Broken social/ecomonic systems, broken power politics/Congress and media celebrity sociopaths. All three need to be fixed.
As I see it, the US has been on a gradual glide path to serious mediocrity; hoping for a nice soft landing upon our arrival at the third rate country airport. The evidence of this is abundant; witness education, jobs, wages, consumer debt, health-care costs, income gaps, poverty, social/political divisiveness, infant mortality rates, incarceration rates and spending, corporate power abuse, etc. We the people have gotten fat, lethargic and diabetic and at the same time the hunger rates have been increasing… go figure.
It is easy to get cynical or go into denial about our decline. We have serious problems to solve and it will require cooperation, creativity and commitment. It is not doing us any good for certain media celebrities to get hysterical and pump up the blaming, scapegoating and fear-mongering “ratings” machine. Out of all the things that are breaking or broken around our land the thing I love to hate the most are the sociopathic media celebrities. I’m especially moved by the extreme hypocrisy and hyper-righteous indignation that many of them have in abundant supply.
So, Media Matters is an outfit I’m starting to pay attention to as they fact check, watchdog and shed light on folks like Glenn Beck. I’m looking for the similar reporting on the left leaning media personalities (Keith Olberman?) who tend to hyperbole and distraction. Here is some Media Matters follow up on Glenn Beck’s ride on the outrage wave. Surf’s Up! Walt
On Thursday, Beck was revisiting one of his favorite subjects: the hidden history of Barack Obama. Reflecting on how Obama had, as a young man, gone from calling himself Barry to using his given name of Barack, Beck said this:
He chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America — you don’t take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical?
Beck’s history regarding discussions of race speaks for itself. He has said Obama possesses “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Soon after, he defended those remarks, stating once again that, “I think the president is a racist.” He has suggested that Obama is seeking to become a “slavemaster.” He has pushed the idea that Mexican immigrants want to “reclaim” California and Texas. He called Justice Sonia Sotomayor a “racist” on at least three separate occasions. Beck has portrayed the Democratic health care reform effort as “the beginning of reparations,” a theme he has repeated on both his Fox News and radio shows, saying that Obama plans to “settle old racial scores through new social justice.” During a discussion of former White House green jobs official Van Jones’ past, he baselessly juxtaposed Jones’ picture with footage from a riot. He has claimed that India lacked “flush toilets” and said that the Ganges sounded like “a disease.”
All of these examples are from the last year. The deeper you dig, the worse it gets.
And yet, when Media Matters accused Beck of racial insensitivity, he responded indignantly that “nothing could be further from the truth.”
“If you don’t see why some people would get upset that you accused the president of adopting his African name in order to repudiate his American identity and connect with his father’s radical Kenyan heritage,” wrote Media Matters’ Simon Maloy yesterday, “then I’m afraid you might be a lost cause.”
Indeed, he is — and he’s not interested in being saved. Though he portrays himself as an average Joe just trying to make sense of the world, Beck is actually a wildly successful broadcaster with decades of experience. Everything he does and says is deliberate, and by now, it should be overwhelmingly obvious that he routinely crafts his rhetoric to appeal to the worst impulses in his audience. He insults minorities, and uses racially provocative language and imagery, because he wants to stir resentments among viewers and listeners. There is simply no other way to explain the racially charged content he has made a staple of his work.
Is it any wonder why at least 80 advertisers have fled
his Fox News program and civil rights groups have condemned
him over his latest comments?