Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Glenn Beck: When the Going Gets Weird . . .

OK, maybe you're familiar with the kind of intense insanity I've been confronting the past 10 days, and maybe not. But my e-mail inbox overflow situation has led to problems I can't even begin to explain, my wife isn't talking to me and if it weren't for prayer, I'd be a gibbering lunatic myself.

So as the mushroom clouds were exploding on the horizon last night, I was on deadline for an American Spectator column about Glenn Beck:
Time writer David Von Drehle begins his attack thus: "On Sept. 12, a large crowd gathered in Washington to protest ... what?… If you get your information from liberal sources, the crowd numbered about 70,000, many of them greedy racists. If you get your information from conservative sources, the crowd was hundreds of thousands strong, perhaps as many as a million, and the tenor was peaceful and patriotic."
So you see that Drehle can go either way here: He can use the crowd to discredit Beck, or use Beck to discredit the crowd. Either way, the point is to prepare the reader of Time magazine (who clearly does not get information from conservative sources) to be fearful of both Beck and the crowd at the Capitol, whatever their numbers might have been.
After a few more paragraphs, Von Drehle plays his trump card: "The old American mind-set that Richard Hofstadter famously called 'the paranoid style' -- the sense that Masons or the railroads or the Pope or the guys in black helicopters are in league to destroy the country -- is aflame again…"
Von Drehle's invocation of "the paranoid style," a trope that Hofstadter derived from Theodor Adorno's "authoritarian personality," is intended to clearly signal the reader that Beck is a kook, a conspiracy theorist, a demagogue pandering to the dangerous emotions of the ignorant mob.
You know. Nudge, nudge. Like Barry Goldwater. . . .
Please read the whole thing. And remember: Just because you're not paranoid, that doesn't mean there aren't actually people out to get you.


  1. Jeez...not only am I a DHS-Certified Rightwing [sic] Extremist and White House Certified 'Fishy' and a Carter-Certified Raaaaacist! [emphasis on the !] and a teabagger [Hell, as my late aunt used to say: 'Its a gay world'.] I'm a paranoid kook.

    Stacy, you gotta help me out here. How do I fit this all on my business card and still have it be readable?

    PS: The TAS article is well done.

  2. Well, when the Bush administration and the 4th branch of government label Beck paranoid and bad for the conservative movement, IE both sides hate him, he must be doing something right. Then again, who is Bush to comment on what is good for the conservative movement?

  3. So Richard Hofstadler's "paranoid style" is only now "aflame again." How exactly does that square with beliefs along the lines of "Bush caused 9/11" or "Sarah Palin isn't the mother of her own baby?"

    I have to wonder where Time has been for the last ten years. Asleep?

  4. If YouTube existed 20 years ago the democratic party would have gone the way of the Whigs by now.

  5. People still read TIME who need to be convinced about the essential evil of a non-leftist?

    I did not know that.

  6. Paranoia: Crazy narcissism.

    If the Masons had that much clout we'd be sitting phat right now.

  7. So now people at the 9/12/09 march on D.C. are "greedy racists"?! Whisky Tango Foxtrot? Talk about SLANTED journalism.

    If we don't want the President to add a vast new entitlement that will likely wreck the economy, that makes us not just racist, but greedy, too? Because we want to keep more of our money away from the tax man?

    The mind reels...

  8. They hate Beck because he didn't stop asking questions, didn't stop digging up answers, didn't stop exposing them in their own words... he hasn't gone away, he is keeping the pressure on, and he is very visible.

    Thank God for Beck and FOX for letting him do it. If the others at CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC who profess to be journalists had done their jobs, this would not even be necessary.

    Besides exposing Van Jones, ACORN, Radke and the rest, Beck is exposing the media as either despicably lazy or irreparably corrupt.

  9. I agree with Belvedere and was thinking just this morning whether there is someplace I can report myself a racist just as I reported myself to that WH email address as in opposition to WH policy across the board, and therefore a certified extremist and whatever.

