Thursday, August 27, 2009

Glenn Beck dives off the conspiracist deep end with nutty guilt-by-association game

-- by Dave

Glenn Beck has been imploring his viewers this week to record the show and keep it and watch it and rewatch it so that they can absorb all the vital information it will contain, because it's rilly, rilly important.

The upshot: There are a bunch of radical left-wing Marxists who have been mainstreaming themselves through various civil-rights and community-organizing fronts who are all connected to President Obama.

The apparent nexus of this conspiracy is the Apollo Alliance, which describes itself thus:

The Apollo Alliance is a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs. Inspired by the Apollo space program, we promote investments in energy efficiency, clean power, mass transit, next-generation vehicles, and emerging technology, as well as in education and training. Working together, we will reduce carbon emissions and oil imports, spur domestic job growth, and position America to thrive in the 21st century economy.

Woo. Sounds like a bunch of wild-eyed Marxist radicals to me. Their board, too, looks like a bunch of people who make their livings as capitalists -- though Beck wants to paint them all as "anti-capitalists."

One of the realities of conspiracy theories like this is that they rely not merely on guilt by association, but that they are themselves about hidden agendas. All conspiracy theories are fundamentally scapegoating narratives, and so the most fundamental aspect of them is who they are scapegoating. In this case, it's community organizers like Van Jones (named prominently in Beck's recent diatribes) and other minority civil-rights and environmental activists.

So what Beck isn't telling you is that the very people he's scapegoating -- particularly Jones' outfit, Color of Change -- have been leading the charge to strip Beck's show of advertisers in the wake of his outrageous attacks on President Obama as a "racist" and "someone who hates white people, white culture".

If Beck had an ounce of honesty in his body, he'd offer full disclosure: That the very organizations he's smearing as riddled with "Marxists" and "communists" and as fundamentally a bunch of "radicals" are the same organizations that have been hurting him and his show financially.

Incidentally, he's still losing advertisers, but can always stand to lose more.

Today, FWIW, we get Rush Limbaugh on Beck's show to lead his defense. We can only hope a hole in the time-space continuum does not open from the critical mass of so much wingnuttery on one show.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

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