Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Glenn Beck cries of false gun bans is mimicked by PA shooter, earns him the Media Putz

leave a comment »

Originally published on on April 9, 2009

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck could have won the Media Putz any week in the last few weeks. His hypocrisy over the 9/12 project when he admitted he hated — HATED — 9/11 victims, people who lost loved ones in a horrible, visible fashion. His call for revolution just because his candidate for president lost an legitimate election. His fake tears.

Beck has spent his newly christened FOX “News” Channel show in a more obscure timeslot by trying to draw dramatic attention to himself through his rantings and emotional outbursts. Being a crazy, right-wing talk show host just isn’t enough to get noticed, since there are so many of them.

This week, Beck has finally earned the honor. So what put it over the top? Why does Beck win the honor this time?

With the rights — the rights Beck goes on and on about — comes responsibility. When you have on NRA executive VP and CEO Wayne LaPierre on your show talking about Obama’s quest to take away guns, and you know it isn’t true, someone could get the wrong message. That someone could have been Richard Poplawski in the Pittsburgh shooting, one of many mass shootings in the last two months.

Poplawski killed three Pittsburgh policemen, claiming according to a friend, Edward Perkovic, that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.”

Where have we heard such rhetoric? Now, Beck claims that he is just a flight attendant in this crashing airliner:

Blaming TV or radio hosts for the nutjob who killed three Pittsburgh police officers over the weekend is like blaming a flight attendant after a terrorist takes down a plane. In other words: Giving passengers a safety talk to prepare them for a worst-case scenario doesn’t mean you are responsible should a terrorist make that worst-case scenario happen. One person is providing important information. The other is a nutjob who would’ve acted no matter what.

But Beck isn’t providing important information, or even information. As Beck says about himself, “if you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.” You might want to try flashing those words on the screen every time you say something that is untrue. If you did that, you might as well not even flash the words, since they will have to remain on all the time, like a news ticker resting at the bottom of the screen.

Beck is right in one sense: no one forces another person to do something. But he is very, very wrong on another major point. When fictional TV shows get blamed for inciting actions, the common thread is that most people can tell fiction from reality. FOX “News” Channel presents the Glenn Beck show five nights a week as if it were reality, and it’s not.

Responsible television stations try not to confuse reality from fiction, and make a point to separate the two. Recently, two Chicago TV stations rejected a commercial from a clothing store that was made to sound like a 911 call. They said the ad sounded too realistic and would be confusing for viewers who might have thought it was coming from the news department.

As badly as TV stations need ad revenue, they felt responsible broadcasting was more important, a standard Glenn Beck fails to meet on a regular basis.

When a show is portrayed as reality, people are going to believe it. When Beck and LaPierre say Obama is going to take guns away, there are many who will believe it, no matter how crazy Beck sounds on the air or how many tears he sheds.

And it’s not just one conversation. There have been cries of fascism, irresponsible for multiple reasons, but cruely ironic that Beck was silent on the freedoms crushed under George W. Bush.

As often as we use the words “crazy” and “Glenn Beck” in the same sentence, there are people who are more off-balanced than Beck, and more dangerous. They don’t need anyone else to rile them up, especially under false pretenses. For that alone, Glenn Beck wins the Media Putz of the week award.

Glenn Beck previously won the Media Putz on December 18, 2008 and October 25, 2007.


Written by democracysoup

April 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: