Why Does Anyone Take Glen Beck Seriously?

Via Right Wing Watch:  ‘I Don’t Bluff, I Make Promises’: Beck Gives Gov’t Until Monday to Come Clean About Boston Bombing Cover-Up

Near the end of today’s radio broadcast, Glenn Beck declared that the cover-up of the Saudi link to the Boston Marathon bombing makes this the second most important thing (behind 9/11) that he has ever covered in his broadcasting career.  And depending on how the media and the government responds in the coming days, it just might be the most important thing he’s ever covered because the response "will either save our country or we will be done."

Beck then went on to send a semi-coded message to those in the upper level of the government warning that they had better come clean about this Saudi national because The Blaze has information that reveals that he "is a very bad, bad, bad man" which will be revealed on Monday.

"I don’t bluff," Beck stated, "I make promises. The truth matters. I’ve had enough of what you’ve done to our country. I thought I had heard and seen it all.  I thought I didn’t trust my government.  Oh no, no, no.  There is no depth that these people will not stoop to.  They have until Monday and then The Blaze will expose it."

Video at the link.

Now, on one level I full understand that Beck is a blowhard with a relatively small audience. Unfortunately, however, that audience takes him seriously (indeed, just this week someone quoted the Blaze to my wife, a teacher, as a source regarding education policy—or, more specifically, an educational conspiracy).  More significantly, all this kind of stuff does is encourage xenophobia and, more specifically, Islamophobia.

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    it’s not everyone Steven, it’s only Republicans.

  2. brando_minich says:

    What’s to cover up now? He does realize that now that the suspects have been caught, there’s nothing to cover up as far as people can see? That he’s going to sound crazy?

    Also, that Chechnya has no ties with Saudi Arabia, so that this theory isn’t even slightly plausible?

  3. Phillip says:

    Why Does Anyone Take Glen Beck Seriously?

    Because he sounds just like the voices already in their heads?

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    I bet this will be as big as Donald Trump’s October surprise.

  5. aFloridian says:

    I am a frequent reader of The Blaze. Normally I will pull it up and Huff Post up in tabs at the same time after reading my “harder news” at BBC, CNN, NYT, and sometimes FOX / CSMonitor. Oh, and Al Jazeera English.

    I feel like Huff Post and The Blaze are goods sites to take the pulse of the partisan right and left. I like to compare the two and see how the same story can be spun (and usually blame assigned) in entirely different directions.

    The Blaze’s stories can be pretty pathetic, particularly when their “journalists” often like to write a piece pretending to discuss conspiracy theories (“man on the roof” and “false flag” for the most recent incident, or my favorite, Obama’s wedding ring says something about Allah) while really just fueling the fire.

    The scary thing is that in the last couple of years, their readers have become so partisan and radicalized that a lot of them are turning on Beck, accusing him of being part of the conspiracy or being “under someone’s control.”

    I really shouldn’t read the Blaze comments as much as I do. It is giving me a distorted picture of the rank-and-file Republican. As much as you liberal OTBers like to paint all Republicans as evil and inhuman/whatever, most are not. Lots of those who worship at Beck’s altar, however, say the most vile racist, Islamophobic, and homophobic stuff I have ever read. Honestly. sometimes I feel like I’m reading Stormfront (the white supremacy website). The 24 hour news beast and the partisan blogosphere really do seem to be radicalizing the fringes worse than ever, or providing a place for a man’s private evil thoughts to be given a forum of likeminded souls to collaborate with.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    Sh!t fer brains is the only explanation I can accept.

  7. Caj says:

    Anyone who has even half a brain shouldn’t take Glenn Beck seriously! Mr Conspiracy and teller of out and out lies. He has an audience of those who are as pea brained as he is. Sad thing is, he actually believes what he says to be true. Also being the shepherd he tends to his flock of ditto heads who hang onto his every word. All live in a parallel universe.

  8. @Caj:

    Sad thing is, he actually believes what he says to be true.

    No he doesn’t. I live in the Philadelphia area, where he worked before he went national. I was actually a fan of his back when he just another wacky morning drive guy. His current schitck is just that: schtick. He doesn’t believe a word of what he says, he’s just willing to tell the suckers what they want to hear as long as they keep throwing millions of dollars his way.

  9. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That’s interesting. What was his schtick then?

  10. @CSK:

    Basically slightly right leaning version of Howard Stern.

