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I Come Not To Praise Glenn Beck, But To Bury Him (Why he hurts the right more than he helps)
Pajamas Media ^ | 9/28/2009 | David Riehl

Posted on 09/29/2009 9:01:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

When originally endeavoring to write an approximately 800-word opinion piece on Glenn Beck, I hadn’t taken into account what a truly difficult task it would be. I’ve no desire to alienate some of my many friends on the right currently embracing Beck. But I do have this terrible habit of usually speaking my mind. Glenn Beck deserves credit for what he is doing to hurt Obama — there is no question about that. But in thinking about the man overall as a media figure today, one allegedly aligned with the right, I also have serious concerns. I tried to do my best to address the topic fairly, and I regret that so complex a topic took me almost 1,800 words.

Given the down feeling across the right after last year’s elections, it’s almost exciting to watch Glenn Beck inject a new vitality into the nation’s political discourse. Nearly every one of Beck’s shows packs the respect, depth, sincerity, and intelligence of a good joke at a funeral parlor into one uproarious hour after another. I don’t know how anyone can keep from snickering … at least a little bit. So, what’s the harm in a good joke?

The harm as I see it is that so many seem to be taking the joke seriously. But can you blame them? No, probably not. The media culture of today has done everything in its power to prevent the right from seeing a serious, effective leadership emerge on the national stage. One need only look back to the recent — in fact, ongoing — mistreatment of Sarah Palin to demonstrate that. A deeply informed and experienced radio host, Mark Levin, has broken out in the radio world with ratings that make Glenn Beck’s real numbers look like the third tier radio host he actually is. Levin also wrote a significant New York Times bestseller, moving well over a million copies by now. But there was no Time cover, no Newsweek splash, no Katie Couric interview for that. Have you ever paused long enough to ask yourself why?

Full disclosure — yes, Mark Levin has become something of a dear and trusted friend. But please don’t mistake this as carping or defense on his behalf. Mark is the last person I know who needs or wants to be defended by someone else. My opinions in this matter have nothing to do with Levin and everything to do with the future of the right and the desperate need we have of winning a large number of state and district elections in 2010. And I am not suggesting that Glenn Beck should somehow shut up, go away, or stop pointing a finger at this out-of-control leftist White House whenever he can. Let’s be clear about that. What I am suggesting is that at least some relatively small but vocal amount of people are misunderstanding why Beck is getting the media exposure that he is.

In short, the elitist media gets the joke. They are not putting him up there because they find him an effective, articulate spokesman for the right. They find him an oddity, something they can pin prick and laugh at. And consciously or not, they also know he has the potential to do tremendous damage to the right while having accomplished very little if anything much at all to help it himself. And that’s a fact. He was given a non-prominent microphone and television show in a mostly uncompetitive time slot, replacing a very decent but relatively uncompelling and beyond-his-prime John Gibson. And piggybacking on the efforts of others, Beck has displayed tremendous marketing ability, or his handlers have, in making the absolute best use of it while also doing damage to a politically dangerous White House. He deserves praise and full credit for that.

However, we should not confuse what it is and what it is not, nor lose sight of the extremely dangerous time bombs he has planted for the right as he’s gone so thoughtlessly and carelessly on his way in doing it. First some facts as to what Beck has and has not actually done in terms of damaging the Obama administration. From the 9/12 tea party march, to Van Jones, the NEA scandal, and ACORN, none of these were the genuine work of Glenn Beck. He did no heavy lifting on any of those stories other than ginning up noise around them on his show, often milking them for days while, to genuine observers, all the facts were out there for anyone of a mind to find them out. That isn’t an insult. He has a television presence and it’s good that he’s currently using it to capitalize on stories that help the right and undermine Obama. I’m not begrudging him that.

But his attempt to co-opt the tea party movement with that silly 9/12 Project nonsense that never actually caught on was the most ham-fisted and perhaps only insulting one of them all. Nine principles and 12 values? Can anyone even name them today? They were supposed to be what it was all about once. Oh well, at least one of his marketing schemes hasn’t tracked, so we do know he’s human after all. The D.C. tea party protest was always planned to come off. All Beck did was come up with a scheme to weave into it, trying to make it his, and it failed. I know because I was there. Aside from whatever more rabid fans he may have encircled himself with for his broadcast that day, nothing about 9/12 was about Glenn Beck. The movement preceded him, just as it preceded Obama, having started under Bush. And frankly, getting off one’s duff and getting involved in local or state party politics or actively joining up with the tea party movement is the only thing that’s going to help take back America and set the Republican Party right for the center-right. In that sense, Beck is a distraction, if nothing else. But he is also something far worse. He’s a genuine danger to us and we need to sort that out.

