The Beck Week That Was (9/14-9/18/09); Glenn Beck Opens The Snitch Line
Reported by Ellen - September 20, 2009 -
Guest blogged by Aunty Em
Just when I thought Ben Gleck™ had one tee vee genre down Pat (Buchanan), he pulls a switcheroo on his vast, desperately-seeking-targets viewing audience. Already acknowledged as The Comedy Voice of His Generation ™, Beck got all John Walsh on us as he opened The Glenn Beck Snitch Line this week.
Welcome to America’s Most Venial. Operators are standing by now.
It’s clear he had to up the ante following last weekend’s Teabagger Renaissance Faire, which attracted some 70,000 people, later inflated to 1.7 million by Beck and the Right Wing. What’s a guy to do? I know! Start a new pogrom – I mean, program –for those mostly old, mostly White folk lured to Washington, D.C. on the 12th of the 9th.
It’s called “Refounders” and is based on a simple concept: It only took 56 “Founders” to write The Constitution of the United States of America (salute here) and create The Greatest Nation on the Face of the Planet (cry here). All Beck needs is 56 legislators in the House or Senate to sign up to The Refounders and report their fellow corrupt politicians…and HE CAN SAVE THE WORLD!
This is really the closest Glenn Beck came to crying this week and, to be perfectly honest, isn't the possibility that he'll have a meltdown the reason why everybody watches? As he described it, doe-eyed politicians show up in Washington thinking it’s going to be all Mr. Smith, but it turns out to be more like North by Northwest, with Washington as a corrupt paranoid cesspool.
Dr. Beck House wants to “quarantine Washington, D.C.” … “until we can clean up the infection.”
How deceptively simple. Fifty-six pols. That’s all Beck needs to take back the country. Fifty-six brave people to come forward, “Be a watchdog!!” and snitch out their fellow legislators. Just 56.
Now I’ve always said that numbers are my natural enemy, but what was the population back in the 1770s? And what is the population now? Like Beck, I just ask the questions. You can do the math, but it doesn’t take much critical thinking to realize that it’s going to take a lot more than 56 people to re-make, re-found, this nation. In fact, it’ll take millions of people ALL VOTING IN ELECTIONS to do that. However, that’s a small enough point to overlook entirely when you think the government has been taken over by Communists, or Marxists, or Socialists, or ACORNists, or SEIUists, or corrupt politicians or maniacal crossing guards and you have to seize the Republic back from those who would destroy it single-handedly.
Hence The Reformers. Turn in your friends at firstname.lastname@example.org. While Beck only seems to want to hear from politicians who know other corrupt politicians, he’s such a populist I’m sure he’d like to hear from you too.
Just as an aside: How different is this from President Obama’s “something fishy” Tip Line? I’ll tell you how. There are no legal protections if you send a tip to The Glenn Beck Snitch Hotline.
Not one to be deterred, because he seems to know exactly what we’re thinking, The Beckereeno is promising complete anonymity to anyone who comes foward. If you send in two boxtops, or a hand-drawn facsimile, you will be whisked into a side door of the vast Faux Entertainment Complex and no one will ever have to know you are there. From there you will be taken to a remote studio upstairs, which Beck was all too happy to show us, to alleviate the fears of those who might be skeered of the funny soul-capturing video-transfer boxes.
He feels for you. “I know how scary it might be.”
Then Beck, like a little kid opening his new electronic toys on Christmas morning, showed us all the tricks they can use to keep you anonymous. He had the lights turned down, leaving himself in silhouette. If that’s not enough, you can be pixilated. Suddenly, as if by tee vee magic, Glenn Beck was both pixilated and backlit. Still not brave enough? Afraid someone will recognize your voice? A technician somewhere in the vast recesses of the Faux Corp labyrinth flipped a switch and Beck sounded like he was about to recite Vogon poetry.
One of the great things about The Glenn Beck Paranoia Hour is that even if he starts the week strong, like he did on Monday with The Refounders, he can always ratchet it up as the week progresses. By Tuesday he was exhorting politicians to join up, “appeal to your common decency,” “If we can’t unite in the next 60 minutes…,” and “I hate to go all Howard Beale on you. GET UP OFF THE COUCH!!!
Tuesday was also the day The Becketeer put an ugly rumour to bed and faced his challengers head on. Ever since Van Jones resigned the Blogosopolis has been ablaze about a new McCarthyism sweeping the nation, with Glenn Beck as its most public face. Beck finds the comparisons ludicrous.
“Joseph McCarthy was a powerful senator!” he bellowed, in the closest thing he had to a meltdown this week and, to be perfectly honest, isn’t the possibility of another meltdown like this the reason why everybody watches?
