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The Beck Week That Was; Woodrow Wilson is an Evil S.O.B. Edition

Reported by Guest Blogger - January 31, 2010 -

Guest blogged by Aunty Em

It was another whirlwind week on the Weepy Wanderer’s Wayward Hour aka The Glenn Beck Show. It included (but was not limited to) Twinkies; red phones (as always); Beatles songs; the movie “War Games”; turtle tunnels; Joe Klein; plugs for the Bold & Fresh Tour; plugs “Restoring Honor,” his new vanity 8/28 Project (not to be confused with his 9/12 Project or his upcoming re-education conventions); George Bernard Shaw (again); enough blackboards to start a university; Glenn’s Grandma’s sink (don’t ask); Woodrow Wilson; all the usual suspects; and a BRAND NEW game show that’s sweeping the nation: “Compare & Contrast.” It’s a lot like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” except, instead of linking people to Bacon, it links Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to U.S. President Barack Obama in one move.

Monday’s monologue began with the traditional and ceremonial Waving of the Red Phone, which adherents to the faith have come to expect. “Hello America. I’m going to get to all of the news of the day, and there’s plenty of time for the White House to call. You can call me any time and correct anything we say, but they’re not going to, yet again, today.”

“This year, I told you this show is going to be different, and so, while we are going to get to the news, I want to explain the approach of this program for the next few months—twelve months, maybe.”

“Last year all I tried to do is figure out what the heck is going on. I mean I was up all the time. I got 2 or 3 hours of sleep some nights—most nights, in fact—because I was reading, trying to figure it out. Trying to just figure out what are they doing. Well, we figured it out together last year,” Beck said, stroking his audience for their intelligence in following his every silly conspiracy theory. “And this year I have decided that the only way to move forward, and to fix it, is just to remember who we are as Americans. Learn and remember where we came from. And more importantly, correct the history that Progressives have tried to erase.”

It’s doubly ironic that he’d make this claim the same week historian and author Howard Zinn passed away. Zinn’s A People's History of the United States is the single best history book on the Progressive movement in the U.S. While The Big Bad Beck wants to equate everything that has gone wrong to Progressives, what he’d prefer you forget is are some of the things Zinn has taken pains to point out (pg 349):

“What was clear in this period to blacks, to feminists, to labor organizers and socialists, was that they could not count on the national government. True, this was the “Progressive Period,” the start of the Age of Reform; but it was a reluctant reform, aimed at quieting the popular risings, not making fundamental changes.

“What gave it the name “Progressive” was that new laws were passed. Under Theodore Roosevelt, there was the Meat Inspection Act, the Hepburn Act to regulate railroads and pipelines, a Pure Food and Drug Act. Under Taft, the Mann-Elkins Act put telephone and telegraph systems under the regulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. In Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, the Federal Trade Commission was introduced to control the growth of monopolies, and the Federal Reserve Act to regulate the country’s money and banking system. Under Taft were proposed the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, allowing a graduated income tax, and the Seventeenth Amendment, providing for the election of Senators directly by popular vote instead of by the state legislatures, as the original Constitution provided. Also at this time, a number of states passed laws regulating wages and hours, providing for safety inspections of factories and compensation for injured workers.”



Zinn, in fact, could be considered the anti-Beck. Not only did he mine history from the opposite end of the political spectrum, but Zinn wasn’t afraid to point out the good and the bad. All Glenda The Beck sees is the bad, even if he has to turn the truth elastic to pull it off. Worse, he wants to return to a time before Reform voices held sway. Child labour, anyone?

The monologue continued, but the best take of it is Ellen‘s summation, including his astounding trek to Pepperland. In short, he dissected the Beatles’ song “Revolution,” and claimed it presciently mapped out the entire Progressive Movement’s stealth campaign from Woodrow Wilson, right on up to the present occupant of the White House, Barack Obama.

“The Beatles spelled it all out!” he shouted. “The Beatles knew!!!”

Charles Manson got secret messages from “Helter Skelter.” Glenn Beck gets secret messages from “Revolution.” Each has applied their own style of crazy dedication to interpreting the lyrics of songs on the Beatles so-called “White Album” to make points no one else heard. Manson had people killed, however, over his song. As far as is known, not one of The Glenn Beck Cult has killed in his name over a Beatles’ song. Nevertheless, we’re getting uncomfortably close to Mark David Chapman territory.

