Monday, October 05, 2009

Time Magazine on Glenn Beck

I don't like Glenn Beck. I'm not gonna sugarcoat that one. And I just plain don't think that the stuff he says is necessarily good for America. Not that I think he shouldn't have the right to say it, and I thank God that I live in a country where he has that right, but anyone who thinks that he's somehow speaking the "truth" to the country is seriously dilusional about the world we live in, let alone what decade we live in.

To be fair, I haven't listened to much of his show at length, mostly because the one time I tried, I was infuriated about 30 seconds in. But I do know that most of the quotes I hear from him that infuriate me most are those that stoke the fires of racial tension in the US (some particularly horrifying quotes of his, including a forced "blackface" voice here). It is comical to me that anyone argues that his hatred of Obama does not stem partially from the President's race.

Yes, I realize that conservative talking heads would attack a Democratic president regardless but I think the election of a black man to the office has opened up a pandora's box of ugly rhetoric and viscious thinking that I had really wished I wouldn't see again in this country, and in my opinion, Glenn Beck is one of the spearheads of this movement. I believe his tactics are based less on news or fact than they are on intentional fear-mongering and biased pandering to a specific demographic.

Video of Glenn Beck's statement that Obama is racist

I believe he knows he taps into people's fear and is using it to make money, not even necessarily espouse something he truly believes. And if he truly does believe it, then I don't like him for being a racist, pompous hypocritical fascist. The only thing that brings me solace is that these racially charged comments are the primary reason that so many advertisers pulled their advertisements from Beck's program. It helps me to believe that I'm not in the minority of Americans who won't tolerate those kind of statements as the norm.

Now I will be the first to admit that there are radicals on any side of a debate. And when a liberal commentator says something that I disagree with vehemently, I'm just as happy to denounce it. However, I think Glenn Beck is not only in poor taste but it actually disheartens me a little to think that people listen to and give merit to what Glenn Beck has to say. It really upsets me, truly, and I am reluctant to even discuss him with my conservative friends because I can openly say that if I found out a friend of mine was a Glenn Beck fan and thought what he said was real "truth," I don't know if I'd be able to maintain the friendship because I don't know if I would want to associate myself with people who would support someone who stirs that kind of hate and fear. Honest to goodness. Luckily, I'd like to think that most of my friends are the type of people who would be able to think rationally and see past that kind of scaremongering. Unfortunately, his seeming popularity leaves me unsure about that assertion.

That said, Time Magazine ran an article on Glenn Beck two weeks ago that I thought was interesting. I didn't like it, because in some ways it seemed to glorify Beck but I also respect that Time does try to, at least some of the time, give merit to both sides of any debate. But what I liked best is this week's issue, when the Letters section featured the first letter I've ever read that sounds like it could have been written by me myself:

"Deanna Frankowski, the Beck fan mentioned in your article, is "sick and tired of being ignored"? Give me a break! I had to wait through eight years of an Administration that brought this country to the brink. Frankowski should sit down quietly while the rest of us get to the task of cleaning up Bush's mess. Besides, this health-care debate isn't about those over 30; it's about the millions of uninsured, recently graduated young people saddled with loans we can't imagine paying off, who are sick and tired of living in an abyss created by our elders' stupidity. Obama would be smart to focus on college towns. Step aside, Grandma. We want health care, and we want it now." -Agnieszka Marczak, Lincoln, RI

Thank you, Agnieszka. I couldn't agree more, even if I'm partial to subtler wording. And worry not...Beck would probably not like you either, on account of your foreign sounding name.


Nicholas said...

Beck represents a demographic that has always been there and will always be there. Upperclass Opportunists.

I don't think this is about Obama being black, it's conservative fear of any leadership that might do anything to help the 90% or more of the nation that aren't rich. Race is just an irresistable lever to pull.

After all, economic meltdowns are the best time to blame minorities!

krebscout said...

We went to high school with him, right?

Lacey! said...

haha, Summer, I'm pretty sure Glenn Becker is not a fan of Glenn Beck, either.

Anonymous said...

