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The Beck Week That Was; Special Mother’s Day Edition

Reported by Guest Blogger - May 10, 2010 -

Guest blogged by Aunty Em

“Some people say” necessity is the mother of invention. Some people also say that Glenn Beck is bat shit crazy. It’s time to put Beckerina back on the couch, because the erstwhile Fox News Channel host does little to disabuse people of the notion that he’s a few nuggets short of an ounce—especially when he goes off on unscripted tangents. This week he used his Radio Drama Theatre to hate upon Mother’s Day—in the middle of a live commercial by one of his sponsors for Mother’s Day!! In doing so, Beck managed to display more pathology than a visit to Bedlam.

♫ ♪ ♫ "M" is for the million things she gave me… ♪ ♫ ♪

From Glenn Beck's May 3, 2010 radio show:

BECK: […] this half hour is the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Vermont Teddy Bear is getting ready for Mother’s Day weekend.

Can you believe Mother’s Day week — by the way, Sarah and I were talking on Saturday and she didn’t believe me, or it was on Friday, and she didn’t believe me. And I said, Mother’s Day, it’s a scam. It’s a big business scam. And I said, I bet it was started by Woodrow Wilson. Look it up, Sarah. And she didn’t. I said, look it up. She’s like, no, I’m not going to look it up. I said, look it up, I’ll bet you, I’ll bet you. Mother’s Day? Started 1914. Woodrow Wilson. Hate that guy. Love my mom. Hate the holiday. Now, you could go to Hallmark because Hallmark and Woodrow Wilson would like you to do that.

(via Media Matters)

It’s not like Beck can afford to piss off any more sponsors. Rather than just pimp the cute little Mother’s Day Teddy Bear, Beck trashed an entire holiday with his hatred of Woodrow Wilson, which always shows up in the strangest places. Listen to him hiss, “Hate that guy,” in the same exact manner he did last week when he hissed, “I hate that guy.” While he goes on to quickly say, “Love my mom,” one might view that merely as a reflexive action. While Beck doesn’t really care that people think he’s nuts, he doesn’t want anyone to think he hates his mommy.

In an article called “Glenn Beck has mommy issues…goes on a tirade against Mother’s Day!” The Zeitgeist Report concludes, “I think this explains a lot about the inner workings of the Beckster psyche. No wonder he’s always breaking into tears, his mama must not have hugged him enough and deprived him of stuffed animals.”

I am not sure the anonymous author is very far off the mark. Despite Beck’s claims to “Love my mom,” one wonders whether there’s just a teensy-weensy bit of resentment there.

♫ ♪ ♫ "O" means only that she's growing old… ♪ ♫ ♪

As I wrote on March 9, 2010: “At the age of 13 his alcoholic mother committed suicide, according to Beck himself. The same article says his stepbrother also killed himself. Skip ahead a few years to Glenn’s own personal Beckanalia, where he not only took to the bottle, just like his mother, but apparently surpassed her addictions by also getting heavily into cocaine. He’s also confessed how close he was to taking his own life before he cleaned himself up and found redemption in reading about The Good Old Days.”

According to a recent article on CNN: “A large study has found that people who as children or adolescents lost a parent to suicide are more likely to die the same way. The research will be published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.” The New York Times reports, "The risk was three times as great if the parent’s suicide occurred when the offspring were younger than 18."

♫ ♪ ♫ "T" is for the tears she shed to save me…♪ ♫ ♪

From my March 9, 2010 post: “It’s when he’s remembering that lost innocence of his, that Crybaby Beck always seems to be about to break out, or break down as the case may be. I have never thought his tears were faked. I think he’s the type who will cry at the tender moments in a long-distance telephone commercial, because deep down inside he’s nostalgic for a past he never had.”

So, it’s hard to believe Beck truly looks upon his mother fondly. While still in puberty, she left him with a legacy of alcoholism, addiction and an increased propensity to off himself.

According to Suicide.org, “[A]bout 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them.”

Most of the warning signs seemed written specifically for Beck:

* Appearing depressed or sad most of the time;
* Talking or writing about death or suicide. [“By the way, I want to preface this with: I’m not suicidal, I’m not depressed, I don’t like to swim with the fishes, I don’t like concrete boots, uhh, I’m a very good driver, I just had my breaks checked, so if something happens, I think you might know who did it.”;
* Feeling hopeless;
* Feeling helpless. [“I’m just a dad.”];
* Feeling strong anger or rage;
* Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation;
* Experiencing dramatic mood changes [often within the same hour];
* Abusing drugs or alcohol. [I argue he’s just replaced crazy books for drugs];
* Exhibiting a change in personality [often within the same hour];
* Acting impulsively;
* Losing interest in most activities. [Beck starts so many projects, some of them just get naturally left by the wayside until he needs them again. See: Refounders.];
* Experiencing a change in sleeping habits. [I argue he’s just replaced crazy books for sleep.];
* Performing poorly at work or in school;
* Giving away prized possessions. [Does selling them count?];
* Writing a will. [“I tell my kids that if I make money and I have it, I’m spending it all, or I’m giving it all to charity! You ain’t getting anything kids!! Nothing!!!”;]
* Feeling excessive guilt or shame. [All those tears must come from some deep well.];
* Acting recklessly [“On the Drudge Report. I have not read this story. I haven’t had time to read it. I’m just going with the headline.”;

It just might be time for an intervention.

