Hardball takes a look at right wing media, in particular, Fox News and talk radio, Sarah Palin’s facebook and twitters, the absurdities of Glenn Beck.  This segment is the final installment of The Rise of the New Right:

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Is Beck trying to trigger fear and anger in his audiences? Don’t people see through him? Is Beck like Father Coughlin? Does Beck really believe his bunk about FEMA building bunkers?

29 Thoughts to “The Rise of the New Right: Part 6 (Final Installment)”

  1. I had never heard of Father Coughlin. Did I live in a cave?

  2. Wolverine

    Moon, I have heard of Father Couglin. Operated out of Detroit in the 1930’s, I believe. Big radio personality. Absolutely anti-Semitic to the max. For MSNBC to mention Couglin and Glenn Beck in the same breath is about as far below the belt as you can get. Shame on Chris Matthews. But, then, it IS Chris Matthews…..

    And for Matthews to state that being too emotional and ideological is dangerous…. Hah, the guy with thrills running up and down his ideological legs.

    I’ll see your Father Coughlin and raise you an Alex Jones. I must be living in a cave now. For some reason, I have never heard of Alex Jones. From the way Matthews showered him with attention, you would think he was able to pop out of my Raisin Bran box every morning and exert influence on my thinking. I listen to the radio almost every day at some point and at all hours. Surprising that I’ve never run across an Alex Jones. Is he on Sirrius or something?

    Southern Poverty Law Center: That’s something. We have an organization which gets creds in the MSM all the time. This organization has taken upon itself the right to label anyone with whom it disagrees politically as a hater. How reminiscent of tyranny is that?

  3. Starryflights

    Beck says that Obama is building detention centers run by FEMA to round up conservatives. I can’t believe that people buy into such BS.

  4. Wolverine, my husband thinks I lived in a cave. Not sure why he is the expert on Father Couglin. Maybe he heard about him at home growing up. I sure didn’t. I have never heard of Alex Jones either but I don’t listen to talk radio at all. He also had a liberal Catholic mother. I expect she disliked him.

    I don’t think that Couglin, from what I have read, is a bad comparison to Beck. When we consider the dividing line on political correctness has moved greatly since that time, it is fair. Couglin was an outspoken right wing of his day, Beck is an outspoken right wing of his day. Both go right up to the line (and I feel Beck crosses over that line continually) with their rhetoric. When I think of that imaginary line of decency and how it has changed and shifted, each is one of the ‘bad’ boys of his day.

    Of course I had to research the stuff on Couglin. I miss a lot by not listening to talk radio.

  5. Rez

    From Wikipedia about Coughlin–doesn’t sound right wing to me–

    “Among the articles of the NUSJ, were work and income guarantees, nationalizing “necessary” industry, wealth redistribution through taxation of the wealthy, federal protection of worker’s unions, and decreasing property rights in favor of the government controlling the country’s assets for “public good.”


  6. punchak

    The language patrol at work. Sorry about the early hour!

    Somehow “the final installation” doesn’t sound quite right. How about “installment”?

  7. Formerly Anonymous

    All I’ll say is that anyone who thinks Father Coughlin was “right wing” needs to do some more homework on the subject before making comparisons. Yes, Coughlin was virulently anti-Roosevelt, but he attacked Roosevelt from the left. Coughlin can best be described as a (note the little f) fascist. More like Mussolini in the 20s and early 30s.

    While Beck works the populist angle when he can, it is not a (again note the little f) fascist appeal. I don’t think there is a good word in the political lexicon yet for the mix of populism and restorative appeal that seems to be Beck’s main focus.

    It would be nearly impossible to find anything that Coughlin and Beck would agree on and it seems quite a stretch to link the two.

  8. Thanks Punchak, you are right and I have fixed it.

    He got very right wing and Nazi saluted at people, according the the literature. He started off very liberal and got increasingly non liberal.

    I can’t place Beck anywhere other than wing nut. I agree with you on that, Formerly.

    I think the link is not in their beliefs but their outspokeness and appeal to the masses. Both use radio and/or TV, in the case of Beck effectively to spread the message. At least that is what I got out of it. Apparently Couglin appealed to many in the northeast.

    I tend to associate facism, nazi-ism with right wing, fair or unfair. Additionally, things change. When I was a kid, no one I knew would have voted for a Republican. Hold over from Reconstruction. Somehow during the Civil Rights movement everything flip flopped. Now those same people probably wouldn’t vote for a Democrat.

  9. Actually, after rewatching the video segment, don’t think it is lack of homework at all. Beck used to be a drunk. He evolved from being a drunk to what he is today. Sort of a 180 as it were. Couglin apparently did a 180 also.

    The man in the interview explains it was the anti semitism and blaming of Jews for the depression that earned Coughlin his right wing stripes.

  10. Formerly Anonymous

    Many would debate the argument that the Nazis were “right wing”. While the term fascist has devolved to mean “anti-liberal” in modern times, the domestic policy of the Nazis was more of an extreme New Deal than anything that would have been considered “right wing” at the time. That’s why Coughlin was a fan of the Nazis in the early years.

