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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Glenn Beck is amazing!

In the Quentin Tarantino-written movie, True Romance,  Don Vincenzo (played by Christopher Walken) explains to the soon-to-be-tortured-and-executed  Clifford Whorley (played by the late Dennis Hopper) that “Sicilians are great liars,” and that “[his] father was the world heavy weight champion of Sicilian liars.”  That may have been true in the Tarantino-verse, but I’m betting that his Don Vincenzo’s father couldn’t hold a CANDLE to the new heavyweight champion of American, Right Wing Liars: GLENN “BOOM-BOOM” BECK.
Consider this. As of earlier today, Media Matters has 4,424 items from this oracle of obfuscation, dating back to January 17th of 2006, when CNN first hired him.  That’s exactly 1,781 days ago.  Which means that Glenn Beck has lied an average of two and half (2.48) times a day*, every day, for the past FIVE YEARS! And that doesn’t even account for the time he was off the air between his ouster at CNN and when Fox picked him up.  Now… one might say that maybe he’s not “lying,” per se, because he actually believes this stuff, or that he’s not “lying,” just really bad at research, journalism, etc…  But I’m not willing to give him the benefit of that doubt here.  Because when you rake in over $30 Million Dollars a year to talk about current events, you really should GET IT RIGHT occasionally.  If you’re paid that much, and screw up two and half times a day for five years?  You’re a paid liar, and you know it.
This past week however, Glenn Beck has truly outdone himself, both with the number of lies, the diversity of subject matter, and the absolute, utter absurdity of the claims being made.  The following are just SOME of the items from MMFA, just in past couple of days:
That last one is particularly artful/egregious, as it manages to conflate the RW distortion of the Fairness Doctrine, which was taken off the books almost 10 years before the Internet was even a thing, and their idiotic opposition to Net Neutrality which (usually) amounts to little more than “It’s a violation of their freedom of speech to prohibit them from censoring you. ”  It’s also truly amazing, when you consider the long established RW opposition to Net Neutrality, that he could seriously manage to screw up the basic premise of the issue that badly.
But then… He’s Glenn Beck.  A very good candidate to become MMFA’s very first TWO-TIME Misinformer of the year!  (He’s definitely got MY vote!)
(And no, I don’t get a vote.)

*As a point of comparison, Rush Limbaugh had only 2,953 items, dating back to 1/6/06, for an average of just 1.65 lies a day. And Rush has his own section on the website! And yet Glenn Beck is still about 50% more dishonest – by just under a lie a day, over five years – than Rush Limbaugh!  Who have thought that was possible?

9 comments:

  1. I think his best was... his very recent "lie about lying."

    His reasoning was... if a news media figure lies, they generally get punished, or fired. He has not been fired. Therefore, EVERYTHING HE SAYS MUST BE TRUE.

    It's funny that he should bring that up, working for Fox. In a case involving Fox, the courts decided not to grant two ex-journalists from Fox whistle-blower status... because..

    Whistle-blower status only covers people who get fired for doing the ethical thing in an illegal situation. What's not illegal, according to this ruling? Fabricating, distorting, or completely white-washing the news.

    Now, one may agree with that... to an extent, that under the First Amendment, a private company should be able to say as they wish, even under the guise of "news".

    But as for Beck saying that... get the fuck outta here. You have a long and healthy relationship with your employer BECAUSE you lie your ass off. Not in spite of it.

    Here's a story about the aforementioned ruling.
    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

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  2. Steeve,

    That's a great aricle. And I'm familiar with that case, actually. Those two were featured in one of the sections of the fantastic documentary film "The Corporation." And while there nothing legally wrong with the ruling itself (after all: There IS no law against braodcasting false news, and we DO have freedom of speech) it has arguably become of of the two or three most damaging precedents of the 20th Century, due to how far the Right (primarily Fox) has been willing to go to exploit it.

    Thanks for the link and your comment.

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  3. I'm not Steeve, but I agree. Fox news is basically ruining free speech for everyone. There actually IS decent and reasonable ways to regulate news, and I've heard a few thrown out here and there for comprehensive media reform.

    That would require "change" though. And our president apparently wants nothing to do with that.

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  4. WHOOPS! LOL. How the hell did I manage THAT?! Sorry about that, Stee, er... Class, er... Whoever the hell you are! (OMG! Sorry! *embarrassed*)

    I'd be curious to hear some of these ideas. I've tried to come up with some of my own, but they always end up being either a clear violation of the principle free speech, not to mention that they'd pracically stfile the media's ability ot the job we WANT it to -OR- so completely weak and ineffective that they'd accomplish nothing.

    Thanks again for your comments.

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  5. One of the history professors who commented, for Media Matters, on Prof Irwin Beck's Roman History Lecture described it in a phrase which should become a logo or chyron for Beck's show, and be carved on his tombstone: "Preposterously Nonsensical."

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  6. I didn't get around to reading the MMFA write up until this [Monday] morning, but it really WAS brilliant, wasn't it?! I love how every one of the emails start out basically saying, "This is so stupid I don't even know where to start!" Of course, Beck (and his ilk) will read that as "LIberal professor can't formulate a counter argument, thus: I must be right!"

