Thursday, January 13, 2011

Glenn Beck: Lies and the manufacturing of paranoia

I hate thinking about Glenn Beck. I hate watching him on television. I hate reading his crap on the web. I hate writing about him. But the truth is that he is such a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the right in America that it is impossble to ignore him, despite the fact that he continues to be an idiot.

Many have been making the point that those on the right railing about the extent to which Obama and progressives want to destroy America run the very serious risk of making their political opponents targets of violence. Beck and others so consistently make the absurd claim that Obama and his political allies have a plan to take away our freedom, our money, our guns, our very way of life, you name it. They work so hard to create a wildly paranoid right-wing culture and then claim surprise that people might respond irrationally.

I wrote about this a few days ago, but I notice that Harold Meyerson of The Washington Post makes a similar case and expands the argument in useful directions. Please take a few moments to read it.

It doesn't matter if this is what happened in Arizona. If it isn't, it will happen soon enough somewhere else if these bastards continue on this path. (Oh, sorry. Was I being disagreeable while disagreeing?)

Beck's duplicity and hypocrisy know no bounds and I am getting tired of stating the obvious. But as long as he and others like him continue to lie about their political opponents and deny the consequences of such lies, let us have the strength to challenge them, every day if necessary.

And, by the way, the poison is in the lies that feed paranoia, not the excitable tone or unpleasant character of the words used by the speaker. That is what should concern us. The target symbols and talk of second amendment remedies or of locking and loading are really only an issue because of the lies that manufacture such paranoia.

So we are left talking about rudeness as if that were the point. It's not.

Anyway, have a look at the Meyerson piece. It says it all for me.

(Cross-posted to Lippmann's Ghost)

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