Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Difference Between Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck
One false equivalency is often made between cable news channels FOX "News" and MSNBC. Just the same, right? Hardly. FOX "News" is a right-slanted channel at all times. They've admitted so in their "opinion" programming, but it is amply evident in their "hard news" programs as well, which are cross-pollinated with the other shows to render the difference whisper-thin. MSNBC on the other hand three opinion shows from a left-leaning perspective (The Ed Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show), one that straddles the line (Hardball), and a three-hours-per-day show from former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough. As soon as FOX puts on a liberal for three hours every morning, I might be willing to reconsider my stance.
But I'm no cheerleader for any corporate entity. I simply dislike "conventional wisdom" that flies in the face of the facts. And it gets even worse when you get down to the individual personalities. Let's just take two, Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck. Rachel is funny and snarky, and unabashedly liberal. She can get serious, but a tone of humor (though sometimes gallows humor) hangs over the proceedings. Glenn gets emotional, paranoid, reactionary and bombastic. He sees Nazi and communist allegories everywhere. And he cries. Rachel only does that when she's laughing.
But you don't have to take my word for it. Check out the commencement speeches given by both hosts to graduating classes at Smith College and at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. I'll let you guess which one is which.