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Archive for April 14th, 2010

“This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that The War of The Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be. The Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying Boo! …So goodbye everybody, and remember please, for the next day or so, the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian… it’s Halloween.”

Orson Welles, one of Glenn Beck’s broadcasting heroes. In fact, the name of Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts (officially known as Glenn Beck, Inc.), is based on Welles’ CBS radio show — the radio show that famously aired one of broadcasting’s most legendary hoaxes: The War of the Worlds.

Unlike the various Glenn Beck shows and publications, the Mercury performance of the H.G. Welles classic featured a disclaimer at the end (quoted above), formally noting the fictitious nature of the broadcast. Imagine if, unlike Beck, Welles had never broadcast a monologue postscript revealing that what had unfolded on the radio was purely theater. It’s not a stretch to suggest that the ensuing hysteria during and after the show would’ve been far greater.

Every day, for four hours a day, Glenn Beck is playing out a Welles fantasy — leaping out from behind an array of Carrot Top-meets-Gallagher props and gizmos while shouting BOO! at his audience without taking the slightest responsibility for the ensuing hysteria. In Beck’s case, the “boo!” comes in the form of Joe McCarthy style red-baiting and Lee Atwater style race-baiting — insisting with wildly incomprehensible chalkboard scribblings that Marxists and communists are lurking under our beds waiting to steal our money. Money that’s better served feeding Glenn Beck’s empire of fraud. I mean, just look! Those random words on the chalkboard spelled out the acronym “OLIGARHY!” Run for your lives, and all that. It’s an OLIGARHY!

No disclaimers letting the audience off the hook like Beck’s hero, the vastly more responsible performer Welles did. Beck, like several other Fox News Channel actors in Roger Ailes’ ratings-at-all-costs strategy, presents his show as an honest assessment of the truth without any sort of in-show sign that it’s almost entirely farcical.

One of the most common e-mail responses I’ve received from Beck supporters so far has been, simply: “Prove it.” Suffice to say, I never would have started down this road without some sort of confirmation that my theory about Beck was on the right track. So prior to typing a single word, I spoke with some sources close to and within Fox News Channel and they confirmed exactly what I suspected: Glenn Beck is “a bullshit artist.” A faker. A phony.

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Local Tea Party Leader Who Suggested Shooting Hispanics Now Is Wanted By Cops — Tweets: ‘Arm Yourself’

TPM MUCKRAKER

Zachary Roth | April 14, 2010, 3:35PM

Police are searching for a local Tea Party leader in Ohio who is wanted for violating a temporary protection order. Meanwhile, speakers at a Tea Party rally organized by the man, Brian “Sonny” Thomas, have pulled out after he suggested in a tweet that he wanted to shoot Hispanic immigrants — then blaming it on a Bee Gees song.

Thomas is the founder and president of the Springboro Tea Party in southwest Ohio. He faces a misdemeanor charge after recently going to the home of the mother of his son, in violation of a protection order. The woman had previously told police that their son had returned from Thomas’s home with bruises.

Thomas had already been in hot water, after he tweeted during a march in support of immigration reform: “Illegals everywhere today! So many spicks makes me feel like a speck. Grr. Where’s my gun?”

Thomas’s son, and the son’s mother, are Hispanic.

Thomas denied to the Dayton Daily News that he had ever bruised his son. He also said that his anger was focused on illegal immigrants, not legal American citizens like his son.

Thomas has written on his website that the tweet was “facetious.” He also explained it to CNN yesterday by saying that he had been listening to the Bee Gees song “Spicks and Specks.” “I made the reference to the song, not stopping to think of the era that it was produced from and taken out of context could be so offensive to some people,” he said.

The Bee Gees song is not about race. It contains the line: “Where are the girls I left all behind, the spicks and the specks of the girls on my mind?”

In response to the tweet, several local Ohio pols, including former congressman Jim Traficant, announced that they would not participate in a Tea Party rally that Thomas has been planning to mark Tax Day.

The tweet wasn’t the first evidence that Thomas may be unusually preoccupied with race. Among the links to the Springboro Tea Party site is one to a site called white-pride.org, which sells t-shirts expressing pride in various European ancestries. CNN found a picture on Thomas’s MySpace page — no longer available — of him wearing a “white pride” t-shirt. The “White Pride” slogan is frequently used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

As police searched for him yesterday, Thomas tweeted: “Did You Know There are Over 300 Fema Concentration Camps in The United States”. He linked to an extremist website telling readers to “resist the new world order.” He also tweeted: “Professionals advise ‘Arm yourself’ When Seconds Count – Cops are minutes away.”

The controversy over Thomas comes at a time when the Tea Party movement is seeking to present a more mainstream and less controversial image to the public. A group of Tea Partiers recently announced a new federation, designed in part to fight back against charges of racism and extremism.

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Rock Me Baby- Paul Rodgers – (w/Slash)

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