“Progressives are parasites,” The Beckinator warned more than once during the week, in a continuation of the eliminationist rhetoric that has vaulted him to the number 2 spot in the latest Harris Poll of most popular tee vee personalities, just below Oprah Winfrey and ahead of Jay Leno.

Tuesday’s setup, even before the opening credits was, “Welcome to the Glenn Beck Program. Tonight we got a lot to do, so let’s get started. I have some news for you from Time Magazine’s Joe Klein. Here it is: 'You’re stupid.' [long pause as he glanced around] What? No, that’s it. [roll credits]"

And The Beckerhead was off again, using a series of comical voices, most notable his Jim Bacchus' Thurston Howell voice to denounce Woodrow Wilson (again) Walter Lippmann, Progressives in general and Time Magazine’s Joe Klein in particular.

In fact the Beck’s entire monologue was devoted to a vicious attack of Joe Klein, in rebuttal to a Swampland post he dropped titled Too Dumb to Thrive. Klein’s basic premise is that maybe Americans have been misled on the stimulus package, since 3/4ths of those recently polled believe the money has been wasted. Klein believes it might have been wasted on the 95% of the country who got some kind of tax break with the money.

Beck’s response was one of the most sarcastic and hate-filled smears against a single individual yet broadcast and seemed all out of proportion to the minor Time blog post. Almost every statement was designed as “Us versus Them” and “elites are the enemy,” which has a complementary receptivity gene among the Beckian audience. Some of these statements, taken completely out of context, were:

• “Not only did Joe attend an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania — OK, yes, that's probably the trailer park of the Ivy League, but still it is, technically, Ivy League...”

• “I'm sure glad that Time had Joe Klein — who I'm sure is so much like the working man that he enjoys a nice Chateau Briand as an afternoon snack….”

• “How is someone like Joe Klein to decide ‘should I have the 1787 Chateau Lefitte-Rothschild or the 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild?’ I mean 1787 was an ample rainy year, but in '45 the grapes survived some slight over-cropping to become opulent, yet not overly ostentatious….”

• “Or, as sophisticates like Joe say, ‘It has added a certain... je ne sais quoi.’ You, on the other hand: Let them drink box wine! Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill for all of them!”

• “Mr. Elite, Joe Klein, finished his assessment of the American people….”

• “…but to us stupid Americans — who can't fathom the complexities of a Cabernet Sauvignon and may even confuse it with a Bordeaux (I'm sure Joe is chortling at the very thought just now) — it seems like a lot….”

• “After sipping, swirling and spitting another taste of his Chateau Frenchy French from 1861, Joe added:….”

• “I'll leave it to the deep-thinking intellectuals who got us into this mess in the first place. Because Joe, this dummy would like to point out that it wasn't the little people driving trucks who were running the Fed, Congress or Goldman Sachs. Those are your friends, generally Ivy League pinheads.”

While Glenn Beck has claimed more than once to want nothing more than civil debate on the issues, the above are not debating points. They are all over-the-top statements meant to trash the person, not his message. One wonders why Klein came in for the Beck’s Search & Destroy Thunder Hammer, until one spots near the end of the article a small line, “This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed... and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed.”

So, when the Misinformer of the Year has his widdle feelings hurt, he has to lash out with invective, make up more stuff, and disparage more groups. “Get out of our way, Elite,” says the Fearmonger in Chief.

Later came the aforementioned game show, “Compare and Contrast.” How are Chavez and Obama exactly alike? Well, they both attacked Capitalism, the monied classes and Fat Cat bankers. Both penalized the rich with taxes. Both assign blame and take none. Both punish those who disagree. Both nationalized farms (cars) for land distribution (too big to fail). Both silenced dissent by closing down tee vee and radio stations. Doesn’t that sound just like the current ‘Merka we all live in? No? Well, Glenn Beck says it is. Or, in the alternative, that’s exactly where Progressives are taking us.

And his audience eats this stuff up.

