Glenn Beck, no civil rights icon

The Nation
by John Nichols


My gripe with Glenn Beck has always been with his absurd attempt to claim a connection to Tom Paine. As long as rightwingers remain the loudest voices talking about race, they’ll continue to dominate the conversation. The furiously self-promotional Fox personality wrote a book last year that he suggested was a contemporary update of Paine’s pamphlet ‘Common Sense.’ In fact, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense was short on Paine and long on Beck. And it failed to note the founder’s canon of criticism of organized religion, concentrated wealth and know-nothing opponents of government. But, as silly as Beck’s attempt to claim Paine might have been, his attempt to associate himself with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a radical critic of not just racism but of an economic system left tens of millions in poverty, would be comic if it was not so sad...

White fright

by Christopher Hitchens


In a rather curious and confused way, some white people are starting almost to think like a minority, even like a persecuted one. What does it take to believe that Christianity is an endangered religion in America or that the name of Jesus is insufficiently spoken or appreciated? Who wakes up believing that there is no appreciation for our veterans and our armed forces and that without a noisy speech from Sarah Palin, their sacrifice would be scorned? It’s not unfair to say that such grievances are purely and simply imaginary, which in turn leads one to ask what the real ones can be. The clue, surely, is furnished by the remainder of the speeches, which deny racial feeling so monotonously and vehemently as to draw attention...

They’re with Stupid

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman


Last month, Sarah Palin added to her growing body of fascinating public utterances by pleading with Muslims to ‘refudiate’ the Islamic center planned for near Ground Zero in New York. Eventually, the Weekly Standard, one of the chief organs of the intellectual right, began selling T-shirts and bumper stickers saying ‘Refudiate Obama’ and ‘Refudiate socialism.’ We probably shouldn’t make too much of this — they’re just having a bit of fun, after all. But embracing Palin in all her nincompoopery must, in the words of the former Alaska governor herself, ’stab hearts’ — at least some of them — at a magazine that is supposed to have some sort of commitment to ideas...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Glenn Beck, What's the Point?

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout: "In promoting this rally, Beck stated, 'Great achievements in history start with one great idea, one great person.' What was the great idea? Gather a group of people together to play upon their fears; continue to disseminate lies and misinformation, and drive a larger political wedge between individuals based upon contrived ideological foolishness? That does not a great person make. On the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Rev. Dr. King's famous speech, we should pay him tribute. He was a true American hero. Beck, Palin and those such as Representative Boehner (R-Ohio), Senator McConnell (R-Kentucky), and other Republicans who support them with their silence should be judged not 'by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.'"


Glenn Beck’s Redemption Song

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