Monday, September 28, 2009

When did Glenn Beck stop beating his wife?

Glenn Beck is a master at the "when did you stop beating your wife" type of "reporting. You throw any old rumor out there, state that you don't know or think it is true, remind everyone that you're just asking questions and throw in "some people say" which lets you say basically anything you want without having to back it up. Add in the kicker that the subject of your rant has yet to deny it, and you too can play Glenn Beck. Give it a try and look for these tactics when you watch for listen to Glenn Beck.
Some people say that Glenn Beck has not stopped beating his wife. I don't know that this is true, I am just raising the question. Some people say that Beck has stopped beating his wife on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays because Mornon tradition forbids it on these days. Glenn Beck has still yet to deny that he has or has not stopped beating his wife.
Beck has done this with lots of conspiracy theories in the last year. The FEMA Death Camps are a great example. He did this for a week, then claimed in a short segment that he had "debunked it." This is like Journalism meets the WWE.

Fighting Fire with Fire ....
If you follow politics at all the name Glenn Beck more likely than not sends you into a towering rage at this point. He's the latest addition to the Fox News stable and by far the craziest and/or sleaziest. Some highlights include capitalizing on 9/11 after attacking the 9/11 families, openly and bizarrely weeping because "he loves his country so much and he's so scared for it", and literally acting out "Obama pouring gasoline on the average American" for god knows whatever he was riled up about at the moment. His main claim to fame, beside being the biggest scumbag in mainstream media, is his perfecting the "when did you stop beating your wife" style of reporting to an art form. Couched in the phrasing "some people are saying" without ever explicitly embracing the allegations or discussing their legitimacy he has advanced pretty much every insane right wing conspiracy theory for the last year or so into the mainstream. The FEMA death camps, the birther nonsense, Obama's secret army of brown shirts; all these have been slide into legitimate discussion using this formulation. It's an especially weaselly wording that lets him back off any particular allegation when confronted while continuing to advance every insane idea under the sun in the guise of discussion of what other people are talking about. There's been a certain amount of hand wringing over the degrading of discourse in the US and the fact it's almost impossible to disprove a myth or outright lie once it's gotten into people's heads (the more you argue against it the more people who already believe the lie believe it even more). In what is either another step towards the complete destruction of intelligent discussion in American politics or one of the most beautifully poetic rebuttal of stupidity I've ever seen, someone from Fark with the help of the other aggregator sites started the Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 website. The sites makes it clear that it's a parody site and that it's attacking this kind of slimy insinuation without any evidence that has been creeping up more and more in the Fox News era and has reached it's crescendo recently, making sure to always be presented along the lines of "Some people say Glenn Back has X and he has yet to deny it".

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