Glenn Beck's common senselessness

All-around bad guy Glenn Beck, you'll recall, is joining ABC's "Good Morning America". While ABC's rightturn isn't the news here, what is remarkable is the degree to which supposedly reputable journalists - in this case Diane Sawyer - have fallen all over themselves to pander to the lowest-common denominator. Reported Beck, when talking about his joining "Good Morning America", "She [Sawyer] said to me, 'It's nice to watch someone you think you're going to disagree with ... but at least there's some common sense behind it.'" Diane, would you mind if I asked you a few questions?
Is there common sense behind Beck's "thinking about killing Michael Moore"? Behind his calling the victims of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags"? Behind his wondering"Is there a bigger waste of skin than Jimmy Carter?" Behind his asking"Why did God put all of the oil under dirtbag countries?" Behind his likening"An Inconvenient Truth" to Hitler propaganda? Behind his joking at the expense of the blind? Behind his telling Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, "... you are a Democrat. You are saying, 'Let's cut and run.' And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'" Behind his referring to himself on Martin Luther King Day as "Mr. Oreo Cookie without the chocolate on the outside"?

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.

Tags: ABC, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Beck (all tags)

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