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So Long Glenn

As you may know Glenn Beck’s Fox News show is no more.  He is starting his own network (sort of) GBTV.   Unfortunately the show replacing him, “The Five,” represents everything stupid about cable news–five people sitting around shouting uninspired talking points at each other (although I have been pulling for Greg Gutfeld to get a better time slot, it’s not the best vehicle for him).  So I just want to say thanks to Glenn Beck for putting some interesting and thoughtful discussion on tv and not just the same tired analysis of the same headlines over and over again, and to post this article from his blog about his ratings.  This demonstrates the old adage that figures don’t lie but liars figure, and demonstrates why it’s so important to the other side to monopolize the attention of their followers and keep them intellectually quarantined from the competition.  If anyone on the left wants to bet me, I will make a large wager that FNC’s 5 o’clock spot suffers a significant drop in the ratings now that Glenn is gone.

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Glenn Beck

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s almost as if Glenn Beck read my brief post yesterday and did a show explaining the other side’s view of democracy.   I recommend watching the whole thing, it all fits together, but if you want to just get the gist of what I mean jump to 17:30 and watch until 32:00 (or from 29-32 if you’re in a real hurry).  Suddenly the idea that the weakening of a government sponsored media organization and strengthening of a private media organization is a threat to “democracy” starts to make sense.  Also when you see the clip of Bernays saying “if you can use propaganda for war, you can certainly use it for peace” remember step 2.

More Arguments From Intimidation

I went on youtube to look for some old clips I was thinking about and couldn’t help getting distracted by senseless attempts to make Glenn Beck look like a crackpot.  Here is another MSNBC personality.  Notice that he does not argue with any of the big ideas that Beck is talking about.  There are only two actual facts that he uses against Beck.  The first  is the fat that he spelled a word wrong.  OK you win that round Keith.  I think this is why most people on TV don’t use a blackboard.  Take it from someone who stands in front of people and writes on one every day, you’re gonna mess something up every once in a while.  Olberman seems to expect us to disregard all the horrible things Beck is pointing out to us not based on any contradictory facts but because he caught him misspelling the word oligarchy.  Surely any man who could ever make such an egregious error must be some kind of lunatic!

Second, he makes an argument that the term “czar” originated in the Nixon administration and was prevalent during the Reagan administration.  Again, this is correct but this has nothing to do with the point that Beck was making about czars.  The point is that they are becoming more powerful and that is a problem because it is making congress and the rule of law irrelevant and Beck would be the first to agree (I think) that we have been on the wrong path for a long time and it’s not about one administration or one party.  Olberman is the one making it partisan by cherry-picking two republican administrations who also had czars and pretending like this contradicts Beck’s argument.  This gives the impression that Becks argument was that Obama and Democrats are bad because they have czars.  This is a fact.  But the important thing to notice is that it is an irrelevant fact.  When these people have no relevant facts to offer they will always offer some irrelevant facts in their place and they will obscure the argument to make it appear that these facts somehow support their argument.  This will be much easier if they can get you to not even listen to the other side so they will go out of their way to make you feel like if you do, you are a dimwit by saying things like

…the one percent of the country who watches or listens to his show thinking they are not listening to an uneducated imperceptive panicky wackjob are completely mistaken

and repeatedly calling him names like “the mythical homespun ‘aw shucks’ TV totalitarian lonesome roads Glenn Beck.” 

Furthermore, youtube is crawling with doctored clips with names like “Glenn Beck Gets Owned on Teabagging.”  This raises another issue worth pointing out.  Most people in the country between age 18 and 35 were raised getting their news from The Daily Show.  Their idea of “getting owned” is not having the weakness of your position exposed by a clear illumination of the facts but rather it is being made to look bad by a clever comedic distortion of your position.  This is the way we have been trained to engage in debate our entire lives.  God help us….