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Saturday, March 23, 2019

One of my greatest fears is that history will forget the role Fox News and Glenn Beck played in the Tea Party movement.

Of course, big tobacco and conservative billionaires the Koch brothers had been planting the seeds of a right-wing populist uprising for decades. And when the movement rose up, that infrastructure quickly mobilized to make the movement effective by hiring the top organizers, and funding events and groups all over the country. But these groups had been trying to spur such a movement since 1984 to little or no effect.

What made the Tea Party possible in 2009 was the combination of the three distinct elements America that will never again tumble into place and unlock America’s great wealth of antipathy, misunderstanding of the Founding Fathers, and poor spelling.

First and foremost, the economy was cratering in a way that few understood at the time. The Dow was cut in half, a new foreclosure record was being set every 30 days and the nation was losing nearly a million jobs a month.

Second, there was the shock of an African-American being elected President of the United States. Some suggest that race was the only motivating factor for the movement, which would be easier to believe if similar — and some would say more effective – hatred and paranoia had not been targeted at Bill Clinton. But few would argue that everyone in a nation that only allowed states to ban interracial marriage in the late 1960s was ready to cheerfully accept a black president 40 years later.

Third, TV — specifically Fox News — actively participated in organizing Tea Party events in an unprecedented manner that exploited the the swelling anger from the first two factors. Again and again, people at the first Tea Party rallies said, “I’ve never been involved in politics before!”

What got these suddenly enraged and engaged off the couch?

First, a former hedge fund executive, CNBC’s Rick Santelli, captured the mood of those who hadn’t lost their homes yet by demanding that the government not “subsidize the losers’ mortgages.” His rant in February 2009  is often credited with birthing the Tea Party movement.

And while no one was noticing the irony of a populist movement being born on the floor of one of America’s largest financial trading markets, Fox News was giddily organizing on behalf of a llican Party that could no longer call itself the Republican Party.

Fox News hosts constantly promoted and reported on what they called “non-partisan Tea Party” events, as Media Matters extensively documented at the time.

And the Fox News host that best channeled and commoditized the vague anger of the moment was a man who had only joined the channel in 2009.  With his All-American ability to cry on command, the host who led the rebranding the of the far right as the voice of those afflicted by the crisis was Glenn Beck.

Of course, ignoring and/or disparaging Glenn Beck is a noble calling. I credit Angelo Carusone’s “Stop Beck” movement with playing a crucial role in helping Fox News recognize that the costs of giving their air to this former morning zoo DJ were higher than the benefits, which included the channel’s best ratings.

But many on the left want to ignore Beck’s special genius just because it’s used in the pursuit of such a vile agenda.

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19 responses to “LOL Of The Week: Glenn Beck Disses His True Calling – Pro Wrestling”

  1. A major contributor to the rise of the Tea Party movement was the perception that the rising numbers of ethnic minorities, and their sense of empowerment, accentuated by the election of Barack Obama, confirmed the eventual demise of white Americans as the dominant ethnic group in our society. For many, that is simply unacceptable and something that must be stopped at all cost.
    That is the reason for the continuous attacks on social programs, public education, and the reason a large segment of our population is arming itself to the teeth. Their interpretation of tyranny has more to do with the ascendancy of African Americans and Latinos/Hispanics to positions of wealth and power, than political ideological leanings.
    I had an opportunity to see several Tea Party rallies in Central Florida, and the only common denominator is the every single participant was white, and many were elderly. For people consumed by intolerance, hatred and paranoia, this is a fight for survival.
    The failing economy was the excuse used to justify their true agenda.

    • itsfun says:

      I get it, the problems in America were all caused by old white people. All they did was work their whole lives, pay taxes so the Government could give free housing, educations, health care, food to non contributors. Our food stamp president now gives more food stamps to more people than the whole population of Spain. The price of gas is going through the roof and our food stamp president just say, don’t use as much. Must be he is in the oil business, all I heard for years from libs when Bush was in office that the price of oil was his fault because his family was in the oil business. People arenn’ consumed by intolerance, hatred and paranoia, they are just sick and tired of working all their lives and being forced to pay for non-contributors. They are tired of seeing non-contributors living in free government housing while they live in 50 year old homes that need repairs, but can’t pay for because they are forced to give new housing to non-contributors. They are tired of driving 10 year old cars and seeing non-contributors driving new cars.

      • I just read a nonsense post on another National Memo article and thought it was the most nonsense I’d seen, but yours comes right up there with it. First of all, more people are on food stamps today, not because ofl President Obama, but because of clueless REPUBLICAN legislators in RED STATES that have insisted on cutting budgets and state services during a recession – which is pure idioocy. Although these red state legislators are feeling really good about themselves, what they’ve succeeded in doing is balancing their budgets at the expense of their citizens: virtually every Red State has thrown thousands/millions of their citizens on to welfare, including food stamps, by throwing millions of their families into unemployment. Not only that, but they’re also responsible for why the unemployment rate is closer to 8% than it should be around 6% – because of all the people in their states that are now unemployed because of their dumb actions. More than 70% of food stamps go to citizens in RED STATES – all 8 of the states that suck the most welfare from Washington are red states (many of which get more than $2 in welfare back for every $1 they send to Washington as taxes. While in contrast, all 8 of the states that pay the most taxes, and are effectively supporting the nation, are BLUE STATES (some that get close to 50 cents back in welfare for each $1 of their taxes). With respect to gas prices, you have to be pretty clueless to believe the president, any president, can have any real affect on gas prices – sure, he can release some crude oil from the nations reserves which may have a temporarly effect, but given that at the moment the nation is awash in crude oil (America could well dispell Saudi Arabia as the biggest exporter of oil on the planet in 2013), releasing crude oil would serve absolutely no purpose. So you can stuff this idea you know where. And again, if you’re railing about people being ‘non-contributors living in free government housing’ you can stop looking at the libs for that because 2 of 3 states in the nation with the highest poverty rates are RED STATES with TEXAS being one of them, having about the most people in poverty. Everyone of your premisses is total nonsense.

