Friday, October 16, 2009

The art of phony outrage

After the White House communications director stated the reality that Fox News functions not as a news organization but an arm of the Republican party, Glenn Beck worked himself further into hysteria, comparing Fox News to Jews during the Holocaust and stating that the White House has declared war on Fox News and is now diverting its attention and resources to winning that "war" while it simultaneously is ignoring and working to lose/not win the actual war in Afghanistan.

This is a typical tactic of Beck's ilk. Attack, attack, attack; and then when called on it claim persecution while introducing red herring.

And if you've followed Beck's show on Fox, you will likely, like me, have found it curious that Beck all of a sudden is oh so concerned about the war in Afghanistan that merely devoting a sentence or two to some other subject is some kind of grave betrayal of our troops, considering that Beck rarely ever focuses on the subject.

Politico has crunched some numbers demonstrating where Beck's real priorities are:

Here, by the frequency of the words used, are the threats Glenn Beck has been talking about since his Fox show launched:

ACORN: 1,224
Czar/Czars: 533
Socialist/Socialism: 404
Communist/Communism: 330
Liberal/Liberals: 272
SEIU: 259
Community Organizing/Organizer: 167
Marxist/Marxism: 127
Afghanistan: 97
Troops: 95
Iraq: 95
Soldiers: 52
Al Qaeda: 50
Left-Wing: 43
Taliban: 38

Beck's individual enemies list is also a bit light on the international terrorists:

Van Jones: 267
Valerie Jarrett: 52
Mark Lloyd: 50
Bill Ayers: 46
John Holdren: 43
Jeremiah Wright: 42
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 41
Osama Bin Laden: 40
Kim Jong-Il: 7
Mullah Omar: 2
Najibullah Zazi: 0
Likewise, Beck yesterday devoted his program to an hour long monologue about how our government is under the control of actual Marxist revolutionaries who "worship" Mao Tse Tung. His proof was a video of Anita Dunn making a joke and a reference to Mao in order to make a larger point to students about ignoring conventional wisdom. Beck was so profoundly disturbed that he again cried during the show and his producers had to actually cut away to commercial while he weeped and rambled on incoherently about how America is now like teens who have gone to an inapppropriate party without their parents' permission.

Yet while Beck translates Dunn's rather innocuous comment to mean that American is under the assault of a communist revolution, he doesn't seem to muster the same outrage, fear and paranoia when someone like, say, guest of the program David Horowitz cites a significantly more disturbing eliminationist communist precedent as a model for political behavior, which then influences prominent Republicans.

During the 2000 presidential and congressional elections, every Republican member of the U.S. Congress received a free pamphlet, compliments of Congressman Tom DeLay, the party's majority whip. Written by conservative activist David Horowitz, the pamphlet was called The Art of Political War: How Republicans Can Fight to Win. It came with an endorsement on the cover by Karl Rove, the senior advisor to then-candidate George W. Bush. According to Rove, The Art of Political Warwas "a perfect pocket guide to winning on the political battlefield from an experienced warrior." In addition to DeLay's gift to members of Congress, the Heritage Foundation, one of the leading conservative think tanks in Washington, found Horowitz's advice so impressive that it sent another 2,300 copies to conservative activists around the country.

True to its title, The Art of Political War argues that "Politics is war conducted by other means. In political warfare you do not fight just to prevail in an argument, but to destroy the enemy's fighting ability. ... In political wars, the aggressor usually prevails." Moreover, "Politics is a war of position. In war there are two sides: friends and enemies. Your task is to define yourself as the friend of as large a constituency as possible compatible with your principles, while defining your opponent as the enemy whenever you can. The act of defining combatants is analogous to the military concept of choosing the terrain of battle. Choose the terrain that makes the fight as easy for you as possible." ....

Of course, Horowitz is not the only disillusioned leftist from the sixties. What makes him significant is that his militancy has remained constant, even as his worldview has changed. In a strange way, he remains a Leninist, right down to his appearance (balding, with a Lenin-like goatee). He even continues to offer Lenin's words as advice. "You cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate," he explains in The Art of Political War. "You can do it only by following Lenin's injunction: 'In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent's argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.'"
More theatre of the bizarre: Beck has installed a phone next to his desk which looks like the Bat-phone from the old Adam West Batman show, which apparently only the White House has been given the number to. He now frequently proclaims the failure of the White House to call him live during his show proves that the White House can not or does not dispute that the Obama administration is full of Marxist revolutionaries who want to install a dictatorship.

Also during the show yesterday he made mention of a Washington Post story about Dunn being on her way out of the White House, suspecting that it had been planted in the Post by Rahm Emanuel because the White House knows that Becks knows she is a disciple of Mao Tse Tung so they pre-emptively concocted a story to oust her and undermine Beck's revelation.

Will Fox ever put a ceiling on the level of crazy it will let Beck get?

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