Remember Glenn Beck?

God, I do. What’s he up to?

The symptoms Beck experienced, which he had never discussed in public before, stretched back over five years to his days at Fox News, he said. He described having vocal cord paralysis, eyesight problems, shaking hands, trouble sleeping and even seizures. …

But eventually Beck said he landed at a brain rehabilitation center in Texas, where doctors determined he had several connected health issues “from an autoimmune disorder to adrenal fatigue.”

So, nothing we didn’t already know …

Tea Baggers with guns: The Dick Armey edition

Dick Armey

Dick Armey (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

You know that Dick Armey got $8 million from the Tea Baggers to leave Freedom Works, the lobbying organization that he and others formed under the pretense that it was a grass roots organization. Few people seem to point out that when billionaires, lobbyists and political hacks come up with a plan coordinated with Fox News, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh that gets people in funny hats to hold demonstrations and disrupt town hall meetings, that’s not grassroots.

But how he got it was pretty intimidating.

The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.

Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

The coup lasted all of six days. By Sept. 10, Armey was gone — with a promise of $8 million — and the five ousted employees were back. The force behind their return was Richard J. Stephenson, a reclusive Illinois millionaire who has exerted increasing control over one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organizations.

The Washington Post story above has plenty of fascinating detail on the craziness going on at Tea Bagger central and how extreme, and incompetent, Armey was during his brief takeover.

But I can’t get over the fact that Armey bought a guy with a gun with him to fire those five employees. Is that really the mentality of Tea Bagging purists? They just walk in with guns, and people better do what they say? What if someone stood up to Armey and said, “you have nothing to say until that guy with the gun leaves?” Would that person have been shot?

What if someone who was scared called the cops and said, “There’s a guy with a gun in our building, and we don’t know who he is?” What kind of response would the police have made?

Nothing like that happened, but the presence of a gun easily could have made a bad situation a bloodbath.

An 11-year-old, packing heat

I hate to link to anything that comes from a Fox News source or affiliate, but:

KEARNS, Utah – A 6th grade student brought an unloaded handgun to West Kearns Elementary School Monday.

The 11-year-old boy allegedly told other students his parents encouraged him to bring a gun to school for protection following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

The boy reportedly pulled the gun, a .22-caliber pistol, out of his backpack during recess Monday morning.

“At recess, he pointed a gun to my head and said he was going to kill me,” said Isabel Rios, one of the boy’s fellow 6th grade students.

Granite School District officials say students didn’t notify teachers about the weapon until 3 p.m.

News Corp. is partly responsible for today’s gun insanity (Remember Glenn Beck and the “Obama concentration camps” or any “Fox & Friends” psychosis involving Obama taking your guns away?). And now its Fox affiliates report with horror that it has gotten to the point where parents (I’d bet any amount of money longtime Fox News watchers) are telling children to bring guns to school.

It going to get worse.


Hey, is Glenn Beck still alive?

What’s America’s favorite crazy uncle up to these days? From Wonkette:

The media giant is reacting to controversy over a painting of President Obama resembling Jesus Christ on a crucifix by putting a bobblehead doll of President Obama into a container of what appeared to be urine.

“I like to call this ‘Flobama,’” Beck said with a false French accent, as he played the role of a freedom-loving artist expressing himself on his television program Tuesday evening.

He titled his artwork, “Obama in Pee Pee” and put a price tag of $25,000 on it. Ebay has since pulled the item, despite the proceeds slated for charity.

Turns out the “urine” was really beer. An Obama bobblehead in beer that looks like piss?

Nope. Still brain dead.

And the mourners are all sanguine? Don’t think so.

I’m guessing that now that the election is over, a lot of people are thinking that the divisiveness between red and blue, conservative and liberal, majority and minority will come to an end. Now we can work together to improve the country for everybody.

And then I saw a Tumblr site called White People Mourning Romney and realized it ain’t gonna happen.

There are some seriously pissed off people out there. And they’re pissed off because they’ve been lied to by the conservative entertainment complex for the past four years.

Inspiring a psychopath

The psychopath in Norway who bombed an Oslo government building then went on to an island where he shot to death a bunch of kids attending a youth rally wrote a 1,500-page manifesto.

Here, in Anders Behring Breivik’s own words, is his inspiration:

We, the European Revolutionary Conservatives know very well that it will take many years, even decades before we successfully manage to consolidate to a degree where we can seize political and military power in the first Western European country. In the US, the Tea party movement is one of the first physical, political manifestations which indicate that there is a great storm coming. The creation of similar conservative organizations, even the creation of revolutionary conservative movements … is about to materialize. The cultural Marxists are losing their momentum to our advantage.

And he said this:

Let us hope that the US (Democratic and Republican party) allows us, their European cultural and economical crown vassals, to liberate ourselves and deport the Muslims without them militarily intervening. We shouldn’t forget that we have many allies in the US including a sizable faction of the Republican Party.

And he believes this:

Additionally, we are calling for President Barrack Obama’s Impeachment for actually saying he was a Marxist, as well as not being able to provide proof of American citizenship. ….

We’ve been force fed this Tea Party/GOP bull for almost 2 years now. And this is what it leads to: a massacre in Norway with 76 people dead and a nation in shock.

