Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glenn Beck according to South Park

Last night's South Park episode took on right-wing media demagogue Glenn Beck. For folks in the US, the episode is available to watch HERE.

Some obvious parallels to the recent "Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990?" saga are present. Cartman gets his start doing the morning announcements, quickly expanding his media empire from audio-only, to video, to writing books. The main target of his attacks is student body president Wendy Testaburger, who is blamed for all manner of ills at the school. The attacks continue and escalate rapidly from maintenance issues at the school to being a drug-addicted slut, to being responsible for a Smurf genocide.

Cartman's grand plan disintegrates when he finds his rhetorical "asking questions" style turned back on him, suggesting that it was his illicit relationship with Smurfette which was actually responsible for the wiping out of the Smurfs, and the untimely death of Smurfette.

The lesson here is the same as the one delivered by the World Intellectual Property Organization last week to Beck in its denial of his complaint against Isaac Eiland-Hall- that employing a rhetorical, accusatory, "just asking questions" style to attack others leaves you open to the same tactics. Will Glenn Beck learn from this South Park episode? Probably not. The upside is that this means that there will be no interruption in the steady stream of idiocy, providing continued LULZ for people who are less impressionable than Butters.

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