Glenn Beck's common senselessness
by Joseph Hughes, Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 09:21:14 AM EST
Sadder than the fact that Beck said these things is that you, Diane, to believe Beck, personally talked him into joining "Good Morning America". Further, I find it rather hard to believe that you did so not knowing Beck's track record. That you clearly did tells me that, at best, you thought Beck's brand of bigoted idiocy would make for great television and, at worst, you in some way agree with him. Either way, you, Diane, are a disgrace to journalism, your decision an affront to Peter Jennings's legacy. Your predecessors, Diane, spoke truth to power. They asked tough questions. They were watchdogs, whistleblowers, muckrakers. They kicked ass; they didn't kiss it. They didn't aspire to pander to the lowest-common denominator. Can you say the same thing about yourself?
Though you may think that, by hiring Beck, you've got your finger on the pulse of America, allow me to clue you in, Diane: You don't. America has abandoned the radical right-wing ideology, in part because radical right wingers have long abandoned reality. By catering to the special interests and aligning themselves with the politics of fear, smear, division and distraction, the Republican Party has long ignored the American people. Americans don't care about Terri Schiavo's personal decisions or the latest missing white woman; they care about how they're going to pay the bills. How they're going to put their children though college. What happens if they should happen to fall ill or lose their job. I thought the Republican Party, given last November's election results, were the last to realize it. Apparently not.
Ratings at Fox News are down. Ratings at MSNBC, thanks in no small part to Keith Olbermann, are up. Networks that had thought the way to better ratings was to become Fox News Lite are learning otherwise. Attaching your hopes and reputation to an embarrassment like Beck is, at this point in the game, a laughably stupid move. Bush-era mindless conservatism, which Beck embodies, is dead. Hiring him now is like hiring Richard Nixon as your pitchman three weeks after his resignation. People like Beck don't moderate, as his CNN show has proven. Are you, Diane, prepared for the fallout the next time Beck broad-brushes Muslims or makes a racist comment on "Good Morning America"? It's not if, Diane, but when. Beck is going to shoot his mouth off again, only this time, the black eye will be yours as well as his. He can't help himself, Diane. And now it appears you can't, either. Journalist, heal thyself.