Who's More Dangerous, Beck or O'Reilly?
Sullivan here makes the argument that
, bad as Glenn Beck is, it's a completely different species of bad from the insidious propaganda of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. I can see the argument, only in that no one could ever mistake Beck for "reasonable," whereas, for instance, BO seems that way to many(in fact, particularly now compared TO Beck, even Jon Stewart--wrong more often than previously lately
--thinks O'Reilly is the "adult" in the room there. Well yes, and Trinity was the adult in his household; your point?) and therefore communicates to far more people than Beck really can. Beck is a straight-up huckster and there's an upper limit to how many he can fool, but not so with Fox's approach otherwise. It's a bit like the difference between Newt Gingrich and, say, Fred Phelps
. There are plenty of reasonable people who would give the vile, cynical manipulator Gingrich a hearing, and might think he had a point, while even if Fred Phelps got TV time he's only going to appeal to the most bigoted, most paranoid, most hateful parts of the population. Gingrich is more dangerous in the discourse, in a broader sense, because he might actually affect policy. But just the same, Phelps could get people killed. But there's still a ceiling to his influence, thankfully a very low one in his case.
But that's narrow Beltway thinking. Beck's still dangerous, just in a different way, in that he stirs up the violent crazies and does
fool them, even if he could never fool anyone else.
Labels: FoxPAC, glenn beck, newt gingrich, propaganda, right wing, TV