Free Markets, Free People

Smearing Glenn Beck

In what I can only surmise is the latest talking point to emerge from JournoList, Glenn Beck has replaced Rush Limbaugh as

JournoList?

JournoList?

the token leader of the Republican Party, against whom all manner of mud will be slung. Reminiscent of the Clinton years, talk radio hosts are being assailed as the progenitors of hate, and even being blamed for recent shootings such as that in Pittsburgh. All of this nonsense, of course, but the smears will be cast about by lefty cohorts just the same.

The most recent offering is from Michael A. Cohen writing at Politico, entitled “Extremist rhetoric won’t rebuild the GOP”:

Watching Fox News’ new sensation Glenn Beck is not for the faint of heart. It is a disquieting entree into the feverish mind of a conspiracy theorist who believes, among other things, that the government wants to remotely control our thermostats, that the relaxing of the ban on stem cell research — as well as efforts to prevent global warming — is reminiscent of Nazism, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be setting up concentration camps and, finally, that the country is on the path to socialism or possibly fascism but definitely some “-ism” that should be avoided.

Frankly, that is all you really need to read of Mr. Cohen’s piece to understand what he is on about. The short version is that rightwing leader, Glenn Beck, is spreading dangerous conspiracy theories that hurt the GOP and the nation. The problem, as always, is that the charges just aren’t true.

Taking them one by one from the cited paragraph, here is what Cohen asserts are the product of “the feverish mind of a conspiracy theorist”, and why his assertions are false:

(1) “the government wants to remotely control our thermostats”

I don’t know to which Beck comments Cohen is referring, but the fact is that the California government proposed exactly such a law:

Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages.

The proposed rules are contained in a document circulated by the California Energy Commission, which for more than three decades has set state energy efficiency standards for home appliances, like water heaters, air conditioners and refrigerators. The changes would allow utilities to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override the utilities’ suggested temperatures. But in emergencies, the utilities could override customers’ wishes.

Clearly, it takes no “feverish mind” to grasp the fact that such programs are being considered.

(2) “the relaxing of the ban on stem cell research — as well as efforts to prevent global warming — is reminiscent of Nazism”

Well that does sound pretty bad. At least, until you track down what Beck actually said. In an interview with Professor Robert George of Princeton University, Beck rehashed why allowing progressive political interests to be in charge of steering “science” in the name of the public good was not necessarily desirable:

GLENN: I tell you, it’s so disturbing. I’m getting a lot of heat today because yesterday on television I talked about this and I said, you know, it was the progressives and the scientists that brought us eugenics. The idea that science — if evolution is true, then science should be able to help it along, and it was the guys in the white jackets. It was the scientists and the doctors that brought us the horrors of eugenics and it’s because —

PROFESSOR GEORGE: Glenn, can I fill you in a little bit? Because you are absolutely right. Let me tell you a little bit of the history. It’s fascinating. Those guys in white coats were not even during the Nazi period. These weren’t guys working for the Nazis. This was years before the Nazis during the Weimar Republic.

GLENN: It was here.

PROFESSOR GEORGE: When progressive, as they were then called, doctors and lawyers and others, decided that there were some lives unworthy of life. And two scholars, a guy named Bending and a guy named Hoka (ph) who were not Nazis who were opposed to the Nazi federy and so forth, they saw them as really sort of lower class thugs. But these two guys, a law professor and a medical professor, wrote a book called Lebens unwürdig von Leben, life unworthy of life which was a roadmap for taking the life destroying the lives of retarded people, people regarded as inferior because of their low intelligence or physical impairment or so forth. That was the roadmap. It was before the Nazis. You are 100% right.

GLENN: And a lot of this stuff, I mean, started here originally, did it not? Didn’t some of the original thinking —

PROFESSOR GEORGE: Well, it didn’t just begin in Germany. It’s certainly true that there was a strong eugenics here among the elite, among the progressive, the people who regarded themselves as the forward thinkers. Just the name, one figure from my own field of philosophy of law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, the great American jurist and philosopher and eventually Supreme Court justice who was with the program entirely of eugenics before the Nazis gave it a bad name. So it was here in America just as it was in Germany.

