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Thursday, 03 June 2010 08:10

Failing to See His Own Fault, Glenn Beck Wonders ‘Why We’re Not Having Real Conversations’

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by Jeffrey Joseph

While spinning from one conspiracy theory to another like a rogue whirling dervish, Glenn Beck stated that he could not comprehend how “we’re not having real conversations” in the political world. Asking such a question on a network so blatantly biased and vitriolic as FOX News, Beck ignored his own and his colleagues’ culpability for the superficial and hyperbolic political conversations left in the U.S. today.

Beck exposed his limited self-awareness in recently trying to uncover the “media-created villains.” Some of those “villains” certainly must include ACORN, exposed by Beck’s former friend James O’Keefe, who later had to plead guilty to charges in an illegal scheme to pose as telephone repairers to gain entry into Senator Mary Landrieu’s offices. As O’Keefe faced charges, his exposé on ACORN unraveled as largely the product of deliberate misinformation and outright lying. After putting O’Keefe on the air and uncritically spreading his story about ACORN, Beck, like so many others on FOX, came to the defense of O’Keefe immediately after the arrest but now have basically abandoned him and the crusade he helped begin.

Not that Beck’s work to baselessly vilify his opponents stopped short with ACORN. Beck also accused the president of being a racistmocked Obama’s daughters on national radio, disparaged much of Christianity and portrayed active Christians as people doing things “the devil’s way,” and claimed Attorney General Eric Holder was someone who wants to “cuddle and hold Islamic radicals,” among others. Those comprise just a few of the “villains” Beck hoped to make using his media influence since an exhaustive list would go on for as long as he continued on the air.

Beck’s colleagues do little to elevate the national discourse, either. Gretchen Carlson of Fox & Friends offered her unsupported take on a Nancy Pelosi speech where Pelosi often and admiringly referred to “the Word.” For Carlson, the fact that Pelosi used the fairly recognized term “the Word” rather than “God” illustrated just how liberals “don’t want to say the word ‘God.’

Besides the fact that Carlson suspiciously derided Pelosi’s reference to faith as a “religious rant,” something a conservative invoking religious terminology would hardly face on the show, she also ignores the Gospel reference Pelosi points to in her speech where in John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Hence, Carlson both thought that Pelosi was too afraid of religion to use “God” instead of “the Word,” though some Bible reading might have convinced her the two are synonymous, and yet because Pelosi invoked religion at all, Carlson decided it had to be during a “religious rant.”

Carlson’s critical analysis hardly crested with that inane logic. Since the BP oil spill began in the Gulf, FOX contributors have alternately taken measures to diminish the damage caused and blame Obama for any actual damage incurred. Seeking to add to the ridicule, Carlson berated President Obama because he showed up along the coast wearing “fancy pants and a fancy shirt.”

A Stanford graduate, Carlson almost certainly could have come up with a more reasonable criticism regarding the response to the BP spill than to get into a discussion of fashion, but for whatever reason, she found that an important detail to bring to the conversation. Turns like those have led commentators such as Jon Stewart to openly wonder if Carlson has opted to “stash her IQ in an offshore account.”

With champions of the media like Glenn Beck and Gretchen Carlson, bringing the national discourse to a level where people can have “real conversations” can get quite difficult. To hear anyone on FOX News complain about the tenor of the national debate after it has so obviously moved it to its current place would prove laughable if not also sad. Viewers should tell FOX News that if it really has the national interest at heart, it should stop the foolishness of Beck’s fear mongering and Carlson’s pettiness — and in the meantime choose to Turn Off FOX.

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Originally posted at Turn Off FOX.