Glenn Beck: A slobbering love affair


A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media

by Bernard Goldberg


GLENN: Bernie Goldberg is here. He's been writing an article for Fusion magazine on the Watchdogs in Name Only. He's also, this is a great book. The title alone is worth the price of admission. A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. Welcome to the program, Bernie, how are you?

GOLDBERG: If it sounds like a romance novel, it's because the way if press has been covering Barack Obama is a romance novel. How are you, Glenn?

GLENN: I'm very good.

GOLDBERG: I used to think if you don't mind my saying so I used to think some of your things -- and I'm saying this as a friend.

GLENN: Oh, boy.

GOLDBERG: That, man, this guy is deep, he is out there. And everything you are saying is becoming within the realm of reason. That's scary.

GLENN: It is scary.

GOLDBERG: I mean, you come up with a scenario that, this is an outrageous scenario, and then 10 minutes later it's not outrageous anymore.

GLENN: I know. Barney -- Bernie, I tell you, the -- if you think it's scary and going, gosh, this guy's crazy, try being me because believe me, I don't want to believe any of these things. I'm a guy, I never believed in these things. I've always believed that our country was good and decent and, you know, that there were bad guys in Washington but all these conspiracies and all this stuff. You just can't trust anyone anymore.

GOLDBERG: But here's the thing. Thomas Jefferson said there's one organization, one entity that you need to trust and we will give this entity constitutional protections with absolutely no checks and balances. And that was the media, right? The media's job is not to report about Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. They can do that if they want, but their job is to keep an eye on government. And if nobody trusts the media anymore -- and by the way, nobody trusts the media anymore. It's not just guys like us. It's liberals and Democrats. Nobody trusts the media anymore.

GLENN: No, I'd take my news from a hooker more than I would from the mainstream media.

GOLDBERG: Exactly. So what happens when this media watchdog barks? Nobody's paying attention. That's the danger, and this is what I wrote in your magazine. That's the danger. That's why they're a threat to democracy.

You know, they are out there now, there are a bunch of articles out there now about how the collapse of newspapers around the country are a threat to democracy. What all these people who are wailing about this don't point out is that they brought this on themselves. Nobody trusts them anymore. They brought this on themselves. And this one, one magazine in Washington, the New Republic, actually blames me by name, by name, for creating a poisonous atmosphere in which newspapers and magazines are going under. Like I wish I had that kind of influence.

GLENN: Bernie, I tell you something, I think that, you know, here's another crazy theory of mine. As things really melt down -- I mean, when the Dow was at 14,000 I said, get out; it will be at 7500. And everybody says crazy. The things I'm talking about now are even more crazy than that and I'm already seeing the beginning of it that they are going to blame me for --

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

GLENN: -- sowing the seeds of discontent.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

GLENN: Because everybody needs an enemy. You need a bad guy.

GOLDBERG: Yeah.

GLENN: And it's easy to blame the person who is looking at this whole thing and saying, "All of you guys have created this safe little world for you that is a danger to democracy."

GOLDBERG: Right. Now look, they are already blaming conservative talk radio or whatever you want to call your kind of show. You know, conservative, sensible, whatever you want to call it.

GLENN: Yeah. I'm conservative.

GOLDBERG: They blamed me by name, as I say, for poisoning the well and creating newspapers going under, which is laughable. They are not introspective, whether it's the media or whether it's politicians in Washington. They are not introspective. It's a lot easier to blame Glenn Beck and conservative talk radio than it is to say, "What the hell. Everything we do here, the market goes lower. It's what we're doing that people have no faith in. It's not Glenn Beck's fault."

GLENN: The solution is the problem. More with Bernie Goldberg in a second.

(OUT 11:42)

GLENN: In the April issue of Fusion magazine on sale now, the April issue is Springtime for Bailouts and the Fed. Bernie Goldberg has written an article in there, Watchdogs in Name Only. It's about the media. And he's got a fantastic new book out called A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media

Bernie, we were talking. You know, you said basically the solution is the problem now and there's nobody that is really telling the truth in the media. They are all in bed for their own little cause or whatever it is. I wrote something last night for the Internet. I was up for the Insider section and I wrote something last night and in it I wrote the line, and when I wrote it, I thought, "This is so true." I said, in the coming days, weeks and year, your integrity and your word will be more valuable than gold. And I mean that. There's no one that we really trust anymore.

GOLDBERG: Right. We're supposed to trust the media. They are supposed to be the impartial referee, and they gave up that right. They just, they gave up that right. And I don't know who you -- I mean, I think people who follow you turn to you and people who follow somebody else turn to somebody else, but we need a strong mainstream media because they are the impartial, impartial arbiters. They are the ones who tell us the truth supposedly in theory, but it just isn't the case anymore.

Usually -- look, usually they put a thumb on the scale. Liberal reporters put a thumb on the scale for a liberal candidate. Okay, we've come to understand that. Now they sit on the scale and they say, "Hey, you don't like it? Too bad." And we're supposed to accept that. This slobbering is going to get us all in a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble because if we don't have an impartial watchdog out there, I'm going to repeat what you ask: Who are you supposed to believe at that point.

GLENN: So Bernie, the Internet is -- I mean, there is the voice of the people that can be found there but, boy, I was doing some research on some absolutely crazy things that I want to just put to bed that is going around on the Internet. The Internet is both great because you can get the truth out there but it is also now, it is the source of spreading rumors and lies.