GLENN: So here’s what I’m afraid of and, you know, call me crazy, but whenever you unplug from ethics and you put science at the top and then you surround it with a bunch of progressive elitists, that usually doesn’t spell, you know, spell out anything that’s good.

With respect to the dangers of separating ethics and embryonic stem cell research, the conversation also included this tidbit:

GLENN: The guy who started embryonic stem cell research, I heard a quote from him yesterday, said if you haven’t — if this whole concept of research on embryos hasn’t given you pause, then you haven’t thought about it enough.

PROFESSOR GEORGE: Oh, yes, that’s Jamie Thompson you are quoting who was the first person to isolate human embryonic stem cells. He is a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin. And he said that in explaining why he had done path-breaking work, very important pioneering work to create alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells, pluripotent just means like embryonic stem cells, cells that are able to be manipulated to become any sort of cell tissue so they would be very useful in regenerative medicine if all things work out. But Thompson was explaining why he went down another path and created a technology for which he’s likely to win the Nobel Prize called induced pluripotent stem cells which can be created without using embryos or destroying embryos or killing embryos. So yes, even somebody like Thompson recognizes that there’s a huge ethical issue here. But President Obama’s just swept past it, just swept past it.

To be fair, whenever Nazism or fascism enters the fray, noses are sure to get bent out of shape and even clearly expressed thoughts will be missed. However, as easily surmised from the snippets of conversation above (much less the whole thing), it’s quite clear that Beck was not comparing stem cell research to Nazism, but instead warning against allowing progressive scientists to drive the debate without regard for the ethical issues. By referencing an historical consequence of blindly following such advice, Beck is simply making a useful comparison to illuminate his point. Nowhere does he compare stem cell research to Nazism.

(3) “the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be setting up concentration camps”

Of all the accusations leveled at Beck by Mr. Cohen, this is the most egregiously false. In my opinion, the charge would fairly support a suit for defamation against Cohen, even under the heightened “actual malice” standard set forth in New York Times, Co. v. Sullivan. Far from asserting that FEMA was setting up concentration camps, Beck actively and thoroughly debunked the conspiracy theory [HT: Allahpundit]:

How Cohen could make the assertion he did is simply bewildering. Even the barest amount of research would have shown how wrong he was. If nothing else, Cohen should immediately retract his claim and apologize to Beck.

(4) “the country is on the path to socialism or possibly fascism but definitely some “-ism” that should be avoided.”

After delving into pure libel, Cohen quickly steers into idiocy. The assertion here is that Beck’s opinion that the Obama administration policies are grounded in statist/collectivist ideology is a conspiracy theory. Missing from Cohen’s analysis is any mention of the last eight years of BusHitler! droning. Nor is there any explanation as to how an opinion regarding the underlying ideology of the President’s governing philosophy could be a conspiracy theory. Typical of liberals nowadays, Cohen simply likens any mention of similarities between Obama’s agenda and actual socialist/fascist/statist policies as fear-mongering worthy of no examination, and what’s wrong with socialism anyway? Apparently ignorance of recent events is not Cohen’s only forte, as he is also seemingly unaware of anything that has happened over the last century or so.

Regardless of how one might feel about Glenn Beck, and whether you agree with him or not, he is being unfairly smeared by Mr. Cohen. The sorts of attacks set forth above will only broaden in scope unless confronted, and they will be used to discredit any similar veins of thought no matter how tangential to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any other strawman leader the left chooses to hang around the necks of those opposed to statist politics. Hit these rhetorical bullies in their lying collectivist mouths now, or face the unfortunate consequences of letting them drive the agenda and control the language of the debate.

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53 Responses to Smearing Glenn Beck

  • It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that his ratings I believe are trouncing ACTUAL extremist hatemongers like Olbermann and Maddow, could it?

    Nah 

  • With each passing day, the Left in America proves that it consists of nothing more than ill-informed ignoramuses.

    And the Chief Ignoramus is Mr. TelePrompTer sitting in the White House.

  • Let Beck draw their fire.  It will be a battle that liberals will lose.  Liberals always lose when ideas are discussed – even passionately. 

    Obama won on a bunch of bumper sticker themes that the teachers-union educated young voters could understand.  wow… Hope and Change!!  Now that He is the Leader, His ideas actually deserve discussion and dissection.  Boy.. the lefties hate being judged.   Can’t they just do what they want?  After all, they are better people than Republicans.  They shouldn’t have to pay taxes or defend their ideas.