Let’s play our own version of “Compare and Contrast” by looking at two recent polls. A recent Pew Research Center’s News IQ Quiz asked a random sampling of people a number of questions about current events and found, according to the Raw Story headline, “Americans pretty clueless about politics, world.” One might even say dumb, which wouldn’t make Joe Klein’s thesis very far off the mark. Compare, or contrast, that with a recent Public Policy Polling poll, released late in the week, in which people pegged Fox News Channel as the “most trusted network” news network on ‘Merka. Is there a direct correlation between abject stupidity and Fox News Channel viewership? We report, you decide.

Wednesday’s show was more of the same, connecting the themes of evil, as portrayed in his laughable documentary, to the Progressive Movement and everything evil that ever occurred since the beginning of time.

However, there was a quality to Wednesday’s show absent from any previous show, or since (although, to be fair, there have only been two since). Please watch it for yourself (and, as a bonus, you’ll see the appearance of the Twinkies). Do you not agree that he seems manic? He’s talking faster than ever, barely taking a breath, words cascading over words, rushing from one sentence to the next, like a Rube Goldberg contraption, starting with a marble rolling down an incline and ending in a tsunami of hateful rhetoric and imagery. While the tactic is familiar, the sheer rush of words is something new. Did Glenn Beck stop taking his medication? Or has he started taking amphetamines? This behaviour will need to be monitored closely so doctors can determine whether to adjust his dosages.

Wednesday was also the day he said, in a possible Freudian slip that he’ll watch Obama’s SOTU address, “so you don’t have to.”

By Thursday, Beck had slowed down considerably, word-wise, but not in blaming Progressives in general, and this President in particular, for the ruination of everything that’s good and decent in this world. Beck told us the president lied to us during his State of the Union and doesn’t know mathematics and logic. Then he promoted an upcoming (and imaginary) Civil War for the soul of the Democratic Party between Progressives (bad!) and those who believe in the Constitution. And, the Progressives are winning. “Be careful. We have a Revolutionary on our hands, I believe.”

Friday’s show opened thusly, “Welcome to a Special Edition of The Glenn Beck Program. I like to call it our Egghead Hour. We have gathered some of the best historians we can find to help America understand the Progressive Movement, and how this presidential administration—at least this is my theory—is using Woodrow Wilson and FDR as a playbook, as a blueprint. I know, I know, you can hardly control your excitement, but you don’t want to miss a second of this if you want to understand what’s really happening in America. Come on. Let’s go!”

While labeled a “Special Edition,” it really was another one of his patented Wankfests. Essentially his Wankfests are all the same, whether he has only 3 guests or a whole studio audience present. It amounts to Glenn finding many different ways of asking, “Can you tell me in your own words just how many ways you think I am right?” His sycophants never fail to comply.

Glenda chose well this day. The three eggheads were all scribblers of books that Beck has cited previously to bolster his arguments, making this show a complete 360 degree circle jerk. R.J. Pestritto (“American Progressivism”), Larry Schweikart (“A Patriot’s History of the United States”) and Burton Folsom, Jr. (“New Deal, Raw Deal”) did not disappoint in agreeing with Beck’s anti-Progressive documentary from last week, as well as any other whacked-out theory he can come up with.

Is it Revolution or evolution? Is Progressivism just Marxism in a new cloak? How are they changing the history books and why do they have to? Didn’t eugenics become part of the message? Is the Constitution is not a living document, or is it divinely inspired?

But it got weirder, as it always seems to. The Beck-in-hater saved his strongest invective for Woodrow Wilson. “I hate that S.O.B.! He was an evil, evil dude,” who did more to fundamentally change America than anyone…anyone other than President Obama, of course.

After a few more attacks on Lippmann, Progressives, Elites, Columbia University, and a myriad of other targets, the week sputtered to an end pretty much as it began: as a defense of a silly documentary, based upon a silly book that’s already has been thoroughly debunked by David Neiwertand colleagues in the Blogosphere.

Which did not deter Roger Ailes. The corpulent Fox News CEO defended the whole documentary enterprise, and his ratings star eliminationist rhetoric, on ABC’s This Week, “He’s talking about Hitler and Stalin slaughtering people so I think he was probably accurate.”

Stupid is as stupid does.

With all my love,

Aunty Em