        • On the issue of gas prices, I think it is worth considering the excuse given by the oil companies for the latest price increases: they had to shut down a few refineries for maintenance in anticipation to the driving season! Nest thing we know they will blame price hikes on a squirrel making a mess in a CEOs office.

      • SaneJane says:

        Do you really think you would like living in “free government housing” as opposed to a 50 year old house? What kind of new car can be bought with welfare payments and food stamps? Most of us work our whole lives regardless of skin color and in my state the majority of welfare recipients are white.

      • jmprint says:

        No you don’t get it. The problem is not just the free loafers, they are bi-products of what the filthy rich have done to society. They kept the wages down for the last 3 decades. They sent jobs overseas, and they were the ones that sucked the government funds with all their tax breaks and incentives. The gas issue is a huge problem and yes Bush made a lot of money, just like they are doing now. I think it is ridicules that the price of gas goes up based on speculations. And then the next quarter we here about the billion dollar profits the gas companies get, but we still allow them all the tax breaks, and if after we realize there wasn’t any reason for the gas prices to sky rocket, they still get to keep all that profit, seems to me they could return some of that profit back to society, (in a tax form) since they keep people in poverty they should help pay.

      • HistoRet says:

        Oh I feel your pain, you poor baby! Even though it is all imaginary, I understand that imaginary pain still hurts. Poor baby! Whine some more.

      • latebloomingrandma says:

        The reason that so many people are on food stamps is that the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in years. Food asssistance was increased to prevent starvation of our citizens or the spectacle of long bread lines like the depression. In these days of instant video ricocheting around the world, how embarrassing would that be to our “exceptional” country?

      • highpckts says:

        Oh no! Another quoter of the fanantical right wing agenda! One point though! The President doesn’t have any control over gas prices! I don’t care what Bushy said! Food stamp President? Where do you get your TIRED AND DISPROVEN facts??

  2. latebloomingrandma says:

    Beck and Limbaugh have found a “schtick”, and know how to peddle it to certain susceptible people. They are now multi-millionaires and laughing all the way to the bank. I also consider them 2 of the most un-patriotic Americans alive, for the amount of destruction they have wrought on our country. But—-1st amendment and all. I’m waiting for that amendment to finally bring them down. It would be an amusing irony if it were wrestling for the Beckster.

    • AlfredSonny says:

      The only reason why Beck and Limbaugh are not in mental institutions is because they are considered harmless to themselves and others.

      • Unfortunately, they’re doing extreme damage to our country via their constant vitriol – constant hate and fear mongering based on one lie and distortion after another. They’re constantly distorting the truth and creating a segment of our population that is doing everything they can to bring America back to the dark ages thinking they’re doing the right thing because of the lies and distortions they hear constantly from Beck and Limbag.

  3. frida says:

    This man’s head (Glen Beck ) is not OK. Where are his crocodile tears he was shedding everyday when he was at Fox News? People need to ignore him completely. He is a crazy person and we should not waste even a second talking about him.

    • Barbara says:

      You’re right – his head doesn’t appear to be OK but, is this considered clever or silly or
      just plain mentally ill? Does he fall under the description of someone who should not
      be allowed to own a gun?

      • frida says:

        For sure Barbara, Glen Beck doesn’t qualify to see/smell where the gun is, leave alone to own it. The man is totally crazy. It doesn’t take a minute according to his talks, to realise there is something wrong with him.

        • latebloomingrandma says:

          I’ve thought that for some while. When I saw him diagram on his blackboard the connection between some New York City architecture to a communist plot, I knew that he was not right in the head. Limbaugh, on the other hand, is just a blowhard opportunist, just loving getting rich on the cluelessness of stupid people.

  4. AlfredSonny says:

    We need to determine whether Glenn Beck is harmless enough to stay away from mental institutions.

  5. Lovefacts says:

    This is the same mentality that decries the public school systems and wants to dismantle it with declarations that everyone can go to private schools or home school. When we gained our independence we had legalized slavery. Now the plutocrats and their supporters want there to be two classes—theirs and the easily replaced, uneducated or undereducated workers. What never ceases to amaze me is the gullibility of the masses. The more poorly educated the more gullible. But then as Barnum said, “You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

  6. Jim Lou says:

    Glenn Beck is just a blow hard. He just makes a lot of noise. When you challenge him he justs diverts attention.

    Why give him the time of day? You just stoke his furnace.

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