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Alexander Zaitchik - Glenn Beck’s War on Reason
Posted: 13 August 2010 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This week, the scope of Point of Inquiry expands to include politics and more particularly, the fount of misinformation that is Glenn Beck of Fox News. This TV and radio personality is ushering in a new reign of ignorance in our national discourse—and even has the gall to liken his efforts to those of Martin Luther King, Jr.

But investigative journalist Alexander Zaitchick has pinned Beck to a wall with his new book Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. He’s even provoked Beck into denouncing him for practicing “despicable, yellow journalism.” Coming from Beck, that’s a compliment.

So tune in to learn more about how Beck has become a new icon of American irrationality—and just general cluelessness.

Alex Zaitchik is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. He’s contributed to Salon.com, The Nation, Wired, and many other distinguished publications. In the course of his career he has reported from locations ranging from Miami to Moscow, from Prague to Mexico City—and Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance is his first book.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/alexander_zaitchik_glenn_becks_war_on_reason/

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Posted: 13 August 2010 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Glenn Beck is a raving, foaming at the mouth lunatic.  But an amusing one.  To those of us who find crazy funny.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 13 August 2010 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dead Monky - 13 August 2010 05:04 PM

Glenn Beck is a raving, foaming at the mouth lunatic.  But an amusing one.  To those of us who find crazy funny.

If he was an independent operator, his would be a funny case.  What’s troubling is that he’s grown to be a trailblazer and a lightning rod for Murdoch’s media empire and for the lunatic fringe generally.  With Beck in the picture, the rest of the ludicrous Fox News editorial staff looks sane by comparison; the same applies to the opportunistic new petty tyrants, Christian dominionists, and hatemongers that are setting up shop all over the country via the Tea Party’s inchoate ardor.  Beck is a sophisticated troll; whether or not he is a true believer, response and criticism directed at him is, frankly, useless.  My own thought is to target his hosting institutions, to find a way to hold them responsible for the raging, dishonest beast to whom they’re giving airtime.
[Edit: I wrote this during the first 15 minutes of the interview, then realized that this is exactly where Mr. Zaitchik took the interview.  Apologies for repeating the message.]

[ Edited: 13 August 2010 11:45 PM by aelicit ]
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Posted: 14 August 2010 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m waiting for an assassination to occur, at Beck’s urging. It is sure to happen sooner or later.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 14 August 2010 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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When Zatchik and Mooney mentioned how talk-radio has become a bastion for right-wing irrationality with no equal on the left, as a filmmaker I have to think that documentary film-making has become the repository for left-wing irrationality.  It is not just Micheal Moore who doesn’t care whether or not what he tells people what is true or not.  On iTunes right now you can find THREE documentary films that promote Dr. Max Gerson’s bogus cancer therapy.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Are we going to get back to skepticism, science, reason, paranormal claims, and quackery some time soon? Political liberalism has highjacked the skeptical movement and, like a virus, is prostituting it for its own propagational ends like it does every institution it infects.
  I hear Beck on average under five minutes a week, but I don’t need to hear him in order to notice that on this episode of Point of Inquiry there is not one example of his alleged irrationality or nonsense, just name calling, ad hominem attacks, and self adulating liberal breast beating..
  I have attended TEA Parties and you bet people are angry. They have plenty to be angry about. But liberalism has no tolerance for dissent and is ever so puzzled and hurt when the “great unwashed” they despise, bully, and manipulate resent or resist their impositions.
  Speaking of logic, I have noticed one thing about Rush Limbaugh and it may be true of Beck also, they have a wonderful instinctive grasp of the way inverse, converse, and contrapositive can be applied to expose vast panoramas of liberal hypocrisy and illogic. I’m sure that’s not appreciated on the left.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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rg21 - 15 August 2010 05:01 AM

Are we going to get back to skepticism, science, reason, paranormal claims, and quackery some time soon? Political liberalism has highjacked the skeptical movement and, like a virus, is prostituting it for its own propagational ends like it does every institution it infects.
  I hear Beck on average under five minutes a week, but I don’t need to hear him in order to notice that on this episode of Point of Inquiry there is not one example of his alleged irrationality or nonsense, just name calling, ad hominem attacks, and self adulating liberal breast beating..
  I have attended TEA Parties and you bet people are angry. They have plenty to be angry about. But liberalism has no tolerance for dissent and is ever so puzzled and hurt when the “great unwashed” they despise, bully, and manipulate resent or resist their impositions.
  Speaking of logic, I have noticed one thing about Rush Limbaugh and it may be true of Beck also, they have a wonderful instinctive grasp of the way inverse, converse, and contrapositive can be applied to expose vast panoramas of liberal hypocrisy and illogic. I’m sure that’s not appreciated on the left.

