Friday, November 5, 2010

The facts about Glenn Beck's lies and the struggle for honest information

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Previously on this Review it was asserted that Glenn Beck creates a fictional, alternative universe where his reactionary, gullible followers function epistemically. Yesterday Beck asserted on his radio program that President Obama's trip to India is "just costing $2 billion for ten days." Despite an update on Beck's website stating,  "These numbers, originally reported by an Indian news agency, are now being disputed by multiple media outlets. The correct numbers are unclear,"  Beck still claimed on his Fox show yesterday that the trip would cost up to $2 billion. How does nonsense like this cost figure become real in the right-wing media sphere? Rachel Maddow explains brilliantly on her show from November 4th:

Since it is not clear and is actually moot what the right-wing view of the universe is, it is more appropriate to refer to what Beck describes as an alternative world. Once armed with the lies that substitute in Beck's world view for facts, it is well understood that his passionate followers will not budge from these fake facts. When presented with the facts about a given matter, his followers dig their heels in even further. Beck's lies cannot be debunked.

echo chamber amplifier

We live in a bifurcated world where the truth described in the media competes with the truthiness that is conveyed in the self-contained, right-wing media sphere. Both sides assert that their facts are real, that their facts are true; but this cannot be the case. The upshot to this division is that we, people involved in the media, whether online, on the radio or on the television, are involved in an information struggle. Those on the right engaged in this struggle are well aware of what they're waging; but the mainstream media, biased or not, seems less cognizant of this effort. Beck and Sarah Palin in particular are actively engaged in this struggle which is why they rarely miss an opportunity to disrespect the "lame-stream" media, even if they flat out lie about what is being expressed in the media.

So far there has been little push back by most organizations. Clearly, the liberal MSNBC and the media watchdogs, Media Matters for America push back against the lies and deceptions conveyed on the right; but their efforts are effectively undermined by those within the right-wing media sphere. Those on the right, most notoriously Glenn Beck, program their listeners to not believe anything heard anywhere but within the self-contained, right-wing media sphere. They can not have their lies rebutted.

As posted initially on the maiden publication of this Review, the antidote to bad speech is more speech, but merely adding to the media output is not enough. There is plenty of speech that is outside of the self-contained right-wing media sphere, but too little of it is addressing this struggle. What to do? From the beginning of this Review, an aggressive strategy has been employed to counter Beck's constant self-promotion; but this struggle has become bigger than Glenn Beck's lie vs. this Review's debunking of his lies. What is one strategy to counter the self-contained right-wing media sphere? Share this URL.

Sounding the alarm

People need to hear Maddow's monologue to understand what the crusade against truthiness is about. Your parents. Your neighbors. Your friends. Fellow members of your congregations. Your students. Your teachers. People need to become aware of this is a struggle between truth and truthiness, and you're either engaged in this struggle or you, we, all (outside of the tiny few who benefit) may well fall victim to truthiness. Beck is engaged in a deceitful effort to push this country back into the 19th Century, and if he's not stopped, if his misinformation is not countered with the facts, if his truthiness is not exposed by the truth; he could well succeed. For the last 21 months, Beck has helped promote the reactionary tea party candidates toward what became electoral victory for about half of them last Tuesday. Unless you fight back, unless you engage in this information struggle against the self-contained, right-wing media echo chamber that generates its own facts, that turns fictions into truthiness, they will have more electoral victories going forward. Share this URL.

There was a time not long ago when we could relax between the crazy seasons of electoral campaigns, to recharge our batteries for the next fight. However, the right-wing echo chamber does not take time off. Mr. Beck is not letting up to convey actual facts for a while. Time away from the information struggle is a luxury that concerned citizens can no longer afford. People need to be forearmed with information about this struggle for honest information. People need to hear Maddow's monologue; share this URL. If you can think of a more effective way to counter the self-contained, right-wing media echo chamber, please leave a comment to that effect below. If you, the reader, the factory worker, the immigrant, the student, the teacher, the struggling home owner, the home maker and/or the average honest person seeking the old normal in news media (honest, accurate information), can not think of a better way to counter the propaganda machine that Maddow described, then please share this URL. For the love of country,
take 10-15 minutes to share this URL.
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Anonymous said...

I am a pretty hardcore democrat but after getting a BA in government and international politics a few years ago and seeing what fox news and glen beck has done to the politics of the this country I am pretty damn scared. What glen beck says has created a whole lot of crazy people in this country. When u ask these people questions about government they almost never know the right answer. when you have an uneducated group and they take interest, in this case politics they take what he says as fact because they don't know how government really works, to them it has never really worked... so beck can go as far as he wants... I don't know how this can end and it almost seems these fox watchers are like addicted to it, they love crazy and think crazy is the truth... I don't think any president has had to deal with as much trash and lies and just plain nasty mean stuff flying at him, you might be able to tell by how poorly this is written but i'm honestly at a lose of words... how can i help,

The Glenn Beck Review said...

Mike, you can help by getting the word out. Share this URL. People need to be made aware of this self-contained, right-wing echo chamber that literally creates its own, alternative reality.

stephenopolis salmonila said...

So who are you to say those won't be the numbers? even at $1 billion I feel like it is too much. I understand the need to remain close with allied countries but it would be completely understandable for him to do this over some sort of video conference considering the economic situation our federal government is currently in. I do agree with you about how opinion talk shows shouldn't go throwing around estimates as facts.

The Glenn Beck Review said...

Steph, you didn't listen to the video. The Pentagon spokesman says that the amount is vastly over blown.

What you missed is the whole point. The right wing media sphere MAKES UP FACTS and in this case outsourced the making up of facts.

Beck is entitled to his opinion and his political philosophy, whatever that strange mind of his settles in on. He is not entitled to his own facts, and that makes Beck essentially not entitled to have a show on TV. He routinely lies, makes up facts, uses other lies floating around and generally deceives his viewers who, sadly, believe what this rodeo clown says.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that eight people "dislike" this post. These people who watch Beck and Faux News are the same folks who, a generation ago, watched the "700 Club" and were part of the "Moral Majority." I find it's a lot of the same people. Old man Coors, the Koch brothers, all these billionaires who fund these groups are just there to control the low-information voters. Paul Harvey, Art Linkletter, (in a more polite America) were skewering people a certain way. Since 1980, we have seen the dismantling of America, both in civil discourse and in the media. That is what has led us to where we are today. Glenn Beck is emblematic of that.