Thursday, September 17, 2009

In Praise of ... Glenn Beck?

I come to praise Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, and all the other talkmeiseters out there in TV and radio land.

As much as it pains me to say, mainstream journalists need to pay closer attention to these guys. 

Yeah, they're a bit nutty, a bit fruity, and if I could come up with some other food-based description I'd use it too.  We all know that.  But they, and the minor league talkers, have come up with what eventually came to be major stories.

  • Van Jones, the environmental adviser, resigned.  Journalists acted a bit surprised by this, but if they'd been listening to talk radio they would have seen this coming a long time ago and would have covered the story sooner.
  • ACORN, that wacky group of whatever the hell they are, got caught doing and saying stupid things. Hannity in particular has been all over these guys.  There's embarrassing video out there and the feds have responded by slowly but clearly cutting ties to the group (Census Bureau, the latest I suppose).
  • Czars.  Can we ever have enough czars?  Apparently not the president, and the talkers have been pissing and moaning about this for a while now.  And guess what?  CNN this morning, a story about how many czars there are in the Administration and congressional concerns about who they answer to, how they are vetted.  Listen to the crazy talk people, CNN, and you would have had this story sooner.
Some guys debated online the other day whether there should be a hate beat, and someone answered that nearly every beat these days seems to be a hate beat.  Assign someone to listen to the semi-crazed talk radio/tv folks and you'll get a lot of that -- plain hate, dressed up as saving America.  But there's good news stuff in all that bloviating.  Ya just gotta wade through hours of shit to find the gems and help people understand what's going on in the political world.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I agree that from time to time these nutjobs get lucky, but I feel like giving them attention of any kind -- even for the few good pieces of journalism they may do -- legitimizes everything else that those shows represent. It's a fine line to walk.

And I'll say this about Acorn. Yes, they are a sleazy organization that helps people with tax evasion and that is wrong, but the people they aid are on the bottom rung and are not committing tax fraud at the same monetary level as many wealth individuals and corporations employing good old fashioned accountants. Also, I feel like a weird guy and his girlfriend did more to break the story than Fox News, but that's a different argument.