BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph
With the continually growing disaster of the BP oil spill in the Gulf, the ramifications have and will continue to affect a wide swathe of people. Accordingly, many have asked a lot of questions as to why the president and BP have not yet stemmed the flow of oil, some questions valid, others leaning closer to strange and unfounded conspiracies. Leave it to Glenn Beck to make the most outrageous claim, though, suggesting that the reason President Obama has not yet resolved the issue links to directly to the president’s refusal to meet with BP CEO Tony Heyward because, as Beck believes, the president must be a racist.
Beck threw around a couple of ideas for why President Obama had not met with Tony Heyward, each lacking much support. At first Beck insinuated that President Obama simply relished having the spill in suggesting, “The president is using the BP oil spill crisis to jam cap and trade right down your throat. That’s why he compared it to 9/11.” Next, Beck implied President Obama would not meet with a BP executive because “maybe it’s a typical capitalist.” Before long, he went in for the most ludicrous accusation available: “He’s a white CEO. Maybe that’s it.”
In a paltry attempt to explain his accusation, Beck mockingly complained, “White CEOs…they don’t want to pay their tax dollars and have those tax dollars go to ‘inner-city kids.’” To show his inspiration, Beck then played part of an interview with President Obama saying, “I think that whether you are a white executive living out in the suburbs who doesn’t want to pay taxes to inner-city children to — for them to go to school…,” Beck suggesting that proved Obama’s racism toward white executives. Of course, Beck willfully took the quote wildly out of context, as Obama made the quote discussing how people from all throughout the spectrum need to take responsibility for actions in order to move beyond racial barriers. Hence, the rest of the Obama quote reads, “…or you are an inner-city child who doesn’t want to take responsibility for keeping your street safe and clean, both of those groups have to take some responsibility if we’re going to get beyond the kinds of divisions that we face right now.”
Indeed, any reasonable person could recognize the ridiculousness of Beck’s implied accusation that President Obama is a racist, and surprisingly, even Beck must have recognized as much. Later on in the same show, Beck aimed to defend himself by saying, “If I get out of control and start leveling baseless charges…guess what happens? I’m fired.” Perhaps Beck really does think President Obama a racist, as this recent instance marks another in long line of times when Beck has called the president a racist, though his immediate need to defend the charge implies he at least recognizes few would agree.
Still, as a moment of lucidity that apparently and oddly only dawned on him when shilling his fiction book showed, Beck realized, “If I could do things over again I would be more temperate on everything that I said only because, you know, people will misunderstand, or I will misspeak, or I will just say something stupid, or people will take out of context and twist.” As someone who infamously enjoys trying to “take out of context and twist” the words of others, Beck knows that he need not doubt his continued employment at FOX.
Unfortunately, no matter how unfounded his accusations that scare away endorsements so much he has had to run his show without advertisers for months, Beck will still have a job at FOX because he provides precisely what the network desires — sensantionalist TV punctuated by unfounded charges against the president and Democrats. That desire helps motivate Gretchen Carlson in her criticism of the president in referencing God because she, or as she likes to say, “some people,” thinks it “was disingenuous coming from a president who does not go to church on a regular basis,” a petty complaint she hardly voiced against the previous administration, and it helps Beck refer to President Obama as racist without any merit to his claim. Besides, Beck has repeatedly demanded people not consider him a journalist or measure him by those standards — at least until recently, when he claimed to be a journalist after all.
As a “journalist,” Beck should have had any number of valid complaints in covering the BP oil spill. Instead, he opted to lower himself to more race-baiting antics to play on the fears of his audience, hence his title of “Fearmonger in Chief.” Viewers should demand that FOX, if it really has concerns about being taken seriously as a news organization, should take Beck at his word and meaningfully reprimand him for making such hyperbolic accusations of racism against the president that rely so heavily on willful distortion — and in the meantime, choose to Turn Off FOX.
Originally posted at Turn Off FOX.
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS