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Rage on the Airwaves
Tue, 08/10/2010

Vigorous debate about the many challenges that face America is welcome. But there is something disturbing about the extremes to which so many of today’s radio and television talk show hosts go in tapping deep wellsprings of rage as part of the all-important quest for top ratings.

The ongoing conflict between Fox News host Glenn Beck and the Jewish Funds for Justice offers a window into this dynamic.

Beck's stock and trade is outrage. As the JFSJ has pointed out, his serial use of Holocaust analogies is deeply offensive to many in our community and undermines constructive political debate.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank offers some appalling statistics; since President Obama's inauguration in 2009, Beck's show has featured “202 mentions of Nazis or Nazism ... 147 mentions of Hitler, 193 mentions of fascism or fascist, and another 24 bonus mentions of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Most of these were directed in some form at Obama — as were the majority of the 802 mentions of socialist or socialism on Beck's nightly report.”

That's not news and it's not entertainment; a better name for it might be “incitement.” There are many good reasons to criticize the Obama administration; comparing it to the onset of Nazism is a sure-fire way to stifle any reasonable discussion about its successes and failures.

As the ADL has pointed out, using the Holocaust as just one more rock to hurl in today’s political world demeans memory and is an affront to survivors.

JFSJ is also upset about Beck's claim that “social justice” activism is a code for socialism or worse. His primary targets were the many churches with a strong social justice focus, but he might just as well have been speaking about a huge chunk of the Jewish community that regards the quest for justice as a religious imperative.

Fox News, for its part, has played a two-faced game – meeting with a group of Jewish leaders and indicating sensitivity to their concerns, but then insisting the network backs Beck “1,000 percent.” The real test of the network's intentions: will Beck tone down his troubling rhetoric, or keep fanning the flames of unrestrained rage?

This isn't about partisanship; as we have noted before, both Democrats and Republicans show a growing and shameful willingness to hurl Holocaust charges in the interests of political expediency. Glenn Beck is merely the most obvious example of a destructive form of entertainment, packaged and sold as political “dialogue” and consumed with gusto by an increasingly enraged public. 

 

 

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Comments

Glen Beck is a friend of the Jewish People.In a sea of enemies you would think the author of this piece would be grateful for that.I am tired of this business that if somebody is a conservative that they are anti-Jewish. Most of my family was wiped out in Treblinka and Aushwitz.If Glen Beck wishes to use the holocaust to make any point why shouldn't he .Why do some people believe they own certain issues.Obviously he has just as much right to his freedom of speech as anybody else and not everybody is searching to find fault.The real"fault" is that some people don't agree with him and they use his statements to try and hurt him. Jewish people have a knack of turning enemies into friends and friends into enemies.Just because a person doesn't agree with you should not make him a target.I was disappointed with this article.
Glen Beck originally was a critic of the elected establishment who had an entertaining way and use of sarcasm to make his point. He was no fan of George Bush and certainly was opposed to Barrack OBama and especially to the group of radical leftists and anti Semitic followers like Farakhan and his mentor the Pastor of the church he attended for many years. This was message that many rational people could agree with. Lately though his message has become completely dangerous. His emphasizes the Founding fathers of the United States who first protested and then revolted against the tyrannical English King and Government. He emphasizes that the people have the right to oppose a Federal Government that is usurping powers that belong to the people. Beck urges his listeners to follow in the footsteps of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and our national heroes. He forgets that many of their ideas were anti democratic. As an example the Senators were not directly elected by the people but were elected by State legislatures. He emphasizes that the United States form of government is a Republic not a Democracy. He tries to reverse history calling Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson as the originators of policies that have made America a government that has taken away the fundamental rights of the American people. He is feeding into the hatred that fringe groups and unstable people can take as a call for violent actions such as Waco and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma. I do not believe he wants this outcome, but is only trying to build up his ratings, but the outcome could be a catastrophe for all of us.
Fox news isthe only station that doesn't blame Israel has a reflex action. But they are the bad guys. And I suppose msnbc upholds some sort of Jewish value.
Beck is pro-Jewish. The JFJ crowd is pro-Palestinian and are SELF HATING JEWS, much like the author of this piece. I assume this paper is a pro-Obama paper which proves it's a SHJ (Self Hating Jewish) paper. Only SHJs would support the JEW HATER IN THE WHITE HOUSE and the JEW HATING DEMOCRATS. I am 100% Jewish and if you can't see it, you're like Alfred Rosenberg, who was a socialist part of the German Workers Party. His family had been Jewish but did not recognize the Jewish part of their family. We're talking both sides of his family were Jewish. He was a REAL SHJ as well, and hated Jews. He helped craft the answer to the final solution. Makes me SICK WHEN I SEE JEWISH PAPERS BACKING ANTI-JEWISH GROUPS who HATE US and back the ARABS! WE ARE IN DANGER! FELLOW JEWS WAKE UP!

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