Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm an Adult, and I Vote

Haven't posted in the past two months, at least not here. There are only so many hours in the day and so much blogging one can do. These days I maintain only my professional blog. I do remain interested in politics, but have tried to translate that interest into practical action by way of The North Star and my participation in a local church's Forum on Faith and Values, as both a consultant and speaker.

Periodically, however, I do get emails from Democratic and "progressive" organizations complimenting me on The Ohio Twenty-first, and most of the few "hits" the site gets these days come by way of Democratic and progressive blogs within Ohio. Which is fine: they correctly discern that my sympathies are more "blue" than "red."

I'm posting now at the specific request of one Brian C. Gardner. I'll just give you Mr. Gardner's email, lock, stock, and barrel, and then add my own brief observation at the end:

Professor Grimsly [sic: it's Grimsley],

My name is Brian Gardner, and I regularly post up blogs on http://www.colemanforohio2006.com, and I have a special request to ask of you. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Mayor Coleman has been getting a lot of flack in relation to the incident at Mifflin High School [if you don't know about this "incident," try doing a Google search using the keywords "Mifflin High School" and "rape"] as a result of the radio attacks of Glenn Beck. Recently I went to Glenn Beck’s web-site [the link is mine, not his] and listened to hours and hours of archives in order get a better understanding of the man, and if he had any relation to Kenneth Blackwell [again, the link is mine]. Below you’ll find the result of my experience and I ask that you please post this on your blog site for the 21st district. Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Brian C. Gardner

OK, I’ve had enough of Glenn Beck’s ad hominem attacks aimed towards Mayor Coleman in relation to the Mifflin High School incident. I’m surprised that those who listen to Glenn Beck haven’t been able to decipher that it’s all a political ploy meant to taint the mayor’s image and boost that of Ken Blackwell.

How can I say that? Am I crazy? Only temporarily, since I took the time to listen to several hours of archives of Glenn Beck’s show, and I found some interesting moments that I’d like to share:

April 20, 2005. Hour 1, 37:02 to 38:32

Beck: Mayor Mike Coleman, are you for or against the rape and abuse of handicapped children in your school districts? I think that’s an easy question. I mean, the guy’s going to be running for governor of Ohio. I think the entire state of Ohio would like to know. It’s an important stance for voters to know. That’s an important stance for voters to know in Ohio, don’t you think? I’ll bet you we can call Kenneth Blackwell; I bet he’d answer that question. I betcha Blackwell would say, “I’m against the rape of handicapped children or just really any children in school in Columbus or in any Ohio school.” I’m guessing on that one. By the way, Blackwell is the current Secretary of State, I believe. I could have the wrong office. He’s the current Secretary of State of Ohio and going to be running for governor as well. But Mike Coleman has already thrown his hat into the ring and said, “Hey, I’m running for governor.” I think, Mike, you should take a phone call, and you should take a stand. Are you for or against the rape of handicapped people in schools? Simple question, really. Answer no. It’s a hot-button issue that we’d like to hear from Mike Coleman, but Mayor Coleman, apparently his office is to busy to get back to us.
Working on other things that I’m sure are as important as the rape and abuse of handicapped children in their school district.

Beck acknowledges here that Mayor Coleman is running for governor and he brings up one of his opponents in the race. Not only that, he automatically assumes Ken Blackwell’s position on the matter. And Beck says that he’s not being political? Also, if Beck knows nothing about Blackwell, which he claimed on April 21, how could he claim to know what Blackwell’s reaction would be? There are only two explanations:

1. He knows about Blackwell, which would make him a liar

or

2. He completely fabricated an argument from Blackwell with no knowledge of his views

If the former is true, then a clear political agenda is seen. If it’s the latter, then Beck is clearly a loon, since that would mean his show is comprised of imaginary argumentative standpoints of two individuals that he’s never met and knows nothing about. Either way, he loses.

Think about it. Before this quote, Beck knew nothing of the mayor or his positions; only that Mayor Coleman is a Democrat running governor. If, as he claims, he knew nothing about Blackwell, why would he put Blackwell forward in a favorable light compared to Coleman?

