had a camp for kids in that package where he talked about his political views.  The only thing worse than being a bleeding hypocrit is trying to get on the cross for something that you know you are guilty of too.

Peace out,

Eli

The Newspaper’s Job

There was a recent discussion that I had had with a young man here at the college.  Normally, speaking about one’s self in a professional way with a newspaper or media outlet is not generally acceptable, but in this case, there really was no other way to do this.  This young man had the belief that the college newspaper here at UAA was nothing more than junk.  His contention was that it was a joke, not worthy of even the slightest consideration other than the articles that are written by me.  This man didn’t seem to realize what he had said, and how horrible a thing that it is to say until it was said.

There is a contention among the politically motivated in this country on both the left and the right that the media’s job is to do something other than what it is doing.  People seem to believe that the media’s job is to report dark secrets, expose corruption, keep everybody accountable, and never let anything that they care about go unreported.  The media’s job, the new’s job, is not that.  The job of people in the news is to report on things of consequence.  That is really all it is.  It is to report on things that matter in the real world. 

“You know, when was the last time you turned on the news and you saw a story about how there were no massive fires in your town that day?  Or how there weren’t any horrific car accidents, or rapes, or murders, or how- that nobody was killed in Iraq today?  I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume, never really happened,” said Glenn Beck on his syndicated (and ending at the end of the year) talk show on the hopelessly biased network Fox News.  This line of thought was absolutely foolish in every single regard.  And the sad fact is that Fox News has brought up and issue that the aforementioned young man put into perspective- the fact that there is no real respect for the media these days.

It isn’t exactly a mystery that most people believe that the media is biased these day.  Even the great zions of straight reporting, like the BBC, NPR, PBS, etc. are considered biased.  Of course, since they are in favor of an open discussion and exchange of ideas and examining both sides, people generally tend to believe that they have a liberal bias.  Another false assumption in this country is the idea that there is a liberal media in the same way that there is a conservative media.  There isn’t.  But people believe that it is.  People believe that there is a hardcore effort to either sway people one direction or the other.  But that isn’t the case. 

The fact is is that most reporters and most news organizations that aren’t on the major networks (CNN, MSNBC, Fox) are not biased.  In fact, there are codes of ethics that are pretty clear about what a news organization is supposed to be.  Of course, say that to a typical American, and they won’t believe you.  That’s how it goes in this country.  It is people like the student mentioned at the top who are responsible for this belief that there is bias.  People like him are what is wrong with this country.

Left or right, the problem in this country is that everybody is trying to be a pariah for a cause.  And we have networks who cater to this image.  There are certain liberal pundits who are just as bad at tarnishing the image of fair and balanced (the real kind) news.  Every time that Ed Schultz is on television, I have a deep feeling of revulsion go through me when I listen to his clearly biased form of talking about political news. 

But then there are people like Rachel Maddow, who is dedicated to seeking the truth.  She has an obsession with facts that shows in her reporting.  She doesn’t miss details, and doesn’t let the fact that she has a bias influence how she looks into something.  She is one of those reporters that is in line with how Bill Moyer, my favorite journalist, said a reporter should be- having a bias, but is open about it, and still seeks the truth. 

The great reporters throughout history have all had bias.  True objective reporting is a myth.  Personal bias will influence what you do in one form or another if you get into the job of reporting for a news organization.  However, it is when you are able to work with your own bias, and are able to create something of substance, that you are making your job worthwhile.

And that is where it comes back to what was said at the top.  The job of the news isn’t to expose dark secrets, or corruption.  The job of the news is to talk about events.  Things of consequence that happen in our world.  And people who believe that the job of the news is to report on the dark going-ons, and to act as a hammer of justice, don’t realize that there is more to this world than politics.  There are a lot of things that happen, and it is the job of the media to look at all aspects of this world. 

And to this young man- I take great offense to what you said.  The young man mentioned that the only reason that he read the paper The Northern Light is simply because I write for it.  I mean this in the most sincere way when I ask him to stop reading the newspaper if that is all he reads it for.  Those who work for this paper work very hard.  We are all volunteers who are donating our time to this job.  We don’t have the biggest newspaper in the world, and our readership is very small.  However, that is not what matters.  What matters is the fact that we are trying.  We are doing our best.  And when we hear that somebody thinks that our paper is a joke, I honestly don’t want people who think that way to read my articles and to tell me that that is all they think the paper is worth.  I don’t want that kind of burden on my shoulders.

This paper means something to those who write for it.  We work hard.  If people think it is a joke, I would appreciate it if you kept that to yourself.

Peace out,

Eli

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