    So go for it, Glen!   Keep kicking the lefties in the tail!

  • Little Green Footballs has an interesting post on Beck. He has been promoting a book by conspiracy theorist Cleon Skousen called the “5000 year leap”.

  • (1) “the government wants to remotely control our thermostats”

    In Northern Arkansas the electric co-op has a similar program. I had to put in a new heat pump 2 winters ago and was told by the co-op that if I let them put a remote box on the unit I wouldn’t have to pay as much for electricity rate. The box lets them shut off the unit in peak times. Say it runs 10 minutes they would remotely kill it for the next 5 or 10 minutes (it is up to them).  The box works but for some odd reason my rates never went down…just up.

    • My parents have the same set up.      The power company wants to regulate peak consumption so those who want a break on their bills agree to let them  put a switch on their water heaters.

      Voluntary, free market…  not government.

      And there is plenty of reason for power companies to offer programs like that without the need to involve government.

      • However, there was most certainly an attempt in Cali to impose, by government fiat, such a measure.  There would have been no “”voluntary, free market” involved.

  • Gee, Michael Cohen, is attacking Glenn Beck?! THE Michael Cohen!  Wow, this is serious.

    Wait a minute.  Who is Michael Cohen?   Why does what he writes matter?  Oh, he writes on a web politics news site.   Oh well, at least the right never engaged in personal attacks on people like Olberman, Krugmann, Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, et al.  Nah, the right gave the Democrats due respect.  But this Michael Cohen guy…I guess he’s the ‘voice of the Left’, eh?

    (BTW, Glenn Beck earned my respect well over a year ago when he also saw the coming economic catastrophe, and its core causes — but while he is a bit over the top, he’s also an entertainer, going more for the gut than the head.  And clearly, he’s good at what he does.)

    • I see Erb has been trying out a new play – mockery and minimization. Anything to have your side hang onto power.

      Sorry sweetie, it won’t work. But nice job keeping  your Pro-Socialism side masked for the past few weeks.

  • What all of these columnists, etc., sneering at Glenn Beck, the one thing they fail to do is ask why he is gaining popularity by the day.  The reason is because, rather than being the crackpot they try to portray him as, he is actually addressing the issues that so many people identify with and care about these days.  Whether one likes his overly dramatic style or not is simply a matter of taste, but what he says is usually quite reasonable.

    • I disagree with Beck on most things.  But while I can’t listen to Limbaugh, and find Hannity almost sounding like Goebbels, Beck is entertaining and even when he’s a bit over the top (in my opinion) he still has some logic behind his claims.  I actually enjoy listening to him when I get the chance. 

      • Hannity “sounds like Goebbels” Scottypie?

        Examples.  Now please.

        Love the way you just slip that in there, like if you sneak it through enough you can poison the well.

        I bet you can’t listen to Limbaugh,  the walls of your ivory tower are too thin…

        • Oh yeah, I’ve often thought that the jingoism and hyper nationalism of Hannity sounds a lot like the stuff I’ve read from Goebbels and the Nazis in tone and emotional desire.  Since I don’t have scripts from Hannity handy, you know I can’t quote all the examples.  But I did a blog on this back in 2006 with an example from a rant I heard from Hannity: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blogs/july06.htm

          • Amazingly, you intellectual fraud, you don’t quote Hannity once.  You merely do as you always do, which is say something as though it were an undeniable truth, offer no actuall support for your statement, and move on.

            We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you moron: Just because you say something, or even post it on the web, doesn’t make it true.

            Give. A. Quote.  Make. A real. Citation.

            You claim to be a professor, so surely you know what a citation looks like, yes?

            If I handed in a paper written in the manner in which you write your blog entries (which I re-iterate, does not allow comments, suggesting at the least that you refuse to debate even where you have absolute control), I would get an F for failing to cite sources.  And citing words you previously wrote actually doesn’t count.

            Ask Ward Churchill…

          • Scott, you know I’d sooner visit animal porn sites than I would your blog.

            Using the “tone and emotional desire” standard, YOU sounded an awful lot like Marx or Stalin with your recent “Now everyone will see capitalism doesn’t deliver just results” screed.