Agnieszka Marczak lives in a pretty sweet house in a neighborhood filled with houses selling for half a million dollars or better.

See for yourself:,+RI&ie=UTF8&ei=B1PeSvDiH4WGkQX429UX&ved=0CA4Q8gEwAA&hq=&hnear=43+Mark+Dr,+Providence,+Rhode+Island+02865&ll=41.879715,-71.42902&spn=0.001745,0.002779&t=h&z=19

Her dad even filed to put an addition on the already large house. details can be found here:,+RI&hl=en&sig=AFQjCNGpBV1TDHysOk6cT-3_x1i-19raFQ

So why is it that a girl brought up in this kind of environment is crying and demanding other people paying for her insurance?

Oh yeah she's a spoiled brat.

Lacey! said...

First of all, I am against the general premise of e-stalking to prove a point. That's pretty low.

And second, has it occurred to you that a parent's financial success does not necessarily dictate an individual's financial capabilities.

Third, the issue of health care is not a rich person/poor person issue. It's an issue of principal that many people refuse to accept that in a rich society where the gaps in financial success are so great, we have a duty as citizens of a civilized society to attempt to close those gaps on a moral basis.

Anonymous said...

It was hardly e-stalking that info took one search via the net which took about 2 minutes of my time. If you want something in life then work for it don't take from others. Liberals want to live in this Utopian universe that never has and never will exist. What her parents wealth tells me this: she was raised in a better financial situation than me and many Americans. This person took out student loans and then complains that she cannot afford. Why take them out? Was there no cheaper option out there? Of course there are. Then after taking out loans she wines that she can't pay them? This attitude has striking similarities to the housing bust where people took out loans on houses they never would be able to afford then were shocked and cried that they couldn't afford their houses. But you probably think that is a right too. If so I want my half a million dollar house and I want it now. How about we practice personal responsibility? Programs for people who can't help themselves should be in place but for everyone else work for what you want in life. How many people that don't have insurance opt to spend their discretionary income on other things that are not necessary? The message to me is those things are more important and you want other people to pay for YOUR health insurance.

On a side note before bashing someone like Glenn Beck why not listen to an entire show instead of forming an opinion based on 30 seconds? Why is it that liberals as a defense call everything racist? It's so sad to watch.

Lacey! said...

I'm gonna do this in two posts, because it is apparently too long for one:

First and foremost, I still find it unneccesary to search out people's addresses as a basis for judging them. I'd appreciate in the future if that kind of intrusion on privacy was left out of this discussion.

Your entire argument is prefaced on the idea that all "liberals" feel a certain way on a particular issue. If you'd like to have a discussion on the matter, in the future, please assume that the discussion is about people for or against the particular issue rather than on liberals as a whole. I, for one, think Michael Moore is a jackass so my frustration with fear-mongering is not necessarily politically minded. It is unrealistic to assume that, at least for the purposes of this discussion, "liberal" and "conservative" monikers hold any clout rather than arguing from the perspective of health care opponents and supporters. I think this is a fair difference to point out and if you'll read my article, I am concerned less with the fact that Beck is conservative than I am with the actual things he says.

The issue of taking out student loans has little to do with a parents financial standing. In fact, the logic of your argument about this hypothetical wealth of this girl's parents (who, by the way, I'm pretty sure you don't know personally) stipulates that she was "pampered" and took out loans because she was selfish. This is generally not true.

First of all, the entire higher educational system is based on the capitalistic idea that education needs to be bought. This leaves certain richer students entitled and engenders lower income students who desire college degrees with little option to pay for school outside of scholarship and loans. Now, one may want to make the argument that these people should go to cheaper schools but the point is, students on a certain academic level want to go to better schools and there is no arguing that certain schools (and of course there are exceptions) may have a higher price tag but also allow someone the opportunity for a better education and better work opportunity. If this person needed to take out loans, it is either because her parents were either unable or were unwilling to pay for her education--in a culture that stipulates that a higher education is necessary to succeed later in life, the choice to take out loans wasn't negotiable for this student.

Lacey! said...

