Why Does Glenn Beck Hate the Victims of Natural Disasters?

On his nationally broadcast radio show, Glenn Beck routinely goes out of his way to denigrate people whose lives have been ripped apart by disasters.

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.

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The Big, Fat, Obnoxious Blowhard in Black

Do we really need a larger-than-life photo of the hateful Rush Limbaugh leering out at us like a schoolyard bully from a cover of Newsweek magazine?

Do you dislike the disgraceful Newsweek cover for the November 8, 2010, edition as much as I do? The cover photo depicts radio demagogue Rush Limbaugh, in a haughty (what else?), in-your-face pose, a smart-alecky expression on his chubby face, the fingers of his right hand extended out in a taunting manner, and dressed all in mordant black. The cover reads: “Rush Limbaugh: Always Right,” by Zev Chafets, his hagiographer.

Why put this hateful provocateur on Newsweek’s cover? With Limbaugh’s obscene $58.7 million annual salary, the broadcast bigmouth is No. One on Newsweek’s list of the “Power 50,” the top paid media celebrities and political commentators. So Americans are graced with Limbaugh’s pot-gutted presence for at least a week. Hot dog!

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The Adolf Hitler Store

I had no idea about the extras I would get in the mail when I ordered a CD of the shameful Father Coughlin’s speeches for historical review.

Recently, in conjunction with a new writing project, I began to research the life of Charles Coughlin, the infamous radio priest, hatemonger, and venomous anti-Semite of the 1930s. To this end, I ordered from Amazon a CD entitled Father Coughlin is on the Air! I actually bought the CD from one of Amazon’s many independent sellers. I did not pay attention to the name of the vendor, and clicked through as quickly as possible to complete the sale and get back to work.

When the CD arrived, it came with a catalog, copied poorly on plain white paper. I paid no attention to this cheap-looking product directory, putting it in my inbox for later review. That evening, I played the CD. Based on Coughlin’s evil reputation as the father of hate radio, I expected to hear a ranting and raving lunatic.  However, during the two radio broadcasts on the CD – programs for April 4 and 11, 1937 – Coughlin did not come across as unduly intemperate or unhinged. Quite the opposite. His delivery was powerful and passionate, and spoken in a strong and mellifluous voice, although for this listener fairly confusing, as the priest spoke disjointedly of unseemly debt and taxation levels, as well as the “manufacturing of money,” and what he quaintly termed “private property-ship.”

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Vaster Wasteland

TV is a big joke. Watch too much of it and your brain will turn to oatmeal. But with all of its many faults, TV is a full Cambridge scholarship compared to AM radio, and its shock jocks, right-wing talkers, sports show meatheads, and other on-air “personalities.”

In 1961, before the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Newton Minow delivered what is now famously known as his “Wasteland Speech.” Stating that, “When television is bad, nothing is worse,” Minow called TV a “vast wasteland.” Minow objected to the programming of that vintage era, as he described it, “game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons.” Minow was right on the money. They didn’t (and still don’t) call TV the “boob tube” for nothing.

At the time, only three TV networks broadcast in the USA. Today, more than 20 national TV networks operate, with hundreds of lesser networks also broadcasting around the clock. With today’s spate of unreal reality shows, dog-eat-dog survivor shows, idiotic game shows, sappy soap operas, and additional broadcasting babblement, things have not improved any. Indeed, the vast wasteland is now vaster than ever.

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Rush Limbaugh, Oceanography Savant

Right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is not a marine biologist. He is a destructive demagogue. Indeed, Limbaugh describes himself as “the most dangerous man in America.” Although Limbaugh’s prediction that the oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico would naturally vanish has proved partially correct, he should not get credit for it. Limbaugh based his forecast on ideology, not science. Plus, there remains the little matter of more than one million barrels of toxic oil – the equivalent of five Exxon Valdezes – still floating underwater and unseen in Gulf waters, along with vast amounts of dissolved methane.

Recently, America’s No. 1. yappy mouth, conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh, has been crowing that he was right regarding his prediction that Mother Nature would eliminate the oil geysering into the Gulf of Mexico from the broken BP Deepwater Horizon oil well at the seabed bottom.

On numerous radio broadcasts during the height of the BP oil spill disaster, Limbaugh routinely told his audience that the oil would magically disappear. And much of it has now apparently done so according to the federal government. It reported in early August that about three-quarters of the oil dispersed from the well has vanished, or soon will.

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