To most liberals and Democrats (and Americans), it goes without saying that Glenn Beck left sanity behind a very long time ago. His Acute Paranoia Revue, now daily fare on Fox News, is a testament to just how damaged the human brain can become when not given proper care.
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Beck has distinguished himself by fantasizing about strangling Michael Moore and calling everyone who believes in global warming a socialist. But that just skims the surface of his sickness. Since landing at Fox he has devolved further into that bleak void of mindlessness than experts thought possible. Earlier this week a guest on his show lost consciousness on the air. Perhaps he was afraid that Beck might douse him gasoline and set him on fire, as he pretended to do to a guest last week.
Now, the master of the "Fear Chamber" is starting to arouse alarm in his fellow conservatives. Beck's fixation on imagery that associates President Obama with Communism and Fascism (an ideological impossibility), along with his exhortations to rise up, fight back, and put a stake through the heart of the vampires in government, is making some devoted right-wingers decidedly nervous.
Charles Johnson runs a website called Little Green Footballs. For many years it has been regarded as one of the Internet's most rabidly rightist destinations. But here is what Johnson is saying about Beck and Fox News now:
April 7: This turn toward the extreme right on the part of Fox News is troubling, and will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP—unless people start behaving like adults instead of angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution.
April 15: They've taken a real turn to the hard right, and Glenn Beck, I think, is kind of riding that wave. I don't know if he's necessarily going to incite violence, but I do think it's irresponsible. It kind of drags down the discourse to a level that I, for one, am not comfortable with."
April 16: [re: Beck] as if being an alcoholic, weeping, ranting, creationist talk show host who idolizes John Birchers and Ron Paul is a real accomplishment [...] Glenn Beck is a punk.
Beck seems to be getting spooked by his own rhetoric. He has begun making plaintive pleas to his viewers to dissuade them from acting out violently. He even held up a photo of Martin Luther King as he called for a peaceful overthrowing of the tyrants that are bent on destroying America.
What do you suppose gave him the impression that he needed to dial down the crazy on his audience? Do you think he is the sort of fellow who would succumb to criticism from lefties that he has been to reckless? Do you think he is afraid that the Department of Homeland Security might label him an extremist? Or is it more likely that he was admonished by his bosses who, while in agreement with his rants, are more worried about civil liability should the network be linked to a McVeigh-ish loner who shares Beck's delusions?
Whatever. You know that when the proprietor of Little Green Footballs gets twitchy standing next to you, it is fairly certain that you have exceeded your quota of cuckoo.