Glenn Beck’s Fox News studio audience was made up of teachers today, and something interesting happened when Beck went on his usual anti-union jaunt. Some of the teachers pushed back, and defended their unions.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
When Beck was challenged by a member of his audience, he said that he isn’t anti-union,
Believe it or not, I’m not against, I just talked to my mother in law who I’ve told the story before was arrested on a union march with Jesse Jackson, and I told her just the other day, she said man our union, I mean our school is out of control, and I said Mom I will march with you. She works at Yale. They treat their employees like garbage.
Unions, I’m not against unions. I’m against corporations being so wildly out of control with no one watching over them. There’s no stop. Right now, call the police on GE. Who are you going to call? Who you gonna call? All the way to the White House, there’s no one to call because they’re all in bed. Okay?
If somebody’s abusing the system in a corporation or in schools, or whatever, and there’s no union. Who you gonna call? What are you going to get another job? You’re not going to get another job, know what I mean? So, it’s the balance of things. When unions become too powerful they get out of control. When business becomes too powerful out of control. It’s do the right thing, and that’s what not being taught anymore.
What Glenn Beck said today about not hating unions is a whole lot different from what he said on the November 25, 2008 edition of his radio show.
Back then Glenn had this to say about unions, “Last night it was — because we had, for rehearsals here in New York, we had to rent an actual Broadway stage. That’s cheap. And so we’re renting this Broadway stage and all of these people are there. There are like 400 people there and it’s like, “Okay, all I needed was a roll of scotch tape.” “I know. This is the union that went to — he had to go to the store. This union could actually handle the money and he could buy the tape. This guy over here, he can pull it out of the dispenser and this guy, he can just oversee to make sure all the OSHA rules are being followed with scotch tape.” I mean, it’s incredible. I don’t know how business stays in business. I really don’t. I’ve never had to deal with unions before. I hate them. I hate them.”
In 2008 Beck hated unions, but when confronted with some push back from teachers in 2011, he proclaims that he is not anti-union. I don’t recall seeing a Founders Friday show where Beck had more than token push back from his audience. The push back highlights just how difficult it has been for the right to successfully attack unions.
Even people who may not agree with a union’s political endorsements understand the usefulness of union representation. Attacks on unions are further complicated by the fact that so many Americans know or are related to a union member. When Glenn Beck rattles on about Communistic and Socialistic union conspiracies, he may be calling your mom/dad/sister/brother/cousin/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend un-American. That’s a tough sell.
The fact that some members of his studio audience stood up and disagreed with him today illustrates just how far Glenn Beck has fallen. There was a time when his audience would have been filled with fans and worshipers, now there are some voices of dissent sneaking in there. Teachers have some of the most difficult and put on jobs in America.
It was nice to see a few teachers stand up against the continued demonization of their profession, and set Beck straight on the value of collective bargaining.