Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Biting criticism vs counterpropaganda

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In comments around the Internet, this blogger, commenting as Gadamer_Too, is sometimes called by Glenn Beck's followers a "propagandist." Coming from followers of a blatant propagandist, that's rich. There is a difference between harsh, biting criticism of a propagandist like Glenn Beck or of a politician and counterpropaganda. That difference is factual accuracy. Are criticisms accurate or are they made up, distortions or exaggerations?

Propaganda is "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person." This Review has used a rumor once to explain why Beck might have told Senator Santorum that he wanted to "kiss you in the mouth," and that was, in hindsight, regrettable. Beck uses misinformation, historical revisionism, false claims and outright lies to injure the President specifically and progressives and their political philosophy in general.

Propaganda expert and author of Debunking Glenn Beck points out that Karl wrote: "Criticism encourages critical thought and reflection, and further questions; counterpropaganda opposes propaganda either by exposing it as propaganda or promoting its opposite. The former encourages learning and rational thought; the latter reinforces prejudices and irrational reactions."

To demonstrate the difference between biting criticism and counterpropaganda, two videos by two different people will be embedded below and contrasted. The first comes from "Anton," who wrote and performed an original song to, hopefully, make people think more critically about Beck's methods and goals.

From "cobblewrite" on YouTube is this clever song entitled "Think:"

One criticism that could be made against Anton's lyrics have to do with the FEMA camps. Beck did, eventually, debunk that conspiracy. Beck also doesn't discuss his "magic underwear," and that is a cheap shot at his Mormon faith. Other than those minor points, this is an accurate and biting criticism of Beck and his paranoid style. The "character" railing against Beck at the end is an impression of Alex Jones, another far-right crank who rails against Mr. Beck.

Glenn Beck and Alex Jones: reactionary cranks at each other's throats

In contrast, "Glenn Beck, Conspiracy Nut!!" is packed with misinformation about Beck. See if you can catch the factual errors as you listen to this from SantiagoJJJr on YouTube:

First, although Beck mockingly refers to himself as "crazy," that is an inaccurate assessment. Next, revolution in America scares the hell out of Beck; it's the last thing he would promote. The Tea Party wants to rule the U.S., and the U.S. rules the world.

Beck is not a shill for the GOP; Beck "hates" the Republican Party...until election time. Beck is a shill for corporations. Beck does not want to get people to blow stuff up or create another OK City. That is just a smear on Mr. Beck. The part about sending Beck your money is pretty accurate. Beck is a racist and a hate-filled host. Beck is not "openly trying to get people to be violent." Beck, a stochastic terrorist, is more subtle than that. The line, "you're going to have to shoot them in the head" is taken out of context. Beck was actually addressing what people in the Obama administration would have to do when "radicals" in Obama's White House attempted their "revolution." The full quote is as follows:

The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing -- change the pose. You will get the ends. 
You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you. 
They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them -- they're revolutionaries.
Beck does not belong in an institution unless it's an institution for the performing arts. Beck's value is "for entertainment purposes only." Pathetically, his followers take him and his nonsense seriously. No argument, no matter how clear and unambiguous can get it through his fan's head that, for example, (<===link to Facebook page) Beck is a liar. They have been programmed through repetition to believe that at Beck's BlazeTV: "The truth lives here." Nothing is further from the truth.

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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