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The First Amendment Does Not Apply to Glenn Beck: Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Part 17

November 23, 2009

You’d think that Keith Olbermann–a guy who spent years agitating against his own country’s war effort by repeating enemy propaganda in order to discourage Americans for pure partisan advantage—and Arianna Huffington— the doyenne of a website whose comment sections are famous for particularly venomous hate speech– would tend to be First Amendment absolutists.

After all, there actually have been times in American history when wartime powers granted to the government allowed for jailing people who engaged in such things.  Woodrow Wilson, for instance, jailed a man in a small town about 15 miles from where I live for speaking out against War Bonds.

But Friday night, the media’s biggest hater, who spews invective on a nightly basis in barely controlled rage, and the media’s oddest figure, who has argued from every side of the political fence, got together and decided that Glenn Beck is a clear and present danger to the survival of our democracy, and that he meets the “exception” to the First Amendment.

And it’s “paranoid” for Beck to say the Left in this country has totalitarian tendencies?

Keith set the stage, by hilariously pretending that political rage is all on the Right, and basically all happened in the last year or so…

OLBERMANN:  The ugly environment was not fostered overnight, but town hall opposition to health care reform and all those tea bagger rallies gave comfort to racism and even intonations of violence.  The Birther movement was nothing more than extreme and desperate attempt to delegitimize a new president.  And Congressman Joe Wilson‘s “you lie,” though a first should not have been a surprise.

Our third story on COUNTDOWN, a sweeping new report on anti-government rage in America not only connects the dots it refuses to let off the hook the most irresponsible voice in the mainstream media, the man it describes as the fearmonger-in-chief, Glenn Beck.  Simply stated Beck creates an intersection between the mainstream and the extreme, according to the report by the Anti-Defamation League.  It calls Beck, “The most important mainstream media figure who has repeatedly helped to stoke fires of anti-government anger…”

Wait a minute.  Isn’t the ADL supposed to combat anti-Semitism? I don’t remember it’s purpose being to keep people from “defaming” the government.  Did they have a problem with “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?  Did they have a problem with Keith Olbermann calling Dick Cheney a war criminal?

Remind me, which side of the political spectrum is behind the war effort against those who have, as a primary concern, the genocidal elimination of Israel?  Which side is arguing for tolerance of those views, and arguing the U.S. and Israel are the aggressors in the Middle East?  Which side commended the New York Times for exposing a surveillance program that designed to stop the most anti-Semetic people on earth from committing violence?

The fact that Keith Olbermann only sees anger on the Right and considers himself reasonable and objective, and having made no contribution to bitter discourse in this nation is just too bizarre to comment on.

Next, Keith argues that ordinary free debate may not be enough to save us from the sinister Glenn Beck.  Judging by Keith’s ratings and Glenn’s ratings, I can see why he might think that.

OLBERMANN:  It would be nice to think of Glenn Beck just as a joke, as fodder for this show and the “Daily Show” and others that point out how stupid some of this stuff is.  But this report, you know, suggests something else, this is—fearmonger-in-chief term is frightening.

HUFFINGTON:  It is frightening.  Well, I would say the fearmonger-in-chief title should still be reserved for Dick Cheney, even in retirement.  But barring that, there is something that we need to really pay attention to with Glenn Beck.  We cannot just dismiss him.  Because the truth of the matter is that there is a good reason why we have an exemption to the free speech protection by the first amendment when we say you cannot shout fire in a crowded theater.

And he‘s doing that every night.  He‘s basically using images of violence to bring together with all that he‘s accusing the Obama administration of, which varies from racism to communism, Nazism and everything else in between.  So,all that has definitely an impact.  I believe words matter, language matters and he‘s using it in incredibly irresponsible ways night after night.

Yeah, like Keith Olbermann didn’t spend the last 8 years screaming that the Gestapo was going to come get you for voting Democrat because of the Patriot Act.  He’s not saying right now that 45,000 Americans die in a “holocaust” each year because of a lack of health insurance.

Try Googling “Keith Olbermann” “war criminal” “Cheney” sometime.  Glenn Beck compares Barack Obama’s economic theories to those of socialist dictators.  Keith Olbermann equates George W. Bush and Dick Cheney with the murderous actions of those dictators.

