EDITORIAL: Glenn Beck Calls Glee a Horror Show, Faux Professional TV Writer Tim Kenneally Pounces! Note From The ‘Tastic: Both of You, Shut Up And Leave TV Discussions To The Amateurs

Tim Kenneally: Who is this guy?

I’d like to apologize right up-front for the very political nature of this post, however due to the issue being our baby, that is, television, and two boners with big audiences commenting on it, I felt it necessary to bitch-slap both of the offenders and send them back to their corners with bloody noses to expose them both for the frauds they are, pretending to be experts on a subject they really don’t know anything about: television network programming. The two offenders of course are FOX News’ Glenn Beck and The Wrap.com’s Tim Kenneally, who I probably would never have heard of had not MSN posted his piece on their site.

Glenn Beck: Because You Can Never Pitch Too Much Bullsh*t.

If you haven’t heard already, on Thursday, April 28th, Glenn Beck and his Carnival of Doom and Gloom decided to pick another inconsequential target as one of the causes for the imminent destruction of America. No, it wasn’t Van Jones or a former candidate for Cincinnati dog catcher, or the 12 year-old kids across the street from my house who leave their empty water bottles all over the place while playing basketball.  It was the FOX hit TV Show, Glee (which Beck referred to as a “horror show” and “a nightmare”), due to its teenage characters’ (mostly suggested) sexual behavior and the use of propaganda in the lyrics of the musical numbers in order to indoctrinate America’s children into supporting a progressive agenda.  The example he referred to was the song Sing by My Chemical Romance and as evidence for this claim he refers to these lyrics:

Cleaned up, corporation progress
Dying in the process
Children that can talk about it, live it on
The weird race
People moving sideways
Sell it till your last days
Buy yourself a motivation, generation
Nothing, nothing but a dead scene
But a type of white dream
I am not the singer that you wanted
But a dancer

Please watch the whole clip as my summation above doesn’t tell the whole story.

This of course prompted an Internet backlash and likewise, yet another professional television writer who doesn’t know anything about television, the aforementioned Tim Kenneally, had to chime in on this and inject his own personal politics into this “story.” Here’s his piece from April 29th:

Looks like Glenn Beck has hopped on the right-wing hate bandwagon that’s been roliling all over “Glee”lately.

Beck trained his laser-like focus on the musical series on his show this week, deeming it “a horror show” and “a nightmare” because “everyone is sleeping with everyone else, it’s all about self-gratification.”

Just wait until Beck finds out that his boss (for now, anyway), Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch, is responsible for putting such trash on the air. He’s gonna need a bigger blackboard to explain the complexities of that one…

Watch Beck attempt to save the world from the dangers of self-gratification in the video below.

For the record, that’s the article as written (see the link above).  I intentionally did not correct the obvious grammatical errors, typos and complete lack of editing just to get the point across regarding this joker’s professionalism.

Before we go any further, it’s full-disclosure time:  I’m a conservative myself and I don’t make any bones about it.  I’m also intellectually honest and if you’ve read any of our pieces you’ll notice that they are all objective, apolitical and written from the perspective of TV fans and not any partisan persuasion (except we’re very partisan against bad TV). We have zero tolerance for political agendas in any scripted programming, regardless of the political agenda being advanced. That doesn’t mean that we’re bothered by the occasional swipe being taken at a party, policy or special interest group but it does mean that we have an utter distaste for scripted dramas whose entire purpose seems to be to alienate half of the viewing audience by using their entire hour as a soapbox (yes, David E. Kelley, I’m looking at you).

Kickin' it Old School with the fear-mongering...

I also was a regular listener of Beck’s radio program for several years and I was a regular viewer of his shows on CNN Headline News and then subsequently on FOX News. I officially gave up on Beck over a year ago because I realized what most of his flock hasn’t: he’s completely full of crap nine times out of ten and he uses his programs to promote conspiratorial theories using out of context evidence that he selectively strings together while ignoring evidence to the contrary that dispute his claims.  How he gets people is that first, his audience is predisposed to believe him because of their own political beliefs and he uses that against them by actually presenting compelling (partial) evidence and then by challenging his audience to verify the evidence on their own, and of course they never do because, well, he has all of this evidence and if it wasn’t true, he wouldn’t tell us to look it up, would he?  Heck, he’s on our side!

And, yes, people actually follow this guy's financial advice.

