On his Fox News program today Glenn Beck was making light of the mysterious epidemic of dead birds falling from the sky and dead fish in the water by drawing the religious end days connection and joking that birds died over Sweden because they were afraid of universal health care.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
Beck said, “One of the big stories on the Internet is dead fish and dead birds popping up everywhere, and if you look at these stories, you’re like holy cow, birds are dropping out of the sky, animals are dying, rivers are turning green. It’s the end of the world!!! What’s happening? I want to show you a map I saw yesterday. Look at this map. Here’s a map of all the animal stories, this is just the US locations, where at least what we are being told by the media are strange bird and fish deaths. There they are. First, birds started falling from the sky in Arkansas. Then hundreds of dead birds littered the highway in Louisiana, Texas, large number of dead birds popping up on the highway. Over in Sweden more dead birds. I love this one. The article I read said they were scared to death. Of what? Universal health care over in Sweden.”
HAHAHA!!! Beck is so funny, because nothing could possibly be more frightening to man or fowl than giving every human being access to medical care and the ability to see a doctor. Beck’s joke put the totality of the warped nature of the conservative mind on full display. It isn’t the idea that everyone can see a doctor that frightens them. The real conservative fear is the irrational belief that if everyone has health care, they will get less. Notice how Beck’s attempt at humor tried to both minimize the story of the dead birds, and play around with an end days scenario. Of course, in Beck’s mind the end of times is being brought about policies like universal health care.
For a non-religious conspiracy take on this, we turn to Kirk Cameron.
Here is the former Growing Pains star talking about dead birds on CNN with Anderson Cooper:
Cameron said, “You know, I’m not the religious conspiracy theorist go-to guy particularly. But I think it’s really kind of silly to try to equate birds falling out of the sky with some kind of an end-times theory. I think people love to define codes and signs of future events. I think people just have a fascination with the religiously mysterious.”
Kirk Cameron wants to make it clear that while he is the go to guy on former teen sitcom heartthrobs turned evangelist. He may also be the go to guy on the secret hidden satanic messages in Alan Thicke’s singing, but he is most definitely not the go to guy for religious conspiracy theories. Glenn Beck is happy to fill the role of religious conspiracy theorist. Beyond linking health care to religion, I think Beck was also trying to do something else. By turning the dead birds into a joke, he was also down playing the story in case it is revealed that these animal deaths have an environmental cause.
Glenn Beck used humor to try to minimize and discredit the story with his audience. For Glenn Beck, everything is about politics and advancing his personal agenda. It is always easy for the rich, like Beck to sit back and make jokes about the evils of universal health care, because if Glenn gets sick he has plenty of health care to help him get better. I just wonder how many of his viewers laughed along with Beck without realizing that that the biggest joke of all is on them.