            But when I listen to him, his propaganda sounds to me a lot like the kind of fascist hyper-nationalist stuff the Nazis spewed.   And  I can share that opinion with anyone I want to without having to “find cites.”  That’s called freedom of speech — get used to it

            And we can call you out for the load of crap that it is. That’s ALSO freedom of speech, so YOU get used to THAT.
             

      • The Maine Mosquito: “he’s a bit over the top…”

        Has anyone ever noticed that people who use that phrase never tell you what constitutes “the top”?

        Don’t ever mistake Scott Erb for a principled individual.

        • Beck, I’ve learned that what you call principle is just your emotional whim.   Your blog and your style of interaction is clearly from the gut, not the head.  You want to feel free and unemcumbered, so you choose an ideology to reflect your emotional desires.  It’s not principle, it’s subjective preference.  The odd thing is I think you’ve even fooled yourself, and you use a kind of self-righteous sense that you ‘see clearly what others don’t’ as a defense against actually having to think through all this critically (i.e., seriously consider the possibility that you might be wrong — a fallable human being.

          By the way, for those of you using ‘socialism’ — it’s become sort of the right wing equivalent of people on the left calling conservatives fascist.  Each side believes the other is the awful “ism” but the labels have been so overused and misused, that they don’t really connect with average folk.  They are 20th century ideologies, and 20th century insults.  Bush is a fascist, Obama is a socialist…it’s just noise.

          • “Beck, I’ve learned that what you call principle is just your emotional whim.”

            That would be an obvious lie, except for the fact that you’re too stupid to have learned a thing in the thirteen years that I’ve been kicking your raggedy ass.  Look around you, Erb: everyone here knows now what half of them couldn’t understand about my ferocity in dealing with you when they first saw it.

            “Each side believes the other is the awful ‘ism’ but the labels have been so overused and misused, that they don’t really connect with average folk.  They are 20th century ideologies, and 20th century insults.  Bush is a fascist, Obama is a socialist…it’s just noise.”

            No it’s not, professorboy, but I know why you’d like the fight called off.

          • Each side believes the other is the awful “ism”

            Like imperialism? Idiot.

          • “You want to feel free and unencumbered…”

            No doubt, and so do I. There was once a time when most Americans wanted the same. That is why this country fought a revolution and a few wars.

          • Billy B. — you can’t kick someone’s arse if you don’t try

            Here’s a clue, Erb….You may want a look in that basket over in the corner. You’ll find your butt in it. For not trying, Billy is doing fairly well I think. Then again, as has already been explained to you… Anyone with the slightest bit of principle even little old me…can hand you your backside as natural and effortless as breathing.

      • Beck is entertaining and even when he’s a bit over the top (in my opinion) he still has some logic behind his claims.

        Logic??? Have you learned to understand logic?  Don’t tell any of your friends they will dismiss you as conservative in liberal clothing and you will never get another date with a “boobs not bombs” member.

        • You know, I’ve seen the chicks that go to those things…

          I don’t think your statement is the threat you meant it to be…  :)

    • I haven’t listened to Beck much at all, but my impression is that I like him quite a bit more than O’Reilly.    I can’t say if I agree with him most of the time or not, but I don’t think he’d irritate me even if I disagreed.

  • Glenn is great because he knows what he is not….a journalist. He said quiet clearly hes not a journalist. I enjoy opinion when the opinion giver doesn’t claim to be a journalist. I think recently BillO claimed to be a journalist on Letterman, after that i lost any respect i might of had for him. I think the opinion piece in question could have been trashed simply with the first point you make, i would stop reading right there.

    “conspiracy theorist who believes, among other things, that the government wants to remotely control our thermostats,”

    “state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, ”

    No sense in continuing lol

  • Rush finally caught on so we switched to Beck.  It’s so easy to distract and direct right-wing outrage, we play you like a fiddle :^)

  • It was this line that turned me off:  “However, Beck’s paranoid style is seeping into the discourse of conservative politics, which should be of concern to Republicans.”    Cohen is mightily concerned that righty paranoia is seeping into mainstream conservative discourse.  Yet he is completely blind, willfully I suspect, to the past 8 years where lefty paranoia was gleefully mainstreamed into liberal (and media) discourse.

