Here is thought that has started to trouble me. Keep in mind that just because a thought crosses my mind, and that sometimes I intentionally develop a thought to see where it would go, does not necessarily mean that I hold that thought as a core belief. That is why I like the Einstein phrase, "thought experiment."
In this case, I have wondered about Glenn Beck and his affect on journalism.
On one hand, I do not believe that Beck is a racist. I think he is a nihilistic sociopath that is willing to sell anything to his viewers, some of those things are derived from his personal experiences in order to gain the trust of the audience, and the rest is just pure bull-one (see, George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words).
With that said, the biggest rule of comedy is: Know your audience. Personally, I think that many rules of comedy are universal in life: timing, it's not the material but the delivery, and know your three-king audience (again, see George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words).
In this case, Beck panders to racists that seem to be looking for an excuse to blame a civil war on the President who they refer to with an epithet that has no numerical value assigned in George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words.
In an extreme hypothetical, if the KKK hired a comedian to entertain them -- that comedian would not want to tell Richard Pryor or Chris Rock jokes without buckling under from a shower of flaming cigarette butts. Because what the audience wants to be entertained by is often a reflection of their core beliefs.
Some, like me, have generic core beliefs, such as: understand any audience in order to entertain or avoid them; truly think outside the box in order to goad laughter or thought; and people should use their brain to emphasize the thought process not thought products. How you get to an idea, not just the idea.
Some have opined that Beck inoculates extremism. I have wondered whether Beck has inadvertently created the impetus for a civil war.
Frankly, I think that Beck talks about the possibility of a civil war, and compares health care reform to the eugenics (read, Holocaust) of Nazi Germany -- simply for ratings without accepting that he could be dealing with mad dogs, and that perhaps he has let a, "genie out of a bottle."
I know that every talker from Rush Limbaugh, to Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, are ready to defend the free-speech of these Town Hall protesters. They will also generically refer to any contrarian bloggers as nothing more than, "slackers." I suppose that is because, we bloggers take the time to write and think through what we believe rather than mobilize to scream at others to watch Glenn Beck.
Guess what? You're the crackers.
With that said, that won't stop the big lies from the Three Little Pigs -- Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Lou Dobbs.
I also think that it is an underestimation to believe that these protesters are just astro-turfers. I think, they are mostly a bunch of twoed-off crackers that are teetering on the brink of revolt.
With guys like Glenn Beck to enable the feelings of victimologists -- "I'm not a racist, you're a racist for thinking I'm a racist!" -- then the sky is the limit for where these histrionic gun-toters from the "Real America" are willing to go. There is no place like home than the Virtually Real America that I live in.
They though are just looking for an excuse. So don't feed the idiocy.