To hear Beck tell it, ol’ Tailgunner Joe had the power of subpoena behind him, doncha know? McCarthy had the full power of the Senate behind him. But, feel for poor Beck, who stands alone. He compared himself to that other guy in that monumental ‘50s conflict: Edward R. Murrow, against all odds fighting against the corruption in government when the rest of the nation’s journalists are too afraid of witch hunts and blacklists to speak out. Oh, yes he did.
Not to gloss over Wednesday, where he hammered home the same themes, Beck made one of those wonderful self-referential comments he’s best known for. He was blabbering about how bringing up the issue of race “prevents us from having an honest debate.” He claimed, “They’re using propaganda to further their agenda.” Then, later, he compared race-baiters to the Taliban. Oh yes he did.
By Thursday Beck was already claiming a modicum of success. “Politicians were ignoring you. Now they’re afraid of you.” “We are awake and watching the weasels. You notice how the cockroaches scurry when the lights go on?”
Pleading directly to his potential Refounders, he tried to cajole them into reporting themselves. It won’t hurt all that much to come forward because “America loves forgiveness, repentance.”
Let me get this straight. He not only wants you to rat out your fellow politicians, but yourselves as well? It’s all good because, again, he promises anonymity (for a possible criminal confession?) as he proceeds to point the finger at those who will never remain anonymous. “I hate to call anyone liars,” he began as he name-checked Jack Murtha, the governors of Ohio and Missouri, Maxine Watters, Charlie Rangel, John Conyers, Monica Conyers, and Tim Geitner. Did I forget anyone?
While the Enemy’s List grows, he never really gives us evidence, just more insinuations.
Then came the astonishing claim: He now has one Refounder with only 55 to go. As he changed the number on The Big Tote Board (can I have some timpani?) to read “1” those of us watching are presented with a bank of commercial messages. There’s no way of knowing if the Snitch Line really lit up while we were away, but after the break he made the extraordinary claim that another Reformer has now joined the first, as he now changes The Big Tote Board to “2.” Of course, we only have his word for it.
There’s also something about this that’s vaguely reminiscent about this whole episode. Suddenly it occurs to me. “I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names…” Joe McCarthy’s number kept changing too.
Thursday also presented a theory I hope he’ll come back to and expound upon. While Ellen covered it nicely, it appears to be his theory that The Constitution of the United States of America is a static document saying no more, and no less, than the original Founders intended. In wording, and execution, it is perfect and the current administration is trying to destroy it.
If the Constitution is not a living document, why do they call them Amendments? How can the House pass the Volstead Act and later repeal Prohibition? How can Plessy v. Ferguson be the Law of the Land for a number of decades until it’s overturned by Brown v. Board of Education? If the document is static, where are all those 3/5ths Black people I’ve always heard about?
Anyway, let’s not get bogged down in the weeds here. Just 56 people are needed for Beck to Transform America [Isn’t that what he’s complained that Obama is doing?] and he’s already a whopping 3.5714% towards the goal. That beaks down to 0.89285 per day. At this rate he’ll reach his target of 56 in about 7 weeks, assuming snitches call in on the weekends too. That’s a lot shorter than the 6 months it took him to attract about 70,000 mostly old, mostly White people to Washington, but on average he garnered far more teabaggers per day than he’s collecting snitches. There are two reasons for that: 1) The existing pool of legislators is a much smaller one in which to fish; 2) Those fish are much smarter than those who watch his show.
While Beck never retired his Refounder Snitch Hot Line, he did manage to come up with something new on Friday. He called it “The Tree of Revolution,” but it came across more as a “Tree of Convolution” even though Beck promised to “connect the dots for you.” As best I could follow, it’s a mighty oak tree from which an ACORN grows. The roots of the tree are in the progressive movement of Woodrow Wilson, who seems to be responsible for every ill that has befallen this great nation. The trunk is Saul Alinsky, with the SDS just above him. From there come the branches of the SEIU and ACORN, run by the Radke brothers, which was a leitmotif from Monday’s show, where he held up their pictures and intoned, “They should be villains in a James Bond movie.”
It’s just occurred to me Glenn Beck has more pop cultural references than the never-been-funny Dennis Miller. Or me, for that matter.
On the other side of the tree are more branches, where Bill Ayers, Van Jones and Valerie Jarrett all rest when they aren’t tweeting into President Obama’s ear, who is at the very tippy-top of this Tree of Revolution.
As the screen fades to Black [or is that White?] on another week of Beck, I realize I have entered the MEGO dimension, My Eyes Glaze Over. I think I’ll need more drawings of shrubbery on that chalkboard before I see how all these dots connect.