Folks, I’m here to tell you the truth: Glenn Beck is a snake-oil salesman and a dishonest evangelist selling a bill of goods about “the end of America as we know it” (it’s coming!) for one reason and one reason only: Glenn Beck’s bank account.  Now, I certainly have no doubt that Beck is concerned about the consequences of the progressive agenda in America, but what he’s realized is that by creating an extreme caricature of himself and his principles (and the principles of his audience), he can sell a lot more books, concert tickets, premium memberships on his website, increase his radio and television audiences and of course increase Survival Seed Bank and  Goldline sales that are 90% over melt value to begin with.  This all means one thing: more bank for Beck. What I find hilarious, though, is that on the right hand you have the people who hang on his every word without verifying anything and on the left hand you have the crowd that actually thinks he’s dangerous to the country as if he’s going to start an armed revolution with his followers because of his fear-mongering. I’ve got news for both camps: Beck is pretty insignificant on the political landscape.  Don’t hitch your wagon to him and don’t worry about him.

As far as Tim Kenneally is concerned, if he would care to reply and engage The ‘Tastic in a discussion about this, I’d be more than happy to oblige.  We’re not holding our breath, though.

Artie, we couldn't have said it better oursleves.

As for Glee, I just don’t like it and it has nothing to do with the appropriateness of the content for children.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first season and actually proclaimed in the Fall Preview that everyone should be watching it.  Then I made it through three episodes of the second season and I had to stop watching because, whether or not the fans (and there are certainly a lot of them) have realized it, the show has jumped the shark.  It’s just absolutely absurd and bears no resemblance to anything remotely believable.

So, on with the show:

Seriously, is this so flippin' hard to figure out?

First, it is my solemn belief that it is ultimately a parent’s responsibility to monitor their children’s viewing habits and determine what’s appropriate for them and what is not.  And for those folks who don’t have the time, interest or inclination to actually be a proactive parent, since 1999 every television set sold in the United States has come with parental controls.

Also, all cable boxes, DVR’s, DVD players, Blu-Ray Players, video game consoles, Netflix streaming, computers, media players and digital-to-analog converter boxes feature this technology as well.  Not only can you control the rating level and specifically what types of content you want your children to be exposed to, but you can also choose to block channels altogether. If parents don’t monitor their children, it’s no one’s problem but their own.

Parents: It's been 14 years, already. Maybe it's about time you learned how to read this.

Now, onto Beck’s comments and the article by the twit at The Wrap; they’re both wrong.  First, although Beck is correct that Glee does certainly have some suggestive material regarding teen sexual behavior, and it’s certainly understandable that parents may find it objectionable (I wouldn’t let my kids watch this show if they were under 14), it is not nearly as bad as Beck would lead you to believe.  It’s no Skins by any measure. More importantly, though, it’s a TV-14 rated show with D, L and S subcategory ratings so again, we come full-circle to the parental responsibility factor.  The television ratings standard has been in existence since 1997.  If you don’t understand it by now, that’s your own damned fault and of course, you have those pesky parental controls on your television and other devices that you can use that I just told you about.

...And this is Jack Bauer's brother! Imagine what he does to people who aren't family. But of course, Glenn Beck apparently thinks this is perfectly acceptable for my four year-old to see.

As a side note, though, I find it rather curious that Beck has such a problem with the implied sexual content of Glee yet has absolutely no problem with uber-graphically violent television shows such as 24, a program that he would regularly praise.  Never once have I heard him criticize 24 (or its producer, Joel Surnow, who he had interviewed on his show more than once) for the graphic scenes of torture and general graphic violence that the show exposed children to for EIGHT FLIPPIN’ YEARS.  Don’t get my wrong, I was a huge fan of 24 (didn’t miss an episode in eight years) and as noted I’m not a fan of Glee but this is just another example of what a complete hypocrite and huckster Beck has become.

Also, Beck is trying to push his opinion that this show’s target audience is children.  I’ve got news for you, Glenn: no shows in prime-time are targeting or marketed towards children unless they are on Nickelodeon, Disney, the Cartoon Network or another children’s network.  Advertisers pay for the 18 – 49 crowd… that’s it.  That’s the standard and that is the only audience that any of the production studios and networks are making their shows for.  But, of course, Glenn knows this because he’s doing the same thing with his media outlets.  His shows aren’t about his agenda or positions, they are about getting as much money from advertisers as possible.

My Chemical Romance: "Don't f*cking call us Emo."

