Beck draws right away from health care to party

Frank Yonkof

Like many Americans, I felt safer this past weekend than I had in years.

That’s because all of the right-wing extremists marched on Washington, D.C., and that was a sense of relief for most people. It was the first weekend in a long time that we could sit back and enjoy the Sunday paper without having to see another letter to the editor accusing President Barack Obama of being a socialist.

Although I enjoyed the time away from the three-ring circus that is the health care debate, I really do not understand the reason for the protests.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the fact that all of the crazies were in one place and out of my town. But after watching a whole week’s worth of coverage, the only point I took away from it all was that they don’t care much for Obama.

On April 15, I drove past one of the original Tea Party protests. Back then, they actually had common ground to protest on. For the most part, all attendees came out to protest high taxes and outrageous government spending.

But to be perfectly honest, I was probably more confused back then than I was by this past weekend’s charades. They were protesting the taxes they paid when President George W. Bush was still in office and the outrageous spending that was mostly for the war in Iraq.

And yet, all of their anger was directed toward Obama?

Now, this past weekend’s march on D.C. was really the brainchild of Glenn Beck over at Fox News. In March, Beck introduced the 9/12 Project, which was pretty much his way of using 9/11 to motivate his base.

You see, Beck hoped Americans across the country would unite like they did on Sept. 12, 2001. Except in Beck’s vision, Americans would reunite to take their country back.

Needless to say, the people over at Fox have been promoting the weekend protests for months and have pretty much criticized every other media outlet for not covering it enough.

But after the march, conservative bloggers began distributing old images of the National Mall filled with what they claimed were more than a million people. The problem was, the photo was more than 10 years old and almost all mainstream media estimated only tens of thousands were present.

You probably never heard much from Beck before this year, though. Until October of last year, he worked for CNN’s Headline News, which meant no conservatives bothered to listen to him. It wasn’t until he moved to Fox in January when his following exploded.

Beck is quite an interesting character. He spends most of his show spewing off crazy theories and ratting out suspected communists in the government. The video introducing his 9/12 Project is some of the most effective propaganda I have ever seen. On first look, it made me want to jump into action.

However ridiculous his show is, it is important to be familiar with Beck and his program because he is motivating the hard-core right into action.

Frank Yonkof is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]