Yes, Glenn Beck was caught in a lie (video above), but what’s one lie among thousands left unrefuted? Who remembers the rebuttal anyway? Yet, increasingly, the so-called mainstream media (MSM) persists in cramming the prevaricators down our throats anyway. The Tea Party infested Republican Party has lost its mind, conscience, soul and heart. In their place, viewers get, for example, theatrically staged “tears,” staging a “poisoning” of a fake Nancy Pelosi, a pretend dousing with gasoline, and brown-shirted appeals to upheaval. And that’s just the Glenn Beck Show. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the entire Tea Party Cast of xenophobes and annihilators(with Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle and Michelle Bachmann up front and center) might have been merely the lunatic fringe. But a vacuum of GOP leadership, absence of any cohesive plan and buffoons like Cantor; McConnell; Boehner; a mentally vacant GOP Congressional delegation; and the incompetent RNC chair, Micheal Steele, make anything possible. They bring nothing to the table: No ideas; no proposals, except the word “no;” tax cuts for the rich; threats of investigations without end; unending war; and an end to every program helping real people. They don’t care if what they say is true, whom it hurts or the consequences of their actions, such as their whipping up hate among their followers, telling them to “reload,” calling for them to be “armed and dangerous.” It’s extraordinary, reckless expediency over real morals for the “moralistic” Tea Partiers.
But the media love the copy emanating from their very own creations. There is no better illustration than their simpering, cowering coverage of the megalomaniacal liar that is Glenn Beck. He shows a willingness to embolden and enable extremism for profit (and political expediency). Now he wants to inspire “black robes” (ministers) with Christian fundamentalist inclinations to turn their pulpits into local election centrals. Wrapping himself in pseudo-religion, as he did just last weekend, was political opportunism plain and simple. More on that in a moment. But he would be nowhere were it not for the media making a celeb out of him.
As the new Vanity Fair article about his compatriot with a dream of her own, the half-governor, Sarah Palin, reminds, Palin is the only pol whose Tweets are regularly reported as if they were “news.” Think about that! According to the Vanity Fair author, she is the ironic personification of the supposed “role model,” who screams and throws things at people; hurtles expletives; and whips up hatred for anyone not like her (as she emphasized n an appearance in NOVA, the rest of us Virginians aren’t even “real”). She lies with impunity and, as consummate bullies do, tries to destroy those who get in her way. The so-called MSM adores SP’s perpetual “cuteness,” which is by design. She even planned (are you ready for this?) what kind of bra to wear to get what she wanted (see Vanity Fair for more on this) at a Wasilla Town Council meeting. As they salivate over her milf-ness, the stooge media have made her (and Glenn Beck) into the political monstrosities they are, and are subsequently equal partners in spreading fear, hate, dominionist theocracy, and their monolithic and cataclysmic view of the world.
For more than two years, ten actually, we have waited for the media to do its job: To report the facts. Instead, over time, they have craftily tried to revamp the poor opinion America has had of the incompetent Palin. She could not even run the Alaska governor’s office without her husband running interference. That the media could continue to promote her as even a possibility for president is worse than preposterous, it’s dangerous and damnable. (Don’t look now, but they are also beginning to make John Bolton feel “presidential.”) Unlike the Palin and Beck false claims of various -isms they apply to our President, like so many GOP hypocrites before them, they will take us precisely where they pretend our president will. As the word “freedom” rolls off their tongues, they don’t mean for us to have any of it.
Just this week, Beck invented that American universities are massive “reeducation camps” to teach “communism” to our youth. The rhetoric is designed to instigate violence against academics. Learning is so subversive (sarcasm) in a world with bone-heads for Tea Party supporters. Glenn Beck wants Americans to turn on teachers. Their enemies list continues to grow by the day. Alan Simpson now routinely bashes seniors. And all of them bash minorities and anyone with special ethnic heritage, except, of course, their own Tea Party Republican selves.
The media are not off the hook if they merely off-handedly, buried in fine print, mention that there is no truth to the massive defamation of Barack Obama–or Dems in general, on false “charges of being “guilty” of a variety of- isms. They must get the facts out there in a compelling way. When will the media stop treating Beck deferentially? It is not their job to campaign for us, but it most assuredly is not to give aid and comfort to liars and deceivers. Instead, they’ll cite defamation by Tea Party extremists in their headlines as if they are true (“So-and-so says XXX is a communist).”
