On his Fox News program today Glenn Beck claimed that while Jon Stewart’s rally had been co-opted by the left, he still wished him luck with rally and then jumped on the Jon Stewart bandwagon by saying, “Jon we disagree on a great many things, but I don’t think we disagree of the type of people that we need to be as individual Americans.”
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Beck said, “Again, I believe this rally was co-opted. I think they were just out for promotion for the show and some laughs, but I’m showing you how these rallies are treated so very differently. This rally was about one thing. Get your news from a comedian, because you can trust him. He’s the one like you, and the Huffington Post is your credible news source, not Fox News. I don’t think that’s what Jon Stewart intended.”
Beck then aligned himself with Stewart, “I actually wrote to Jon Stewart I think it was on Thursday or Friday, and I wished him luck with the rally, and I meant it, and after watching his speech, I have to say this, Jon we disagree on a great many things, but I don’t think we disagree of the type of people that we need to be as individual Americans.”
It is funny that Beck would say this today because back on September 20, Beck attacked Jon Stewart and labeled the Rally to Restore Sanity a progressive plot, “They are going to do everything they can to suppress the vote, and then Jon Stewart has shown his colors along with Comedy Central and Stephen Colbert. They are going to activate the youth to try to get them to vote with the labor unions apparently. I guess. I don’t know. That’s why it’s been scheduled the weekend before. Not to suppress that vote, they’ll suppress it all the way up, and then Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will go and activate the youth to try to get the youth to go out and vote.”
Glenn Beck has long believed that he is Jon Stewart’s equal. Back in May, Beck took credit for boosting Jon Stewart’s ratings, and in September 2009, Beck compared himself to Jon Stewart. In an interview with Katie Couric, he claimed that he is the other end of the spectrum from Jon Stewart, “I am, uh, have you asked Jon Stewart this question? I am the other end of the spectrum.”
In Glenn Beck’s mind he and Jon Stewart are alike, but he and The Daily Show host could not disagree more on the kind of individual Americans we all should be. During his speech, Jon Stewart criticized the very sensationalistic fear mongering tactics that Beck uses every day, “If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinist and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more. The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker and perhaps eczema.”
Glenn Beck is one of the biggest perpetrators of overreaction in the media today. The paragraph quoted above is a direct rejection of Beck’s style of political discourse. Stewart and Beck could not disagree more on the kind of people that Americans should be. Beck wants the American people to never compromise, never see the other side, to never abandon the belief that their side is right. Beck rejects cooperation in favor of anger and fear. Jon Stewart used his rally on Saturday to make a plea for reasonableness, calmness, tolerance, and understanding the other point of view. Stewart was rejecting anger and fear in favor of working together to solve our problems.
Since Glenn Beck could not criticize the Rally to Restore Sanity, he had to do the next best thing. He hopped on the bandwagon. Beck could not claim that his rally was bigger, so he tried to suck off a little bit of the credit for the message for himself. Notice how Beck transformed Jon Stewart from an evil liberal who has shown his true colors to an innocent victim of the liberal machine. The point is to muddy Stewart’s message. Reasonableness is bad for the business of fear, and if all of America started working together, Beck might find himself out of a job.