Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Glenn Beck applauds Tennessee county and fire department that let family house burn down

Glenn Beck weighed in yesterday on the story of the Tennessee family whose house burned down, while the fire department stood idly by, because it hadn't paid the county's subscription fee for fire services. Like others on the right, he defended Obion County's policy. (I wrote about the story here.)

More than that, though, he and producer Pat Gray actually mocked the family (specifically the father, Gene Cranick), which lost three dogs and a cat in the fire, with Beck himself saying that it's just the way it ought to be:

GRAY: (mocking Cranick's accent) Even tho' I hadn't paid mah seventy five dollahs I thought dey'd put it out... I wanted 'em to put it out, but dey didn't put it out.

BECK: Here's the thing. Those that are just on raw feeling are not going to understand...

GRAY: But I thought they was gonna put the fire out anyway, but it burned down. Dat ain't right!... What's the Fire Department for if you don’t put out the fire?! I thought they'd put out mah fire even if I didn't pay seventy five dollars.

BECK: This is the sort of argument that Americans are going to have.

GRAY: It is.

BECK: And it goes nowhere if you go onto "compassion, compassion, compassion, compassion" or well, "they should've put it out, what is the fire department for?"... If you don't pay the 75 dollars then that hurts the fire department. They can't use those resources, and you'd be sponging off your neighbor's resources... It's important for America to have this debate. This is the kind of stuff that's going to have to happen, we are going to have to have these kinds of things.

This is the kind of staff that's going to have to happen... so that what? So that Americans start paying these subscription fees for vital local services? So that Americans get on board with the radical right-wing agenda and take down their own government?

Glenn Beck is -- and I realize this isn't news to many of you, nor should it be, given all the evidence he has provided -- a reprehensible human being. Back in April '08, writing about Beck's mega-assholery, I coined the word "glennbeckery" (and related words like "glennbeckism" and "glennbeckitude").

Needless to say, his view that the Cranicks basically deserved to have their home burn down, and that it's not just acceptable but desirable for similar things to be allowed to happen in a society that has turned uncivil with the rise of a vindictive, bloodthirsty conservative worldview, is another glennbeckinous glennbeckism from the glennbeckiest glennbeck of them all -- and an abhorrently ugly one.

Is this, applauding the loss of a family home, what it means for conservatives to restore honor?

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  • Anyone can forget to pay a bill. Did they even bother to send Cranick a reminder notice about the fee? There were four animals in the house who could have been rescued? How could a fire crew be certain that no people are in a house when they watch it burn. Someone's neighbor could say that they saw the owner leave for work not realizing that he or she returned home early because of not feeling well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 PM  

  • OK I'm no Beck lover, nor a conservative, but I think he's partially right in this case.

    It IS important that Americans have this type of debate. I think the conclusion Beck has is absurd, but the discussion is clear.

    If we want to live in a place where only those that can pay for fire service get their house fire put out then this is the inevitable result. The people who can and will pay their 75$ get fire service while the neighbor doesn't.

    Most of us, I think (but maybe I'm wrong) would say that if we all pay a little tax for the fire department then we all win (either by avoiding the unsightly scene of a burned out structure in our town or by that weird thing called common human decency and civilization).

    Until you have this conversation, the greedy in the world will just say "Well why should I have to pay taxes for a fire department when I've never had a fire? - and it's just government waste anyway".

    Ditto police, public schools, road construction, social security, health care, ad nauseum...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 AM  

  • I wonder if the home owners insurance company can sue the fire department? I would, this is just wrong!!! And, Beck has done far worse than this but whatever gets him off the air will do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 AM  

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