Glenn Beck links the massacre in Norway to Hitler Youth – obviously hateful and vile – it is still protected speech. But yuck!

I write in support of free speech, no matter how loathsome it may taste. But the ultimate question – how is it that personalities like Glenn Beck continue to receive the attention, the coverage, and yes even comments like these before the public mindset simply says, “Basta. No more. Good bye.”

On his radio show and reported in the Los Angeles Times Monday Beck said, “There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”

Is Beck delusional? Hateful? Is he trying to stir the pot to further his own ambitions, dependent on promoting his own notoriety, regardless of how vile it may be to many? Clearly his departure at FOX was born of falling ratings, declining sponsors, embarrassment and ultimately the network’s decision to cast away a program which had run its course, fulfilled it mission and was no longer something (or some one) they wanted to be associated with.

So what was his agenda in making these remarks? Does he believe that this was a camp a la Hitler youth? Could he be serious, or is he just messing with the audience?

And yet, the monster of hate and bigotry and irresponsibility lives… it clearly lives in Beck’s dark heart and worse, probably too it lives among some of his faithful. Clearly the Los Angeles Times found it newsworthy to report. A Google search at 553p PT Monday on “Beck and Hitler Youth” yields 160,000 hits! Imagine… in just a few short hours… from his lips to Internet phenomenon.

So yes, free speech lives – and fortunately condemnation is alive too. Irresponsible speech lives freely. Hateful, nasty, unimaginable things are said and written by Beck and others – Beck just gets an overwhelming response… What disturbs me the most is that he probably contrived his comments to provoke just such a reaction.

Free speech comes at a price. Unfortunately Beck is using up the currency at an alarming rate.

Author: Peter Shaplen Productions

More than four decades of experience as a journalist, producer, reporter, writer and professor of news, corporate production, crisis management.

3 thoughts on “Glenn Beck links the massacre in Norway to Hitler Youth – obviously hateful and vile – it is still protected speech. But yuck!”

  1. Does Beck know there are Tea Party summer camps in this country? I’m sure he’ll find some torturous logic to justify why one resembles the Hitler Youth and the other doesn’t…..Occasionally he twists himself into so much of a pretzel on his show it just becomes laughable.

  2. Put the word “Hitler” in something and people flock. What does that tell us about the human species? I am still nonplussed as to why the Tea Party and conservatives of all varieties are obsessed with him. There’s a perversion there I don’t get. I am also beginning to think there should be something libelous about connecting someone with Hitler and the Nazis unless you have proof they are a member of that party persuasion and have Hitler memorabilia in your home/office or have made statement professing “Hail Hitler”. It’s a highly offensive comparison to make without proof of connection. But then that is what Beck, the Tea Party, and Republicans seem to be about…making erroneous connections in the hope of maligning someone.

  3. I’m glad that you are able to talk about the tough balance between what is right and wrong about free speech. Although we all should be entitled to do, no doubt, like you said, it should come at a price. I believe Glenn Beck brings this up just to stir the pot more, but should one sink this low in order to boost their own notoriety? An interesting debate.

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