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The Four Bs: Beck, Bullets, Ballots and BS

Reported by Guest Blogger - November 1, 2010 -

By Aunty Em

On our last exciting episode of As the Beck Turns, I explained how ubiquitous Glenn Beck is in our media landscape. This episode of AtBT explains how Beck uses the different media as firewalls, pretending that something that happens on his tee vee show, or his radio show, occurs in a parallel universe that doesn’t touch upon any of the other media. And, this story begins with crazy remarks made not by Beck (surprise!), but by Pastor Stephen Broden, currently running for one of Texas’ congressional seats and given the Tea Bag Seal of Approval by half-Governor Sarah “Quitty” Palin. Broden is not a stranger, having appeared having appeared on Beck’s Tee Vee Conspiracy Cavalcade™ on at least six occasions.

Let’s start at the beginning: Broden appeared on a Texas tee vee station last week and advocated armed revolt:

“Our nation was founded on violence; the option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms. We have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary.”

Remember, that’s Pastor Stephen Broden, a man of God.

The Blogosphere took note. Over the weekend, it became one of the most swapped stories on the left side of the political spectrum, but you’d be hard pressed to find a mention anywhere on the right.

Then on Beck’s Monday edition of his Radio Drama Theater, he questioned the whole idea that Broden would even say such a thing:

Stephen Broden is - I wouldn't say he was a friend of mine -- I have met Pastor Stephen Broden maybe four times. He seems like a guy who gets it. He's a friend of Alveda King's. It is in the press today that he has said that violence is not off the table -- that a violent revolution is not off the table.

If Pastor Stephen Broden actually said those words, I denounce those words and I denounce him. But I don't believe the press has those words right. I don't believe it. I don't believe it for a second. He's a friend of Alveda King. What does Alveda King -- what does Alveda King know that every-- more than everybody else? Violence never works.

But in case anyone in this audience is not crystal clear, if he said those words, I denounce him and I would come out and campaign against it.

First things first, let’s give Beck his due: He denounces Broden, with the caveat, “if he said those words,” but also says he doesn’t “believe the press has those words right. I don't believe it. I don't believe it for a second.” Believe it, Beck, because it’s on video.

This makes Broden just another right wing extremist who prefers the bullet to the ballot. It’s worth noting that Byron Williams also wanted to start a violent revolution and was on his way to the San Francisco offices of the ACLU and Tides Foundation when he was intercepted by police, engaging in a wild shootout. Williams stated categorically that he was motivated by none other than the aforementioned Glenn Beck.

The question begs itself: Who influenced Pastor Stephen Broden, who often appears as if he’s parroting Glenn Beck? According to Beck, Broden is not a friend and he only met him “maybe four times,” which under-represents their televised meetings by a full third. (Who knows how many times they've met when the cameras were off?) One thing’s for sure, Broden has had far more interpersonal contact with Beck than had Williams, who never met him.

No matter. Beck thinks Broden is a “guy who gets it” and he’s a friend of Alveda King, who knows more than anyone else that “violence never works.” Except when it does. Right, Dr. Tiller?

But here’s where it starts to get strange, involving the firewall mentioned in the first paragraph. Skip ahead a few hours and Beck is singing a new tune, without ever mentioning Broden’s name:

So — now I say stuff like this and my gosh — you run, you go get your gun, quick! No, no. No. There are some people on the left and apparently some people on the right that think violence would be the answer.

Well, I'm here to tell you, they are 100 percent wrong. Why? Why is violence simply not an option?

Well, if you're on the left, I can't really help you with that one because — what was it that Van Jones and those guys were talking about at the big meeting over the summer? Oh, yes, I remember. Get on the streets and agitate and do the things you have to do to force this president to do the things he knows he has to do.

Hmm. Boy, if there's violence, it would almost be like a big government progressive would be able to use that emergency to grab even more power, take away more freedoms.

So, I can't help you on the left. But, on the right, it instantly destroys the republic. Why? Because it forces the president to take more power and more freedoms away. Oh!

Here's what you should be concentrating: not your anger, but the ballot box. That's where American revolutions begin.*

You got that? Once again, in an attempt to inoculate himself from anything his eliminationist rhetoric might cause, he pays passing lip service to the ballot box. Yet, he also claims Progressives will resort to violence to get what they want and are beyond help. However, if someone on the right resorts to violence, it simply plays into the hands of President Obama, who will use that emergency to grab even more power.

Heads, I win. Tails, you lose.

It’s also interesting that Beck never says that violence is wrong because it’s…err…wrong and, not-so-incidentally, against the law. No. In BeckWorld violence is wrong because it might bring unintended consequences.

h/t Media Matters; thanks to Aria for research

*Official transcript from FoxNews.com, clearly labeled “This is a rush transcript from Glenn Beck, October 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.” Often that means it’ll be scrubbed at a later date.

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