Is It Time to Stop Picking on Glenn Beck?
November 17, 2009 |By: Gary SusmanComments
It's easy to make fun of Glenn Beck. We've done it here, and Beck even does it himself (as on the November cover of his Fusion magazine).
But over the last couple of weeks, as Beck lay recuperating from appendicitis, he's been the target of numerous satirical skewerings, from such parodists as 'Saturday Night Live,' 'The Daily Show,' and 'South Park.' Some of these barbs have gone beyond mocking his on-air antics and have gotten viciously personal. Not that we want to be the Beck-lash police, but to paraphrase a well-known Britney Spears fan, is it time to leave Glenn Beck aloooone?
'Saturday Night Live' Skewers Glenn Beck
Beck makes himself an easy target. There's his Vicks Vaporub-induced crying jags, his bizarre conspiracy theories, his distortions of fact (which he often does by quoting people out of context), his (literally) inflammatory rhetoric, the desertion of his show by 80 former advertisers (as a result of said inflammatory rhetoric), and his cult of personality/political movement. Not to mention his relentless self-promotion across multiple media, his hypocrisy (slamming labor union SEIU for alleged communist leanings until having to acknowledge that SEIU-member nurses cared for him during his recent hospitalization), and his creepy incest fantasy about his sister.
Stephen Colbert: Glenn Beck Is As Sincere As I Am
Still, it's one thing to parody Beck's histrionic performance style, as 'SNL' did last week, or as Stephen Colbert did on 'The Colbert Report' last month (in what is probably the definitive Beck takedown to date). Or to lampoon his paranoid rantings, as 'South Park' did last week, in an episode where Cartman becomes the school announcer and starts baselessly demonizing student president Wendy Testaburger. Even Beck himself thought that was funny.
'South Park': Cartman Emulates Glenn Beck
But it's another thing to make fun of Beck's health woes, as Jon Stewart did. Stewart's lengthy segment was a funny spoof of Beck's emotional performance style, his complicated chalkboard conspiracy diagrams, and his quickness to play the Hitler/Stalin card, but it also seemed to be mocking him for enduring botched hemorrhoid surgery and then an appendectomy. Way to kick a guy when he's down (and anesthetized), Jon.
Jon Stewart takes on Glenn Beck
The Daily Show: The 11/3 Project
Then there's Andy Cobb's Web series 'Drill Baby Drill,' in which conservative writers' texts about sex are acted out. Episode 1 takes on the passage from Beck's 2003 book 'The Real America: Messages from the Heart and Heartland' in which Beck writes an explicit, squirm-inducing love scene between himself and his sister. Cobb does not mention that Beck isn't describing an actual event but is making a queasy comparison between incest and gay marriage. Not that that makes the passage any less offensive, but taking it out of context like that is the sort of thing for which Beck's critics often berate him. It's no more fair when Cobb does it.
Andy Cobb: Glenn Beck's Fantasy
The worst comes from the Onion, in a fake video news report headlined "Victim in Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck." Throughout the clip (which contains some NSFW language), fake reporters and fake interview subjects express repeated dismay that Beck has not met a gruesome and violent death.Sure, Beck himself has fantasized on air about murdering Michael Moore or waging bloody civil war against the Obama administration and whoever sides with it. But does the Onion really want to stoop to that level? It's hard to see how even the worst Beckophobe could find this in good fun.
Surely, Beck barb-tossers, there are plenty of things about the Fox News host you can satirize without resorting to ad hominem attacks. Besides, the Beck Army will be monitoring you closely, and if Beck's not laughing at your spoof, they won't be either. You don't want that angry mob launching a flame war against you now, do you?
Last edited by runawayhorses on Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added video by request)