I only listened to a little Glenn Beck on Wednesday morning because, frankly, a little Glenn Beck goes a long way in terms of destroying brain tissue, and, to be honest, I don’t have that much brain tissue to spare these days.
Naturally, since Glenn Beck specializes in peddling conspiracy theories for cash, Glenn Beck has a conspiracy theory regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, which, as far as I can tell, involves Barack and Michelle Obama and Joe Biden and the Saudi Arabian foreign minister and the Saudi ambassador and Janet Napolitano, who will, when this plot is unraveled, be “the first to fall,” says Beck. Oh, yeah, I think the pigmented comedian Dave Chappelle is involved too, because he converted to Islam in 1998 and since then, well, the world has gone to hell.
Because he is a capitalist without a conscience, Glenn Beck won’t let a terrorist attack go to waste without least attempting to make a profit from it. And this latest conspiracy theory—involving a Saudi man who police—and, for Allah’s sake, even Fox News’ Bret Baier—says was merely a victim of the bombing and not a suspect or participant on behalf of the government, is so stupid and unbelievable that, of course, it has legs in the world of right-wing nuttery. (You can see Beck’s take on Bret Baier here.)
Let me tell you that the evening of the Boston Marathon bombing, I was at a local high school baseball game watching my kid play. Standing beside me was a dad of another player on our team. I knew this guy to be a right-wing fanatic (chances are, around these parts, someone you are standing next to at a ball game is a right-wing fanatic), and, it happens, a Glenn Beck fan. He was checking his phone for updates on the bombing and, lo and behold, he told me that “they” just found out that the perpetrator was a “Saudi national.” “Who could have guessed that?” he said sarcastically.
Playing along, I said, “Of course!” Who else, I said only to myself, would want to kill spectators at a marathon but those damn Saudis! They’ve always hated long-distance runners, especially long-distance runners from Ethiopia who win, and they hate people who would stand and applaud their efforts. Kill the infidels!
Needless to say, I later found out the truth about the Saudi national and that Matt Drudge and Alex Jones and Glenn Beck and others were trying to make a buck off the whole thing. And I sort of felt a little guilty for not telling the guy at the baseball game that he was, dammit, out of his mind for believing anything that came from his right-wing “sources.”
In any case, all of this embarrassing nonsense leads me to post the segment below from Wednesday night’s Rachel Maddow Show, which, in case you think this conspiracy stuff is harmless fluff, will change your mind about how pervasive, sick, and thus, dangerous, it is in terms of our national well-being. Because people like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity can, thanks to Fox “News,” talk radio, and the Internet, reach millions of folks, they are making us dumber as a society.
…let’s not overlook the fact that last week, Beck used his Internet show to push a bogus claim about a Boston suspect, but his arguments quickly drew attention from the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the chairman of the House subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, the chairman of the House subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and the chairwoman of the House subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security — all of whom are Republicans, and all of whom took Beck’s nonsense seriously.
There’s a strain of madness running through contemporary Republican politics…
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