  • I don’t think that Glenn Beck is just looking to raise up opposition to Obama, which would be fine with me, if that’s all he was interested in.

    He seems to be interested in raising up opposition to government, and given that we’re about to have a whole new sh*tload of government shoved down our throats, I think he’s found a theme.

    (And Erb’s pretty funny, isn’t he? I mean, he’s already into his ninth layer of self-parody. He has got to have some sort of medium-term memory problem for him to keep plunking those magic reset and repeat buttons like that. It’s not just liberalism. Not just academia. Not just narcissism. It’s also neurological!)

  • Yah, the real threat is right wing pundits whose party is COMPLETELY out of power, not the MSM who have brought Democratic Centralism into the 21st century via Journo-list.

  • Billy B. — you can’t kick someone’s arse if you don’t try.  All you do is call names and give bravado, you haven’t even tried to actually engage an issue of substance any time in recent memory.  Maybe you did sometime back in usenet 1995 or something, but when I think of you my image is someone who throws up smoke in the form of insults and bravado and then slips away.  Maybe you have more substance, you are a decent writer, and your blog has interesting links and sometimes you make spot on points.  But it does seem emotion driven to me, and a bit rigid and ideology-driven.

    I think Jon Stewart nailed the rather rabid response from the right with his bit last night mocking those who say we’re going to ‘tyranny’ and ‘fascism.’   Especially fun was the juxtaposition of all of the limits of freedom and expansion of power under Bush with a statement by a TV guy that his son’s school is calling St. Patrick’s Day potatoe day, in a dangerous destruction of language.   You lose some elections.   A conservative will win again, the political pendulum swings.

    • and we all recal Jon Stewart mercilessly pursuring Democrats who claimed that Bush wouldn’t leave office but instead stage a coup in 2004 or 2008. No? No? Strange.

      • Really, who said that?  I can’t say I heard that one (or if I did, I don’t recall it).  I tend to dismiss whackos left and right.

        By the way, on the Goebbels-Hannity link, Stewart’s clip gives an example.  He shows Hannity raving about how Obama thinks “America is arrogant,” then Stewart plays the clip where Obama acknowledges times of past arrogance on the part of America, and then condemns anti-Americanism in Europe.  As Stewart puts it, it would be like someone reading Dickens and stopping after “It was the best of times,” and then slamming him for not acknowledging all those who were suffering.

        That’s Goebbelsesque of Hannity.  Partial quotes to make misleading smears, an attempt to manipulate emotions to attack enemies.   Not for comedy (where it’s clear it’s play), but in a dead serious effort to seduce the masses.  Luckily, I think the US has grown weary of that kind of militarism and jingoism.  After all, look where it led us!  Thankfully, neo-conservatism is dead.

        • “Not for comedy (where it’s clear it’s play), but in a dead serious effort to seduce the masses. ”

          First off Stewart might be pushing comedy, but its political opinion comedy, no different than Bill Maher. To claim he is not serious would be pushing it at this point.

  • As far as the FEMA camps.  Beck did orginally say there might be some truth to it.  Check this post on my blog for the video. But then with the help of Popular Mechanics backed off of that stance after some detailed investigation.
    Not that I am defending this lefty, but I thought we should be honest.

    GH

  • The mainstream media wouldn’t do it. So we are trying to get your important messages to the American people. This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

  • If you want me to quote Hannity, Scott J., please send me some transcripts.  Otherwise, I’ll give my opinion (though, to be sure, I pointed out a Jon Stewart clip you can get at comedy central’s website — April 7th’s show).  You see, I don’t write down word for word what I hear on the radio — especially when I’m driving.  But when I listen to him, his propaganda sounds to me a lot like the kind of fascist hyper-nationalist stuff the Nazis spewed.   And  I can share that opinion with anyone I want to without having to “find cites.”  That’s called freedom of speech — get used to it.

    • So… You get to accuse somebody of sounding like a nazi without having to provide a single example because “it’s your opinion”? 

      That’s not “freedom of speech”; it’s intellectual laziness at best and intellectual dishonesty at worst.*

      If you had a shred of credibility left, you just chucked it out the window with this post.

      —–

      (*) I should note that, when I say “that’s not ‘freedom of speech’, I in no way mean to imply that Erb or anybody else can’t write what he wants; I believe in the right of free speech.  If a person wants to expose himself as a bigoted fool… well… it’s a free country.