    If you can get over the highly pejorative title and cover, I would recommend Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism. You won’t agree with some (or even most) of his conclusions, but his research on the early history of the Progressive movement is top notch. His essential argument is that the modern liberal movement and fascism share a common ancestor in the progressive movement. He does not equate the two, anymore than we equate a man to a chimpanzee today. But he does show at length that it is rather silly to call the Nazis “right wing” given their position on social issues.

    And sadly, Antisemitism has a long history on the left, right and center. It would be nice if it were confined to only one ideology.

  11. I have sort of gotten tired of right/left designations anyway. Its a bad habit. I think many of the other multi-dimensional paradigms are much more to the point and more accurate in describing our political beliefs. My own are all over the place. Pick a topic.

    Good post, FA, even if I am not sure I agree or disagree with you. I especially agree with you about anti-semitism.

  12. Rez

    Moon-howler :
    Actually, after rewatching the video segment, don’t think it is lack of homework at all. Beck used to be a drunk. He evolved from being a drunk to what he is today. Sort of a 180 as it were. Couglin apparently did a 180 also.
    The man in the interview explains it was the anti semitism and blaming of Jews for the depression that earned Coughlin his right wing stripes.

    Then I guess the man in the interview was wrong since antisemitism is not a right wing characteristic, nor is admiration for Hitler. Jesse Jackson with antisemitic rhetoric and Louis Farrakhan with a certain admiration of Hitler (see quote) are hardly called right wing–

    “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man. He rose Germany up from the ashes.” — Louis Farrakhan (1984)”

    FA is right–antisemitism is a scourge of all political types. Racism by anyone is intolerable regardless of who displays it.

  13. Rez, Nazism, rightly or wrongly, is often associated with extreme right.

    My only point is, he moved in his political philosphy.

    And while we are on the subject of anti-semitism, that term is somewhat of a misnomer also. Both Arabs and Jews are semitic people.

  14. Rez

    Not to belabor the point but I don’t think he moved from one end of the spectrum to the other. I believe he may have become more radical on the same side of the spectrum. Remember that people today think right wing about neonazism but they didn’t think that way when Coughlin was spewing his hate.

    He became more radical in his populism not adopting a right wing approach. He was rebelling against the conservative approach of the monetary system that favored rich people for whatever evil thing people thought that to be. It is not right wing but the exact opposite–radical yes but extreme from the populist point of view.

  15. We will have to agree to disagree. I am relying on research only. I do not remember him. He might have even been dead by the time I came along. I am also a southerner and relate what I have heard to what I heard as a young person. I considered what I heard then far right, reptrospectively.

    I basically don’t care about labels unless they are applied to me. The word I am thinking of deals with a body part and has nothing to do with left or right….but alot of those people from that era hit me that way.

  16. hello

    Starryflights :Beck says that Obama is building detention centers run by FEMA to round up conservatives. I can’t believe that people buy into such BS.

    Your obviously one of those types of people that don’t like Beck, never listen to him or watch him, and just regurgitate what others say about him. Beck never said that Obama was building FEMA detention centers. Beck did the exact opposite, he debunked that rumor.


    He exposed these ‘camps’ as nothing more than old train maintenance buildings. Besides, if you spent 2 minutes looking into this it was all started back in 1995 by a crazy woman named Linda Thompson. I don’t think Obama was president in 1995.

  17. And the video ended with a picture of a government-run concentration camp. hmmmmm

    And we wonder how these rumors get started.

    I cannot stand Beck, but I do listen to him because I believe people should know that the crazies are saying. It’s also painful. However, I missed him debunking the the fema detention centers.

    One problem I can see is that he babbles so much, it is actually hard to know what he really said. So he ‘debunks’ a conspiracy theory and starts another one.

    HOWL! I wouldn’t assume that Starry doesn’t watch Beck. Many of us feel it is imperative to keep an eye on someone that nutty who leads so many Americans on a daily basis. Doesn’t that scare most people?

    This dude is one step short of wearing a tin foil hat. He influences millions by talking some straight talk about the founding fathers and then mixing a little of this and a little of that and your elected leaders are all bad, your president is the reverse of the kkk, and your congressman is under the influence of Satan….blah blah blah.

  18. PWC Taxpayer

    M-H said, “I cannot stand Beck, but I do listen to him because I believe people should know that the crazies are saying.”

    Exactly M-H. This is why I too watch Shultz and Maddcow and Mr. shiversme Matthews (who was in rare form last night). I look forward to you taking any of them on for their crazy talk — for equal time. At least you get some good history with Beck. Ok, you don’t like where it takes him, but its not history that the PC crowd talk about much. I don’t sense much more than opinion and sarcasim from the others.

  19. Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar. She is a liberal. Perhaps the fact that you think she is worthy of being called madd cow and that Schultz and Matthews are ‘crazy’ speaks more to your politics than anything else.