OLBERMANN:  Some of Beck‘s claims, according to the report from the ADL, let me quote it again, “play an important role in drawing people further out of the mainstream making them more receptive to extreme notions and conspiracy theories.” And without going into Sociology 101, isn‘t the point here that people like Beck enable some of the wildest, most paranoid notions about what the U.S. government is doing and instead of people thinking, as they think these things, for whatever they think them, no, that‘s crazy, he says, no you‘re not crazy, come with me down this path?

You mean like committing “War crimes” and supposedly listening in on the private conversations of ordinary Americans?

OLBERMANN:  Obviously, the new component to this is the race of the president.  And a lot of this rage that we‘re discussing here is rooted in racism, something we certainly knew before the ad put out its analysis.  But Beck tried unsuccessfully to turn that one in the other direction, claiming that Mr. Obama is the racist.  Is that the twist by which he and the other actual racists are rationalizing their own prejudice simply project it on to the other people?

Obviously?  What is obvious is that Keith is losing the argument—and his mind.  Repeating that the opposition to Obama is largely racist without any proof doesn’t make it any more convincing—and most of the mainstream media has backed away from this, leaving MSNBC out on that limb all by itself.

So, Glenn Beck is the dangerous threat to our freedom?  Or to the government’s freedom of action.  Let’s see, whose free speech is Glenn Beck trying to take away?  What limits to the First Amendment is he proposing?

Not only is our side not trying to silence the slanders and venom of crazy Keith, if I were king for a day, I would decree that everyone must watch one episode of Countdown.  THAT would be the way to create Conservative voters, and double the size of the Tea Parties.

  1. MERLE SCHOELKOPH permalink
    November 24, 2009 12:15 am

    You are right on … the left is melting down and can’t take the truth … America is waking up and finally smelling the coffee … Glenn Beck anounced today that on Aug. 28th 2010 to rally at the Lincoln Monument in D.C. … before it is closed to public demonstrations … and I’m taking the family on a cross country pilgrimage instead of our vacation to mom’s to make, what I hope is not our last stand for freedom, but to inflict a death blow to the socialist movement that is CHANGING the U.S.A. into the U.S.S.A.

  2. Wynn permalink
    November 24, 2009 1:21 am

    Mr. Forsmark, referring to Olbermann, you write: “there actually have been times in American history when wartime powers granted to the government allowed for jailing people who engaged in such things. ”

    What things? I mean, give your readers a hint of anything Olbermann has said that even remotely constitutes sedition. Perhaps you’d like it to be so, but it’s not. He simply echoed the skepticism that had already existed widely in this country for a considerable period of time regarding the Bush administration’s motives and competence to conduct a war. Go ahead, read what the major publications, both here and abroad, were saying long before Olbermann chimed in. It’s true he has been forceful in his opinions in the months since, but let’s face it — it was already fairly late in the game when he and his brethren in the broadcast media began to push back against Bush’s poorly conceived foreign policy. More’s the pity.

    • David Forsmark permalink
      November 24, 2009 6:44 am

      Keith Olbermann’s rhetoric about the Iraq War was far worse than the guy from Owosso who was sarcastic about War Bonds in a bar during WWI. It was much closer to the newspaper guy that Lincoln went after.

      “Months?” “Skepticism?” You really must be joking.

    • David Forsmark permalink
      November 24, 2009 7:59 am

      One other thing: I’m not advocating for jailing Keith or taking him off the air, as you imply. HE and Arianna are the censors here.

      However, I would point out that the basic differences between Keith Olbermann and Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally are one chromosome and the point of origin of his broadcast signal.

      • ReallyRand permalink
        November 24, 2009 8:24 am

        That’s insightful.

    • Dream Killer permalink
      November 25, 2009 8:06 am

      Wynn…. Tsk, tsk….

      Realize one thing underpinning your argument… Our once enemies, now LOVE us because of our Elitist president, and our friends and allies now greet us with disdain! Sadly, you parrot the diatribe that will ultimately bring this nation down to the level of a banana republic. Remember, when you get a little older.. The Dr. will tell you you don’t have enough “servicable” life left to warrant that hip replacement, but they will want your organs and give you death counseling and probably pain meds, according to Obama… Wake UP!!!!

