Curiosity got the better of me the last couple of nights. I've been hearing a lot about Glenn Beck in the last few months, mostly in a bad sense. I did read a profile in Time magazine for background information. When I was up at 2 a.m., he popped up on a re-run on Fox News.
Beck usually is quoted as saying something really odd, such as that President Obama's henchmen were going to be coming for him in the near future. Still, there's nothing like seeing him in his own element.
It took about four minutes for me to get annoyed. Beck made the statement that he was not a journalist, and "wore that fact as a badge of honor." Hmmm. Collecting the facts and informing the public always struck me as something of a noble profession, even if the bearers of bad tidings aren't always popular. Wonder how he gets his news?
One night Beck used a headline on economic indicators from the New York Times as a launching point for a rant. The headline was something like "Why so glum? Economy shows strong growth." Which, according to everything I've seen is true. You may argue that it's propped up by government spending, and I'd argue that it is what most people want about now.
Good indicators don't match gloom-and-doom message, so Beck launched an attack ... on the New York Times. If things are so good, why is the New York Times laying off people, he argued. I'm not going to say this is a great time for newspapers, but that industry is a little small to be called representative of When the facts get in the way, attack the messenger.
Then today, Newsweek came out with a commentary saying the economy was rebounding in impressive fashion. This was written off as another example of "Obama-media." (In fairness, the Fox News host did complain about a picture layout in that article with him under Father Coughlin, which might have been over the line for the magazine).
Beck also showed a clip of Ben Bernanke from early in 2007, saying he expected good growth through the summer and fall. Beck made fun of that prediction; the problem is that, while it's difficult to say when exactly the recession began, it very well could have been very late in 2007. So in other words, Bernanke may have been right.
Click. New channel.
I realize that Beck has an interest in telling people that disaster is right around the corner. More gloom and doom builds ratings and fires up the audience.
It doesn't mean I have to watch, though.