People say you can’t judge the influence of a group by the actions of a madman. If it was just a rare occurrence, maybe they’re right. But there are a lot of gun toting psychopaths who only needed the Tea Party tantrums to set them off.

Oh, and what does America’s King of Crazy have to say about the victims?

GLENN BECK: And then there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth or whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.

So, the victims are Nazis?

I wonder what other demented group would gather children in a political camp?

Here’s another option now that the kids are out of school: a weeklong seminar about our nation’s founding principles, courtesy of the Tampa 912 Project.

The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”

And who, pray tell, came up with the concept for the 912 Project? (Do you really have to think about the answer to that question?):

The 9-12 Project (or 9/12 Project, 912 Project) is a political group created by American television and radio personality Glenn Beck. It was launched on the Friday 13 March 2009 episode of Glenn Beck, the eponymous talk show on Fox News Channel. A website was launched to promote the group, and several local 9-12 groups formed soon after in cities throughout the United States.

CORRECTION: I just realized that I never refer to Glenn Beck as a schitzoid cokehead in this post. I apologize for the omission.

The soul of Fox News

A couple of significant magazine pieces have been published in the past month about Roger Ailes and Fox News.

New York Magazine
‘s profile featured gems like this:

Last year, tensions between Palin’s camp and Fox erupted over a prime-time special that the network wanted her to host. Nancy Duffy, a senior Fox producer, wanted Palin to host the show in front of a live studio audience. Duffy wanted to call the program Sarah Palin’s Real American Stories. Palin hated the idea. She complained to her advisers that she didn’t want to be a talk-show host. She wanted to just do voice-overs. More important, she didn’t want Fox to promote her name in the title of the program. Not that it mattered: Palin’s ratings were starting to disappoint Ailes anyway. Fox hasn’t scheduled any additional specials.

Ailes began to doubt Palin’s political instincts. He thought she was getting bad advice from her kitchen cabinet and saw her erratic behavior as a sign that she is a “loose cannon,” as one person close to him put it. A turning point in their relationship came during the apex of the media debate over the Tucson shooting. As the media pounced on Palin’s rhetoric, Palin wanted to fight back. She felt it was deeply unfair that commentators were singling her out. Ailes agreed but told her to stay out of it. He thought if she stayed quiet, she would score a victory.

“Lie low,” he told her. “If you want to respond later, fine, but do not interfere with the memorial service.”

Palin ignored Ailes’s advice and went ahead and released her now-infamous “blood libel” video the morning Obama traveled to Tucson. For Ailes, the move was further evidence that Palin was flailing around off-message. “Why did you call me for advice?” he wondered out loud to colleagues.

And Rolling Stone has done a huge piece that includes details like this:

Ailes knows exactly who is watching Fox News each day, and he is adept at playing to their darkest fears in the age of Obama. The network’s viewers are old, with a median age of 65: Ads cater to the immobile, the infirm and the incontinent, with appeals to join class action hip-replacement lawsuits, spots for products like Colon Flow and testimonials for the services of Liberator Medical (“Liberator gave me back the freedom I haven’t had since I started using catheters”). The audience is also almost exclusively white – only 1.38 percent of viewers are African-American. “Roger understands audiences,” says Rollins, the former Reagan consultant. “He knew how to target, which is what Fox News is all about.” The typical viewer of Hannity, to take the most stark example, is a pro-business (86 percent), Christian conservative (78 percent), Tea Party-backer (75 percent) with no college degree (66 percent), who is over age 50 (65 percent), supports the NRA (73 percent), doesn’t back gay rights (78 percent) and thinks government “does too much” (84 percent). “He’s got a niche audience and he’s programmed to it beautifully,” says a former News Corp. colleague. “He feeds them exactly what they want to hear.”

Read both to get a better understanding of the purpose of Fox News.

In other news: The sun will come up tomorrow

Media Matters states the obvious. Although it does have this information from an insider:

Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”

Indeed, a former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch’s cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.

The myth of the liberal media

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Image via Wikipedia

Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC.

Of course, we’re not going to be told the real reason why this happened. We can only guess that the network denials are the real reason. So when you see this written …

Spokesman Jeremy Gaines would say only that the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision.

… that means in a couple of days you’ll see a story that says he was dumped because Comcast wanted him out.

So why does this show the myth of the liberal media?

According to the AP: Olbermann’s prime-time show is the network’s top-rated.

Now since when does a network dump its top rated show?

Yes, Olbermann is without a doubt to the left of most broadcasters. And supposedly MSNBC is “the liberals” network. But the equivalent to this is if Fox News dumped it’s top rated show. And short of being caught in bed with a dead boy, there’s no way Glenn Beck is going to be dumped by that network.

I wonder how long it’s going to take for someone to put Olbermann back on the air. We know where right-wing extremists go when they get dumped from networks. But a comparable dumping ground for the left doesn’t exist.

Conservative pundits and tax cuts

Outgoing Democratic congressman Alan Grayson of Florida is taking a few shots at Fox News,  Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing pundits before he leaves the Capitol. These folks are indeed rich, so it’s in their interest to be against any effort to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. Here’s Grayson with the details:

(Separately, it seems a lot of congressmen are missing today, as the representatives recognized to speak don’t appear to the there.)