  11. @CSK: Salon did an interesting series of pieces on Beck’s background back in 2009. The first part is here.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    Over the years there I’ve seen this cycle repeat a number of times. And it definitely isn’t only conservatives. The first time I really noticed it was in the 80’s with some feminists in San Francisco, although of course back then it was pamphlets and posters and self published magazines. People in such groups start out with a pretty broad appeal and some of the leaders might start saying provocative things, but provocative in a good way, making you think. But this is the first place where the group can go off the rails. If a feedback loop gets started where the most admiration is given to the members who are most provocative, the group can quickly spiral into stronger and wilder assertions. Now they start losing members, but only the voices of rationality and moderation. At this point it can either break apart due to infighting or it inevitably must become its own self contained group. Yes, being so extreme makes it hard to attract new members, but the group usually closes off in other ways. Sometimes with extreme modes of dress and hairstyle, but also by speaking in code and being contemptuous of the ‘ignorance’ of outsiders. This contempt is the biggest and strongest fence. Those inside forget how long it took for them to reach their extreme positions and express contempt for those who don’t see the ‘truth, right away.

  13. Eric Florack says:

    Look, I understand your desperate need to attack any source that is to the right of Fidel Castro, but while you guys are busy attacking Beck, (For which I have no particular love or hate) you may want to explain why so many others are reporting the same story… and obviously from different sources, most of whom really cant stand each other..

    Ponder for example, the mad scramble to figure out if they did or did not arrest the suspect….

    The news media may be biased, but not this incompetent, at least. That scramble was almost certainly caused by government types scrambling to get their story straight.

    A bit from elsewhere reports:

    According to terrorism expert Steve Emerson, 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national first suspected of being involved in Monday’s twin bomb attack, is being hastily deported. Alharbi was put under armed guard in hospital after the bombing, was visited by Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim, and later had his apartment raided by federal and state law enforcement agents.

    “I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Emerson told Fox News last night.

    The news follows an unscheduled meeting between President Obama and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal at the White House yesterday afternoon. “The meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule,” reports Reuters.

    “That’s very interesting because this is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia. You don’t arrest their citizens. You deport them, because they don’t want them to be embarrassed and that’s the way we appease them,” Emerson told host Sean Hannity.

    Is Beck right? Until this stuff comes all the way out, (ANd I wonder if it will) I doubt anyone can affirmatively say he isn’t.

    I suggested the second brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, would not be heard from, at least in Public, because such info would be damaging to the current administration and it’s efforts to appease the Saudis. Now we find out that he has a rather convenient throat injury and won’t be able to talk. Gee, I wonder what the chances are, huh? Just an amazing coincidence.

  14. matt bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:

    According to terrorism expert Steve Emerson

    I’m pretty sure that anyone that seriously considers Emerson a “terrorism expert” has already demonstrate a commitment to a specific viewpoint and belief system that renders the rest of their judgement questionable.

    Background on Mr Emerson here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Emerson

    Further, when one looks to others who are “seriously asking” the same questions and finds Glen Back to his right and Michael Savage to his left (both of whom are pushing the Saudi angle) a sane person would question their position (given both of their records on getting this sort of stuff right).

  15. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Steven L. Taylor:

    Thank you both.

  16. Eric Florack says:

    Again, were the sources limited to these, Matt, you’d have a point.
    Maybe.

    They’re not.

  17. matt bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Given that your uncited quote above is from Infowars, and the other sites reporting this stuff include World Net Daily, you’re not really strengthening your argument.

  18. matt bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:

    you may want to explain why so many others are reporting the same story

    Can you point to any news sources — outside of the Conservative Media Bubble — that are reporting the same story? Especially ones that are not simply copying and pasting the same story — which after spending time on Google — seems to be whats happening on most of the sites.

  19. anjin-san says:

    I think it’s time to repost a classic comment:

    James Joyner says:
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 09:01
    @Eric Florack: You can’t be that much of an idiot. You just can’t

    Yes
    He
    Can

  20. anjin-san says:

    @ matt bernius

    I don’t know how far back you go with OTB, but Florack once spent a day arguing that the US military is not part of the federal government. He also explained to us how North Viet Nam was on the brink of defeat in 1975 before the Democrats saved them. In 2008, he told us “Obama can’t win” and said the Denver convention would be “A Democrat civil war, worse than Chicago.” He then moved on to breathless comments in the days before the election, telling us that based on “special inside information most people don’t have access to”, McCain was surging, and was certain to win the election. (his inside information turned out to be McCain campaign press releases)

    When it comes to being wildly, cosmically wrong about damn near everything, bithead gives Kristol and Morris a run for their money.

  21. anjin-san says:

    the current administration and it’s efforts to appease the Saudis.

    Funny, we did not hear much in the way of protest from the right when the Bush administration was arranging special VIP flights for Saudis on 9.12, while Americans were grounded. Nor when Mr. Bush was holding hands with and smooching Saudis.

    I guess it’s only “appeasement” when the black guy does it.

  22. Take Glen Beck out of the picture. These people have documented a deliberate attempt to destroy not only this country but all governments for the purpose of enslaving us.

    If you want or don’t watch this video series I see you as the fool and not to be taken seriously!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDDGl79x4Pc&feature=share&list=PL70118C8DEDCEB4F0

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @Thomas A. Wheeler: Nut. What are you, 14 years old?