Without taking credit away from Beck for talking it up as he did, along with many, many others, the notion that 9/12 was much about Beck is a joke. The many pushing it were simply more generous in crediting the people actually involved — the little people, patriotic Americans across the country like you and me who are driving it. They stand in stark contrast to Beck, who seems to ultimately and always be about himself. As for the real meat behind the various other scandals mentioned, it was either Breitbart or blogger Gateway Pundit who did the real work on those. Beck’s great contribution was again, like others, to broadcast them. That’s a good thing. He deserves credit for that, though also unfortunately he seems so willing to make them his own. I guess that’s what so-called stars, or wannabe famous people, do.

But what else has he done? This represents my only serious concerns involving Beck. Otherwise, I doubt I’d be much interested in him at all. He’s called Barack Obama a racist, for one. I’m appalled by my friends on the right who seem so willing to pass that remark off as insignificant — almost pretending it was never said. It was outrageous, undeserved, and represents nothing but the very kind of racist cudgel the left has been falsely charging the right with being for years. Maybe Beck is one, otherwise he could never conceive of making such a remark — and so publicly at that.

I thought Barack Obama wasn’t even “really” black to many of his critics? I thought the good friend he was “pal-ing around with,” domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, was white? In fact, Obama has probably broken bread with more white people than black over the years. And forget the nuance, the rationalization around what it is he really meant or was trying to say. That doesn’t and won’t matter when the left and the media pick it back up and turn it on you, not just Glenn Beck, to call you intolerant and racist, just as they have wrongly been doing for years.

So, Beck-heads, be advised. If nothing else, don’t come crying to me about how a biased media mistreats you and calls you names you don’t deserve to be called when they tire of the right’s alleged fair-haired boy and decide to use his recklessness and lack of thought against you. And they will do it not just to you, but the entire conservative movement because he was prominently embraced and not denounced. Well, not me. And I want to be very clear and on record here. The comment was uncalled for.

And what about those internment camps? That’s a good one. When the story first broke I looked into it. It took all of an hour to read the text of the actual bill and see there was nothing to it at all. Yet somehow it took Beck, all the while stirring up his would-be masses, a month to figure it out. Really? With his supposedly dogged researchers and researching skills? Please, give me a break. So there again Beck has planted the very seed that, just as Obama’s past with ACORN is currently doing to him, is going to come back and hurt the right to a significant degree. We’ll be denounced en masse as a bunch of wild-eyed conspiracy freaks and racists. And thanks to any broad embrace of Glenn Beck and the lowest common denominator of showmanship that he represents, this time you’ll deserve it.

I understand the center-right’s frustration. For some time the Republican Party has failed us, though it does now seem to be getting on track based upon my observations here in Washington, D.C. I know how frustrating it was to watch the unfair destruction of Sarah Palin. In that sense, dare I say, I feel your pain. And I share the desperation of wanting to find someone that the media allows to stand up, to not be maligned while honestly and fairly speaking to our issues and representing our various just causes such as they are. But I refuse to accept just anyone in that role because it’s too important to me.

And I especially refuse to accept someone so reckless, uninformed, unthinking, and possibly even unserious with a very real potential to do the right more harm than good in the end.

-- Dan Riehl is a former marketing professional in the technology industry turned blogger/new media consultant. He's based in Virginia, just off the D.C. Beltway.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barfalert; conservatism; glennbeck; levin; marklevin; talkradio
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1 posted on 09/29/2009 9:01:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Based in VA/DC beltway = insider with no knowledge of the rest of this country.


2 posted on 09/29/2009 9:03:32 AM PDT by MNlurker
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To: SeekAndFind

Glenn Beck muct be right over the target, he is getting a lot of flak.


3 posted on 09/29/2009 9:03:44 AM PDT by stockpirate ("I came NOT to bring peace but a sword." - Jesus Christ)
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To: rockabyebaby

ping to the comrades!


4 posted on 09/29/2009 9:04:31 AM PDT by stockpirate ("I came NOT to bring peace but a sword." - Jesus Christ)
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To: SeekAndFind

Beck hurts the right, but continuing a Levin/Beck schism helps?


5 posted on 09/29/2009 9:05:34 AM PDT by EDINVA (A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul -- G. B. Shaw)
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To: SeekAndFind
He's based in Virginia, just off the D.C. Beltway.

I tell ya, it's something in the water.

6 posted on 09/29/2009 9:05:38 AM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well he ain’t doing much for the bottom feeding “moderates”. LOL


7 posted on 09/29/2009 9:07:59 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: stockpirate

Looks like someone is jealous. Glenn Beck is a media star. He is polarizing. Either you will love him or hate him. Those are the ingredients that make up a star...