(continued from previous comment)

Now, one may argue that this educational system is otherwise impossible without such costs, but that is untrue. Students in countries like Germany are afforded many higher education opportunities, all without it costing them a dime because the government allows for these opportunities through higher taxes. But in our society, it is nearly impossible to institute such taxes and therefore nearly impossible for non-wealthy students to pay for their education without the assistance of loans. The entire cultural assumption about college is that the cost of taking the loans is worth it because a higher paying job will allow someone the opportunity to pay off these loans.

Cut to the current political situation, which yes many liberals but also many moderates believe is a direct result of how the nation was handled under the Bush administration and you have a climate where educational costs rose quickly due to inflation or decreased financial support, then the economy crashed and jobs became scarce. You have students who entered college with the assumption that it was the only way to get a good job and then graduated without even the glimmer of opportunity to get these jobs. Further, the opportunity may not come for a long time, as it is less possible for people of retirement age to exit the work force. This is a large swath of the population, especially those uninsured. No money, no job opportunities, no educational insurance to fall back on, and a huge debt that ostensibly is an extension of a debt culture that these people did not contribute to creating and had no real choice about becoming a part of.

Now, these people want health insurance. It is not their fault that the economy crashed, nor is it their fault that the jobs they were essentially promised do not exist. Your argument about "personal responsibility" and "working for what you want in life" does this not apply to someone who just spent four years of their life attempting to insure a secure job situation? How can you even assume what these people spend their money on anymore than people who are in more stable financial situations and refuse to properly save for retirement or buy houses they can't afford.

Of course it enrages anyone that people were willing to take out loans they knew they couldnt pay back. It enrages me a lot more that the banks were greedy enough to give out those loans in the first place, or that the auto industry wants a bail out but refuses to comply to environmental standards that will help them remain competitive markets. It enrages me a lot more that the crash caused so many layoffs that a larger portion of those people in foreclosure are in that position because their financial circumstances changed without their control. Not everyone who needs help is lazy or responsible for why that happened to them and demonizing all of them based on those who do behave that way represents a fundamental failure in scope.

The reason healthcare is a fundamental issue is that its one of the few things that can be chalked up to a basic human right. EVERYONE alive, as a human being, deserves the right to be treated when they are sick, regardless of social standing or financial capabilities. It is barbaric that we haven't attempted to address this issue sooner, as most civilized, developed countries have. Particularly given the fact that the greed at those at the top of the financial chain, not necessarily the failures of the poorest, has caused this financial mess. One of course has the right to disagree on matters of how this can be achieved, and that discussion should be open to all. But dismissing healthcare options on the basis of "not wanting to pay for lazy poor people" is selfish and uncivilized, if you ask me, and its a discrimination that to me is on par with racism. But don't worry...Beck appears to have that trait covered, too.

Sahra said...

Glen Beck makes me sick. Lacey Smith makes me happy!

Anonymous said...

"It enrages me a lot more that the banks were greedy enough to give out those loans in the first place"

What a laughable quote. Look into the Community Re-Investment act and what it entailed. The banks had little say in the matter in the issuing of risky loans unless they contributed funds to groups like Acorn which ultimately had the same effect. Also socialized insurance is nothing new and has nothing to do with the recent economic collapse. Bottom line taking from one group of people to redistribute their wealth and give to another group is never fair. If you think it is I want equal time swimming in the Marczak's pool.

Anonymous said...

"I am concerned less with the fact that Beck is conservative than I am with the actual things he says"

"To be fair, I haven't listened to much of his show at length"

"I don't like Glenn Beck."

Do you see a problem here? You admitted to not listening to "much of his show at length" but you are concerned with what he actually says....what?

Basically what you are saying is you took issue with a couple of sound bites from a man who talks 3 hours a day 5 days a week on radio and 1 hour 5 days a week on T.V.

Lacey! said...

In all honesty sir, I have listened to a couple full Glenn Beck shows and found them just as morally repugnant. The way I explained it in my article as "just being 30 seconds" was hyperbolic, like most of Beck's statements on anything. I'd be happy to continue this discussion, but only if you're willing to address the actual things I mentioned rather than taking snippets from what I said and going on other tangents.