    Others, including Belvedere, had that idea then simultaneously, including Malkin, as I recall. Seems there was some video promoting the idea, too.

    We need an electronic focus for everyone who wants to -- which includes I -- to report themselves a racist.

    I lack skill and means to make the site. Anyone have a solution?

    While we're at it, we also need an electronic focus to report ourselves as gay, or at least trying to be. Gay means, after all, happy, cheerful, positive, commendable, a delight to humanity. Let's redeem that word by overloading it with its real meaning. How about "I'm Gay, Or Trying To Be," or something like that, tee-shirts, stationary, iPhone holsters, baby spoon enamels?

    In any case, top priority is an electronic home to which everyone who wants to can report themselves a racist.

    Theodor Adorno belongs to the Frankfort School, but you knew that. He would know about authoritarian personality and paranoid style, in the same way that people who charge "racist" know about racism. They looked in a mirror and saw the world.

  10. Hello Robert.

    Hope you are well, F.Y.I. Johnson has just linked to Harry's Place for a bit of moral support from a like-minded far of left thinker.

    Harry, like Johnson has just been caught out posting photoshops to advance their agenda.

    Here's a screen shot,i feel i don't need to point out to you which is the photoshop,so i won't.

  11. I am blown away by this over the top editorial slant of things. From CNN's giggling girls (yeah Anderson Cooper I mean you) with their teabagger comments, to Time going after Beck, even with Kedja (cub reporter of Commentary) joining in the LGF chorus on R.S. McCain being a dirty racist.

  12. "We are in the middle of an all-out financial emergency, and emergencies have a way of really testing people.

    "In normal times, under normal circumstances, if you tune in to me, you know me as somebody who would tell the federal government exactly where to take their bailout plans and shove it right up their you-know-what. But these are anything but normal times.

    "I thought about it an awful lot this weekend, and while it takes me -- it takes everything in me to say this, I think the bailout is the right thing do.

    "The 'Real Story' is: The $700 billion that you're hearing about now is not only, I believe, necessary, it is also not nearly enough, and all of the weasels in Washington know it."

    - Glenn Beck speaking on the bailouts

  13. Can we stick to the facts? LGF and others (google it) claim that Robert Stacy McCain once said the following: "[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sister-in-law, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us."

    Either this quote is made up or Mr. McCain was misquoted or Mr. McCain did indeed say it. And if he did, then I wonder why. Lots of us conservatives out there who do not feel the same revulsion.

    LGF makes numerous other points concerning Mr. McCain to at least some loose association with various groups who might be considered racist, and not in any kind of a modern day down-defined-deviancy way but in that good old racist way before the word lost its punch.

    It is entirely possible that these points are all gross exaggerations or lies. It would seem to be a simple matter to prove their falsity if they are, indeed, false.

    If Mr. McCain had adopted a position of ignoring such attacks, perhaps this would be irrelevant. But since he is publicly discussing the attacks, it would seem to be a bit more forthright to at least once address the accusations instead of focusing his response entirely on attacking the attacker.

  14. Thanks for your ringing endorsement of Glenn Beck. We've got you right where we want you. Cheers!

  15. As for Beck, he is being attacked by Time for leading the racist angry villagers with pitchforks against the forces of reason or something along those lines.

    He is being attacked by Levin for saying John McCain is worse than Barack Obama.

  16. Johnson is also now bragging openly on his "Harrys Place" post about being linked on the front page of DailyKOS. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Alas, Babylon!

  17. re: Johnson is also now bragging openly on his "Harrys Place" post about being linked on the front page of DailyKOS. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Alas, Babylon!

    I must be blind, for I look but do not see. Please provide a link and a quote.

  18. Constantine K:

    Assuming that McCain did say that which you quoted and it was correctly quoted...

    Come on...

    Surely one of such intellect can conceive of at least ONE reason why a person of one race (or religion or ethnic origin) might be "adverse to accepting [a person of another race, religion, or ethnicity]" into the family? can do it! I have faith!