Newshour | TV, Radio Talkers Shaping Political Discourse in U.S.

TV, Radio Talkers Shaping Political Discourse in U.S.

JIM LEHRER: Next tonight: the TV talkers and their impact on how the rest of us talk politics.

Jeffrey Brown reports.

GLENN BECK, Host, "Glenn Beck": If it wasn't for FOX or talk radio, we would be done as a republic.

JEFFREY BROWN: In a multimedia world of talk and more talk, the latest big talker is Glenn Beck, known for his folksiness and emotion, which sometimes spills over to tears...

GLENN BECK: I just love my country.

JEFFREY BROWN: ... and, most of all, for his over-the-top style and words, which, for many, push the limits of acceptable public rhetoric.

GLENN BECK: ... is that there are Marxist revolutionaries who have dedicated themselves to principles that will destroy our nation as we know it.

I'm saying he has a problem. He has a -- this guy is, I believe, a racist.

Read the rest of the transcript here, or view the video here.

Tags: conservatives, democrats, freedom of speech, gop, hate speech, liberals, opinion, politics, pundits, radio, More…republicans, television

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I imagine the difference is that all three million of his viewers vote and of the other 350 million, 250 million don't vote. Starts to matter then but the reaction does seem a little rash to me too. I know my parents listen to this moron and buy about everything he says (and they defend him whenever I say anything about him- no matter how stupid he's being). It'd probably be easier if people didn't have to lie their asses off to get anything done. Makes it a lot harder to point the moral finger at the other guy.
I know my parents listen to this moron and buy about everything he says (and they defend him whenever I say anything about him- no matter how stupid he's being).

Why are people like that? It's like a cult of personality.
It's exactly that. I think when my parents hear Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck that they hear a lot of their own thoughts worded more eloquently and with more passion then they themselves can muster. And so they hold on blindly, like they do their faith.
they hear a lot of their own thoughts worded more eloquently

Well, if you parents are like most of their audience, this should probably read: they hear a lot of their own thoughts irrational fears worded more eloquently
You've got it exactly. No one likes to be contradicted or confronted. When they think someone big agrees with them it gives them reason enough to be complacent with their limited pool of information.

They surrender any extra investigation or research to another party.
Why does it seem so much bigger?

Everyone faces the guy in the crowd who is making the most noise. These people know how to get attention.
I could not agree with you more. But as to why they are so popular, that's one of the great mysteries of life. Why do so many people believe in things for which there is no proof? Why do so many people not form opinions until people tell them what opinions to have? Why are so many people gullible? Stupid? Narrow-minded? I dunno!
I know this is a running theme on this website but it is simply an issue of religious faith.
On one side you have the progressive movement which advocates everything a hardline religious person is told to be evil (abortion, homosexuality, diplomatic relations with non-religious countries...) and on the other you have those guys. They're going to listen to THOSE GUYS because they echo back to them everything they've been told thus far and built their entire belief structure upon.
It's kind of like if you had a bad atheist- there's not many but they do exist. That guy would likely follow any movement that was anti or counter religion, even if it meant performing hate crimes on catholics.
I don't think my parents and others like them are necessarily stupid, I think they're brainwashed. Just like the Manson family, the Waco cult, and that Marine who shot all of those people from the clock tower.
I don't think my parents and others like them are necessarily stupid, I think they're brainwashed. Just like the Manson family, the Waco cult, and that Marine who shot all of those people from the clock tower.

Perhaps it is not a question of stupidity or being brainwashed, but rather an issue of gullibility, or an aversion to critical thinking/questioning authority. Some really smart people are very religious, for some reason, though you'd want to think the obvious.
Perhaps an unwillingness to look beyond the simple answers given to them? I still blame indoctrination mostly, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a genetic link to this thought process. It's kind of a beautiful concept that some people may have evolved not to believe in evolution!
The irony gives me the Joker's laugh! HAHAHA!
You need to read The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom.
Wow, three seconds of searching and I found an awesome exerpt from that book. You're right, I must read it!

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