As I was browsing the news stories and headlines at Newsbusters.org, following the Glenn Beck “Restoring Honor” rally this weekend, I noticed a very clear theme permeating mainstream news/pundit coverage of the event – WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE SO ANGRY!!!
One particular item caught my interest, a transcript from this weekend’s Chris Matthews Show featuring a round table discussion between, Matthews, Joe Klein, and National Review’s Reihan Salam:
SALAM: When you look at Glenn Beck, when you see someone, for example, remember Louis Farrakhan the Million Man March? What was the Million Man March about? A lot of people were terrified about it. It caused a lot of consternation from liberals and conservatives. But ultimately what you saw was an event where tons of African-American men got together and it was really about identity and pride. And I think that when you’re looking at our politics right now, it’s true that in an economic downturn, you see a lot of confusion. You see a lot of uncertainty. And there is a decent number of people who feel not like have-nots, but they feel like are-knots. They feel that they’re not being respected in their public life and they want to assert themselves.
MATTHEWS: Who are the Glenn Beck constituency?
SALAM: I think that it’s a lot of folks. It’s a lot of people from smaller cities, rural areas, small towns, tend to be white, tend to be Christian-identified.
MATTHEWS: Okay, who is their villain?
SALAM: I don’t think they necessarily have a villain so much as there’s a lot of confusion…
KLEIN: Oh, come on.
SALAM: …and anger and resentment.
KLEIN: No, listen, the anger is the key here. The one thing that the Million Man March has in common with the Glenn Beck march is anger. And, this is the greatest Democracy and the most prosperous country in the history of the world. Sooner or later you got to ask people, “What are you so damned angry about?”
SALAM: Anger is what united those men who gathered during the Million Man march? I think it goes back to…
KLEIN: Anger at white people, yes!
SALAM: I’m pretty sure that’s not true.
Noel Sheppard, who posted the Newsbusters entry about this conversation, noted that the same “What are you so damned angry about?” question could have been asked in 2006, when America had a booming economy and record low unemployment, yet voters turned out in droves to cast their votes against Republicans.
Yet no one in the mainstream media thought to ask that question four years ago. The mainstream media was also disturbingly devoid of curiosity about the blatant anger, violence, and racism evident at virtually every major anti-war rally during the Bush Administration.
It seems that to the mainstream media, anger directed at capitalism, the US military, Christianity, or the Republican party is always anger of the righteous sort, fully comprehensible to everyone, fully justifiable by all that is decent and moral, and fully worthy of our admiration and respect. Therefore, questions simply aren’t necessary.
But anger spawned by a sorry economy that seems to have been worsened by government policies involving more regulation, more spending, more debt, and higher taxes, or anger directed at politicians and ruling class elites (who are not Republicans) is simply incomprehensible to the mainstream media. There must be something else (racism? greed? ) behind such anger, so a full investigation is warranted.
Our rich, elitist, and generally secular ruling class, its punditry, and its mouthpieces in the mainstream news media, are clueless when it comes to understanding the things that inspire, motivate, and, yes, anger everyday Americans.
I almost kind of feel sorry for them, so educated and yet so ignorant. How about you?