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Less fear, more substance

September 15, 2010
By Richard Clark

ESCANABA - We Americans don't demand much. Think about the folks who attract our attention.

Sarah Palin is constantly in print, television, audio and digital media. Glen Beck traveled to Washington, D.C. and either tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of fans, depending on the source of the count, attended the rally.

Mr. Beck and Ms. Palin connect with the public's visceral response to the world's boogeymen.

Article Photos

Richard Clark

Thrill rides and horror movies also attract us, but are just for fun. Mr. Beck and Ms. Palin are not so harmless.

Months ago on his television program Mr. Beck targeted President Obama for racist rants. His appeal is similar to that of Rush Limbaugh, who from time to time exposes his own racist views.

Recently, Mr. Beck apologized for his xenophobic statements. Mr. Beck's apology did not flow as easily as his denigrating remarks towards the president.

Mr. Limbaugh has always claimed that he is just entertaining. In 2003 Mr. Limbaugh said that Donovan McNabb held his quarterback position because he was black and not as a result of talent. He was forced to resign from ESPN.

Fans/ devotees/ admirers of Mr. Beck might want to examine his views. At his recent rally in Washington D.C. Mr. Beck's peanut gallery included Rev. John Hagee, leader of a large non-denominational church in San Antonio, Texas.

In 2008 Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights accused Mr. Hagee of calling the Catholic Church "The Great Whore," that promoted a theology of hate.

Mr. Hagee denied he was anti-Catholic and said his comments were misunderstood. Later he apologized.

Mr. Hagee and Mr. Beck demonize Islam to serve as a catalyst for self promotion. Mr. Beck blusters about building a Islamic center two blocks from the site of the World's Trade Center. Mr. Beck was not offended by the New York Dolls Gentleman's Club, the Pussycat Lounge, and Thunder Lingerie and More, a sex shop with a peep show, within the same neighborhood.

Mr. Hagee has called for a Western jihad against Islam.

Former-Governor-Because-She-Quit Sarah Palin denounced building the Islamic Center in Manhattan. The FGBSQ said the center would be a stab in the heart of 9/11 victims.

Appealing to fear and bravado FGBSQ uses tells her audiences to "reload." Reload against Democrats, liberals and others with whom she disagrees.

Vanity Fair published and article by Michael Gross on FGBSQ Palin. He claims that he wanted to write a positive piece on Ms. Palin because he felt she was being mistreated by the main stream media. On the "Morning Joe" Mr. Gross said FGBSQ Palin is someone to whom there is no subject too small to lie about and that she lies about everything.

In the Vanity Fair article Mr. Gross paints FGBSQ as mean and vindictive. Envision a female version of Newt Gingrich.

In Esquire Mr. Gingrich's former wife said he believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected."

In reference to the Newtster she says, "If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president." Former Mrs. Gingrich was referring to Mr. Gingrich's preaching family values while involved extramarital affairs.

The popularity of Mr. Beck, FGBSQ, Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Gingrich within the Republican Party concern those who think these folks will do anything to advance their own personality cults.

It is not a surprise that these folks are popular with 41 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats who believe President Obama may be foreign born. To be fair it is possible that those polled did not know Hawaii was a state when Mr. Obama was born.

Gallup says that 85 percent of us think our diet is "somewhat" to "very healthy." A quick look around and in the mirror tells me we are delusional.

Mr. Beck, FGBSQ and friends are like a bad diet. We cannot afford to think these folks are "somewhat" to "very health." America needs less fear and more substance.


EDITOR'S NOTE - Richard Clark, Escanaba, practices personal injury law throughout the Upper Peninsula. He can be reached at



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