    I don’t think that all conservatives are crazy. Beck is in a class all his own. You seem to want to broadbrush all liberals as crazy. It is possible not to like people without doubting their sanity. Hannity comes to mind. It is possible to like people and not agree with much that they say. O’Reilly comes to mind. It is possible to not hate people and think they are loonier than a fruit cake. Beck comes to mind.

    He might be perfectly sane and know exactly what he is doing. Perception is reality. His history is …infused with one-sidedness and some inaccuracy…but that’s history. It is open to interpretation, like everything else.

  20. PWC Taxpayer

    Well, as a moderate, I don’t think all liberals are crazy either, just the ones I mentioned and Olbermann – who is in a class so far off in left field as to be all by himself. Unfortunatley, my sense is that your politics screen their craziness and regurgitation of official talking points for the Obama class of liberals. Who was it on CNN that admitted working with the White House on their talking points to make them more effective – just the other day… Just to prove it, my mother is a classic limosine liberal w/o the limo (more PT Cruiser). She’s crazy and increasingly hard headed, but its not from being a liberal– although she is big on protecting her benefits and using the government to solve too many of our problems. Her real line in the sand comes up when liberals/government officials try to take away her financial resources – earned bit by small bit over several generations. That really pisses her off. The sweat of the ferrier, the blacksmith, nurse and teacher invested time and time again into America and left for future generations needs to be respected. Its the change in how America works that really “gets her goat” – from building by generations to taking generational effort – stealing it – and replacing it with unearned or respected political dependency.

  21. PWC Taxpayer

    Now, understand that my grandfather – apparantly – really did think Roosvelt was a communist – at a time when that was no laughing matter. He was a family farm kind of guy -before those farms disappeared and the big one went under the Federal wing.

  22. Did you have a political revelation, TP?

    Glad to know you are now a moderate. So the scales fell off your eyes.

  23. I love how Beck is crazy, yet Schultz, who called on Obama to be “more dictator like” is not, nor is Legs-tingling Matthews. For all of Maddow’s vaunted degrees, they don’t apply to her show. She routinely hacks up and edits footage to show craziness on the side of the GOP and on Beck. But, when you watch the whole footage, her bias and dishonesty comes through.

    On Beck, we know you don’t like him, but, none of his statement have been proven false. Most of his “prophecies” about politics and the economy have come true. He’s the only one on the air that says “challenge me, prove me wrong.” Yes, he has a strange delivery. But his information is basically correct. His opinion of the progressive movement does make him overplay his statements on the early progressives and remove the context. But, his history is accurate.

    Roosevelt was not a communist, but, a Wilsonian progressive. My mother couldn’t stand him. And watched the Democrats follow in those footsteps since. Obama is a chip of the old Wilson block.

  24. PWC Taxpayer

    Yep, and its hard to keep a balanced view, why just today:

    1. The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil.

    2. Democrats say the federal government needs more revenue and the party is not bound by President Obama’s vow not to raise taxes on people making less than $250,000.

    3. House Democrats will not pass a budget in 2010, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will confirm today. Cannot imagine why!!!

    4. 9.7 percent unemployment across the country,

    5. Obama declares war — on Arizona and I am sure you got the $60 million for the border and $600 million for electric car research – not to mentionthe Kyl Liar liar thing

    6. Obama Fires McChrystal, Replaces Him with Petraeus

    Its all so easy and simple – if I forget about yesterday’s lists from GM to healthcare to freezing Federal salaries to insourcing to cap & trade, Isreal and korea.

  25. hello

    Yeah, Beck is crazy but Shultz openly advocated for voter fraud for Ted Kennedy’s seat. Admitting that you would commit voter fraud and asking other to do the same = not crazy at all. Using someone’s own words against them via a video = nuts

    Oooooookaaaaay, maybe that says a little something about your political leanings…. waaaaay over to the left? I think your moderate than that Moon. 🙂

  26. hello

    So according to you Moon, this is how perfectly sane ‘moderates’ talk?


    Wow, that really does say something about where you are politically…!

  27. hello

    I know your a big animal lover Moon, did you know that in the drunken stupor he shot his own dog? Wow, great guy to stick up for…

  28. hello

    So, Shultz is a wife beating, dog shooting, voter fraud supporting all around great guy huh? Nothing crazy a-boot ole wife beating, dog blasting, fraud supporting… hmm, the fact that you would stick up for someone like this

    “Perhaps the fact that you think she is worthy of being called madd cow and that Schultz and Matthews are ‘crazy’ speaks more to your politics than anything else.”

    What does defending a wife beating, dog killer say about “your politics than anything else”?

  29. PWC Taxpayer

    We luv you Moon. Just wish you could be a little more objective and a little less a foil for the democrats and then….

    Try to see it my way
    Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on
    While you see it your way
    Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone
    We can work it out
    We can work it out

    Think of what you’re saying
    You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right
    Think of what I’m saying
    We can work it out and get it straight or say good night
    We can work it out
    We can work it out

    Life is very short and there’s no time
    For fussing and fighting, my friend
    I have always thought that it’s a crime
    So I will ask you once again

    Try to see it my way
    Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
    While you see it your way
    There’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long
    We can work it out
    We can work it out

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