8 posted on 09/29/2009 9:08:06 AM PDT by simonpaul
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To: SeekAndFind
Glenn Beck deserves credit for what he is doing to hurt Obama — there is no question about that.

This is idiocy and calls into question everything that follows. Glenn Beck is not doing stuff to hurt Obama. Glenn is doign stuff to defend our nation and our freedom. I am sure that Glenn would welcome Obama's assistance on any of his efforts.

9 posted on 09/29/2009 9:08:34 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (Liberals are always one genocide away from Utopia.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Beck has an big ego but he speaks the truth. I see no problem with that.


10 posted on 09/29/2009 9:09:06 AM PDT by bmwcyle (We need more Joe Wilson's. OBAMA is ACORN ACORN is OBAMA)
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To: EDINVA
Beck hurts the right, but continuing a Levin/Beck schism helps?

I guess Beck did not come and kiss Mark's ring.

11 posted on 09/29/2009 9:09:10 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I will say that I am surprised that Beck said that 0bama is racist, when 0bama can simply show that his number two person is a white, balding oaf and this Sec. of State is a white stuck up idiot.

He may have a hatred for whites, but as for evidence in his daily life, he has surrounded himself with people of all races. To my chagrin, they are all extreme leftists.


12 posted on 09/29/2009 9:10:31 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (Liberals have an inability to value good character or to desire it for themselves.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Beck hurts the right, he hurts the left............but in the end he defends America.


13 posted on 09/29/2009 9:11:07 AM PDT by Kakaze (Exterminate Islamofacism and apologize for nothing.....except not doing it sooner!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Glenn Beck doesn't work for the GOP. He doesn't give much of a crap about Right vs. Left ideology. He sees things that are wrong, states them in plain terms and is working to get average folks off their asses to FIGHT for the country of our fathers. A nation that so many have died to protect.

He doesn't fight for the Right. He fights for what's right.

14 posted on 09/29/2009 9:11:47 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Glenn Beck’s strongest point is that he’s asking questions that others won’t ask and he asking everyone to ask questions. The more people that ask the questions, the better chance they have at getting answers.


15 posted on 09/29/2009 9:12:17 AM PDT by RC2
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To: stockpirate

Absolutely.
Especially from “SeekAndFind”. and from “steve-b”.


16 posted on 09/29/2009 9:12:23 AM PDT by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought pajama Media started by freepers? What happened?


17 posted on 09/29/2009 9:12:30 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* 'I love you guys')
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To: SeekAndFind
And I share the desperation of wanting to find someone that the media allows to stand up, to not be maligned while honestly and fairly speaking to our issues and representing our various just causes such as they are. But I refuse to accept just anyone in that role because it’s too important to me.

...so I will do nothing less than continue to emasculate any strong voice on the Right unless they play nice, like Kathleen Parker and eat Wheaties for breakfast.

18 posted on 09/29/2009 9:13:23 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Hey Obama. Where is Osama Bin Laden?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why don’t they just leave him alone and let him do his thing?


19 posted on 09/29/2009 9:13:23 AM PDT by Bahbah (Only dead fish go with the flow)
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To: SeekAndFind
Style wise, I do not like Beck or Levin.

It is too bad, however, Levin has chosen to petty bicker with one on the same side of the street.

Is he becoming right wing elite? I'd offer that title to one, Rush.

20 posted on 09/29/2009 9:14:23 AM PDT by llevrok (As a matter of fact, yes I DO care if Jimmy cracks corn !)
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To: SeekAndFind
And what about those internment camps? That’s a good one.

It certainly is considering this guy is lying through his teeth about that, Glenn, along with Jim Meigs, Editor-In-Chief of Popular Mechanics actually debunked the internment camps.

Video Here


21 posted on 09/29/2009 9:14:52 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: SeekAndFind
I see..... and Dan Riehl what have YOU DONE lately...
Raise your hands, knothead, and back away from the keyboard...
22 posted on 09/29/2009 9:15:06 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is far past time for decent people to wake up and realize that when dealing with scumbags, civility is nothing but a self-imposed handicap.


23 posted on 09/29/2009 9:15:09 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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.

that silly 9/12 Project nonsense

Got it, David. Why aren't you in Canada? Or France? .

24 posted on 09/29/2009 9:15:28 AM PDT by polymuser ("We have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" (HRC))
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To: MNlurker
In reality he's nowhere near the Baltway ~ that's where I am, and it's a great place to show your backside to the WarshPost and others of Warren Buffett's running dog lackeys on the left.