One could even consider it self-destructive (suicidal?) to start an anti-Mother’s Day rant when the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is simply trying to sell some Mother’s Day Teddy Bears. I lost count of the number of sponsors that have fled Beck's TV show, but Nestles and Purina (sister companies) are the latest to proudly announce they won’t be advertising on Beck’s show, those that ran ran in error, and it won’t ever happen again. Yet, when the LA Times asked News Corp Boss Rupert Murdock how long Fox News would continue to underwrite loss-leader Beck’s show, “‘It's not subsidizing the show at all,’ Murdoch fired back, adding that the theatrical Beck gives ‘a terrific kickoff’ to the Fox News evening lineup.” Since it was a conference call, it was impossible to tell if Murdoch’s tongue was firmly implanted in his cheek. Thankfully, Media Matters keeps track of who is still advertising during Beck’s show so I don’t have to. Prominent are companies that sell gold to unsophisticated rubes.

♫ ♪ ♫ "H" is for her heart of purest gold… ♪ ♫ ♪

One also wonders what Glenn’s mother would make of his continued hate-a-thon against Rev. Jim Wallis, who is still displaying his ‘heart of purest gold,’ if living by the tenets taught by Jesus of turning the other cheek count for anything. Wallis recently wrote:

In response, Beck promised on his radio show that "the hammer" would be coming down on me and my organization, and that he would devote a week of his television show to bringing me down. I took that as a "no" to dialogue.

But I would still like to have this discussion with Beck. Since he has attacked the whole concept of "social justice," I think it would be a great opportunity to have a serious public conversation about what biblical social justice really means. But since he has so far refused to have that conversation, I have decided to go ahead with it anyway -- even without him -- with the hope that he will eventually join the discussion. In the meantime, let me take some of the things he has recently said about social justice and begin to respond to him. And I hope he will take this as an open and standing invitation to a civil and moral dialogue with him about the topic of social justice. This is a challenge to Glenn Beck to have a real and honest two-way public discussion.

I’m not sure one can goad Glenn Beck into reasonableness, or even by admonishing him with a “What would your mother think?” but anything’s worth a try.

♫ ♪ ♫ "E" is for her eyes with love-light shining… ♪ ♫ ♪

Don’t shoot until you see the love-light shining in her eyes!! It was announced last week that Beck will be the keynote speaker for the National Rifle Association’s 139th annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina next week. AmmoLand (Really!) tells us, “As previously announced, Sean Hannity was to be the keynote speaker, but had an unforeseen schedule conflict.” One wonders what this “scheduling conflict” might be? I suspect Hannity is still in the doghouse on a very short leash these days. Has anyone seen him anywhere (other than his radio or TV show) since he was indecorously recalled from Cincinnati?

One wonders whether Beck’s mother was a gun supporter. However, there does seem to be hope for him [or “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” Take your pick.] because he shocked—shocked, I tells ya—the whole world when, on May 4, 2010, he appeared on Fox & Friends and he came out against depriving alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad of his Miranda Rights:

Glenn Beck: He's a citizen of the United States. So I say we uphold the laws and the constitution on citizens.

Brian Kilmeade: But he's a threat to the country. That's different!

GB: So are a lot of citizens. If you're a citizen [the government needs to] obey the laws and follows the constitution. He has all the rights under the constitution.

BK: How about he tried to blow up a city block in the last 48 hours?

GB: We don't shred the constitution when it's popular. We do the right thing.

♫ ♪ ♫ "R" means right and right she'll always be… ♪ ♫ ♪

This made Jon Stewart decide that “Glenn Beck is far more reasonable than John McCain” on this issue.

HuffPo’s Ben Craw asked “Bizarro Beck: What Would It Be Like If Glenn Beck Made Sense All The Time?” Watch the video Craw cut together wherein Beck does just that.

Even The Nation had to admit “Glenn Beck Gets It Right.” Not everyone is impressed. Andy Borowitz, of the Borowitz Report, has the broken down the scientific evidence to explain why “Mating Between Humans and Neanderthals Could Explain Glenn Beck.”

Meanwhile, Beck did some tee vee shows this week.

Newly-minted Beck-watcher Julie kicked Monday (05-03-10) around so I don’t have to.

Tuesday (05-04-10), Beck defended the Constitution, while at the same time he used the attempted Times Square bombing to compare appropriate racial profiling of Muslims to appropriate racial profiling in Arizona, defended his slapdown of Brian Kilmede, and came out in favour of torturing non-citizens. Really! Then he started doing something new, if imitating Stephen Colbert can be considered “something new.” No matter. It’s new to Beck’s show to have words appear on a screen behind him that comment ironically or emphatically on what’s coming out of his mouth. Watch for the hilarity at the 8 minute mark:

On Wednesday (05-05-10), Beck compared the Obama administration's reaction to the Gulf of Mexico environmental disaster to his previous comparisons of the Obama administration to Crime, Inc. in its handling of Health Care, Cap and Trade, social justice, Al Gore, unions, fundamental change and corruption. It’s all inter-related and here was nothing new.

