Op-Ed: Glenn Beck, Political Gladiator

Posted Sep 11, 2009 by Johnny Simpson
Love him or hate him, FOX pundit Glenn Beck is fast becoming a political force. In just five days, he has brought down NEA Communications Director Yosi Sergant, 'green jobs' Czar Van Jones and four corrupt ACORN workers. Now that's power.
Fox News anchor Glenn Beck
Fox News anchor Glenn Beck
By the Rocketeers
"I want President Obama to fail."
Way back in mid-January, when conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh uttered those now infamous words, liberal Democrats and the mainstream media were quick to respond. A petition against Rush was launched by liberal Democrats in Congress. Stop Rush campaigns began appearing on the Internet. Even the President and his senior advisors got into the game, trying to paint Rush Limbaugh as the face of the Republican Party.
The liberal Democrats' efforts have largely been ineffectual, and in many ways counterproductive. Rush has not stopped or shut up, and is in fact noisier than ever. Even worse for liberals, his ratings are way up, and he's just as thorny, offensive and maddening as during the Clinton era, if not more so. Yet of all the trouble Rush has caused, I can guarantee you that Left-leaning Liberal Democrats, President Obama prime among them, are yearning for the days Rush Limbaugh only wished the President would fail. It's a lot simpler than having to face the fact that FOX conservative pundit Glenn Beck, a manic hybrid of Howie Carr and Professor Phineas J. Whoopee, is single-handedly turning their world upside down.
Beck's the new gladiator in the political arena, and he is taking no prisoners. His YouTube-fueled exposes on 'green jobs' czar Van Jones' radical Marxist and 9/11 'Truther' past forced Jones' resignation from his White House post this past Sunday. His more recent exposes on NEA Communications Director Yosi Sergant, who appears to have been engaged in politicizing the NEA to promote Obama's policies in art, led to Sergant stepping down from his job yesterday. Today, two ACORN workers were fired from their jobs in Baltimore after an undercover sting, highlighted on Beck's show yesterday, that revealed a willingness of ACORN employees to facilitate prostitution with underage illegals as part of a housing aid package. Another two ACORN employees in D.C. have been terminated for the same reasons in an identical sting.
That is serious power, ladies and gentlemen. In just one week, two high government appointees have been forced to resign their positions under embarrassing circumstances, two ACORN workers are now out on the street in Baltimore, and another two followed fast on their heels in D.C. Worse for liberal Democrats and the President, who favor ACORN, major spotlights are now being focused on the organization. Eleven ACORN members had just been arrested on voter fraud charges in Florida, and other ACORN employees have been convicted of similar offenses in fifteen states. The timing couldn't have been worse for Obama or ACORN. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, is already demanding hearings.
Want more? Beck is backing the 9/12 Project, scheduled for tomorrow and sponsored by Tea Parties nationwide, to give sitting members of Congress even more hectic public protests to think about as they head into drafting Obama's healthcare bill. If Rush Limbaugh is a fat noisy parrot annoying Liberal Democrats from atop his tree branch, Glenn Beck is fast becoming a swooping ivory-taloned hawk, and he's taking a chunk of flesh from each dive. With Rush, liberal Democrats are only losing points in the polls at worst. With Beck they're losing people and political support, and seeing a lot of unwanted attention brought to liberal pet causes and organizations like ACORN and NEA.
Glenn Beck and FOX News had lots of help. The Gateway Pundit blog broke a ton of damning materials on Van Jones, including many videos Beck used that went viral. Andrew Brietbart's Big Hollywood broke the NEA/Yosi Sergant story with artist Patrick Courrielche, who sat in on the NEA call as an invitee, felt troubled and spilled the beans. Likewise, Breitbart's brand new website, Big Government, got off to a huge splash with the exclusives on the scandalous ACORN undercover videotapes.
But it was Glenn Beck, in his inimitable Carr/Whoopee style, that threw it all out there like red meat to the hungry lions in his huge audience. In each case, Beck capitalized on stories already out there that the mainstream media didn't or wouldn't cover. A new 3DBB show on ACORN will no doubt be playing on Glenn's show next week. If I were his producer I'd milk the story, especially given the level of ACORN scandal in Baltimore and DC. That story may grow to criminal if not Congressional proportions.
So how do liberal Democrats counter him? Van Jones' boycott through Color of Change has proven ineffective, and actually backfired badly given who's gone and why. All the bad press Beck gets from HuffPo, KOS, Keith Olbermann and other left-leaning pundits only seems to boost his ratings. And as the government scandals pile up and the red-faced employees head for the exits, the Glenn Beck show is only attracting more viewers. Beck even has his own HuffPo page now. Don't expect to find many kinds words there. But you may find some very grudging respect if you look hard enough.
In the end, I am left with the same question as President Obama: who's next? Valerie Jarrett? Cass Sunstein, who just passed Congressional muster as Obama's new 'regulatory czar'? FCC Diversity Chair Mark Lloyd? Regardless, one thing is for certain. Glenn Beck has turned what in many respects is a not uncommon TV soapbox into a weapon of mass political destruction, and the Obama administration is its Ground Zero. It sure must feel that way for liberal Democrats looking around at all the falling bodies lately.
So where does Glenn Beck go from here? Does he continue collecting scalps from the Obama administration with manic yet searing political exposes, and to sky-high ratings that have become the norm? Or does he become the next Howard Beale as time marches on? Only time and ratings will tell, but one thing is for sure. Glenn Beck must be fully enjoying the moment as much as liberals now rue the day they ever heard his name. Liberals who surely hope to never hear their names with regard to Beck's show.
How nice it must be to have politicians in the ruling party literally fear you. In America, that's not necessarily a bad thing. At least with Glenn Beck keeping them on their toes, they're more likely to be honest and above board. In a democracy entrusted to elected politicians, that can't be a bad thing either. Lastly, if anyone can think of or remember any pundits or journalists (besides Woodward and Bernstein) who proved this devastating a political detractor to an American administration, I'd like to hear about them.