  3. Susan permalink
    November 24, 2009 1:50 am

    Wynn makes his own argument for defending Glenn Beck. See how stupid liberals are?

  4. Klatoo permalink
    November 24, 2009 6:30 am

    I think for a lot of people, they see their favorite news channels as informative and entertaining. At least that was the paradigm. But the fact that most of the MSM isn’t investigating or accurately reporting on some really important newsworthy events is turning people away and they are turning to FNC and Beck which is reporting it. So I would conclude from this that it is the majors that are creating this shift more that Beck. If K.O. and A.F. are so afraid of Beck they might try resorting to a more honest dialogue. But that would be “selling out” to their cause. One thing I have seen is the mean and vindictive nature of these libs and they will try to destroy anyone that disagres with even a single tenet of their cause.

  5. Carterthewriter permalink
    November 24, 2009 7:35 am

    I am reminded of those who followed Jim Jones to South America, and then their own extinction. The insanity defense doesn’t work in maintaining your credibility and future employment opportunities.

    It shouldn’t be tolerated in our justice system, either, but that’s another debate.

  6. ReallyRand permalink
    November 24, 2009 8:21 am

    I actually watched this interview. I sat there in dismay. As if the words “tea baggers” , spewed by Olbermann, are not just a tiny bit offensive. Perhaps a course in Sociology 101 and a course in Reality 101 are in order for him. If anyone is a clear and present danger, it is Olbermann. And if Arianna Huffington is frightened now, perhaps she’d better hunker down because 2010 is closer than they would like to believe.

    Doesn’t Olbermann seem like the kind of guy who probably salivated and maybe even got a tingle up his leg watching Adam Lambert simulate oral sex on stage at the music awards?

    I agree with Glenn, sometimes, you just get a feeling and know in your gut: that dudes bad.

  7. Obama is not my President permalink
    November 24, 2009 9:56 am

    This is why I can’t stomache watching the BS on MSNBC. These people are so out of touch with the American public that they are off the charts. 34.5% of black America is unemployed. If they support Obama, they are as stupid as Olbermann. If MSNBC can’t find anything to report about, like say what is going on in the real world, they will become persona non grata.

  8. November 24, 2009 10:41 am

    I may not be able to yell “fire” in a theater, as Arianna suggests, but there’s nothing to prevent anyone from yelling “BS” in a newsroom. Arianna and Keith have every reason to be frightened. Beck is indeed dangerous–to their feeble and diminishing credibility.

    BTW, Ari, is it OK to yell “theater” at a fire? Just a little something for small minds to ponder.

  9. Scott permalink
    November 24, 2009 11:41 am

    I can’t believe anyone would take Ariana seriously. Lets not forget that she was on the Right and then she started being ignored so she switched over to the Left. She’s a phoney who doesn’t believe a thing she’s saying, she’s just saying such nonsense to increase traffic to her website. Anytime she’s on TV, there should be a disclaimer say, “Used to be a Republican and Will Probably Switch Again When its Economically Feasible.”

    As for Goebbels-Olbermann, he had his own brush up with the ADL before.

  10. Tina permalink
    November 24, 2009 12:29 pm

    Argue the facts .If you cant argue facts attack the messinger.Would these idiots stop calling the right racists.We dont try to keep african americans down the left keeps them down ,takes away their dignaty and leads them to believe the right hates them.Then explain why with the lefts savior in charge that african american men have an unemployment rate of 30%.Tellme what has the left done for them.You can try to keep people silent with your hate but it wont work.This is still a free country the left hasnt won yet.

    • peachey permalink
      November 24, 2009 1:36 pm

      Watch the Glenn Beck show this week where David Horowitz talks about stopping the Progressives dead in their speech and actions by inversing the paradigm. He described the process that the Left has used for a long time to intimidate, confuse and promote action by staging actions. He addressed the Lefts supposed concern for minorities, and yet if you look
      at the track record they do the opposite of what they promise. Frank Luntz ( unsure of spelling) also spoke of effective and non-effective words and phrases to use to shut down the Lefty speak.

  11. Keith permalink
    November 24, 2009 3:31 pm

    I don’t think neither party looks out for poor people, Bush didn’t do anymore for poor people than Obama’s doing now, to me, it’s not the president, it’s the system that needs overhauling. Let’s start with the federal reserve.

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