GOLDBERG: Right, right.

GLENN: And it is so very rapid. What does the average person do without the watchdog, Bernie?

GOLDBERG: Let me first comment on your unfortunately all too correct observation. When I was growing up, I'll tell you where the most hate was. It was in the Ku Klux Klan. It was in the neo-Nazi groups. You know, that's sort of like they were really bad, disgusting people. Do you know where the most hate is today? It's not white against black or black against white. It's mostly middle class, mostly white, mostly men, young men on the Internet who don't have to give their real names and they could say the most vile things about anybody they don't like and make up stuff.

GLENN: Yeah.

GOLDBERG: And as you say, two seconds later it's around the world.

GLENN: I've seen stuff both left and right on the Internet.

GOLDBERG: Mostly left. Mostly left. The haters, the big haters are on the left these days.

GLENN: I've seen it both. I couldn't -- I mean, if you've looked into this, I haven't, but I've seen it on both sides. But I will tell you, I'm seeing -- you know, somebody said on my show a couple of weeks ago, they said Americans, you know, the American Civil War like we know it back in the 1860s would never happen again because brothers would not take arms against brothers. There is so much disinformation, there is so much lying out there, there are so many sources that are telling such horrible untruths.

GOLDBERG: Right.

GLENN: About each side.

GOLDBERG: Right.

GLENN: That you are not going to -- Stu, do you remember? Bernie, by the way, Stu is my executive producer on the radio show. Stu, do you remember when I said back in, what, '96 maybe, I said there's going to come a time in the future where Americans will no longer believe their eyes because a digital manipulation of photography and everything else, you will not know what the truth is anymore because it will all be blurred.

GOLDBERG: That's already happening.

STU: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: We're here.

GOLDBERG: That's already happening.

GLENN: We're here. So again, Bernie, I ask you what do we do?

GOLDBERG: That's why a mainstream media is so important. Look, could I try to answer that? But this is personal. If you can give me 30 seconds for a personal.

GLENN: Yeah, yeah, go ahead.

GOLDBERG: Look, I have no constitutional right to tell my version of the truth on anybody's radio show or TV show. So I want to make clear, I have no right. But ABC, NBC, CBS and NPR won't lemon because these are not the kinds of views that we're talking about that they want to hear. That's their right. I think they lose the right, however, to say they don't have an agenda, but that's their right. I just find out now that a company that I've defended about 10,000 times, Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer in America, won't sell my book because they won't sell anti-Barack Obama books. This is not an anti-Barack Obama book. It's an anti media bias book.

GLENN: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, you heard it correctly. You heard it correctly. They have ordered --

GLENN: Wait a minute. How do you know that? Where have you heard that?

GOLDBERG: Publisher has told my representative that we have sold no books at Wal-Mart because they will not buy the book because they don't want to sell anti-Obama books. Now, we're waiting for a statement from Wal-Mart and we've been waiting since last Friday for a statement because I heard about this Friday evening. I have a call in; Fox News has a call in. We haven't heard back yet. Now, what I'm saying is if somebody like me can't get my views out on places like NBC, ABC, CBS and NPR because they don't want to hear these kinds of views and I can't get my views out in the biggest retailer in America, I mean, thank God for Glenn Beck.

GLENN: Bernie, I have to tell you.

GOLDBERG: You don't believe me, right?

GLENN: No, I don't. I want to see the evidence of that and I also want to see -- and ask your publisher for this. I also want to see if there were any anti-Bush books that were sold at Wal-Mart. There had to have been.

GOLDBERG: We're going to find out.

GLENN: And I'm not willing to throw Wal-Mart under the bus on that. That doesn't make any business sense whatsoever.

GOLDBERG: I've defended this company against crazy criticism over the years.

GLENN: Yeah. So have I.

GOLDBERG: But if they don't get back to us, that's on them.

GLENN: Okay. So Bernie, listen. I want you to get back. Could you come back tomorrow on this program and give us the results of this?

GOLDBERG: I'm flying. I'm going to be in the air tomorrow, but the next day I can.

GLENN: Okay. So you come back and you give us the results of that because I would like to know the results of that. And I would like to know which books they have sold in the past. I will tell you, Bernie, that if this is happening, this is a sign of something else that, you know, you probably thought was crazy when I said it a year ago that companies are going to be taken over by the government. They will be nationalized like the banks and people will be so afraid.

GOLDBERG: Right.

GLENN: And so frightened in the business community.

GOLDBERG: Right.

GLENN: That they just, they won't mess with anybody.

GOLDBERG: That's exactly what we have to fear. That is exactly right. And I will get back to you Wednesday morning with what I found out.

GLENN: Okay, thanks. I appreciate it, Bernie.

************************

UPDATE: Response from Wal-Mart

We are currently selling Mr. Goldberg’s book on Walmart.com where we carry the majority of our book selection.

In our stores, we offer consumers the top selection of best selling books in many categories, and a wider variety of books on our Web site.

Walmart Stores have had no conversations with the publisher for placing the book in stores. Not being a specialty retailer, we carry very few nonfiction books in stores, so Mr. Goldberg’s book is one that we would watch and see based on customer response.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?