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A Tale of Seven Psychoses

Posted on January 2 2011 9:00 am

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3.  Glenn Beck’s 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally

One of the great challenges that confront any self-respecting propaganda organ is the story that is so big, so unequivocal and so well-documented that normal attempts at disinformation run the risk of doing more damage to the authors than anyone else.

Inasmuch as our media lost their self-respect years ago, taking on the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally was perhaps less of a problem than it might once have been.

So when Glenn Beck announced plans for a rally that would be explicitly and emphatically apolitical, for the purposes of restoring honor to the country, through a renewed understanding and adoption of the values of our Founding Fathers, including (make that “especially”) God … the media made the obvious logical leap that this was actually conservative racist demagoguery aimed at sullying the memory of Martin Luther King.

No, seriously. That’s what they came up with.

The New Black Panthers, possibly mistaking the Lincoln Memorial for a polling station, threatened promised to show up:

For [Glenn Beck] to go and secure the Lincoln Memorial on Dr. King’s birthday will meet not only opposition from civil rights leaders but it’s going to meet direct opposition from the New Black Panther Party. Since the Tea Party loves Glenn Beck and will be there, the New Black Panther Party can easily find the Tea Party, right with Glenn Beck. And so, he can bring his Tea Party and we’ll bring our party, and we’ll see Glenn Beck …

(Relevant portion starts at the 16:18 mark here– full Tommy Christopher interview here.)

Unhappily, it doesn’t appear the minions of Shabazz were able to attend, or at least they went unnoticed among the hundreds of thousands of people who chose to be there despite the threats, jeers and doomsaying the Panthers had so generously contributed to.

(Full disclosure, that’s me in the yellow t-shirt on the right.)

Of course, we can’t all be hulking and otherwise unemployable social misfits with a redeeming talent for violence, so NPR had to content itself with using, straight-faced, the expression “pit of hatred” in an article that didn’t also feature a character named “The Dread Pirate Roberts.”

Stoking even more suspicions is how secretive Beck is being. Little is known about the event except that there will be speeches by Beck and Sarah Palin, and attendees are prohibited from bringing signs. The fear, of course, is that it will turn into a pit of hatred a la the health-care town halls. But there may be a glimmer of hope.

The glimmer of hope for me is that someone someday will take the crayons away from such people, or make them pass a basic comprehension test, which would amount to the same thing.

On the eve of the rally John Avlon of The Daily Beast achieved the remarkable feat of vilifying Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin as latter-day George Wallace’s in one breath then chastising them for their inflammatory rhetoric and divisiveness in the next.

Tomorrow on the site and anniversary of MLK’s greatest speech, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and 100,000 friends will rally against everything the civil-rights leader stood for.

Now there’s a statement with big shoulders if one ever existed. Typically one expects that such an assertion (roughly the equivalent of accusing someone of cheating at poker at three in the morning on the wrong side of town) will quickly be followed by a supporting argument that if not airtight is at least not embarrassing.

Avlon, trying not to disappoint, offers us this Aristotelian gem:

  1. George Wallace was a “constitutionalist” (in the narrow sense that he tried to invoke states’ rights in opposition of federally enforced desegregation, but let’s not get hung up on details).
  2. Glenn Beck is a “constitutionalist”.
  3. Therefore Glenn Beck is against everything Martin Luther King stood for.

I take it back, Miss Princess Bride at NPR made more sense. This isn’t even passable sophistry; it’s the kind of simplistic mangle liberals like Avlon used to find so amusing in people like Archie Bunker.

If you doubt my interpretation, and I can fully appreciate why anyone would who expects something a little more advanced than “my first syllogism” from its authors, the article in its entirety can be read here.

Perhaps sensing he hasn’t quite made his case with his nimble construction, Avlon hedges his bets with the “they’re so crazy, they’re so fanatical, they’re so God, guns and country…” line of attack with which he is obviously much more comfortable.

Time to suit up: Tomorrow, the 2010 Wingnut Super Bowl kicks off on the Washington Mall. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and special guests like Ted Nugent will be entertaining at the “Restoring Honor” rally in front of an anticipated crowd of 100,000 true believers. It promises the politics of incitement wrapped up in the American flag and the Bible, offered from the national pulpit where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech exactly 47 years before—a coincidence Beck modestly chalks up to “divine providence.”

There’s much more of the same for those with the fortitude. I won’t sport with your intelligence by quoting any further.

To the palpable disappointment of the Greek chorus on the Left the 8/28 rally was massively well attended, completely apolitical as advertised and entirely peaceful. In the spirit of absolute fairness, I guess there could have been a “Hats Off to Hitler” banner somewhere … but I didn’t see it, and anyway we’d never know for sure  because it would have been thrown away in the clearly marked receptacles like every other piece of trash after the rally.

Accounts of the day can be found here and here.

Next: Journolist – “What do you mean you didn’t delete the thread!”

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