An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Oslo’

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

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Oslo Tragedy Shows Different Side of Terrorism

There was an attack in Oslo, Norway, yesterday.  It was a tragedy, and the death toll right now is over 90 people.  Seven were killed in the car bombing, and 85 people were killed in the subsequent shooting at a camp for the local labor party that was 25 miles away from the car bombing.  Now, the moment that this happened, the media instantly started to wonder who it was, and the problem here is that they all wondered the same thing – was it a Muslim terrorist?  Well, it wasn’t an Islamic terrorist group, it was a lone man with some pretty hardcore beliefs.

The perpetrator of this heinous crime was a man by the named of Anders Behring Breivik.  He is 32 years old, and not a Muslim at all.  He is a Christian fundamentalist white nationalist.  When the media first reported this attack, some of the more level-headed mindset thought that this didn’t fit the MO of an Islamic terrorist group.  It targeted a government building, which doesn’t fit the pattern.  Usually, Islamic terrorists do their crimes in an area where they can maximize the casualties, kill as many people as possible.  Of course, several Muslim groups did come out after this event and take credit, but that is what they do.  They want the world to fear them as much as possible.

But the fact is that the media all jumped on the same bandwagon – that this had to be a Muslim group, that this had to be Al Qaeda or something like that.  On Facebook there were posts where people said that even if it wasn’t any of them, it was still them because they had inspired this kind of thing.  Well, that is an interesting perspective, because the fact is that white nationalist terrorism isn’t a new thing in this world at all.

One parallel that was made about this was comparing this event to the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.  That’s a very good comparison.  It shares a lot of the same themes.  White nationalist, Christian fundamentalist, attacking a government building in order to deal a blow to a system they are radically against.  It is very similar in all of the ways that it can be.  But really, it is just the fact that people jumped on a bandwagon so quickly that says something pretty unpleasant about society that we have today.

The fact is that terrorism comes in all shapes an sizes.  From the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords to the Oklahoma City Bombing, people need to be aware that domestic terrorism is real, and it is often something that people don’t take seriously, but really should.  Because a common bit of vernacular that comes up is that “it is only Muslim terrorists who blow people up.”  No, wrong!  The fact is that domestic terrorism is infinitely more dangerous because it can’t be defended against.  Nobody could have predicted that this lone guy was going to do this.  Nobody could have foreseen him just deciding to kill people, including a bunch of kids, who didn’t agree with him.

There was a quote by somebody or other,

One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 people who have only interests.”

And what’s more, Rupert Murdoch’s groups, Fox News, and The Sun newspaper, didn’t report on the fact he was a Christian at all.  Not one report mentions that the god this guy worships is the same one that Fox News claims that all of America is based on.  I wonder how many conservative groups posted after the Oklahoma City Bombing that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.  The fact is that people will all go crazy and will paint a button to put on a group of people, but they close their minds to that other group, to the other, more dangerous half of America.

This brings it to the part about Fox News.  Back when Glenn Beck was on their network, whenever one of their viewers would decide to follow his insane rhetoric and go out and do something, he would scream, and cry for non-violence.  Well, this is what happens.  When you write books and go on the news and tell people that killing other people who don’t agree with you is a perfectly acceptable way to handle things, stuff like this happens.

And where are those who believe that it is all Muslims now?  They aren’t anywhere.  They aren’t talking.  Or there are those who make posts on Facebook or other blogs about how it is Al Qaeda who inspired this kind of action.  And there are those who claim this was one guy.  Yeah, not true.  Take a look at Northern Ireland right now, where this kind of violence is flaring up right now.

And what’s more, the media doesn’t think critically.  Fox News and all of the conservative groups instantly jump on the bandwagon of an Islamic terrorist group, not even bothering to think that it might be somebody else.  It was ironic to listen to Keith Olbermann talk last night and have to make it very clear that it wasn’t an Islamic terrorist.  He shouldn’t have to be that clear, because the media shouldn’t be painting pictures already.

This is where Jon Stewart was right about the modern 24-hour news networks.  They are becoming sensationalist and lazy, not doing the very hardcore and very diligent reporting that groups like NPR, PBS, and BBC are famous for.  The thing that makes it worse is that people aren’t demanding something better from the news they watch.  They aren’t demanding a better coverage and being more level-headed.  They jumped on a bandwagon because it was easy, and rode that (Fox News is still riding it) until it became apparent that their preconceived notion was wrong.

The public has to start demanding something better of their news.  Fox viewers will never demand anything better.  They don’t have the integrity to demand something better.  But for all the rest of you who watch CNN and MSNBC, you have to start demanding something better.  Because reporting like this, is a shame upon the entire field of journalism

Peace out,

Eli

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