Multiple outlets are reporting today that Glenn Beck’s morning talk show has been suspended for a week by SiriusXM.
The suspension is in response to an interview with thriller novelist, Brad Thor from last Wednesday.
During the course of the interview, Thor suggested that GOP nominee, Donald Trump, had the characteristics of a Latin American caudillo – or dictator. Nobody can dispute that Trump is thin skinned, irrational, and paints himself in larger-than-life terms, while showing very little patience with those who oppose him, in any way.
The offensive statement, as quoted by Reason.com states:
“’It is a hypothetical I am going to suggest, as a thriller writer,’ Thor said to Beck. ‘With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as president? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that – if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president? His constitutionally granted authority, I should say, as president. If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office?’ Thor added that he doesn’t ‘think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in, to get Trump out of office, because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.’”
I listened to the interview, myself, at the time it was going on, so I got the statement in the context of the entire discussion.
My immediate reaction?
Yeah – he’s right. If Congress won’t do their job, who can we count on to step up and do something?
That “something” seems to be a word pregnant with possibilities, but only those with an agenda and a lack of intellectual curiosity would immediately go the assassination route.
Thor doesn’t strike me as a man lacking intellectual curiosity. In fact, given his line of work, it would seem to be a job requirement.
“’It’s not a defense of assassination,’ he told Reason today. ‘I don’t even want to see a dictatorial president assassinated. We are a republic—a nation of laws—and the greater good would be served by the despot standing trial.’ And if there’s no trial? ‘Safeguarding the republic against a dictatorship is a topic of conversation that dates back to the Founders,’ he says. ‘If we had to unseat a president without the backing of the Congress, we would need a patriot along the lines of George Washington to lead the country from tyranny back to liberty.’”
It’s a reasonable explanation of an interview that was badly twisted, mainly by Branch Trumpidian cultists on social media. They lit up the internet with breathless outrage and all reason was lost, along the way.
Refer back to my statement about those with an agenda and a lack of intellectual curiosity.
How much of that social media outrage by the gilded toad’s tadpoles had an effect on the decision by SiriusXM and their actions against Beck? No idea, but I’m willing to bet they had at least some part in creating the mountain out of that particular molehill.
This is the point where I ask if there’s anyone else who gets the slightest sense of unease with “punishing” journalists, writers, pundits, or talk show hosts over what amounts to perceived threats, when the evidence at hand is ambiguous, at best?
When the mob can convict and condemn, based on perception alone, there is no longer a safe haven for our First Amendment rights. We are at the mercy of whoever can gin up the most outrage.
I’m going to stand with Glenn Beck and Brad Thor on this one – not because I’m as vehemently opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy as the both of them combined (which I am), but because it’s the right thing to do.
If we don’t stand now, Thor’s statement from last week may come back to us as eerily prophetic.