As for the “indoctrinating,” on Glee via pop-rock musical numbers, this is the typical caricature routine for Beck,  and of course as usual, he’s taking the evidence (in this case, the lyrics) out of context to try to stir up a controversy that really doesn’t exist.  I’m not a fan of My Chemical Romance, as they are little too “pop” for my tastes but they aren’t awful. I can tell you this, though: there is absolutely nothing political about their music.  They are just a straight-up pop-rock band and if you read the entire lyrics for the song, Sing, you’d realize that despite Beck’s attempts at riling up the villagers to go hunt down Frankenstein with pitchforks and torches, it is nothing more than a rather vanilla rock-anthem replete with a bunch disjointed metaphors, with ZERO political messages.  The line about “corporation progress” is rather amusing because you don’t get much more corporate and commercial than MCR.

Here are the full Lyrics for Sing for you to judge for yourself.  And here’s the rather kick-ass little video.

But the Tinfoil Hat Award for Best Lyrics of a Song Taken Out of Context is right here:

Buy yourself a motivation, generation

Nothing, nothing but a dead scene

But a type of white dream

...And it probably makes more sense than Glenn Beck's.

Now, considering that MCR is pretty apolitical (aside from the typical teen-angst crap), and as I just explained, this song is merely a collection of disjointed metaphors, if you actually read the entire lyrics, there’s nothing to indicate any kind of racial reference from the phrase “white dream” (because that’s of course, what Beck wants you to focus on… which would be kind of strange anyways, considering MCR is a bunch of white guys from Jersey).  Also, I would think that if you were pushing something as divisive as an anti-Caucasian agenda in one of your hit songs, you’d want to have that particular lyric discernible for your audience and if you bother to listen to the original song, it’s not.

Based on the fact that I really didn’t understand most of the ramblings of this song and the fact that I know the Beck game, I decided to look up the phrase “white dream” just to see what MCR possibly could have been talking about and lo and behold this is what I came up with from Dream Moods. com:

White represents purity, perfection, peace, innocence, dignity, cleanliness, awareness, and new beginnings. You may be experiencing a reawakening or have a fresh outlook on life. Alternatively, white refers to a clean, blank slate. Or it may refer to a cover-up. In Eastern cultures, white is associated with death and mourning.

Not for nothing, but considering all of the information I’ve provided you about MCR, the song in question, the music video and in particular the two lyrics preceding the “white dream” lyric, isn’t it far more likely that they are talking about an actual white dream as noted in the example I just cited than it is likely that the lyric is anti-Caucasian propaganda?  Again, all you have to do is what Beck doesn’t like to do and that’s present all of the evidence in context.

Now, as for Mr. Kenneally, the problem I have with him over this simple-minded piece that he wrote is two-fold; first, he doesn’t even pretend to be objective by attempting to hide his disdain for Beck (“the right-wing hate bandwagon…” really? That’s some fantastic journalistic integrity on display there, Tim.) and he completely dismisses Beck’s concerns about the sexual content on the show which, albeit, exaggerated by Beck, is certainly a legitimate concern for parents and they should know what’s on their televisions at 8:00 p.m.  Worse, though he intentionally completely neglects to point out that in the video, Beck legitimately praises the show as well.

My biggest problem with Mr. Kenneally, however,  is because of the fact that he allegedly writes about television professionally yet he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  I have an amateur television blog and I know more about television than he does:

Just wait until Beck finds out that his boss (for now, anyway), Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch, is responsible for putting such trash on the air. He’s gonna need a bigger blackboard to explain the complexities of that one…

Rupert Murdoch: Pirate? Yes. Human Resources Manager? No.

Well, maybe that’s because there are no complexities to explain, you big dope.  Note to Tim Kenneally:  Rupert Murdoch has ZERO input on the programming and scheduling decisions at FOX Broadcasting nor does he have any input on hiring and firing decisions.  Kevin Reilly, head of scheduling at FOX, is primarily responsible for Glee being on the air to begin with having actually helped to develop and launch the show and as far as Murdoch being Beck’s boss… I’m curious, Tim: do you think that the CEO of Newscorp is also the H.R. Manager for all of the subsidiaries as well?  Do you think he’s sending out memos reminding people to not forget to submit their time cards?  Do you think he’s briefing new employees on the 401K plan or making flyers on the copier about the upcoming company picnic and with a sign-up sheet for who’s going to bring the potato salad?  This is the equivalent to the kid at the Apple store referring to Steve Jobs as his boss.

The piece was unprofessional enough to begin with but when I read that last snide comment, I was embarrassed for him and everyone who had to read it.  It literally looks as though it was written by a 14 year-old.

One comment on “EDITORIAL: Glenn Beck Calls Glee a Horror Show, Faux Professional TV Writer Tim Kenneally Pounces! Note From The ‘Tastic: Both of You, Shut Up And Leave TV Discussions To The Amateurs

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