Thursday (05-06-10) was nothing more than a one hour commercial to support the Arizona “Papers Please Law.” With a live audience of perfectly legal immigrants, it should have been called “Legal Immigrant Wankfest,” in which a wankfest is defined as any show in which Glenn finds many new and clever ways of asking his guests, “In how many ways do you think I’m right?” However, he misspent whatever currency he earned during his smackdown of Mensa member (not!) Brain Kilmeade because Beck doesn’t seem to think it's so onerous for American citizens being required to prove they are legal, even though there’s nothing about it in the Constitution.

Beck said:

“If the Arizona law is so controversial, the residents of Arizona don't seem to understand why. A Rasmussen poll found that 70 percent supported the basic concept of the law. How did this happen? Was it all those rich people?

“No, those earning less than $20,000 per year supported it 60-34 percent.

“Was is [sic] all those old people? No, those between the ages of 18 and 29 years-old supported it 72-28 percent. “Was it all those Republicans? No, Democrats supported the bill 51-43 percent.

“Was it all those conservatives? No, liberals supported the bill 44-39 percent.

“Was it all those white people? No, even the "other" race category, which includes mostly Hispanics, supported it 63-36 percent.

“So either Arizona is filled with racists or they just know more about the law than those criticizing it.”*

Just to remind you, Glenn: “We don’t shred our Constitution when it’s popular. We do the right thing.”

Beck also defended the bill by saying, “Furthermore, any such interactions must be ‘permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution,’ must ‘be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration’ must protect ‘the civil rights of all persons’ and the questioning must occur during ‘lawful contact.’”

Arizona State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) calls a provision to ‘clarify’ the Arizona law “frightening.” According to AZCentral.com the new “change clarifies that a police officer responding to city ordinance violations would also be required to determine the immigration status of an individual they have reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally. City ordinance violations vary by municipality but could include things like loud parties, barking dogs, cars on blocks in the yard or too many renters.”

The fact of the matter is that any time you are stopped by police it is “lawful contact,” except when it isn’t. Broken taillight? Lawful contact. Too much window tint? Lawful contact. Loud Tejano music? Lawful contact. Grass too long? Lawful contact. Police have a million and one pretexts for “lawful contact” of law-abiding citizens. Considering that Beck looks like he could pose for an Aryan recruitment poster, it’s unlikely that he will ever be asked to provide proof of citizenship were he stopped doing any of the above. However, someone with brown skin might be asked for proof of citizenship, even if their family has lived in the same place for generations and had the United States of America annexed around them. And, forget it if you are a relatively new legal immigrant, who has yet to lose an accent. It might be wise to carry your papers in Arizona. Just saying.

Friday’s show (05-07-10) was the gem of the week. Beck should have renamed this “Founders’ Friday” to the “Washington Waterworks” because it was one of the biggest crying jags he’s ever been on. However, they may not have been spontaneous tears because what seems like an oft-handed apology for choking up at the 1:06 minute mark is actually is in the official Fox News transcript (at the beginning of the third paragraph).

After watching that clip, and Beck choke up several times during it, ask yourself this: Did you really learn anything new about George Washington? Beck keeps telling us he wants to teach us history, but if you know just the slightest bit about Washington, you’d still be waiting to hear something new or different. Including Beck’s tears at the emotionally appropriate moments, it was just more of the same old/same old.

♫ ♪ ♫ Put them all together they spell MOTHER, a word that means the world to me. ♪ ♫ ♪

Is “Mother” a word that means the world to Beck? I would argue, yes. His rant against this commercialized holiday is all out of proportion to the day, or even his hatred of Wilson. I’ve never heard Beck rail against Fathers’ Day or Valentine’s Day, both similar in that they are more for selling Hallmark Cards, ties, and flowers, than anything else.

I don’t think it much of a stretch to say that Beck would have had a whole different world view if he grew up with a mother who threw her arms around him and gave him big hugs for no reason at all. If Beck had had a mother who was there to cheer him on, he might have a better understanding of why trophies for mere participation, or cup stacking, isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it can be an empowering thing for a child. If Glenn Beck had a mother to explain when he was being mean to others, maybe he wouldn’t have glued the locks shut at a rival radio station; or mocked another rival whose wife just had a miscarriage, while talking to her on the phone live on the air; or called President Obama a racist; or…you get the idea. If during his formative years Beck had a mother who had been empathetic, loving, and nurturing, he might have a much better understanding of “social justice.” Had he had a mother who loved him unconditionally, he probably wouldn’t cry so much.

Let me be the first to wish Glenn Beck a Happy Mother’s Day. If he ever comes to grips with his true feelings for his mother, maybe he can finally have a happy Mother’s Day. To that end, I’d like to dedicate a song that says “Mother” to me on EmTV. Wishing all mothers past, present and future a very Happy Mothers’ Day.

With all my love,

Aunty Em

*Official, though unreliable, transcript from Fox News.

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