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Beck on a barstool

April 11, 2011 - Jim Anderson
Some folks claim that “reasonable people” tuned out Glenn Beck after he suggested President Obama was a racist.

That’s not entirely true.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce must be a reasonable body. In September 2009 the Chamber paid Beck to come and speak to them. To my knowledge, the Chamber raised not a peep about Beck’s claim, made weeks earlier, that Obama “has a deep-seated hatred for white people.”

Beck will be leaving his daily talk show on Fox News later this year. Maybe that’s because Fox News wants to be judged as reasonable. (Even though they’ve tolerated Beck’s antics for more than two years.)

In today’s Daily News, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News offers a defense of his self-described “pal” Glenn Beck:

“... Glenn Beck is really Norm, the guy on the sitcom ‘Cheers,’” O’Reilly writes. “He sits on a symbolic bar stool and vents. He sees bad things happening to his country and objects. Because his rap is so interesting, millions of Americans want to hear it. What on earth is wrong with that?”

Indeed, there is nothing wrong with “listening” to the rap. The problem comes in believing it.

O’Reilly insists that Beck is just a guy with an opinion, and ideologues “simply do not want to hear opinions other than their own.” In other words, if you object to Beck, it’s because you have a problem with his opinion.

I’ve written a few things about Beck — and O’Reilly. Most often, it’s not their opinions, per se, that are troubling. It’s their supposed “evidence” — and what they leave out.

For example, Beck once opined that auto workers are overpaid. Fine, that’s his view. But to justify his opinion, he cited a wildly exaggerated wage figure.

What on earth is wrong with that?

Beck once claimed that global warming is no threat. But to back up his position, he cited statistics showing that 1998 was the warmest year ever. At the same time, he ignored statistics showing that the most recent decade (a decade of “cooling” in Beck’s eyes) was the warmest on record.

What on earth is wrong with that?

Beck suggested that a loan from the U.S. Export-Import Bank to a Brazilian oil company was evidence of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to enrich liberal political activist George Soros. But he ignored that fact that the loan was approved by appointees of President George W. Bush.

What on earth is wrong with that?

Beck said that undercover videos were evidence of condoned criminal activity at Planned Parenthood. But he ignored the fact that Planned Parenthood contacted the FBI to investigate possible wrongdoing even before the videos were made public.

What on earth is wrong with that?

Those are just a handful of Beck’s “opinions” that have caught my attention. In reality, on daily basis, Beck misinforms at least to some degree.

What on earth is wrong with that?

If he’s Norm on a barstool, not much. If he’s a highly-paid “professional” — whether working for Fox News or delivering speeches to the Michigan Chamber — at some point it becomes indefensible.



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