Friday, September 03, 2010

Criticism of Beck Brings Out the Weird

Happy September.

This past week I put my mother on a plane back to Pittsburgh after a 2-month stay, worked several fairly busy shifts at Cabela's, finished my share of this month's Words program, spent a lot of time on the phone with Leslie, and read a lot of interesting stuff online. My pockets had several little pieces of paper with cryptic notes, which I've finally started to piece into a kind of synopsis of the noteworthy for the next few posts.

I saw some great examples of commentary about Glenn Beck and his rally in Washington last weekend, from both local and national sources. I've enjoyed Kathleen Parker's writing ever since she made an eloquent defense of the passion of the late Senator Paul Wellstone after his death in 2002. This consistent quality earned her a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary this year, as well as a show on CNN with Eliot Spitzer, scheduled against the Big Os (O'Reilly, Olbermann) starting next month. I hope that she can maintain her excellent outlook on things in spite of all this exposure.

Ms. Parker's latest offering looks at Mr. Beck's latest exploits in the frame of his recovery from alcoholism and other addictions. Knowing people in my life that have struggled with this as well, I can say from my experience with them that Ms. Parker speaks the truth about the nature of Mr. Beck's rhetoric. Read her column; it's not very long, and it gets the point across rather well.

Daily Sentinel columnist and retired Editor Denny Herzog also saw fit to comment on Mr. Beck's exploits in a commentary this week. Denny lamented the deterioration of journalistic standards that permits the sort of opinion masking as journalism to pervade the airwaves today. To be fair, Mr. Beck has co-conspirators on both sides of the political spectrum.

What cracked me up were some of the comments and letters to the editor accusing Mr. Herzog of exhibiting liberal bias, and being a "left-wing writer". If Denny Herzog is a left-wing writer, then Gary Harmon learned everything he knows from Noam Chomsky. Ridiculous..

One letter writer wondered out loud "how newspapers like The Daily Sentinel can continue to operate on the assumption that it is possible to have a sustainable business model while at the same time condescendingly insulting many of its readers and advertisers". The Sentinel will continue to operate, and even thrive, simply because it pursues to inform and enlighten without a particular bias toward one ideology or another.

The Sentinel tends to lean toward the right in most of their opinion pieces, but also strives to maintain a representative balance of Grand Junction, which appears to be moderating ever so slightly in some areas. Good job, Denny.


As I finish this post I am remembering John L. Fullmer III, who lost a son to a car accident in 2009 and was himself killed yesterday when his truck rolled on Broadway near the west entrance to the Monument. I knew John and his wife Jennifer from a small group bible study we were both part of. I'm thinking and praying for the family, which includes a son in high school.

Please be careful in your travels this Labor Day weekend.

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