Saturday, February 5, 2011

Maddow discusses Beck's toxic nonsense about Egyptian uprising

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Like others this week in the responsible media, Rachel Maddow commented on how Glenn Beck is using what is going on in the Middle East on her show last Tuesday. On Friday, February 4th, she brought in Christopher Hayes of The Nation Magazine to discuss how his idiotic ideas about the threat of an Islamic caliphate spreading and sharia law being imposed on Americans here at home will come to spread like a virus in the coming months. Following are those two clips, but for readers with little time to listen to video clips the more important of the two is the second one when she brought in Hayes to discuss how Beck stupifies his audience to the detriment of the citizenry and the country.

The salient point of this conversation between Maddow and Hayes is not how Beck and Fox stupifies their viewers although that is well put. Hayes put his finger on the problem of Beck's and Fox's propaganda efforts to misinform the citizenry: how do we get around or transcend the division between the irresponsible media associated with Glenn Beck and the mainstream media that Fox and Beck have programmed their viewers to believe to be "lamestream," Maoist, communist, wrong, deceitful, the enemy, lacking credibility, etc?

The liberal media watchdogs Media Matters for America has put together a lengthy piece that quotes Beck's various assertions this week. One example from their effort has Beck saying, "You see the evidence of it. We have evidence of the uber-left, the anarchists and the communists and the socialists, the radicals, sowing the seeds and helping those in Egypt. They -- all they want is more pressure on the United States. This isn't about the people there; this is about changing the globe, and I really believe that they think they will win in the end. Well, will you now? Dangerous game you're playing with billions of lives. It is a very dangerous game, and you need to know the connections. And this isn't about Barack Obama. This is so far beyond Congress and the next election. This is about our survival. The storm that I've talked about for many years is here. The Coming Insurrection is here."(1) The problems with Media Matters in this case are 1) they don't counter Beck's nonsense and with facts or analysis in this case and 2 ) Beck has programmed his viewers to believe that Media Matters smears Beck. Of course, that is a smear itself! Therefore Media Matters are not trusted or believed by viewers of Fox propaganda. Beck is an extremely talented and convincing propagandist, an irresponsible, yellow propagandist. Do not underestimate the damage he can do to people's minds.

Beck claims he has "proof" of the ties between the American left and Islamic "radicals." The assembled video put together on his fake news site, The Blaze, has no text of explanation.(2) Rather, it is spliced clips from pro-Palestinian, leftist activists criticizing Israel with other clips from other rallies of Islamic activists. The only actual link between the two is that they are both critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, brutal mistreatment of people that Beck and the far right turn blind eyes toward. Beck refers to his "news" site as the "Blaze of truth;" nothing is further from the case. This assertion on Beck's part is an example of how he programs his followers into believing him.

The spread of false information in the right-wing echo chamber has been discussed here before. There is little to be done about those in Beck's audience who have been thoroughly programmed to distrust all media critical of Beck including blogs. However, there is something that can be done for the millions and millions of Americans who have not been yet caught up into the nonsense that is Beck's "everything is a conspiracy against us" and the assertion that the "Other," blacks, radicals, Muslims, communists, etc. are out to get our stuff. One does not have to listen to Beck for very long before he can be heard telling his loyal followers that they should get others to watch his show. He is amazing at self-promotion because he has always worked hard at promoting his shows, even as a morning zoo DJ. Wealth and fame are Beck's real motivations,(3) so what to do? J.S. Mills wrote that the antidote to bad speech is more speech. The only way to counter Glenn Beck is to give up on the lost souls who are already under his dangerous command and concern ourselves with those independent voters who may be asked to watch Beck or be given one of Beck's written forms of propaganda (one of his books). To that end, share the URL of this post.

People need to hear Maddow's monologue and discussion with Hayes (above) to understand what the campaign against Fox, and specifically Glenn Beck's deceptions, is about. The campaign against Beck and Fox is not about their biases or conservative values. The campaign against Beck is a campaign against deceit. It is a campaign against purposefully spreading misinformation. It is a campaign against lies, bald faced lies that are routine for Glenn Beck and his various media outlets. (See "Beck false claims" in site contents for many examples.)

Your parents. Your neighbors. Your friends. Fellow members of your congregations. Your students. Your teachers. People need to become aware of this struggle between truth, which is hard enough to grasp in complex situations like the uprising in Egypt and the idiotic "truthiness" espoused by Beck. You're either engaged in this struggle or you, we, all (outside of the tiny few who benefit) may well fall victim to his truthiness. Beck is engaged in a deceitful effort to scare the American people about an endless list of bogeymen, 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 at stupifying millions and millions more of our fellow citizens. For the last 24 months, Beck has cleverly told an endless series of lies. 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 and then into a misunderstanding of the world or our country, more citizens will fall victim to Beck's enormous gift of convincing people that his lies are the truth.  Share this URL. Unless someone reading this has a better idea for defeating Beck's campaign to render his viewers stupid with misinformation, promoting counter information is the only way to "undo the misinformation" spread by Beck on Fox. Please, get involved in the effort to debunk the far-right, paranoid lunacy that is Beck's world view. Help fight the lies and:
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