During that same day (April 20), Beck decided to do a fake interview with the mayor (I believe his producer did the phony voice). Here are some highlights:

April 20, 2005. Hour 2, 25:53-28:31

Beck: The interview we’d like to do with the mayor of Columbus, Mike Coleman.

[skip] [Note: this and other "skips" are Mr. Gardner's, not mine.]

Beck: I would assume that someone who wants to run for governor of the state of Ohio would be all over…would really lead the charge on something like this.

[skip]

Coleman (impersonator): And we’ve discovered that, of course with all issues, there are two sides to this one, Glenn. The one side that’s against rape of handicapped children.

Beck: OK

Coleman (impersonator): And there’s another side that’s for rape of handicapped children.

Beck: Right. Let me ask you this, mayor. Mayor Mike Coleman, or gosh, we wish it would have been if he hadn’t just stonewalled us here at the last minute. Mike Coleman, guy who want to run for governor, and I gotta tell you, you’ve got my endorsement so far Mike.

Coleman (impersonator): Oh, I’d be a great governor.

[skip]

Beck: But I’m asking you, who is the guy who wants to run for governor, Blackwell’s coming to mind [note: 28:20], let me ask you, should you, are you personally for or against the rape of handicapped children in your school district?

In these clips, Beck mentions three times the mayor’s run for governor and in the last segment, he flippantly mentions Blackwell. Why would Blackwell come to Beck’s mind in the “run for governor” if Beck knows absolutely nothing about him?

There is no doubt in my mind of Beck’s political agenda and how Blackwell could benefit from Beck’s partisan outlook.

***

Two quick points to be made:

1. Mr. Gardner seems to be asking me to post these words as if they were my own. I do not think this was his intent, since his email reprints, word for word, his blog entry of May 4, although it is standard practice for political activists to tell me, in effect: "Hey, would you write your congressman/senator/newspaper and give them these talking points? Heck no, we're not going to provide you with the facts on which to base your own opinion about issue XYZ. Just be our stooge. Think you can handle it? The future of America hangs on your willingness to be our chump!"

2. Mr. Gardner does not mention that Glenn Beck conducted this mock interview only after trying to interview Mayor Coleman and getting jerked around by Mr. Coleman's staff. According to Beck (and my memory of what Beck said on his admittedly obnoxious radio talk show), Beck's staff contacted the mayor's office on a certain day--I want to say a Friday afternoon soon after the Mifflin story broke. By the following Tuesday the mayor's office had agreed that the mayor would be available to Beck the next day, Wednesday, and Beck began promoting the interview on his show. But on Wednesday Beck's staff proved unable to reach Mayor Coleman, and finally Beck did the mock interview, by which time one gathers his staff had done a bit of background research on Mike Coleman and discovered he was running for governor against the execrable Ken Blackwell, the current Republican secretary of state who in this 2004 general election pretty much did his level best to disfranchise as many Ohio voters as he possibly could. During the mock interview the phone rang; it proved to be the mayor; Beck stopped the mock interview in mid-mock to talk with the mayor; the mayor then did one of the best jobs of "stepping on his own crank," to use an Army expression, of any public official I have heard in recent memory. I know this because I heard the interview myself (a pure fluke: I happen to bounce back and forth sometimes between conservative and progressive talk show radio).

Why title this post, "I'm an Adult, and I Vote"? Because I'm tired of getting played by the political parties, I won't put up with it, I insist on being treated as an adult, and I will make whatever pitiable attempt I can to punish any office holder or aspirant to office who tries to treat me in any other way.

BTW, after writing the above it occurred to me to follow Mr. Gardner's lead and check out the archive of Glenn Beck's broadcast (which indeed took place on a Wednesday, so that part of my memory is correct). Turns out you can access Beck's broadcasts for up to thirty days afterward. But it also turns out that you have to register in order to do so, and at the moment I don't have to time to do that. So I invite you to try it and judge for yourself whether my characterization of the Beck-Coleman interview sounds right to you.

Here's the link to the April 20 broadcast. The Beck-Coleman interview should be toward the end of Hour 3 of the show.