Monday, August 29, 2011. 6:24 PM
Toward the beginning of his radio show today, Glenn Beck responded to an effort this past Friday by the Washington Post to smear him and his Mormon faith by means of a skewed article with an even more misleading headline (“Mormon Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene and East Coast earthquake a ‘blessing’ from God,”)
As discussed in an earlier article in the Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner space, the Post was successful if its goal was to spread the impression that Beck really believed that last week’s natural East Coast hurricane and earthquake were themselves a blessing. This is of course as opposed to what Beck actually pretty obviously — to anyone who listened to his words without a predominating agenda — meant, which was that there was a blessing in the need for preparedness these could-have-been-much-more-deadly disasters highlighted.
Near the very beginning of his discussion on this topic, Beck (who broadcasts on his own GBTV network and who can also be heard in the New York City area on 800 WLAD-AM) called out the Washington Post’s headline, saying: “So they smear immediately. It’s like saying ‘Jew George Hilzig says’.”
Shortly thereafter, Beck, who was in Israel during much of the previous two weeks for his “Restoring Courage” solidarity event, said, “Here I am, not playing into the fear, not telling you ‘hey, freak out.’ What I’m saying to you is: this is a good thing because it’s not going to kill a lot of people, and maybe a few people will remember “hey, maybe I should be a help to others. Maybe there’s a way I can be prepared for something that we didn’t foresee.”
A transcript of the relevant parts of this on-air discussion follows:
Beck: … Food storage, be prepared, be somebody that can help others. You’ve heard me say this for years. People have made fun of me. I don’t care. I’ve been telling you “don’t be in a panic situation.” If you’ve waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It’s a blessing. God is reminding you, as with the earthquake. It’s God reminding you that you’re not control, that things can happen. Be prepared, and be someone who can help others when disaster strikes. (With sarcasm:) God forbid you’re not panicking!
Now they take this, and they try to smear me, try to make me into a nut job. For what reason exactly? What reason? That you should be a help to others? What are you, crazy? You know the other thing about this that really kills me:
Here I am, not playing into the fear, not telling you “hey, freak out.” What I’m saying to you is: this is a good thing because it’s not going to kill a lot of people, and maybe a few people will remember “hey, maybe I should be a help to others. Maybe there’s a way I can be prepared for something that we didn’t foresee.”
Co-host Pat Gray: I’ll tell you this. Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Ike certainly woke me up and helped me understand how prepared you must be. And it helped show exactly what the conditions will be on the ground and in your community if and when there’s some sort of emergency that hits. It’s not pleasant, because everything’s gone and everything’s closed. And it’s too late when it finally hits.
Head writer/executive producer Stu Burguiere (calling in; had not been able to get into studio due to the hurricane): And, Glenn, you constantly make fun of me for not being prepared. And, compared to you, believe me, I’m not. But it was nice to go through the preparation and lead up to this hurricane and know that I had plenty of water and know that I had plenty of baby supplies and know that we had all the stuff we needed to get through something like this. It make it a lot less of a freak-out situation. I don’t understand why that’s such controversial advice.
Beck: Well, because this is the way the Washington Post is dealing with this. … [discsussion of Mormon doctrine on preparedness] … How is this a bad thing? Really, honestly, how is this a bad thing?
Gray: I don’t know, be prepared …
Burguiere: How dare you preach self-reliance. What a terrible concept.
Beck: Awful. … I don’t care if you’re a Mormon. I don’t care if you’re an atheist. I really don’t care. That’s up to you to decide. Everybody follows their own dictates … We have freedom to worship.
Gray (sarcastically): I care. I’m only here to baptize. The line forms on the left. Get in line right now!
Beck: Shhh. Quiet. … You’ll scare them. And then they’ll see the bullet to the head if they decide not to do it. Geez.
Burgiere: Well, I’m not a Mormon, and I still think preparation makes sense.
Beck: Of course it does!
Burgiere: … So does helping other people when they need it. These are not Mormon concepts. These are common-sense concepts.
Beck: They’re American concepts! …
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