Glenbeck Syndrome

Glenn Beck went on the morning show on Fox News last week and got off a shot against the President. It really wasn’t newsworthy, as much of his commentary is not newsworthy. Mr. Beck will admit to as much when pressed; he is, in his words, an entertainer and not a newsman. He feels no responsibility to check his facts before he makes an attack. Last summer Mr. Beck famously attacked Democrats for their lack of support for clean coal technology, then went on the offensive in February against the stimulus bill for its inclusion of billions for…clean coal technology.

I feel comfortable bringing this up because I understand Glenn Beck’s problem. He suffers from a previously undiagnosed problem that afflicts millions of Americans…including me. Mr. Beck suffers from Glennbeck Syndrome; the uncontrollable urge to overreact to anything seen in the news or an email combined with overpowering “knowitallness” and a strong dose of bad attitude. Those who suffer from this disease take information from emails and news programs as gospel, and recirculate the information before checking the facts. Unfortunately, I have looked for years for a twelve-step program; but to no avail.

The current health care situation is a prime example of the problem; operatives from both sides have sent origin emails to people, who have then resent them to friends and relatives; who have resent them to friends and relatives; etc. Every time the messages are sent, they gain credibility, because they are sent by people that are trusted by the recipients. The reports of what is included in the “health care bill” move from the ridiculous to the outrageous. They are gaining steam, not because they are supported by the facts, but because they have been accepted by normal folks AS the facts.

There is precious little debate on costs and benefits, goals and strategies, and best or worst case scenarios; everyone is engaged in arguments about “the granny killer clause” and other nonsense.

The rational middle would hope that citizens will seek out the three bills currently in circulation; S 391, HR 3200, and HR 676; and read them for their merits. Please see the “Thomas” site at the Library of Congress for complete versions of the bills in multiple formats. Please compare the language of the bills with the assertions in the emails in circulation.

Please trust the news that you have confirmed for yourself…..we wait for your valued commentary.