      • Goebbels was a propaganda expert, and Hannity does remind me of him with his rhetorical tactics.  If you disagree, that’s fine.   But don’t get into a hissy fit about it, I’m bipartisan in these comparisons, including even Obama: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/triumph-of-will/

        I can hear you all now, condemning me for daring to compare Obama to ‘a Nazi.’

        • I’m bipartisan in these comparisons

          Classic Erb Logic… You directly compare Hannity to Goebbels, but you never compare Obama to anything Nazi-like other than to say you read Obama was going to give a big speech. Gosh, why does anyone dare to call you an idiot?

          You are an outright liar, and I’ve taken an image of your post so you can’t go back and change it later.

          • You are the liar, JWG.  I said that Hannity’s propaganda reminds me of Goebbels.   In the blog, the speech reminds me of Goebbels tactics and the Leni Reifenstahl movie.  In fact, in talking about Obama I make a comparison to Hitler: “Yet the ability of politicians to now create the larger than life aura that Hitler donned convinces me that our country is not immune from that path…”

            In both cases, I’m noting propaganda of the sort used by Goebbels prevalent in American life and politics.  So, as usual JWG, your dishonest attack fails.  

          • You mention multiple times about Hannity “almost sounding like Goebbels” “in tone and emotional desire” and that it is “Goebbelsesque of Hannity” that “his propaganda sounds to me a lot like the kind of fascist hyper-nationalist stuff the Nazis spewed.”

            And you want to compare that as being bipartisan when you mention that Obama gave a speech once to 75,000 people and that he gives you “more hope” than any other politician?

            Seriously, you must be trolling. You can’t possibly be THAT stupid. That’s really boneheaded even for you.

        • I hit your link, Erb, and gagged my way through that post. You managed to complete a gurgling fellation of Obama even as you referred to him giving the acceptance speech in a stadium. I have to say that you continue to amaze me, in that post, with the shallow, incoherent, infantile way you think. You are the complete and eternal sophomore, and remind me of one of those stories where the young woman, left at the altar on her wedding day, wears her wedding gown forevermore and never grows old.

          You are, in the end, a nagging summer cold of an idiot. 

        • Just when I wondered if you could possibly get more pathetic, you reach a new low.  What makes it worse is that you are allegedly a Ph.D. AND a college professor whom one would expect would be able to engage in discussion, even argument, with facts and examples.  Instead, all we get from you is the particularly loathesome ad hominem of comparing Sean Hannity to a nazi.  This is a serious charge that one had better be prepared to back up or else be exposed as completely false and hurled by losers who have no better argument to make.  We’ve challenged you to offer a single example of when Hannity has sounded like a nazi; this you REFUSE to do, hiding behind the absurd argument that you are free to insult people to your heart’s content because “it’s your opinion”.  Incredibly, you claim to be “bipartisan” and then finish with a ridiculous accusation that we haven’t criticized you for something that you haven’t done!

          Where the hell did you get your degrees???  Mail order???  Or did you just find a nice template on MS Word and print some yourself???

          Here’s a couple of tips for you:

          1.  If you don’t like a particular commentator, then confine yourself to simply saying, “I don’t like him”.  The nazi moniker has been thrown too many times by lefties over the years; we’re not impressed or intimidated by it and indeed recognize that the person who uses it probably does so because he’s too stupid to think of anything better;

          2.  If you persist in tossing the “nazi” charge around, you’d better have some examples to back up your claim.  Don’t hide behind the drivel that “I didn’t write it down”.  Assuming you have even a moderately good memory, you should be able to remember SOMETHING the man has said that reminded you of Goebbels.  Here: I’ll even give you an example.

          As it happens, I don’t care much for Hannity even though we are on the same side politically.  I find him bellicose, often rude to callers who don’t agree with him, and not a good debater.  A case in point was when he debated Mike Farrell regarding the execution of “Tookie” Williams several months ago: when Farrell said that he opposes the death penalty in all cases, Hannity responded by challenging him about his stance on abortion.  The one has little to do with the other; the fact that Hannity couldn’t / wouldn’t debate the issue at hand but rather tried to bring in abortion as a way of exposing Farrell as a hypocrite did not impress me.

