About Glenn Beck’s Extremist Rhetoric, Part 2

Media • Views: 4,212

David Frum asks “What is going on at Fox News?”

The whole column makes good points (and Beck has already savaged Frum for it, of course), but let’s focus on one section:

The audience for Beck’s Friday night special were each given copies of two books. One of them was Cleon Skousen’s Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen, who died in 2006, is one of the legendary cranks of the conservative world, a John Bircher, a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.

There’s always been a market for this junk of course. Once that market was reached via mimeographed newsletters. Now it’s being tapped by Fox News.

Here’s a recording of a speech by Skousen, to give you an idea who Glenn Beck thinks is a great man, worthy of promoting on Fox News.

The Mormon Times has more details on Beck’s praise for this work of conspiracy madness by a close ally of the John Birch Society: Beck’s backing bumps Skousen book to top.

“Everyone should read this book,” the conservative talk show host said as he passed out copies during a recent broadcast. On his radio program Friday evening, Beck touted the book’s climb to No. 1.

Beck added an introduction to the copies he handed out on his show. “(Skousen) was years ahead of his time,” Beck wrote. “And our founders were thousands of years ahead of their time. My hope is that all Americans young and old will spend time with this book to understand why we are who we are. The words of our Founding Fathers have a way of reaching across any political divide.”

A question for LGF readers who have been defending Beck’s insane conspiracy rhetoric: are these the kinds of people you want to be associated with—Ron Paul, John Birchers, and “end times” fanatics?

In his latest column, Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t mention Glenn Beck, but he’s also noticed that Fox News is going off the rails.

Footnote. The once insightful Fox News is rapidly devolving into a sort of entertainment circus. That is a tragedy, since the network for years has done wonders in offering an antithesis to the supposedly non-biased biased network news. Each news show now interviews hosts from the other Fox news hours (To save money? Free publicity?). Hawking books (written in short, breezy style, without much analysis) is done on the air rather than as commercials. Anchors show old clips of themselves and invite in analysts to praise their on-air interviews (are they going to be invited back if critical?).

The hosts now constantly blare out their own ratings. Murder and rapine often headline the news in the manner of the local 6PM affiliates. Quiz shows are part of the news; female analysts are almost always either young or blond or usually both, rather than simply insightful. The sober and judicious Brit Hume’s presence is missed. Take away a few top-notch correspondents, and Charles Krauthammer’s sagacity and depth of thinking, and there is increasingly not a lot there. (but I like Neil Cavuto’s business hour and Dennis Miller’s op-eds) All in all, an unfortunate development, since there is no disinterested counterpart to a 60 Minutes or NBC News, and for years Fox offered an invaluable alternative in airing real news deliberately ignored by the mainstream networks.

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