Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weighing arguments

Keith Olbermann is one of those commentators I like, but I try to be guarded in my admiration. There's no doubt he's a hell of a writer and can put together a persuasive argument. And I probably lean closer to the progressive/liberal side of politics than I do to conservative/Tea Party. So what he says is certainly much more likely to appeal to me anyway.

However, I really do try and keep an open mind on things. I consider people like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh to be something just short of monsters. There is ample proof that they lie and distort facts in grotesque fashion to suit their own needs. And far too often I think they're own needs is not to improve the greater public good, but their own egos and bank accounts.

Yet there is no doubt that many Americans hang on their every word, who passionately believe in them and would pretty much follow them anywhere. I think it's simplistic to call those people idiots or naive, although lord knows its possible. Even at his most hated, former President Bush still managed to retain around 28 per cent of the popular vote.

No, the lesson I think I learn from people who are such devout followers of people like Beck, Limbaugh and Palin is to be careful about how big your blinders are. That you're unwilling to listen to the other side and that when people present information that counters what they're saying, it's dismissed as conspiracy.

That's why I'm wary of Olbermann. Yes, there is amble evidence that he's raging egomaniac and more than a bit of a dick. However, I want to make sure I'm not going around all smug, but with just as big a set of blinders as the ones who so blindly follow Beck as if he was speaking the gospel.

Having said all that, I still present this commentary "There is no Grand Zero Mosque", which I found to be an interesting take on the debate and one well worth listening to, if for no other reason than to bring up a fascinating point that I didn't know until Olbermann mentioned it - there's already an Islamic religious centre near the Ground Zero site, one that has been operating since before The World Trade Center opened.

It's a good argument. Now I just have to figure out if it's accurate or not.

And, if you can actually stomach it, here's Beck's response, which is essentially just six minutes of mocking and pointing out he has better ratings rather than refuting any of the points Olbermann makes.

Last Five
1. Brown eyes- Ron Hynes
2. Make you feel my love - Bob Dylan
3. The wrestler - Bruce Springsteen*
4. Born to run - Bruce Springsteen
5. Contrecoup - They Might Be Giants


David said...

Glen Beck is a flaming idiot.

Megan said...

Back from a month in the States -- let me assure you that Beck, Limbaugh, etc. have real fans who believe everything they say. Scary. Especially when it's your own parents.

me, just me said...

And yet people still need to ask WHY I would expat in a heartbeat if I could. lol.

towniebastard said...

One of the great things about America is that people like Beck and Limbaugh have the right to express their opinion.

One of the great tragedies about America is that so many people follow and believe what they say.

me, just me said...

If religious money didn't fuel EVERYTHING in the Right Wing.. we'd be a little better off.

Don't mind me. I'm just bitter because my country equates me with terrorists.. as for what "we" are doing to place..