(Check the map if you don't believe it ~ their main printing plant is right there).

Beck is quite entertaining, and that's what it takes to get across some of the more serious charges we can level against the current Acolyte of the Anti-Christ, Obama.

I've been known to use that and Biblical terminology in debate as well, and the professional leftwing in this country might well think it's "jus' more igorant religious intolerance". Remember, they simply laughed at the survey that said there were 10% of the voters out there who thought Obama was, in fact, the Antichrist (which he's not, just an acolyte).

Still, that 10% is a 20% voter content for Republicans, much as the 15% African American vote is a full 30% voter content for the Democrats which is enough to control that party!

That is, depending on your political outlook, that 10% or 15% can make or break a national election.

So, let the poofers on the left laugh at the "birthers", "tea partiers", etc. I'm betting on the "Antichristists"(This who can identify him and his friends) to be much more politically active in the future than they have been in the past, and will be able to swing the next Presidential race.

25 posted on 09/29/2009 9:15:33 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind
Dan Riehl sounds like a whiny little teen-aged girl; and he wants to be a respected journalist?!

Here's a little hint: Beck has done more to expose the TRUTH than any other journalist in the past 20 years. Heck, some 20-something year olds did more journalistic research than the entire national industry could manage. It's just not that hard.

So, instead of hitting on Glen; why not look at the topic at hand. Glen is either right, or he is wrong. Everything I have seen (with proof to back it up) indicates to me that Glen is dead on target.

Oh, BTW, Glen is not ‘right leaning’; he's a patriot who believes in the Constitution. Glen believes, as I do, that this is the greatest country on the earth, blessed by our Heavenly Father and is currently under attack by evil and self-serving agents of the Adversary (author of this mess included).Please point out the errors of Glen's ways, and the superiority of yours, if you can. Attacking Glen simply tells me that you have nothing intelligent to offer to the conversation, as the facts do not support your side of the debate. So, Danny-boy crawl back under the rock where you came from. Sit and complain to yourself and never question why you are living under a rock and Glen came from the bottom of the deep well of failure, and rose to stardom.

26 posted on 09/29/2009 9:15:44 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: SeekAndFind

So there are no internment camps? Then why the ad looking for guards?


27 posted on 09/29/2009 9:16:07 AM PDT by longfellow (Bill Maher, the 21st hijacker.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m not a Beck fan, but I’ll care what the Beck-bashers say when they can get half a million people to DC and bring down people like Van Jones.


28 posted on 09/29/2009 9:16:22 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The author mistakenly assumes that we are stupid, and have no abilities of discernment.

We know the good, the bad, and the ugly, of all our talk show hosts, rightwing media, blogs, forums, each other, and our pols.

29 posted on 09/29/2009 9:16:39 AM PDT by roses of sharon ( Reagan said, "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat.")
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t have any strong opinion about Glenn Beck one way or the other, but to criticise him for calling Hussein a racist is absurd. Hussein IS a racist. No one but a racist could’ve sat under Jeremiah Wright for decades. The black liberation theology he-Hussein-subscribes to is racist by definition. The author should try reversing his defense-if a white subscribed to the white version of black liberation theology, would he be a racist, no matter how many black people he’d “broken bread” with? I don’t doubt for a minute that the author would say yes, that’s a racist. Why give Hussein any less credit for his beliefs? Or is this another case of one standard for a minority, and a different, and higher, standard, for a white person?

Hussein IS a racist.


30 posted on 09/29/2009 9:16:51 AM PDT by mrsmel (Put the Gitmo terrorists near Capitol Hill.)
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To: All

Ask van “little b!t@h” jones and ACORN how much of a drag he is on the Right...


31 posted on 09/29/2009 9:17:09 AM PDT by Maverick68 (w)
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To: SeekAndFind
Dan Riehl paraphrases Shakespeare and gets it wrong. (For those of you with a recent public school education: Anthony's praise of the conspirators, and condemnation of Caesar, was sarcastic.)

ML/NJ

32 posted on 09/29/2009 9:17:21 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: SeekAndFind

****Misinformation alert*****
Glenn Beck deserves credit for what he is doing to hurt Obama.
The one and only person that is hurting Obama is Obama his past and his actions.


33 posted on 09/29/2009 9:17:30 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: bmwcyle

It TAKES a BIG EGO for someone to do what Beck is doing. A smaller ego would still be sitting behind a mike in a 1,000 watt AM daytimer in Washington state.

And it takes a BIG EGO to endure the ridicule of the left and the lapdog FRINGE media.

Hang in there, Glenn. As another poster observed, you must be over the target to be catching all this flak.


