The left says Glenn Beck must be stopped.
Beck, a media giant who commanders not just the radio but television, books and even comedy halls nationwide, is starting to collect liberal scalps. And the left, along with their chums in the mainstream media, won’t stand for it.
Witness Time magazine’s latest cover story — “Mad Man: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America” — merely the most visible attempt to destroy/silence/marginalize the populist talker.
For the last few years the left and the press would take shots at Beck, but never in a concerted fashion. He simply could be ignored, and they had bigger fish to fry, like the long-reigning king of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh.
Things changed when Beck shifted from CNN to Fox News, just in time to comment on the policies of a new Democratic administration.
Beck caught fire, both with his commentaries and with his growing fan base. He even took to the road for another comedy tour, blending mainstream humor with his political jabs.
A few Beck bestsellers later, and he officially became a media empire.
But the talker’s ability to take down his targets changed the dynamics — and the ferocity of the attacks against him. Beck led the charge against Van Jones, the so-called green czar appointed by the White House to help the economy transition toward a more environmentally friendly economy. Jones’ old group, Color of Change, had started a boycott against Beck’s Fox News show after Beck said Obama hates white people.
Beck did some snooping around — google.com comes in pretty handy — and found Jones’ radical past. A short while later, Jones was among the many Americans facing unemployment.
Beck also helped promote the sting videos against ACORN from big government.com that caused that mighty community organizing group to lose its Census connection — and possibly its government funding.
Thus the Time magazine piece was born. Suffice to say Time would never ask if Michael Moore was hurting America, even though Moore traffics in questionable truths, delivers emotional pleas that make Beck’s crying jags look stoic and the kind of argumentative talk that certainly mirrors Beck’s rants.
Nor would we get an unflattering Moore cover picture, nor a subhead anywhere close to, “Is Michael Moore Bad for America?”
No, Moore gets the royal treatment from press outlets like Time and the occasional Oscar for his troubles.
The magazine wouldn’t say Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” was bad for America, either, even though he routinely works himself into an angry lather behind his faux news desk and is considered a reputable news source by today’s young TV watchers.
If anything is bad for America, that ugly fact sure is.
Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel appeared on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC recently to talk up the Beck feature — and slam Beck personally.
Beck’s work "plays a part in the lack of civility in political discourse," Stengel said. He also claimed Beck was stoking the public’s angst at many things, including the fact that the President is black.
The Time article also insinuates Beck doesn’t even believe what he says. It uses quotes from an interview Beck gave right after Obama took office in which the talker didn’t seem so fearful of what the new administration might bring to the country.
Now, it could just have meant Beck isn’t as angry 24/7 as the magazine asserts. More realistically, even Beck didn’t realize the amount of “Change” Obama planned for America.
Reporters would love to have the “stop Beck” bandwagon be a bipartisan affair. So Chris Matthews dragged out two of the best known conservatives who relish attacking their own party, David Brooks and Kathleen Parker, to join in the Beck bashing on his TV program.
Brooks, the house conservative of The New York Times who giddily supported the most liberal senator for President last year, told Matthews that Beck was a race baiter for suggesting Obama hates white people.
Parker told Matthews that Beck and Limbaugh “empower" and "legitimize" racists. "That’s the shame and horror of what they’re doing,” she says.
Neither Brooks nor Parker mention Obama’s comments regarding his grandmother, a "typical white person," and his penchant for sidling up to race-baiting people of color (Van Jones, Rev. Jeremiah Wright).
The Time piece eventually gets into Beck’s finances, then draws the line that being a hate wringer is good for business. Again, let’s wait and see if Moore is ever asked about the profitability of being a hard-left filmmaker (the article hints at this but quickly moves on), or if MSNBC’s hosts play the ‘Bush is evil’ card to stoke their small ratings a tad higher.
The magazine profile ends on this allegedly chilling note:
“We never find out what happens to the people watching [Howard Beale, the mad anchorman at the center of the dark satire Network]. Do they stay mad forever? Does their screaming ever lead to something better? Does the rage merely migrate, sending new audiences with new enemies to scream from more windows?”
The truly scary part for Time and its ilk? Those enraged Beck followers might just keep on protesting the President’s policies and vote for change in 2010 and 2012. It’s why Beck must be contained.
Editor’s Note: Glenn Beck’s newest book Arguing with Idiots released this week.