His column on Beck's exit from Fox news is heavy on emotion, light on facts, devoid of logic, and saturated with hypocrisy and an Orwellian urge to rewrite history.
Glenn Beck, Fox end dark, nasty cable era today
Controversial host leaves a legacy of reckless, divisive speech behind
One of the things that sets professional journalists apart from the unwashed masses is their appreciation of nuance and their rejection of of simplistic black and white thinking.
I am glad to see Beck leaving Fox News today, and I do not have one good thing to say about him -- or Fox for giving him this pulpit.
OK, maybe Zurawik is right that. Maybe Beck is way out there with Hitler, Stalin, and serial killers. Unadulterated evil with no redeeming characteristics. But i doubt it. Even if i knew nothing of Beck I'd still question Zurawik's conclusions because the case he presents is so laughably weak.
Our outraged critic leads off by blaming Beck for our climate of incivility even when Beck is the victim of boorish, intolerant behavior:
I wonder why he found it surprising that he and his family were not embraced by a crowd at Bryant Park when they attended an outdoor film showing there recently...
Our betters in the MSM love to lecture us about the necessity to tolerate unpopular speech. But Zurawik's comments makes one wonder about their sincerity. Apparently, some unpopular speech deserves to be met with open hostility; We show our tolerance by acting intolerant. Black is white, up is down.
Of course, it is unfortunate if what he says happened did happen. But given his reckless on-air attacks on the president of the United States and others, I do not think he should be surprised by any hostility he encounters in his off-air life.
Our intrepid critic-- a made member of the MSM-- does not know what happened in Bryant Park. But he has his doubts.
what we mainly have is Beck's tearful on-air account during Tuesday's show of what happened to him and his family. And Beck is not exactly my idea of a reliable narrator.
An honest man might do a little digging before he accuses someone of lying. We naive amateurs assume that journalists are paid to 'get to the bottom of the story.' (Actually most of us no longer assume that, but the MSM keeps telling us that's what they do.)
It's not too hard to find evidence that supports Beck's account. It must be fairly easy because even bloggers could do it.
What we see here is the political utility of journalistic agnosticism. As long as Zurawik does not know what happened to Beck and his family then he can slyly suggest that Beck is lying.
The rest of his bill of particulars is equally dishonest. For instance, he trots out Van Jones as a victim of the insidious Beck.
He called one of Obama's senior aides, Van Jones, a communist, and he went after him day after day after day for one stretch on his show, using rhetoric straight out of the ugly McCarthy era of the 1950s.
Which just goes to prove that Barbara Olson was exactly right:
In our political culture, the incantation of "McCarthyism" serves as a kind of permanent restraining order on legitimate inquiries about the political past of people on the Left.
Before Beck called Van Jones a communist, Van Jones called himself a communist
Jones had planned to move to Washington, DC, and had already landed a job and an apartment there. But in jail, he said, "I met all these young radical people of color -- I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.'" Although he already had a plane ticket, he decided to stay in San Francisco. "I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary." In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist."
If McCarthyism is bad because the Tailgunner accused innocent people of being communists, then it is absurd to invoke his name when it come to the Beck-Van Jones story.
Or is now an act of lese-majeste to tell the truth about Obama's czars?
In Z-world, calling Van Jones a communist was an act of unparallelled depravity. It is much worse calling the president a fascist war criminal.
Zurawik claims that Beck's reporting was "as nasty and dirty" as anything that took place during the 1950s blacklist. Yet, at the heart of the blacklist was the attempt to silence unpopular reporters and entertainers by pressuring their sponsors. Beck did not do that; the allies and associates of Van Jone tried to do that to Beck. In his sputtering, unthinking rage our esteemed critic hopes we won't remember that.
I've never been a big fan of Beck. I think even conservatives can find plenty to criticize about his show. Thoughtful criticism is essential to reasoned discourse. Zurawik wants us to believe that he is a defender of such discourse and that his attack on Beck was a necessary part of that defense. In the end, though, his column can best be described by the epithets he hurled at Beck: "ugly," "paranoid," "angry", "reckless", "hateful", "off-the-wall".
Maybe Pogo was right-- Zurawik has met the enemy and he is him.