"Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are."
- George Santayana
In the aftermath of the Boston bombing attack, the right-wing media has demonstrated extraordinary hypocrisy. They pretend that most voters do not remember the national unity that existed for the most part after 9/11, and hope that their hypocrisy will not somehow get noticed. In this apparently ethically challenged thrust of un-American fear-mongering, far-right cranks, Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, have taken the forefront in this disturbingly paranoid approach to "information" about the Boston bombers. Whereas Jones is making the absurd case that the bombing is a "false flag" operation that the FBI was behind, Beck has argued that the government is in cahoots with a "suspect," (Beck's word for a one-time person of interest) who the FBI let return to Saudi Arabia (although Beck does not seem to know where he is).
Alex Jones and Glenn Beck
This post is more about the right-wing media in general and Fox "News' " Bill O'Reilly, Beck's "friend," specifically. An article about both Beck and O'Reilly was covered by the media blog, Mediaite.
Beck did believe that the young Saudi is a "very bad, bad, bad man," but toned it down for Fox. Beck's defenders would argue that Beck has changed his mind about Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi despite the acquisition of this document he is showing O'Reilly. This summary makes Beck seem like a reasonable, concerned investigative reporter, but the idea that the FBI would be in collusion to release a "connected" "armed and dangerous" young Saudi smacks of utter absurdity of a psychotic paranoid. This is not so for fans of Beck as in evidence on his website:
"I am sure." Uh huh. If Beck implies that, it must be "true."
E-mail to the FBI and Facebook contact with Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi for replies to Beck's accusations have gone unanswered .
Update regarding AbdulRahman: he did now reply writing, "Shame on him. What I can say is that he destroyed my life without any evidence." More clarification is requested.
Another comment on Beck's website assists in the transition to the real topic of this post: the right's hypocritical reaction to this tragic event in Boston.
Remember 9/11? This is Fox's O'Reilly criticizing liberals on his show in the aftermath of this terrible event. Once again, via Mediaite:
Hard to believe that Fox "News" gave the racist, ignorant Glenn Beck, a national platform for 20 months and ongoing during visits to O'Reilly's show. Enough of Beck's followers claim that Obama is a Muslim that it's hard to believe O'Reilly is so blind to his own part in this absurd criticism given the degree that the President has ramped up the drone war against Muslims around the world. "At the end of the day," O'Reilly is a blatant hypocrite. O'Reilly has Beck on his show spouting nonsense, and allows Beck to make the unchallenged, absurd claim that there is a conspiracy among the Saudis, The White House, the DHS and the FBI to release a Muslim jihadi, a "very bad, bad, bad man" according to Glenn Beck. For Beck, Obama is a Marxist communist in cahoots with the Saudis to harm Americans and/or destroy the country; and O'Reilly has the gall to complain about what MSNBC's Alex Wagner said about his fear-mongering!
Ideologues like Fox "pundit" O'Reilly do not seem to begin to grasp the very shaping of a "reality" that their own bias creates for them nor how their rhetoric shapes the "reality" of their listeners. It is very challenging to step outside of one's bias, but that is what objectivity and non-partisan framing for news stories requires. However, it's was not just the right-wing media that attempted to exploit this tragedy for propaganda purposes this week. Others on the right engaged in despicable behavior this week.
Remember when Dixie Chicks', Natalie Maines, said, "We're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas?" The right raised hell about that expression. The response this week from Beck, A. Jones, Fox "News," Rush Limbaugh, Senator Graham (R, SC) and former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey, attacking President Obama for a variety of reasons, has been astonishing for so-called "patriots." In the immediate aftermath of a terrible crime against the United States, these sleazy opportunists are showing hypocrisy by saying far worse than anything Maines stated, and unlike Bush's war on Iraq, Obama had no part in this attack (outside of the bizarre worlds of Beck and Jones). These pseudo-patriots "... contradict themselves, ignore their own records, jump to paranoid conclusions, risk embarrassment and generally do whatever it takes to disrupt and sabotage the Obama presidency" according to HuffPo columnist, Bob Cesca. And herein lies the rub for ideologues, for those who put politics before country. Cesca is a "leftist," a "libral" or "prog" as Beck's programmed listeners might argue to dismiss his observations. What else would you expect? How about truth for a change instead of absurd "conjecture" on the part of the extremists elements in the media such as Mr. Beck?
They are shameful, and they should be shamed by the American people. O'Reilly's ratings this week are shameful, and what the hell does that have to do with truth anyway? Beck had huge ratings of Fox, and his rantings were wrongly considered "insane" because his nonsense is so divorced from reality. Not everyone on the right are despicable hypocrites, but the double standards of many and the hypocrisy of too many should help "low information voters" better understand just one reason why Fox "News" generally and Beck specifically have no credibility and are NOT reliable sources from which folks should take information from. It should help, but being a "low information voter" means never having or wanting to find out the truth.
If one is so cynical and paranoid as to believe that the FBI is out to destroy the United States, then one has to give up on the concept of homeland security. Shame on Glenn Beck for making that argument. Shame on Bill O'Reilly for letting him. The BlazeTV: the shameful, reactionary propaganda lives there. Fox "News:" they report propaganda, you decide what can be believed.
For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"
For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"
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