14 February 2010

"The Truth is I'm an Everyday Ordinary Person"

I have been a listener of the Glenn Beck Program on the radio for over 5 years.  I watched Beck's very first television debut over 3 years ago on CNN's Headline News, and watched his debut on FOX News as well.  I have witnessed Beck's growth into what I believe is a citizen concerned about the direction of the country.  I have watched and listened as the ratings for both his radio show and television show have soared, making him very successful. 

I've also watched Beck's ego grow proportionately with his success.  

Take note, if you're not a Beck listener: The current running theme and words that appear in the intro of the television show are: Question Boldly. Speak without Fear. Hold Fast to the Truth. And his radio show uses the line from a song (lyrics by Beck?) wherein the lyrics go "search for answers everywhere/we will be the key/just remember who we are/we will be the key." What's more, Beck espouses constantly that America needs to realize that the Republicans and Democrats are just one two-headed monster, a view Ms. Medina shares calling them "the two sides of the same coin."

On February 11, 2010, Mr. Beck imploded and lost at least one "Insider" subscriber and everyday viewer/listener. That would be me of course.  

On that day's "Glenn Beck Show", gubernatorial candidate for Governor for the state of Texas was invited on as a guest.  Beck, the day before, said he had never heard of her and seemed to not be able to remember her name.  His sidekick Pat reminded him: Debra Medina.

Ms. Medina is a grass-roots conservative candidate who is running on the Republican ticket.  Her campaign has thousands of volunteers who are all enthusiastic about her platform to return Texas to a smaller-government, free from the Federal Government, oriented state. The campaign has caught great momentum since Medina has nearly caught one opponent according to one poll.

Here's one personal caveat: The Conservative Mom approves of the Medina Platform and thinks Debra Medina would be a refreshing change for Texas Leadership.
My second caveat: I don't for the life of me know why people go mentally ballistic when ccertain questions are asked.  It's just a question for goodness' sake.

Back to the interview (complete transcript is here): Beck steers the direction of the interview into implying (not asking) that Ms. Medina was a 9/11 truther:

GLENN: I have when I said that I was going to have you on, you can't imagine the mail pro and con that I received. There was a theme that ran against you and that is you are a 9/11 Truther. 

MEDINA: Well, there's lots of mud that people would like to throw at Debra Medina and make stick. The truth is I'm an everyday ordinary person. (emphases mine) I am fighting for the things that our founders fought for, those very basic principles of a constitutional republic, and I'm going to champion people that hold their government accountable, hold me accountable but that's the first time I've heard that accusation. So that's an interesting one. 
 Moments later: 
GLENN: Would you, if you found out that there were, would you disavow them like the president should have but I mean, he escorted them out in the middle of the night. Van Jones was a 9/11 Truther. If you found out that people around you are advising you were 9/11 Truthers, would you disavow them or allow them to continue to advise you?  
MEDINA: Well, you know, that's a federal issue. We're very focused on issues in Texas, on Texas state government. I'm certainly not into mind control or thought policing people. 
Is asking the 9/11 question going to become a new litmus test for candidates? Or was it just for this candidate?

Speaking of litmus tests - remember this one,  if not in experience then in history?
Are you  or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? 
This was known as McCarthyism during an era knon as The Second Red Scare that showcased the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  As with many ideas that spring into programs run by the government, it starts out with good intentions and then goes awry, being easily explained by the adage "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."  Communism was  a huge societal concern after World War II; but the Federal entity HUAC ended up persecuting people who had likley nothing to do with Communism.

(CM ADD Moment: We actually have Communists in the White House in 2010.)

Granted Beck is just a radio talk show host and self-proclaimed rodeo clown, but he has as many as 10 million listeners and the advantage of a use of public airwaves that most of us don't have. But read the rest of the transcript and decide for yourself if the airwaves may have been abused while having Ms. Medina on the show.

The interview continues: 

GLENN: Right. Here's then let me be more frank and ask you the question: Do you believe the government was any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11? 
MEDINA: I don't, I don't have all of the evidence there, Glenn. So I don't I'm not in a place, I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard. There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there. So I've not taken a position on that. 
GLENN: I think the people of America might think that might be a yes. 
GLENN: Do you have advisors that advise you or people that are around you that are 9/11 Truthers?
MEDINA: I'm not going to take a position. 
GLENN: That's fine. 
MEDINA: These questions have been raised and they are not answered. 
Did Ms. Medina answer honestly? I believe she did.  Whether I agree with what she said or not, it is an honest answer.  Isn't this country, isn't the state of Texas, trying to get away from   lying politicians?

