Saturday, December 26, 2009

Extremism, Dishonesty and Dishonour

A year in the life of Glenn Beck, as endured and collected by Media Matters:

Glenn Beck's well of ridiculous was deep and poisonous before he launched his Fox News show, but the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States -- and the permissive cheerleading of his Fox News honchos -- uncorked the former Morning Zoo shock jock's unique brand of vitriol, stage theatrics, and hyperbolic fright, making him an easy choice for Media Matters' 2009 Misinformer of the Year.

When he wasn't calling the president a racist, portraying progressive leaders as vampires who can only be stopped by "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers," or pushing the legitimacy of seceding from the country, Beck obsessively compared Democrats in Washington to Nazis and fascists and "the early days of Adolf Hitler." He wondered, "Is this where we're headed," while showing images of Hitler, Stalin, and Lenin; decoded the secret language of Marxists; and compared the government to "heroin pushers" who were "using smiley-faced fascism to grow the nanny state."

Like his predecessor, Beck spat on scruples, frequently announcing his goal to get administration officials fired. He increasingly acted not as a media figure, but as the head of a political movement, while helping to bring fringe conspiracies of a one-world government into the national discourse.

This was also the year that he started getting watched a lot more closely after moving to Fox News and making it clear how unscrupulous and dishonest he actually was. Beck is either a deeply dangerous demagogue, a deeply cynical and opportunistic televised rodeo clown, or most likely of all, an incredibly dangerous combination of both.

The story that best demonstrated his cavalier and contemptible race-baiting and utter cynicism was when he accused Obama of 'hating white culture'.

The story that came out this year that best demonstrated his character was of his early days as a radio shock jock DJ when he called up the wife of a competing DJ on the air and mocked her recent miscarriage.

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