I know I just said stop talking about the talking heads – but I think that Jack Hunter is on to something in this post.
First off, let me just say that before Beck moved to Fox I watched him on CNN occasionally, and to be quite frank – I actually enjoyed his show. He seemed like a decently smart guy who was maybe just a bit over the top in a few areas – perhaps a bit too passionate about self-reliance and such (he often had Mr Self-Reliance himself – Ted Nugent – on his show). He didn’t seem as divisive as many other talking heads, though, and he was entertaining and bright.
When he debuted on Fox he was a changed man. “Melodrama” is the word Jack uses, and that’s exactly right. Melodrama, wild-eyed conspiracy theories, shock value. And yet…
1. Beck is not simply a blind Republican partisan. Sean Hannity does not believe in limited government– he simply believes big government is best managed by Republicans.
2. Beck is not a constant warmonger. Says Hannity with a straight face “you can’t deny that Bush was conservative on foreign policy.”
I’m not saying Beck has always been a libertarian, or is even sufficiently so, and during the Bush years he said all sorts of nasty things about Ron Paul, supported the PATRIOT Act and so on. But how many Alternative Righties are former Dittoheads? Plenty. Now imagine it was all caught on tape.
What good, exactly, does it do to constantly bash neocon-leaning conservatives whose minds are beginning to change, when you could instead help shepherd them in the Right direction?
What good indeed? This is something I’ve long been pondering. Anti-movement conservatives do pass up an opportunity to own the movement by constantly bashing members of the movement rather than “shepherding” them in the right direction – nudging them through better ideas, through example, and so forth. I admire what Jack does because he is able to maneuver both sides to some degree, to navigate between the movement and the fringes.
See also the estimable Richard Spencer. (P.S. Richard – I love Takimag, but I’d read it more if it didn’t load so slowly for me. What’s the deal? It used to be snappy. Then again, after yesterday’s meltdown here, who am I to talk?)