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? 
MEDINA: Not to my knowledge. 
GLENN: Would you, if you found out that there were, would you disavow them like the president should have but I mean, he escorted them out in the middle of the night. Van Jones was a 9/11 Truther. If you found out that people around you are advising you were 9/11 Truthers, would you disavow them or allow them to continue to advise you? 
MEDINA: Well, you know, that's a federal issue. We're very focused on issues in Texas, on Texas state government. I'm certainly not into mind control or thought policing people. 
GLENN: No, that's a pretty big one. 
MEDINA: We've got a very diverse team in this state and that's because Texans are standing shoulder to shoulder to support and defend the Constitution. I frankly don't have time, you know, to go through and do psychological testing on people and know every thought or detail that they have. 
GLENN: No, I don't think it's psychological at all. 
MEDINA: I don't see us having a team of radical individuals, if you will. I think that there are certainly some that are looking, trying to use scare tactics. I you know, are there people? 
GLENN: No, I don't think they're scare tactics. Debra, you've answered the question. 
MEDINA: Yeah, are there people that have tried to come and be a part of our team 
GLENN: Right. 
MEDINA: that have not gotten on the team? Absolutely there are. But I can't 
GLENN: Yeah, I understand. Debra, you've answered the question. 
MEDINA: You know, I don't know. That's so out of context, it's difficult for me to answer. 
GLENN: There's 
MEDINA: I think it would depend on, you know, how vocal they were about that and how much I thought it colored whatever other talent they brought to the table. 
GLENN: Yeah. Okay, Debra, thank you very much. I appreciate it and best of luck to you. 
MEDINA: Thank you, Glenn. 
GLENN: You bet. Bye bye. I think  

 Are you now or have you ever been a 9-11 Truther? 

When the interview is over and the phone call has ended, the conversation on air continued like this:

PAT: Problematic? 
GLENN: While I don't endorse anyone 
PAT: Problematic? 
GLENN: I think I can write her off the list. Let me take another look at Kay Bailey Hutchison if I have to. Rick, I think you and I could French kiss right now. 
PAT: Let me tell you something. He's a damn handsome man. 
GLENN: He's a damn handsome man. 
PAT: Looks good in a pair of jeans. 
GLENN: Wow. 
PAT: He's a handsome man. 
GLENN: Wow. The fastest way back to 4%. 
STU: (Laughing). 
GLENN: Holy cow. 
PAT: I mean, and we're going to I'm going to hear from people in Texas. How can you take her we just asked the question! 
GLENN: Asked the question. 
PAT: Because we got all the rumors, I expected her to say oh, absolutely not. 
STU: Even if you are a Truther, there's an easy answer to that 
PAT: That is not what she said. 
STU: which is of course not; what are you talking 
PAT: Absolutely not, I am not a 9/11 Truther. 
GLENN: I mean, but at least give her credit. 
STU: Give her credit, she told the truth. 
GLENN: Give her credit for telling the truth. 
PAT: She didn't lie. Yeah, she didn't lie. 
GLENN: But you know what? If you believe the United States government blew up the World Trade Center, there should be no other higher priority, no other higher priority. 
PAT: And I don't want to hear from you if you are a 9/11 Truther on her side. 
GLENN: Yeah.
 Do the other candidates running for the Governorship have people on their campaign who are 9-11 Truthers? Do we care?

Is it the wrong question to ask? Is it so bad to wonder if a government that continues to insist that global warming is real despite all the evidence to the contrary might be hedging the truth regarding anything that has anything to do with what happened on September 11th, 2001? This is the same government that had taken eight years to begin rebuilding at Ground Zero.  

The same government that wrote health care legislation in the dark of night and behind closed doors, that hired Van Jones a known Communist, that put a Christmas ornament on the White House tree with the image of Mao Tse-Tung on it, that is trying terrorists in American courtrooms, the same government that brought us the Patriot Act, which is still in effect and which some call the worst piece of legislation in the history of the country, that only recently (and formerly secretly) raised the country's debt ceiling to an insane 14.3 trillion dollars.

In doing my research for this post, I came across this excellent blog post from RightPundits.com, making a thought-provoking point about the Truther Movement and the Conservative Movement:
"Glenn Beck 'outed' Republican gubernatorial candidate for Texas, Debra Medina, this morning on his 'third most listened to show on talk radio'. No, I’m not talking about homosexuality. Glenn Beck has leveled the accusation that Debra Medina is a '9-11 Truther'. When Medina didn’t give Beck the answer he was looking for, he then said, 'I think the people of America might think that might be a yes.'   And so it begins.  At this point it is moot if Medina is or is not a Truther.   The 9-11 Truther mindset is now out there for everyone to see, and Beck can say he was the first to talk about it. " (9-11 Truthers and Obama Birthers By Donald Borsch Jr.)
There is no doubt that what happened in the interview reflected Ms. Medina being caught off guard with the question, thereby responding with an unscripted and unrehearsed answer.  The whole incident has hurt Debra Medina in the polls a bit, too (but those numbers are climbing back up).  But was this question and her answer really relevant to the issues facing Texas? Or to the ability to govern the state? Why is the question such a big deal? Has questioning 9/11 become some kind of new DSM diagnosis? With the caustic response it solicits, you'd think so.

Beck is an entertainer, a highly paid one at that. He's done some good in raising awareness in this country to what's been happening. But I think this interview will prove to be a downward pivot point in his career, because it's certainly not the first time he has put  Alinsky-style pressure on someone he decides he doesn't like.  What happened in the questioning of this interview was unfair and uncalled for, and incredibly hypocritical in light of the "Question Boldly" theme.

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