I can’t stand Glen Beck.
Which means that if I see his program while flipping through the cable channels I usually only watch a couple seconds. I guess it is mostly his style, standing in front of a chalk board and talking about issues as though they are simple and clear cut: Obama and the democrats are out of control and this is why it is so easy to see.
Among the other talking heads I detest are Bill O’Reilly, Rachel Maddow and Keither Olbermann.
These over emotional drama queens aren’t journalists in my mind as they don’t do real investigative journalism and they do not try to be objective. When it comes to news I just want facts and expert opinions, not somebody winning about how bad the democrats or republicans are. Why do they do it? Because apparently that is where the ratings are.
Talk radio hosts, both conservative and liberal, make money by getting people fired up over little things. They make wild accusations against the other political side of the aisle and help people get in touch with their inner neanderthal. Maybe I just can’t see past the dramatics, but people like Beck and Olbermann seem to be really angry and they yell at us–the television audience–as though we don’t get was is obviously wrong with the country. Rachel Maddow isn’t so bad, but she frequently gets weirded out and frequently pauses in the middle of semi-real almost-tirades against conservatives.
This is very different from the news programs I used to watch as a kid such as Washington Week in Review, 20/20, PrimeTime Live etc . . . in the 90’s these shows seemed to genuinely want to inform people about what was going on in the world, and there was a certain level of respect given to the viewer. Now the hosts of such magazine are talking heads which just spout rhetoric which is aimed at getting people converted to one side or the other. I don’t really watch much television, but what news is out there seems like a putrid wasteland of nothingness but anger and partisanship.
And it isn’t just me who is on edge, the Agriculture Department fired a woman, Shirley Sherrod, over comments she made which was edited by a conservative blogger and which was supposed to be aired on Fox News–she was unfairly canned in less time than it takes to hard boil an egg. Does anybody think this journalism is good? What was once objective reporting has turned into an infomercial for the democrats or republicans.
Worse, Glen Beck had a rally in Washington D.C. on the Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream Speech. Uh, sounds more insensitive than building a mosque at the 9/11 site. African American people have made great strides but really got the short end of the stick during the current economic recession and subprime mortgage crisis. Glen Beck also made sermon like statements which further inflamed his audience. I won’t mention a 20th Century German dictator who gave similarly pseudo-religious and nationalistic speeches that “energized” his political base, . . . but I guess I already did.
People should recognize these talking heads for what they are: entertainment and not real journalism.