          See how easy that is?  You should try it sometime.

          • Get the “nazi” bit out of your mind docjim505.  Goebbels is worth comparing to because he was a propagandistic genius and was able to sell a country on an ideology that almost destroyed them.   Goebbels said that everything he learned, he learned from Madison avenue.  He was into marketing politicians; the campaign Obama ran for the Presidency would have been admired by Goebbels, included the ingredients Goebbels used in his propaganda.   Only someone really dense would think that is somehow saying Obama (or Hannity) is “a nazi.”   Get it?  Goebbels is worth comparing to because he initiated mass marketing of political parties and ideologies, it is irrelevant that he was a Nazi.

            Oh, and since you asked: my Ph.D. is from the U. of Minnesota, and my MA is from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.    My specialty is German and European politics, and my pet peeve is people who refuse to learn from the rise of Nazism in Germany because any comparison made they think is a comparison to Nazism which they knee jerk dismiss as somehow being an ad hominem.

  • All these comments and still no refutation of the thesis that Beck was smeared?  I’d argue the point was conceded.  I don’t listen to the radio much, and I get home too late to watch Beck, so I can’t comment.
    I have to echo the sentiment about O’Reilly though.  He is unwatchable.  He doesn’t seem to have much in the way of principles.  I’d label him a populist rather than a conservative or anything else, but he missed his calling.  He should have been a politician.  His willingness to defend his opinion against facts and reason would let him fit right in in DC.  He reminds me a lot of Joe Biden, with a bit more polish.  He could have changed in the last couple years.  I won’t watch, so I will never know. 

    • I like Bill O’s opening segment, but after that it’s time to watch something else.  Anything else.

      But I like Glen Beck’s show.  He was at the least right when he predicted the economy’s recent “troubles”…

  • My goodness, all you dense righties getting in such a lather over my comments. I must have really touched a nerve with you. But, in my own gracious way, I’ll try to explain yet again why I am totally right about all this, and you thick righties are off in the weeds.

    It’s simple, really. I have magical godlike powers of political science, and they enable me to decree that certain facts are true, and you just have to accept them. I have set forth these facts here and in more detail on my blog. So if you ask for more detail, I refer you back to my own postings, which contain more facts which I have decreed.

    If you don’t accept the facts that I have decreed, then I come back and tell you that you are wrong. Over and over and over. I have to do that so that you poor dense righties don’t go on continuing to be misinformed, and it’s most definitely NOT because I have a narcissistic urge to come here and taunt dense righties to validate my own self worth. So STOP SAYING THAT!! Because it’s definintely not true that I’m like that. I decree it.

    So, if I say Hannity is like Goebbles, then you have to accept it. I have the godlike powers of political science and the extensive background in German foreign affairs to make such a statement, and besides, it’s freedom of speech.

    But of course, the right to assert facts doesn’t extend to you dense righties! That would be taking this freedom of speech stuff too far, don’t you think? Because you don’t have my advanced degrees and godlike powers of political science.

    I mean, sure, that freedom of speech stuff means you can post them here, but since I’m the only one who can decree such things, it’s my RESPONSIBILITY to come here and tell you you’re most definintely wrong about them. It’s a duty, and I take it seriously, and NO IT’S NOT BECAUSE I CRAVE PSYCHOLOGICAL SATISFACTION FROM PI$$ING OFF RIGHTIES!!! It’s just not, I tell you! I decree it! I’m not a troll, and that Rawhide parody that started “Trollin’ trollin trollin'”was really stupid!

    But I completely understand that some of you dense righties lack the mental capacity to understand that I have godlike powers of political science. And you seem to resent the fact that I take my duty to come here and lecture you so seriously. So you stoop to insults. Well, I’m rubber and you’re glue. It just shows how weak your arguments are that you must insult me.

    And it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m always right and you never are and so it’s impossible to change my mind about anything. Nope, I want debate and discussion. As long as you guys understand, of course, that I can decree that Hannity is a Nazi and you just have to accept it.

    And none of you have ever “kicked my butt”! Especially Billy Beck. Or those ex-military basket cases that are front paget posters here. With my godlike powers of political science, I am completely immune to butt-kicking! I DECREE IT!

