“If it wasn’t for FOX or talk radio, we’d be done as a republic.”
— Glenn Beck on yesterday’s ‘Fox and Friends’ suggesting that FOX and talk radio are the only things standing between the United States and a communist/fascist/socialist/dictatorship.
Does it follow then that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Beck are now playing the role of Founding Fathers? Hey, who’s to say that when Franklin said “a republic, if you can keep it” he wasn’t actually looking to cable news hyperbole as the keeper! Meanwhile, Lee Siegal says Beck and his followers are actually the 21st century’s version of the hippies of the 1960’s.
In society, culture and now politics, what was once considered countercultural is today the establishment. And so it’s no surprise that what was once considered the establishment—the war cry of patriotism, religion, and morality—is the new counterculture. The parallels between today’s right-wing radicals and radical tactics of the 1960s are striking. Sixties’ Dada theatrics—e.g. Allen Ginsberg leading people in an attempt to levitate the Pentagon (my favorite)—are echoed in the alarmist and conspiratorial theatrics of right-wing cable television. Then, too, just as the radical left was inspired by a few personalities—Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Mark Rudd et al.—today’s radical right is whipped up by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin et al.
Does this mean we should expect a Glenn Beck bed-in as the logical follow-up to last weekend’s 9/12 event?
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