The way you can tell if a protest is effective is when the target of the action can’t stop complaining about it. For two days in a row, Glenn Beck has devoted valuable airtime to castigating the proponents of an advertiser boycott that began last year in response to Beck calling President Obama a racist with “a deep-seated hatred of white people.”
For Beck to divert so much time from fabricating paranoid conspiracy theories to fabricating smears on his perceived enemies is revealing. His anxiety could not be more apparent, even as he pretends that the efforts directed against him are making him happy:
“The fact is, I haven’t felt this good and positive in a long time. Why? Because the boycott attempts are the most transparent AstroTurf attacks I have ever seen or ever heard of.”
Ever? The truth is that the boycotts were initiated by a very small group that most people (including me) had never heard of. Color of Change began the effort with a small email list and a campaign to communicate with Beck’s advertisers. This shoestring effort produced surprising results, getting more than 100 advertisers to refuse to permit their commercials on Beck’s show. [Note: StopBeck later joined the effort further enhancing its effectiveness]
Beck spent the majority of his rebuttal inventing a plot that went all the way up to the White House. The first brick thrown by Beck was at his perennial nemesis, Van Jones. However, while Jones was a co-founder of Color Of Change, he left the organization two years prior to the Beck boycott. That didn’t stop Beck from building his cloud castle of hate.
He then tied Jones to Rev. Jim Wallis of the Sojourners. However, Wallis had nothing to do with the advertiser boycott, then or now. Wallis entered the picture after Beck took an astonishingly stupid stand against social justice and advised his listeners to “run” from any church that advocated it. Wallis responded by calling for Christians who believe in the venerable Christian practice of social justice to run from Glenn Beck.
And of course, Beck had to inject his distaste for working Americans by slandering unions. So he tethered Andy Stern to the boycott effort, although Stern and his SEIU had no part in the year-old boycott until about two weeks ago when they signed on with a new push by MoveOn.org.
After this hallucinatory construction of a widespread cabal attacking him, Beck capped it off with a wild accusation that it was a high level plot that the President was “coordinating from the Oval Office”:
“Is it possible, maybe, that pointing out every night that there are radicals, Marxists, and communists, in the White House, maybe that struck a nerve? Has someone decided that they must destroy my career and silence me because we’ve stumbled onto something? [...] Has there ever been a case in American history…where an American president administration tried to destroy the livelihood of a private citizen with whom they disagree. Can’t think of any.”
Beck’s paranoia led to this declaration that nothing like this had ever happened before. He then immediately contradicted himself by comparing it to Richard Nixon’s famous “enemies list.” The only problem with that comparison is that Nixon’s list was documented and Beck’s delusions still only exist in his twisted cranium. What’s more, Nixon sought to use the power of the government against his opponents, but the Beck boycott relies entirely on the efforts of individual citizens engaging in free expression. Nevertheless, Beck elevates this to an absurd altitude wherein he literally compares himself with victims of Nazi atrocities:
“Where’s the media? Do the rest of you in this business think it’s gonna stop with me? Really? Once they get me what happens to you? Is there absolutely no chance whatsoever that you might be a target at some point in the future? What is that poem…First they came for the Jews and I stayed silent…”
Now they are coming for Glenn Beck. It is so like Beck to manifest his Messianic complex in this fashion. He is the persecuted one that suffers for his congregation. And his stylings are getting more televengelical and Apocalyptic by the day. Witness this fire and brimstone sermon:
It is a bizarre world. It is an upside down, inside out, quantum physics world. [...] It is the eve of destruction in America.
I believe in God. I believe rights come from man, and this Constitution, and the founding of this nation, were divinely inspired. These are God’s rights and God’s freedoms.
If we appreciate those rights, if we do the right thing [...] we are going to have to pay the consequence for our living and mistreating these rights. But in the end, have no fear, because nothing will thwart Him. Because these are His rights. This was His Constitution. This was His country for His purposes, not ours. And nothing…nothing…will thwart Him in the end.
Hallelujah. This may be the first time I have heard anyone declare that the Constitution was “divinely inspired.” To my knowledge, it has not been included in any version of the Bible. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have not been beatified, nor is George Washington a saint. But in Beck’s mind a new holy doctrine has been proclaimed. One that permitted human slavery and denied women the right to vote. If the Constitution was divinely inspired, then what right did later generations have to amend it? Were they also the servants of God? And if so, did God screw up when he ratified Prohibition or the right to levy income taxes?
I have said this before, and it is all too apparent that it must be repeated: I genuinely hope that the people who care for Glenn Beck get him the help that he so obviously requires. It is way too tempting for his family and his producers and his hangers on, to hold back and revel in the riches he generates for them. But they will surely regret it when he self-destructs and splatters them all with the blood of their greed.
Now I’m sounding a little Biblical. And so I speaketh not further for the time is at hand for me to shuteth up. For now…..