Various media use headlines like this one as other media outlets rush to mis-portray Newsweek’s special coverage of the science behind the belief in the lies. Jonathan Alter calls for the truth to be explicitly and vociferously told. It’s a good column, which I urge you to read here. I’d add that cognitive categorization, which long ago was adaptive for humans, can be very maladaptive in today’s complex world, a world where over-simplifications (“you’re with us or against us”) make us vulnerable to the lowest form of manipulation.
Ironically, though, there is no better illustration of why people believe this stuff than Newsweek‘s own poll. Why would it even ask such a question? Why would the other pollsters if there is not an agenda? Why poll about belief in a lie.? Surely, the poll results themselves will be trotted out as “proof” that the falsehood is true. You know how it will go. No-information voters will conclude that with headlines like “Majority of GOP say Obama is a Muslim,” maybe it’s really true. And the myth will just feed the cycle of disinformation.
One of the most contrived and manipulated “controversies is that of the so-called mosque near the so-called “Ground Zero.” It’s a GOP and media creation. But it was not always that way. When the issue first surfaced, even Laura Ingraham approved of the community center, which was being formed to bring community together. No more. Additionally, no, it’s not a mosque, but what if it were? Getting bogged down in that distinction makes us, as others have noted before me, prisoners of our own faulty logic and compassion. I reject that anyone should think that a mosque is any different than, say, the fundamentalist Christian church now being planned for a site even closer to the so-called Ground Zero. It should make no difference whether it’s a mosque or a community center. To exert a real counter-force to the hate mongers’ vicious stereotyping of Muslim people, and their scripting of some future “clash of civilizations,” we must vigorously oppose the hatemongers. Let millions of other believers (and non believers) step up–now–to be a welcoming alternative.
Also missing from most discussions of Obama’s faith is the use of this as an “aspersion.” It is not an aspersion. But,in the hands of a ruthless GOP and its accomplice, the “mainstream” media, it has been “rendered” so. But it is not just that the majority of GOP think the president is a Muslim, but also that they claim he supports the establishment of Muslim fundamentalism around the world!
Then there is FAUX News which presented a “poll” asserting that a majority thinks Obama “is a socialist.” No credible poll has found that and it would be absurd to believe that when Barack Obama is no more progressive than moderate Republicans were 20 years ago. And yet one must ask, again, why would you poll voters about their belief in a lie, unless you really want to increase belief in the lie?
Now the pollsters and pundits want you to believe a generic poll that gives a 10% advantage to Republicans in a generic poll. This GOP-leaning poll (Republican George Gallup originally launched his operation to help make the US a Christian nation), used aggregations of flawed daily tracking polls to reach its conclusions. Yet, in a sea of incumbent wins, the truth is it is not the year of the insurgent at all. Hundreds of incumbents (more than 300 have won their primaries, or were unopposed thus far). Any polling company worth its salt knows that voters dislike everyone but THEIR congressperson, who generally brings home the bacon. But devoid of any specificity, generic polls are just one more way to lie with statistics and manipulate voters.
We need a flood of rapid response, which at this point is clearly not so rapid. We need it now, to stem the tide of the falsehood factory that is the GOP and the media who love them (or their tax breaks). I urge you to aggressively rebut all the lies and disinformation spread about President Obama NOW. We also need some real deprogramming of a large subset of this population so willing to hate those who are merely different from themselves.
And then there is using buying power. When this stuff began, we succeeded in getting over a hundred sponsors to bail on Glenn Beck. We need to up the ante. I mean shop Blue. Those who fund the Tea party hate-mongers do not deserve to be in business, much less receive our hard-earned money. Head over to Democrats.com to join in the effort to make our buying decisions talk. If money “is speech,” then let’s use it to oppose corporations throwing money at the GOP, Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity and the hate-infested Tea Party those groups bankroll with funding from the Koch brothers and others. Finally, remind everyone you know just who is really behind the Tea Party. Use the New Yorker article on the Koches and other sources to show who are really pulling the strings.
There is nothing behind the radical Republican Tea Partiers, or its media accomplices, except an out-of-control oligarchy, whose primary mission is to perpetuate itself. But there is one way to stop them: You!