Monday, March 10, 2008

Glenn Beck, Think Progress, Barack Obama & the Antichrist

Last week Glenn Beck started talking about something he said on his TV show that was picked up and criticized by the Think Progress blog. He's spent the last few days of his radio show poking fun at the blogging media "news" circle. Here's the breakdown:

Think Progress posted a video of Glenn Beck asking Pastor John Hagee, "Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?" Here's the rest of the story, according to Beck,
Well, here's the best part, because what picked this up originally was, I don't even know, Think Progress. Think Progress, yes. Let's Think Progress. Do you know Progressive has "Progress" in it? It must be good. Think Progress is the first that picked this up on the blog. They're like, Glenn Beck thinks that maybe Media Matters then picked up the story and put a Glenn Beck think maybe and then they cut and pasted and put it in the TelePrompTer for Keith Olbermann: Glenn Beck thinks maybe he's the worst person in the world! Then Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported the story that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann should report. So if they could just now get Media Matters to alert Think Progress and so Think Progress could report that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported what Media Matters reported that Think Progress reported originally, it would be a feedback loop that would never end and everything would be perfect in the world.
This is actually my biggest complaint with "New Media" like blogging. Beck calling it a "feedback loop" is quite right in many cases. For all our talk of the "liberal media" or "corporate media" brainwashing the public and writing ill-sourced, bogus news stories, that's often exactly what happens on blogs. Then we all eat it up and let it feed our already existing prejudices. For example, look at these comments on the Think Progress "story":
• Glenn Beck and John Hagee need to be disappeared. They are a plague to rational thinkers everywhere.
Comment by jdogg333 — March 4, 2008 @ 9:41 pm
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• We know from hard evidence that George W. Bush is the anti-christ
Comment by nofltwlt — March 4, 2008 @ 9:42 pm
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• You’ve gotta be kidding me. We need to write more letters to CNNHN about this guy.
Comment by tnrc75 — March 4, 2008 @ 9:45 pm
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• As opposed to the grinning , braying , stupid @$#! that has fouled the Oval Office and our reputation throughout the world , Glenn Speck(of @$#!) ?
@$#! friggin’ @$#! ; what exactly is it that these morons actually see in Chimpy the Wonder Monkey that all others are insignificant at best , and make them laughably and hysterically view a moronic , colossal absolute FAILURE as the 2nd Coming ?
Comment by MCMetal
None of these people even watch Glenn Beck. They just read the little blog post and watched Keith Olbermann's rant and furiously typed their scathing insults in the comment box. But did any one of them actually stop and think for even a half second before damaging their keyboards with their unbridled ferocity? It doesn't appear so. Although there was one comment, the very last of 100+ comments to the post, that injected an opposing view,
The same thing could be said for every single one of you hypocritical numbnuts every time you call George Bush “Satan, the Anti-Christ” or whatever else you can come up with to insult someone. Am I really the only person who noticed that Glenn was LAUGHING as he asked the question? Am I the only person here with the intellectual honesty to admit that Beck WAS NOT BEING SERIOUS when he asked it? AM I THE ONLY PERSON HERE WHO SAW IT IN CONTEXT AND HEARD HIM JOKE ABOUT IT IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS, HEARD HIM PREDICT THAT IDIOTS LIKE THE PEOPLE HERE WOULD TAKE IT OUT OF CONTEXT AND POST IT AS IF HE WAS BEING SERIOUS!
Comment by ISSHunter
So what was Glenn Beck doing asking this kind of question? Listeners to the show will remember a segment a few days previous where Beck talked about some recent statements from George Clooney and Angelina Jolie that he thought showed a lot of integrity and open mindedness. At the end of the segment he summed it up by saying,
"But everybody on both sides have either deified their candidates and made it absolutely right on everything and it's that way or it's nothing, or they've taken the other side and they've looked at the other candidate and said they must be the antichrist. "Oh, George Bush is the most evil guy ever to be in the presidency." And now people are doing exactly what they did to Bill Clinton. I mean, I'm getting the mail that, you know, Barack Obama is the antichrist. Come on.

When we strike the reasonable balance and say, okay, I can completely disagree with this guy's policies but you know what, this part over here is pretty decent or this part over here, we may actually have a chance to be able to make some real progress."
Beck's getting letters and emails from people warning him that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and he thinks that's stupid. Then a few days later he's got this right wing Pastor on his show so he jokingly asks what he characterized as "a light hearted question belittling those who believe every new politician on the scene that doesn’t agree with them is the antichrist." He's making fun of the nutjobs people! Ironically, it's the same nutjobs that the Think Progress/Media Matters/Keith Olbermann's of the world make fun of.

But these groups are so enraged, so ideologically hateful, that they can't even see that.


Shimmy said...

Funny how Glenn Beck doesn't talk anymore about those dogs he tortured and killed (pit bulls).

Seane-Anna said...

I can't tell, Shimmy. Are you being sarcastic or are you serious?

Mark said...

I said it first! (and I was joking, too)

Frank Staheli said...

Media Matters, Olbermann, and (apparently) ThinkProgress (although I didn't know about them until I read this artcle) don't do a very good service for the liberal crowd, because they're not very honest when it comes to some of the things that at least Glenn Beck says.

Thinking back, I think I remember him laughing about this, so it's goofy that these liberal people assumed that he was serious.

It's interesting that Beck seems to see just how far he can taunt these people, like a cat and mouse game.

Cameron said...

That's a good way to put it. And frankly, it can be fun. I know I've been guilty of purposely tweaking people in some of my writings, just for the fun of it.

Anonymous said...

The premise of Glenn Beck as the victim is totally absurd.

If Glenn thought the emails were absurd, why bring it up at all? The answer is because he was trying to create a controversy over something he actually DOES have a position about.

Glenn Beck is a Mormon, which means he has a dogma agenda of his own. If you want to know more about what Glenn's agenda is, please visit my blog,

At that website I debunk Glenn Beck's lies, whack job conspiracy theories, and yes, his Cleon Skousen connection to right wing lies that will make your head spin. But not completely around.

That only happens in the secret Mormon temple ceremonies.