Also, on the matter of banks issuing loans without verifying income, look up NINA loans and study the frequency with which they increased during the housing bubble. It was banks issuing those, and purposely.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself why would a banking institution guarantee a loan to somebody with little or no verifiable income? If the goal is to make a profit then I is that such a smart choice? Or could it be that a lot of these banks were being forced to make such loans? Either way it is another example of Americans not living within their means and expecting other people to pay for it. Did the banks strong arm people off the streets and force them into the banks to make risky loans? I would argue that while the banks are not completely free from guilt they are certainly more victim than villain. Again I would ask that you look into what role the Community Reinvestment Act pushed by groups like Acorn played in all of this.

On health care how many examples do you need worldwide to show that it is not a superior system? Ask yourself honestly why do people fly to the U.S. to get procedures done? How thick does one need to be to ignore solid verifiable facts of a system that doesn't work before they get it? The sad reality is selfishness and entitlement attitudes often prevail. America is an odd place you have people living in half a million dollar homes with swimming pools demanding their insurance and student loans be paid for by others. WTF happened? By the way I don't live in the U.S. I moved to Japan 4 years ago. Here the doctors offices are private but the hospitals are government run. I can see my doctor on a few hours notice but stories of people dying from being denied a hospital bed are rampant. Mothers give birth to babies in taxis en route to a 3rd or 4th hospital and very few Japanese go into the medical profession because of its low pay. All I ask is that you think about that.

Lacey! said...

While I appreciate your willingness to discuss the matter, I think it would be a waste of my time to continue a discussion with someone who honestly believes that the banks are "victims" in this situation. I appreciate your discourse but frankly, if you aren't even living in the country currently and haven't for some time, how can you truly understand the current social, political and economic climate fully? I won't be responding to any more comments on this thread, since it's become evident to me that you're not going to rationally consider other viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

How how can I truly understand the current social, political and economic climate fully? I watch U.S. news everyday, return to the U.S. a month out of every year, I own a home in New York state and there is this thing called....ready for it? The internet! it is a wonderful tool for mining information.

Agnieszka said...

Wow Lacey, thanks for letting me know about all the hubbub! I've been bed ridden for a week with a nasty flu and was consequently ignoring my inbox.

It's nice to see the old adage of what happens when you assume is at work here. I'm surprised that Mr. Typeslowly's e-stalking didn't turn up any other facts about me, like how I don't live in my parent's house. I seem to remember something about my father coming to America with $100 and a pregnant wife back in Poland. I think there was also something about my growing up on the top floor of a triple decker in the Mt Pleasant section of Providence. My father worked full time and my mother worked part time and on weekends they would sell novelties at parades to save up money to build that house in Lincoln. They got the land cheap at auction. They wanted a house in Lincoln because the schools were better. We didn't have furniture for years. They came from Poland, they were not comfortable with the debt culture. These were the values I was raised with. Because of this I turned down more expensive schools and attended Rhode Island College so that I could save money and live at home. I managed to get my BA in four years with zero debt. I only took loans for graduate school and I'm still a lucky one, I can foresee paying them off within two years, even though I do the same job as people with only a high school diploma. I'm not worried about me. Every single young person I know is struggling with educational debt and living with intense anxiety over what would happen if they got sick. There is a looming disaster, we can't foresee being able to afford to have kids, let alone building capital for investing in our nation's future. We're the generation bled dry by our elders.

Its funny that you say that taking from one group to give to another is never fair. How do you think people get rich? Massive imbalances in wealth are not fair. And they are not good for anyone, not for the impoverished navigating violence, drug abuse and racism on a day to day basis nor for the alienated wealthy, closed off in their gated communities, constantly feeling threatened, whose children commit suicide by the hundreds. The reality is that we live in a society that works for hardly anyone and it doesn't have to be that way. All we have to do is to recognize that helping other people is the same as helping ourselves. If you don't want to chip in to pay for everyone's health insurance now, wait 'till I break my leg because you will surely be paying for it then.

And you are welcome to put in equal time in my parents' pool. We never opened it this year.