Jul
09
2010

Alexander Zaitchik on Glenn Beck, Jon Jeter on globalization

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Two issues modern media critics can't help but engage are the growth of right-wing media, and their forcible injection of sometimes bizarre ideas and methods into so-called mainstream debate; and the impact of corporate media's narrow economic vision, which also affects public debate and political possibilities, on some of the most critical decisions affecting the country. On today's show we’re going to talk about some of those things with two authors. If you watch Glenn Beck for even a few minutes you're left wondering whether it's all a con job—from the weepy patriotism to […]

Apr
02
2010

Alfred McCoy on Afghanistan, Richard Kim on The Mad Tea Party

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The DEA made a high profile announcement of massive seizures of opium in Afghanistan, reminding us of the centrality of opium production to the country’s economy. But most stories on the occupation and on Afghan ‘hearts and minds’ include marginal mention of the narcotic. How would really understanding the role of opium shift our understanding of US policy in Afghanistan? We’ll hear from historian Alfred McCoy, author of the classic The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, now updated as The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. Also on CounterSpin […]

Apr
01
2010

Glenn Beck Gets Progressively More Paranoid

Fox News’ lunatic fringe, now even loonier

Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck had a surprising 2009 (Extra!, 6/09), becoming a high-profile advocate for the right-wing Tea Party movement and attracting millions of viewers to his late afternoon cable talk show. How does one top that? By spinning out elaborate theories about the “progressive” assault on the Constitution and the country, hinting that the left’s disenchantment with Barack Obama could very easily manifest itself in violence—that’s how. Beck’s ruminations make no logical sense, and the proposals he attacks do not bear even the faintest resemblance to the political agenda of the White House or congressional Democrats. But […]

Jun
01
2009

Glenn Beck Is No Howard Beale

He’s mad like a Fox, and wants to take us in

Fox News’ latest sensation Glenn Beck has invited comparisons of himself to Howard Beale, the barking-mad TV host in 1976’s black comedy Network, who urged viewers to throw open their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Beck recently told the New York Times (3/30/09): “I think that’s the way people feel. That’s the way I feel.” Beck has even played clips of Beale’s scenes on his show (Beck, 3/23/09). Declaring one’s kinship with a fictional TV host famous for undergoing an on-air emotional disintegration would not normally recommend one to […]