Let me back you up hear.  I am currently deployed overseas and the weekly download and podcast of Point of Inquiry along with the Skepdics guide to the Universe and Dr. Prices’ “the Bible geek” were the highlights of my week.  But while the other two still are “Point of Inquiry” has slipped from a ‘cast about science, reason and rationality into leftist propaganda shilling as ‘reason and rationality”.  If I want to hear how stupid Fox news is I’d tune into Maher and Olberman.  In the last few casts everytime a conservative, Republican of President Bush is mentioned it is not to examine thier claims, investage where they might be right or wrong but rather to launch personal attacks; most of which seem to be merely: “They don’t agree with me, therefore they must be stupid and evil.”

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Posted: 15 August 2010 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wow I just heard the part about Mormon ritualized crying, and something snapped into place for me. A few years ago I heard terry Tempest Williams give a talk at a writer’s conference, and she was almost embarrassingly emotional about her connection with nature, seeming on the verge of tears several times. Now I can place that talk into the larger context - how interesting.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Glenn Beck is an instrument of God.  You know how I know?  Because he told me so.  How skeptical are you?

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Posted: 15 August 2010 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Old Hoplite - 15 August 2010 07:28 AM

If I want to hear how stupid Fox news is I’d tune into Maher and Olberman.  In the last few casts everytime a conservative, Republican of President Bush is mentioned it is not to examine thier claims, investage where they might be right or wrong but rather to launch personal attacks; most of which seem to be merely: “They don’t agree with me, therefore they must be stupid and evil.”

Yeahhhhhhhhhh.  That’s exactly what was said.  Speaking of which, why is it that when conservatives are attacked, they have to change it into something completely different - they have to change it into something else that they can actually argue about.  A conservative recently sent me an article attacking Obama - I took a look at the article, noted that the numbers used were completely wrong and exaggerated in order to make Obama look bad, and you know what this conservative said to me when I pointed out the horrible numbers undergirding the whole article?  That they have a right to their own opinion.  Nevermind that I was attacking the erroneous *facts* in the article (actual numbers) - but, nooooo, the conservative had to twist it around into bitching that I was forcing my opinion on them, as if I was suddenly the big, bad liberal who won’t allow anyone to have a different opinion.  Sorry, “facts” and “opinions” are not the same thing and conservatives are not entitled to their own facts.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Your point, for your particular example is valid, It does go both ways though. Liberals keep telling me “Franklin Roosevelt got us out of the Depression” no matter how many times I ask, “How long would it have lasted if he hadn’t?” and I never make an impression when I point out that homosexuals already have the same rights as the rest of us. We can’t marry just anybody we love either. We all are bound by the same restrictions. They tell me condescendingly (Liberals when they are not being condescending are like Sophia Loren when she’s not being seductive. It never happens.) they are astonished I can’t tell the difference between the same and equal. I’m not making that up.  And isn’t it a fact that government spending can’t increase the net number of jobs any more than dipping out of the deep end of the pool and pouring it in the shallow end can raise the average level of the water? These amount to more than a particular set of figures. I also suspect liberals salt the internet and air waves with phony stories and presentations to exploit what we skeptics know about human gullibility as traps for naive conservatives deliberately to make fools of them . Before you yell “conspiracy” put your hand on the humanist manifesto and tell me libs and radicals would be above that sort of thing.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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rg21 - 15 August 2010 05:28 PM

I also suspect liberals salt the internet and air waves with phony stories…

What kind of redundancy should we call it when one mixes a tu quoque fallacy with a straw man argument? This is one of the weakest arguments of the year. “I suspect, therefore my position is right.”

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Posted: 15 August 2010 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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How about the fallacy of composition. Or are liberals as exempt from logical fallacy as they are from racism?

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Posted: 15 August 2010 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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rg21 - 15 August 2010 06:26 PM

How about the fallacy of composition. Or are liberals as exempt from logical fallacy as they are from racism?

I like the “fallacy of composition.” I’ll have to remember that one. Too bad you followed it with another tu quoque fallacy.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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To point out that the other side is guilty of the same thing is not tu quoque unless you use it to attempt to justify your side thereby, which I explicitly did not. So cut the games and the crap. Liberals use lies, bogus numbers, deceptive statistics, rigged graphs and the full inventory of deceit, not just the naive and ignorant fringe but the leadership and the planners. Conservatives in general want the truth. In my experience, most liberals want power and don’t give a damn about truth.

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Posted: 15 August 2010 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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rg21 - 15 August 2010 07:19 PM

To point out that the other side is guilty of the same thing is not tu quoque unless you use it to attempt to justify your side thereby, which I explicitly did not. So cut the games and the crap. Liberals use lies, bogus numbers, deceptive statistics, rigged graphs and the full inventory of deceit, not just the naive and ignorant fringe but the leadership and the planners. Conservatives in general want the truth. In my experience, most liberals want power and don’t give a damn about truth.

I agree that the radical fringe of liberals use the methods you listed (Michael Moore is an example), but stating “Conservatives in general want the truth” is not true, unless you do not consider Glenn Beck and his ilk at Fox News conservatives. Unfortunately, the leadership and planners on both sides use “lies, bogus numbers, deceptive statistics, rigged graphs and the full inventory of deceit.” We are moving away from Democracy and politics by name-calling.

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