Friday, July 2, 2010

Rules for reactionaries: lie, distort, misinform….

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How Glenn Beck undermines his own narrative

Regular viewers of the Glenn Beck Show on Fox News know that Beck often refers to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for RadicalsA Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.

Beck is frequently claiming that for Alinsky, “The ends justifies the means.” That’s it; that is what Beck claims Alinsky believed on the subject of means and ends.

Trust me; I never get the facts wrong

Regular readers of The Review will not be surprised that the reality of the matter varies widely from Beck’s short hand claim. Supporters of Glenn Beck may be surprised that Alinsky devoted an entire 24 page chapter to the subject of means and ends with 11 rules to follow.

Alinsky’s 11 Rules Pertaining to Means and Ends
  1. Ones concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s personal interest in the issue.
  2. The judgment of the ethics of means and ends is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.
  3. In war the end justifies almost any means.
  4. Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
  5. The concern with ethics increases with the number of mean available and vice-versa.
  6. The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
  7. Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
  8. The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
  9. Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.
  10. You can do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.
  11. Goals must be phased in general terms like “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” “Of the Common Welfare,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” or “Bread and Peace.”
Alinsky ends the chapter on means and ends by noting that they “are so qualitatively interrelated that the true question has never been the proverbial one, “Does the End justify the Means?” but always has been “Does this particular end justify this particular means?”

On Beck’s Distortion of Alinsky

It’s clear to regular readers of The Review that it is not real important for Beck to get it right, where “it” is the subject he’s talking about at any time. However, when Beck distorts “it” in such a way that his distortion can be easily proven such as it is here with his claim about what Alinsky wrote about means and ends, he only serves to leave himself open to the obvious criticism: Glenn Beck lies, distorts, misrepresents, quotes out of context, etc. for purposes of propaganda rather than to enlighten or inform his audience.

The Glenn Beck Show is not a blend of information and entertainment as he claims; it is a blend of misinformation and entertainment, where his viewers are busy checking into people Beck slings mud at, instead of fact checking any of Beck’s many false assertions. Mr. Beck; the table has turned.

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Unknown said...

Here is rule # 6
The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
Her is rule # 6 written as its inverse:
The more important the end to be desired, the less one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
This sounds pretty close to "The ends justifies the means" to me. Radicals think their ends are very, very important and so can not "afford" to worry about the means.
It doesn't sound like Glenn is stretching the point to me.

The Glenn Beck Review said...

Well, Dave, maybe you should consider rewriting Alinsky's book. Beck distorts what Alinsky wrote about means and ends. He's not stretching his point, he's condensing them into a complete distortion of what Alinsky wrote. When Beck claims that Alinsky wrote that "the ends justifies the means," he's deceiving his viewers.