Glenn Beck Antics Are Dangerous

Steve Benen over at the Washington Monthly had this to say:

AFTER THE SEGMENT…. It was a very special episode of Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, when he pretended to douse a colleague in gasoline while talking about setting himself on fire, but what I found especially interesting is what happened immediately afterwards.

After learning that President Obama might eventually embrace an immigration-reform legislation along the lines of the proposal touted by George W. Bush and John McCain (in at least one of McCain’s various personas), Beck said, “President Obama, why don’t you just set us on fire?”

Alex Koppelman from Salon writes:

Unfortunately, not captured in the video is what happened next, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry came on and Beck asked, “Governor, you’re regretting being on this program at this point, are you not, sir?” Perry responded, “Not at all, Glenn Beck. I’m proud to be with you.”

Bob Cesca from Huffington Post on Glenn Beck and The Consequences of Crazy Talk:

It’s no secret that Beck fancies himself as a real-life Howard Beale. He’s deluded himself into cherrypicking just the heroic “mad as hell” rant while conveniently overlooking that Beale was a tragic, suicidal man who was suffering from an extended nervous breakdown. Beck has to know on some level that Paddy Chayefsky’s eerily prescient screenplay for Network wasn’t written to glorify people like Beck — it was a warning to us about the emergence of people like Beck. It was a warning to us about how the line between fantasy and the news was beginning to blur in the face of ratings and profit.

This anything-goes attitude appears to be the source of Beck’s wildest rants. After all, the most dangerous aspect of Beck’s show isn’t necessarily what he says, it’s that he appears to be inclined to say anything while encouraging his viewers to believe anything “even if it’s wrong.” Fine, if he’s going that far out on a limb, then he needs to seriously consider taking responsibility for his nonsensical, inflammatory statements. And perhaps once he accepts the potential consequences of his words, he’ll reconsider some of the more incendiary ones.

The only thing I can add is Glenn Beck loves to hear himself talk and wants to be our savior. He reminds me of an Ernest Ansley or Jerry Falwell of the Evening News. Except, instead of asking for donations Glenn wants you to leave your intellect behind, and follow him with blind faith.

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