  • I cannot watch Hannity or O’Reilly without getting slightly nauseous, and I wouldn’t believe anything they say without independant confirmation due to their selective quotation, idiosyncratic interpretations, etc. I have not watched Beck much, I find him a bit too melodramatic, but he seems to be a bit better than the other two. I did happen to see him a week or so ago where he specifically covered the FEMA camps and said that those who believed in them were nutcases akin to the 9/11 truthers.

    • I am not a huge fan of Hannity, though I think he’s an O.K. guy. He’s just too loud, and while he’s not shooting for the least common denominator, his work is remedial. BUT, the one thing that he deserves a lot of credit for came during the presidential campaign when he was the main guy to expose Jeremiah Wright and the church, though he did not do a thorough enough job. Again, his style is loud, but he is not one of the bad guys. His values are pretty solid.

      O’Reilly seems to be riding along on fumes. His show is watchable, but I have to be in the mood for it.

      Neither he nor Hannity should even be compared with the disgusting creeps on MSNBC.

      Erb, by the way, routinely compares people to Goebbels. He has done that to Limbaugh, now Hannity. He used to do it routinely to posters who bested him on Usenet (and there were many, of course). It runs like this: Goebbels did propaganda, Erb accuses you of doing propaganda, ergo, you are comparable to Goebbels.

      I wonder what Erb thinks of people like Keith Olbermann, James Carville, and Paul Begala, or perhaps Sidney Blumenthal, who while working in the Clinton White House tried to shop Monica Lewinsky to his journalist friends as a “stalker.” O, but for that blue dress.

  • Shark, you really should visit my site, you’d learn a lot.  For instance,  By the way in my blog on AUGUST 7, a full five weeks before the economic crisis hit, I criticized both McCain and Obama (“What Me Worry?”) and wrote this:

    There’s a good chance our lives will change dramatically in coming years, as economic reality forces us to cut back on all aspects of government, from social programs to military spending. It will bring about an upheaval in our political system. Perhaps, as I noted in “America and the Troglodytes,” this is rooted in a fundamental weakness in modern democracy. Americans will be shocked and angry that this was allowed to happen, and the door will be open for populists, political opportunists, and Bonapartism. It could well be that the 2008 election will be remembered for it’s surreality, candidates talking about empty issues while the country is on a collision course with disaster. We’ll blame the politicians, but they’re just giving us what we want.

    Gotta admit, I called that right, though luckily the crisis actually became visible to everyone before the election, forcing people to pay attention.  Of course, I might be wrong about being forced to spend less — if Obama is right he will have proven me wrong.  If Obama’s spending causes inflation and further economic turmoil, then I’ll be right.  But I certainly saw the crisis coming!

    • Just in case anyone is wondering how “right” Erb was in his prediction, he has as a matter of routine predicted a “crisis of capitalism,” every year or so.

      He is congenitally incapable of understanding what capitalism is and that the only truly serious crisis it faces is called socialism, which takes the wealth created through entrepreneurial capitalism and allocates it for government use and redistribution.

      Another thing that he’s doing is taking advantage of a financial crisis conjoined with a recession to attack market mechanisms and support more government intervention, hence his eager fellation of Obama, who Erb says thinks the way he does (and on that I do agree with him). 

    • There’s a good chance our lives will change dramatically in coming years, as economic reality forces us to cut back on all aspects of government, from social programs to military spending

      Um……you “called that one right”?????

      HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Yeah, your site has a lot to “teach me” . *Snort*

    • Yeah, yeah, Erbie, we know that talking out of all four sides of your mouth thing works well in academia, but we’re all wise here to your Jeane Dixon style of prognostication.

      You post reams of drivel, with “there’s a good chance” and “I suspect” weasel words scattered through it. That lets you cherry pick something that can be spun as coming true and ignore everything that you got wrong.

      And you’re too godd*mn stupid to even know you’re doing it! You parade your stupidity here, and expect us to buy into your games and admit that you’re smart about something. But the people who frequent this site are so beyond your intellectual capabilities that you can’t even conceive of the gap.

      So you play your narcissist games and come here to get attention, because as others have said so many times, you simply lack the ability to stay away. It’s some kind of weird psychological problem where you get your jollies trolling to pi$$ people off, and you’re so oblivious to your own nature that you don’t even see it.

      But we do.