Ed Driscoll

You Go to War with the TV Personalities You Have

“I Like Glenn Beck Because He’s Fun to Watch,” Tim Cavanaugh writes at Reason:

Yes, he’s trying, as Moynihan memorably put it, to learn history and teach it at the same time. But so what? Like the dumpy woman with low self-esteem we all dream of, Beck makes up in enthusiasm what he lacks in natural gifts. I like the sense that he’s bringing you his findings as fast as they come in. You get the impression that two weeks ago Beck had never heard of Woodrow Wilson, yet now he has figured out that Woodrow Wilson was one of the most evil people of the 20th century, and he wants to tell everybody. There’s something fun about that, a performance that invites you to help fill in details and fix errors. It’s certainly something you don’t see anywhere else on TV, a medium populated almost entirely by people who are more cocksure about everything than I am about anything.

And he’s right about Woodrow Wilson.

It’s understandable that you don’t want to lose all your invitations, and the dismissive pose toward Beck stems from a well founded fear my fellow rootless cosmopolitans have — that if we seem too close to the cars-on-cinderblocks, chicken-coops-in-yards, shotguns-and-rockingchairs variety of libertarianism, we will lose the respect of liberaloids in New York and D.C. It’s a real concern, but if the trade-off means you reject the Tea Parties — by far the biggest popular movement with a clear anti-government mood that has occurred in my lifetime – and in exchange you get to be comfortable at table with David Frum, well, that deal sounds like a loser to me. (Then again, I’ve never had dinner chez Frum/Crittenden. Maybe it’s really worth it.)

So to the new up-from-libertarianism faction, I say: Allah makun; you’re welcome back anytime, no questions asked. But I actually like this doughy Mormon over in his spooky little study, who as of the other day was advising his college student viewers in this way:

Don’t you just take from [teachers]. You question them. You read everything they tell you not to read. You read everything they tell you to read, and then you read everything they tell you not to read. You find out why they don’t like it. Challenge them. Find out on your own what’s true.

I have no problem with that advice. Does anybody else?

Not me — I’m old enough to remember when “Question Authority” was still a phrase that the sixties generation professed to take seriously, before they became authority themselves.

The flip-side of the passage from Cavanaugh about losing “the respect of liberaloids in New York and D.C.” is a reminder of how much of the JournoList’s shilling for Obama’s destructive economic policies, which ultimately seeped into the 88 percent of the MSM that backed Obama, was based purely on the thinking that “Obama looks so cool! And those Republicans seem like such dweebs.”

Heck of a way to sell socioeconomic decisions that impact 300 million people today, and future generations to come.


Glenn Beck just reported some of the estimates on the crowd size at his 8/28 Restoring Liberty rally:

“First was there was tens of thousands of people here. The latest I heard were two: the first at over 300,000. And the next at over 500,000. And if those are the estimates the media is giving, God only knows.”

Jillian noted earlier reports that the crowd was over 500,000. The “low estimate” Beck referred to was likely the national park service, who estimated the crowd within the last hour to be between 300,000-325,000.

Carol Platt Liebau adds:

Much of the MSM is horrified — horrified! — by the Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial today.  Well, we’ll know whether they’re right when we look at what the speakers have said.  In the end, that’s what matters . . . not how they’re characterized by their political adversaries in the media and elsewhere, but by the message they spread.

And let’s hope that anyone on the left who protests the site or the timing of the rally has likewise spoken out about the need for “sensitivity” when it comes to the Ground Zero mosque (which, incidentally, may be eligible for funding with New Yorkers’ tax dollars).  It would be nothing if not hypocritical to argue that Imam Rauf should be able to exercise his First Amendment rights without regard to Americans’ sensibilities while condemning Beck’s supposed “insensitivity” in exercising hisBob Herbert, care to comment?

If I were part of the liberal elite, I wouldn’t be as worried by the historic/racial overtones of the rally.  I’d be worried about what it symbolizes: A growing understanding on the part of regular Americans that they should (and need) no longer heed the supposed “wisdom” and “moral authority” of a liberal elite that has nothing but contempt for them.

In the Christian Science Monitor, Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., explains why she was planning to speak at Beck’s event today:

Americans are hungry to reclaim the symbols of our liberty, hard won by an unlikely group of outnumbered, outgunned, underfunded patriots determined not to live in servitude to the British Empire. If we want to sing the national anthem at a memorial to the man who led this fledgling nation out of slavery, and made my people free, we should be able to send our voices soaring to the heavens.

Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” this Saturday will give us that chance, and that’s why I feel it’s important for me to be there.

Before the words were out of Mr. Beck’s mouth announcing the Aug. 28 rally, The New York Times noted that it would be at the same place and 47 years to the day since my Uncle Martin gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” When asked why he chose that date in particular, Beck said he had not realized its significance, but in thinking about it, he saw it is an auspicious day to rally for the honor of the American people. He has said, and he’s right, that Martin Luther King didn’t speak only for African-Americans. He spoke for all Americans, and his words still ring true.

Other groups are planning rallies and demonstrations in Washington that day, and freedom of speech gives them the right to do so – and to criticize me for not jumping on their bandwagon. But Uncle Martin’s legacy is big enough to go around.

Indeed. Let’s assume for now that the 300,000 figure for the crowd in attendance quoted above is true. (Somehow they managed to find the Lincoln Memorial, much to Google’s apparent chagrin.) Compare that to the number apparently at Al Sharpton’s protest of Beck’s event: 3,000. As Jim Hoft notes, “The media is not airing any crowd shots at this time” from Sharpton’s “Dozen Dude Dud” as Jim Treacher quipped.

But speaking of media coverage from that rally, the Black & Right blog takes one for the team, and watches CNN’s coverage of Al Sharpton’s mini-rally, so you don’t have to. But don’t miss his screen caps from CNN.

(Cavanaugh’s post found via Kathy Shaidle, who dubs it “Probably the best thing ever written about Glenn Beck.” Photos at top of post via Instapundit, and via the Daily Caller, which has much more on Beck’s rally today.)

Related: “I have a dream … and a nightmare.”