Friday, October 1, 2010

NY Times didn't ask Beck the tough questions

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In a lengthy profile in this weekend's New York Times Magazine, author Mark Leibovich covered many different aspects about Glenn Beck that are worth noting. Previously on this Review, a reprint of the StopBeck post about the article noted how many companies are now boycotting the Glenn Beck show on Fox, and Media Matters for America pointed at the apparent tension there is inside of Fox News between staff and the "rock star," Mr. Beck. Unfortunately, Mr. Leibovich didn't use his access, directly interviewing Beck, to ask tough (or any!) questions about his dishonesty, his disregard for his own principles (hypocrisy) or, even when it was obvious in black and white, to query Mr. Beck to see if he recognized himself as a quack, a fake or a charlatan, unqualified for the role that he has given himself, i.e., sage historian and national leader.


Addressing Beck's relationship to the insurgent Tea Party movement, I stand with the Tea Party as long as they stand for certain principles and values,” Beck told me. Leibovich added that Beck "is a principles-and-values guy."  No where in the entire article did the Times reporter confront Beck about his many stands against his own principles. Beck has countered Beck's principles on:
Leibovich noted that Beck "often changes his mind or nakedly contradicts himself." “When you listen and watch me, it’s where I am in my thinking in the moment,” Beck told him. “I’m trying to figure it out as I go.” It is one thing to learn on the fly; it's something else to flagrantly go against what are supposed to be one's own values. The first is learning; the latter is naked hypocrisy. Leibovich slipped in the mud and dropped the ball.

Leibovich wrote that "Beck is divisive." Really? What a keen observation! That's akin to noting that the grass is green and the sky is blue. What made Leibovich make that observation? It was right after "Mormon" Beck had discussed "poisoning the speaker of the house or talking about choking the life out of a filmmaker or fantasizing about beating a congressman “to death with a shovel” (as Beck did for Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore and Charles Rangel, respectively)." Mormonism is a Christian sect, but the journalist didn't explore how a supposedly righteous person could make such violent statements without being laughed out of the faith.  (How does he get away with this?)

Why are they so mean to me?

Apparently it blows up on him occasionally when Beck is in public. When asked by his colleague, Bill O'Reilly, at one of the Bold and Fresh tour stops if it bothers him to have detractors who "want to destroy you, get you off the air,” Beck replied, It bothers me when I walk down the street with my children,” Beck said, “and my college-age daughter is holding my hand, and someone says something horribly vicious. And my daughter hears them, cries and says to me, ‘Dad, all I wish is that people will remember that you are a dad occasionally as well.’" There's a word for this that Beck doesn't seem to have in his vocabulary: karma. What comes around goes around.  For the record, this Review seeks to make Beck an honest man, not to destroy him or get him off the air...unless he does not stop his lying.

Leibovich certainly had opportunity to raise the issue of Beck's dishonesty. Quoting a friend of Mr. Beck: If you know Glenn at all, you know he believes every word of what he says,” Chris Balfe says. “And he believes it down to the core of who he is.” Instead, he punted and addressed the topic that concerned Media Matters for America, i.e., Beck's "rocky" relationship with others at Fox News.  To read that post of theirs, one would think that Beck has one foot out the door with Fox. They neglected to point out that the executive who oversees his show, Joel Cheatwood, claimed that "in terms of the relationship between Fox and Glenn, it’s extremely solid.”

Toward the end of this article, the journalist described Beck's speech at the 9-11 event with Sarah Palin in Anchorage, AK. Beck "kept going, and going, and delivered a stem-winding ending about how George Washington became terrified at the end of his life about doing something that would dishonor himself and his country...The room was perfectly silent after two hours hear a self-described 'recovering dirtbag' with not a single college credit to his name teach them history." Three days later, Beck confided to Leibovich,  “I have not prepared my whole life to be here. I prepared my whole life to be in a back alley.” Capable but unqualified, skilled but deceiving, a gifted con artist who offers tripe as "information," persuasive yet cruel, Beck is on a precipice. It's clearly a dangerous position for someone as unprepared as Mr. Beck -- a leader of millions.
Before more people start swallowing Beck's misinformation, 
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