34 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:07 AM PDT by Dick Bachert (THE 2010 ELECTIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN OUR LIFETIMES! BE THERE!!!)
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To: MNlurker
Full disclosure — yes, Mark Levin has become something of a dear and trusted friend. But please don’t mistake this as carping or defense on his behalf.


35 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:24 AM PDT by MozarkDawg
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To: SeekAndFind
Glenn Beck is not a joke!
I couldn't read the whole story before it made me sick. I hope it wasn't written as sarcasm.

If this guy still doesn't get it, I feel sorry for him. I don't want to be akin to the Republican/Conservatives if this is what we get. Just like Blue Dogs and the Liberals.These people are only worried about that R or D beside their name.

The truth is the truth no matter which way you spin it and Glenn is the only one willing to tell the truth anymore.

36 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:24 AM PDT by lucky american (Glenn Beck Rocks!!! Sarah Palin Too!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind
So NOW everyone who helps our cause is vilified!
37 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:31 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: SeekAndFind

Beck is not against same sex marriage, burning of the American flag. He is a Libertarian, plain and simple.

Like Ron Paul, who uses the Repubs to advance his Libertarianism, he is good in some areas, but not in other areas that matter most to those of us on the religious right.

Beck sides with the left in the culture war. He is not a true conservative, in my opinion.


38 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:33 AM PDT by sasportas
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To: SeekAndFind
Is this what elitism on the Right looks like?

Are they saying that Beck is sucking the oxygen from the room that others are more deserving of getting?

Are they saying that it's Levin's turn to get the spotlight, not Beck's?

They don't get to pick who the people favor, the people do.

-PJ

39 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:36 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (Comprehensive congressional reform legislation only yields incomprehensible bills that nobody reads.)
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To: MNlurker

Dan Riehl writes “PAP” about someone whom he doesn’t understand. I define “PAP” as meaning nothing.


40 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:36 AM PDT by Oldsailor
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To: SeekAndFind
First of all he is not doing anything to hurt Obama..just because Obama is the leader of all of this crime we are going through..Glenn Beck is one brave man and I for one listen to him every day..He finds the truth and tells it,so if that bothers you or the liberal scum just to bad..
41 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:38 AM PDT by PLD
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To: stockpirate

I don’t get it -

we’re supposed to continue doing what we’ve been doing,
letting socialism and tyranny creep up and take over,
just so we don’t “appear kooky”?


42 posted on 09/29/2009 9:18:55 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, save Bowman for later)
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To: Steve Van Doorn

It’s called INFILTRATION. Somebody at PM was handed a phony job resume.


43 posted on 09/29/2009 9:19:22 AM PDT by Dick Bachert (THE 2010 ELECTIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN OUR LIFETIMES! BE THERE!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Whereas I tend to agree with the author on Beck seeking credit & attention, especially with the march on 9/12, but commenting that President Obama is a racist is one of the most on-target things he’s said.


44 posted on 09/29/2009 9:19:29 AM PDT by FourPeas (Why does Professor Presbury's wolfhound, Roy, endeavour to bite him?)
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To: SeekAndFind
In short, the elitist media gets the joke. They are not putting him up there because they find him an effective, articulate spokesman for the right. They find him an oddity, something they can pin prick and laugh at.

Yeah...they said Sarah Palin was bad for the ticketr for this exact reason.

' Sorry, Riehl. No sale.

45 posted on 09/29/2009 9:19:29 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: Hodar

As a journalist, he needs to brush up on his writing technique. It’s very scattershot. I found it irritating that he kept leading up to a point, over and over, before finally making it.


46 posted on 09/29/2009 9:19:51 AM PDT by mrsmel (Put the Gitmo terrorists near Capitol Hill.)
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To: SeekAndFind

because he won’t stop that pathetic crying schtick?


47 posted on 09/29/2009 9:20:03 AM PDT by usshadley (It's time to choose..the empire or the republic? You can't have both. Time is running out.)
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To: simonpaul
Glenn Beck is a media star

Exactly.

He's a media guy, not a leader.

48 posted on 09/29/2009 9:20:54 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: SeekAndFind
Glenn Beck in 2012: "I am glad Obama won a second term becuase now America will really wake up!"
49 posted on 09/29/2009 9:21:10 AM PDT by JRochelle (CO2 is plant food.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This guy is nuts. How is it “outrageous” to call Obama a racist? Would anyone suppose that if a white man had been a member of a racist church with a racist pastor with a racist theology for 20 years he would not be considered a racist?


50 posted on 09/29/2009 9:21:22 AM PDT by Lucas McCain
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