Please tell me you don’t watch Fox News. If you do, hopefully it’s for some kind of sick comic relief or to stare at the legs, breasts, and hair of the ridiculously good-looking women strategically placed around discussion tables, at bars (yes, they have a financial show that takes place in a “bar”), or just batting their eyes at the screen as they bring you the “news.” Or maybe you watch Glenn Beck.
If you do, I’m sorry. The man is certifiable. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, however. A suprising majority of Americans will listen to just about anyone blab on about the Apocalypse, financial destitution, and how the president wears socialist boxers beneath his capitalist suit. Apparently, even though you can barely get a job outside of MacDonald’s without a college degree, somehow the media allows just about any idiot with a strange personality, a loud voice, and a tricky use of rhetoric to tell the American people how they should feel about current political, economical, and international issues. Be an overbearing asshole with a penchant for causing hysteria in the overwhelmingly less educated and spongy masses and a primetime slot is yours.
Glenn Beck is just one of the many, but he’s one of my favorite political commentators to hate on. Mostly because he’s just silly. The man scrawls his political demonstrations on blackboards like he’s directing football plays, jumps around his set so as to nauseate his viewers, and makes the stupidest analogies that usually get him into trouble with the censors, PETA, or his own sponsors. Not only are his methods bad, but so is his information.
Glenn Beck calls himself a libertarian and a conservative. Hmm. He says he is “fighting for individual rights.” Raised Catholic, Beck became a drug addict and alcoholic in order to deal with the early death of his mother and suicide of his brother. Beck never went to college. After getting clean in 1994, he turned to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or the Mormons) and was admitted, under the suggestion of Joe Liberman, to a special program for non-traditional students at Yale University. He took one theology class and dropped out. Clearly, he has a great love of the education system. And he’s giving millions of viewers advice?
I’m all for people who can make their way in this world without attending college. I don’t think college is right for everyone, nor do I think that just because you learn how to take tests or bullshit through courses, you will be an excellent member of society. I do think, however, that if you are going to be giving hoards of hungry people a meal, you should at least know how to cook. Would we let a high school graduate teach our kids in public school? Hell no. We have standards.
The problem is that the media is accessible to every Joe Schmoe with a pair of rabbit ears or a radio frequency. Our culture is bursting with the ideologies of extremist commentators and their ideologies are getting pressed more and more heavily onto an increasingly busier and less interested American society. Our society is 24/7. You missed the 6pm news? It’s ok, they’re still playing the same thing at 3am. We don’t even have time to flush our own toilets anymore (ok, so maybe public hygene has more to do with it than anything…but still), so we certainly don’t have time to follow every bill through the Senate, every comment made by Joe Biden, or what Obama says is going to happen with our healthcare system. So who do we turn to? The media. Unfortunately that means we turn to the Glenn Becks.
When his show was on CNN’s Headline News in 2006, Beck was actually billed an “entertainer” who could present the news in an amusing fashion. Kind of like Carrot Top doing standup. He teams up every Friday with Bill O’Reilly (yikes) for a segment on The O’Reilly Factor, and according to mediabistro.com, Beck’s show is the highest rated in his time slot beating CNN, HLN, and MSNBC. And this is a man who called our president a “racist.” If his sponsors pulled out, shouldn’t we?