The GOP Cannot Control Its Own Noise Machine (The Egypt Edition)

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Tune into Glenn Beck tonight to watch the Fox News host explain how the pro-democracy uprising in Egypt, which culminated in the peaceful overthrow of the country's authoritarian rule, is a demonstrably bad thing. Marvel at how Beck details the deadly worldwide danger that lurks in the wake of the people's revolution in Cairo, as the coming leftist insurrection gathers stream.

For sane observers, it will be hard to watch Beck's fear mongering tonight and not, on some level, laugh at the sad spectacle that the host has become as he sprints to the wrong side of history and digs in for the long haul. But imagine how painful Beck's performance tonight will be for pundits and leaders associated with the conservative movement in this country, and specifically the right-wing media. Imagine the humiliation knowing that in many respects Beck, thanks to his TV platform, has become the face of the conservative movement in America and here Beck has spent the last two weeks attacking the brave protesters in Egypt.

But this is what happens when Republicans build an irresponsible Noise Machine that's designed to offend and designed to attack. What happens is that, in case of emergency, there is no 'off' switch that Bill Kristol and other suddenly concerned Beck critics can reach for. Same goes for Rush Limbaugh who, like Beck, has been mocking Egypt's freedom fighters and who also represents the voice of today's right-wing America.

Make no mistake, Republicans and conservatives have spent years fueling the Noise Machine. They cheered when it Swift Boated John Kerry and spent most of the previous decade portraying Democrats as terrorist sympathizers. And they feed off the Noise Machine's Obama obsession today and its attempt to paint the President of the United States as an illegitimate communist ruler. But with the Egypt idiocy, apparently Beck has finally gone too far for the Bill Kristols of the world. And as Time's Joe Klein reported, "prominent Republicans" have been complaining to Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes about Beck and the "potential" embarrassment he could do to the party. (Hint: It's a bit late to close that barn door.)

And guess what? Those "prominent Republicans" have been scurrying around trying to head off nights like tonight when, as most of the world and most of the United States celebrate reform in Egypt, Glenn Beck, firmly entrenched in his Alice-in-Wonderland lair, is going to go take to the airwaves and denounce the pro-democracy events in Cairo.

In his wake, it's likely more and more conservatives like Kristol will marvel at Beck's carelessness, his "hysteria," and his irresponsible ways. We welcome those voices, but have to ask: Have they not been watching Glenn Beck for the last two years?

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