    "Preposterously Nonsensical" indeed!

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  7. The MMFA numbers you cite are disappointing in a different way--they give an example of how badly MMFA has strayed from their mission of battling right-wing misinformation in the press. They focus almost all of their energies on a tiny handful of the same narrow targets every day.

    They aren't even the right targets, because the main corridor through which right-wing misinformation is delivered to the public isn't through Fox News--it's through the regular "mainstream" corporate media. A single item on a single nightly news broadcast of even the lowest-rated of the networks gets more viewership than all of the Fox News programs combined, and that's where the real damage is done. MMFA regular poster "papajohn" has often complained about this loss of perspective by MMFA. He's right. I was preparing a critique of MMFA along these lines a few weeks ago when my world abruptly ended, and I'm not able to write (or do) much of anything now.

    MMFA used to do things like their comprehensive survey of columnists in U.S. papers, and their studies of the guest-list of the Sunday network news shows. Now, they probably don't do half-a-dozen items a week that aren't, in some way, connected to Fox News. This is laziness squared--hitting Fox is like shooting arthritic fish in a VERY small barrel. But it's also an incredible disservice to the public.

    When MMFA began, they often gave the long-established Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting a run for their money, when it came to press criticism. Now, FAIR (which is much smaller) is easily back on top. FAIR has a blog these days:
    http://www.fair.org/blog/
    Their work is much more substantive, has an all-inclusive scope, and even their frequent targets, like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, much more important--while big papers in their own right, they're more important in that they largely set the news agenda for the "mainstream" press.

    FAIR has done a slew of items on coverage of the debt commission, for example. You wouldn't know it from MMFA, but every time this commissions' dismal "work" is discussed in the press, the supporters of its recommendations--those who portray those recommendations as smart, necessary, "adult," reasonable, and even moderate, and who portray their critics as irresponsible, greedy, partisan children--are almost entirely unchallenged. If Americans see a story on the debt commission, this is what they're seeing. The current top FAIR blog item is about how the PBS Newshour (just under 3 million viewers/day, Americans of every conceivable background) has been giving the commission's supporters a nearly-unchallenged megaphone. Meanwhile, MMFA is obsessively chasing Glenn Beck (1/3 fewer viewers than the Newshour, and utterly repugnant to anyone who isn't already a true believer) for his ignorance of ancient Roman history.

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  8. @ClassicLiberal,

    I couldn't agree more, and I'll have to send some more time over at FAIR. I checked them out after your comment, but only read a few items. Off the cuff, they don't seem to cover each item with the DEPTH that MMFA does - as MMFA usually include audio/video, transcipts, links to sources and counterevidence, etc... - But they definitely have them beat hands down with the BREADTH of media sources they cover: Very little Fox, very little Limbaugh, TONS from so-called "Liberal Media."

    And that's really what drew me to MMFA in the first place, back in... late 2006, early '07 IIRC: The number of items they had debinking Conservtaive misinformtaion being carried by the "Liberal" Media. Now? It's 33% Limbaugh, 33% Beck, 33% [The Rest of Fox] and 0.9% WaPO, NYT, and 0.1% the rest of the Media. And this in a time in which half of their pieces, EASILY, could end, "BEHOLD, YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA!"

    And it's not that Fox, Beck & Limbaugh should be ingnored, but if you debunk the MYTH of the "Liberal Media?" You automatically emasculate Fox & Limbaugh without even having to deal with them directly. Two birds (three, really) with one stone. It seems like Eric Alterman understood that the best. Foser and Bohlert too, but it seems like there slide into becoming merely an Anti-Fox started when Alterman left. (And it doesn't seem like Foser, Boehlert or Frisch even contribute very much anymore. Where'd they go? These new guys are good, but nowhere near the level of the guys they're replacing!)

    I'll need to dig into FAIR some more. Smells like a Gold Star Winner to me!

    Thanks for your comment.

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  9. FAIR publishes a mag called EXTRA! You should definitely subscribe to it. I did for years, until I ended up unemployed. It's relatively cheap (or was a few years ago), and goes out every other month, with a brief "update" sent out on the down months. They sometimes put their longer articles online, but not on their blog--they're in EXTRA! They commission actual scientific studies of this-or-that element of the press, and do their own surveys of who gets to speak.

    You mentioned MMFA's work on Limbaugh--FAIR did an extensive debunking of Limbaugh way back in the '90s, one of the first outlets to do so (I was working on one at the time, but they beat me to it--mine was quite a bit larger, and continued for a few years after). They cover coverage of political campaigns, the wars in which the U.S. become involved, the major issues of the day. They used to (and may still) do a regular annual survey of "expert opinion," people from think-tanks and how often they're cited in the press (right-wing "experts" vastly outnumber liberal ones). The writing is often biting--check out this recent item:
    http://www.fair.org/blog/2010/12/08/evan-thomas-only-people-like-me-can-save-america-from-the-internets-lies/

    I've always loved FAIR's work. MMFA seemed to emerge as a serious competitor, at first, but now, it's All Fox All The Time.

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