In September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck derided as “scumbags” the victims of the disaster who were forced to huddle for days in the Louisiana Superdome to escape the floodwaters. Apparently, what enraged Beck about these individuals, most of whom were black New Orleanians, was that they did not leave the city in time to avoid the disaster.
Of course, the majority of these people were poor. Many were elderly. Others were disabled, mentally or physically or both. Few owned cars or had money for public transportation. (Unfortunately, for the people of New Orleans, free emergency evacuation via school buses and other city vehicles was non-existent during the tragedy.) On top of everything else, most of the people in the Superdome had nowhere to go, or money to house and take care of themselves when they got to wherever Beck wanted them to flee.
Nevertheless, during his broadcast, Beck, who routinely travels by limousine or private jet (the latter a strict contract requirement of Premiere Speakers bureau, which books his “motivational” talks), was what can only be described as insanely angry that these poor victims did not get out of New Orleans before Katrina hit.
There’s real compassion for you. On the air, the sanctimonious Beck constantly prattles on about his Christian faith, and how God has transformed his life. But wasn’t Jesus’s core message to help the poor? I don’t think it was to denigrate them, put them down, and call them vicious names.
What is particularly loathsome about Beck, and his his on-air buffoonish colleagues, is that even now, in 2011, nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina, they still cannot stop viciously disparaging disaster victims, such as those who fled to the Superdome when Katrina blasted New Orleans.
Case in point: Today, during his nationally broadcast radio show, Beck and his silly amen chorus (even more obnoxious than he) spent considerable time riffing, riposting, and giggling like third graders about disaster aid, FEMA trucks, people stuck on roofs, and so on. Clearly, these privileged individuals absolutely detest the poor victims of disasters. This raises an obvious question: Why? Probably only a psychiatrist can answer that question.
For myself, permit me to apply two quotes from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to Beck and his contemptible cronies: “[They speak] nothing but madman,” and much more to the point, “Pardon me [sirs], you’re bad entertainment.” – Mickey Murphy © 2011 MMMurphy
June 29, 2011, update: Beck just said on his radio show that he is leaving TV (Fox) because there is no honor in that industry. The presumption of Beck’s statement is that he himself is honorable. Oh, really? How is it honorable for a multi-millionaire, who employs lackeys to cater to his every whim, and who owns everything he could ever desire, to use his radio show to viciously attack poor hurricane victims whose entire lives have been wiped out, along with all of their meager belongings? Beck has no honor. He makes an outlandish joke of himself when he discusses this subject.
June 30, 2011, update: Watch this hilarious Media Matters video about Beck entitled “Requiem for a Rodeo Clown.”
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