Boot points to two of the many reasons that have called for a boycott against Beck. One is Beck's attack against religion and "social justice," claiming churches are trying to lead their parishioners into communism, and the other is Beck's assertion that President Obama is a racist, with a "deep-seated hatred of white people." While Boot states that Beck would have no intimate knowledge as to whether the president is a racists, he tries to point to evidence by citing a line from the president's memoirs, that you guessed it, is taken out of context.
From Page 292 of Dreams From My Father:
The title of Reverend Wright's sermon that morning was "The Audacity of Hope." He began with a passage from the Book of Samuel -- the story of Hannah, who, barren and taunted by her rivals, had wept and shaken in prayer before her God. The story reminded him, he said, of a sermon a fellow pastor had preached at a conference some years before, in which the pastor described going to a museum and being confronted by a painting titled Hope.Boot writes that the president had received much criticism for the phrase, "which has also become a popular sound bite lifted from the audio version of the book." Boot questions as to whether the line is racist, although to his audience, I doubt that would make any difference - they fail to catch the underlying message of the quote. On one side of the argument, he states defenders will argue that it is a third party quote, but he asks "what would happen had the line been written by a Republican rather than a Democrat?" Boot's defense to that statement is that Republicans are not stupid enough to make racist comments, even though they have recently done so. The right's response is to claim it never happened.
"The painting depicts a harpist," Reverend Wright explained, "a woman who at first glance appears to be sitting atop a great mountain. Until you take a closer look and see that the woman is bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single frayed string. Your eye is then drawn down to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and deprivation.
"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere ...That's the world! On which hope sits!"
So, what exactly is the point of Boot's little article?
Liberals are racists who will use threats to get what they want, while conservatives are unwilling pawns, innocent by nature, who are bullied by the left, but if that is the case, then why would industry giants pull advertisements from the popular Fox News commentator? Boot's answer is that he doesn't know, but that something is going on behind the scenes. Boot touches on the real issue, but fails to realize the truth, going in an entirely different direction.
What is clear is that whatever is happening is working. But again, the unanswered question is, ‘why Beck?” The man is clearly speaking some truth to some power. It’s unlikely that casual observers would get their knickers in a twist over a TV show host. In this particular case, my bet is that the call for boycotting Beck is based largely on fear of the man and somebody wants to use economic pressure to silence him.Boot is partially correct. "Casual observers" aren't bothered by Beck or his rhetoric because they are the people who believe his lies and do his bidding. When Beck claims Obama is a racist, he legitimizes the use of race against the president with his viewers, and this holds true for various other topics. Beck argues falsely that the administration is communist/Markist/fascist/socialist/Godless/etc. and then allows the feelings of resentment against the president to foment. He is fanning the flames, and we have caught a glimpse of what blatant disregard for the truth has caused - the numerous acts of violence against members of Congress. Advertisers understood this months ago, and realized that Glenn Beck is bad for business because. Sure, if you advertise on his show you can reach millions, but by doing so, you will upset many more. Corporations did a risk analysis and obviously found something wrong with Beck in order to pull their advertising.
For Big Journalism, take your anonymous journalists elsewhere, because they obviously don't have a clue about journalism. Boot's article is one speculative, sycophantic mess bent on vindicating his idol who lacks any and all credibility.