MILLINOCKET, Maine, September 7, 2014 — As much as Glenn Beck tries to promote an atmosphere of thoughtful, adult discourse, it is baffling that he comes back to using ridicule as entertainment. “More-on Trivia” is a distasteful segment of his radio broadcast, which has Beck and crew posing questions to “contestants.” His targets are usually convenience store clerks who, having been contacted by phone – on the job – agree to participate in a trivia game while they conduct business for the store.
A sample question might be “Who is Joe Biden?” While those of us who follow news and politics know the answer, some people don’t. These people are focused on day-to-day survival, not who the Vice-President is. Working 12 to 14 hour days and trying to take care of children doesn’t leave a lot of room for following current events.
They are dealing with life at a level that they understand – work hard and provide for loved ones. Who among us has the right to belittle them for that?
Does Glenn Beck understand the venturi effect? Does he know the mathematical equations that allow an engineer to use the venturi effect in practical applications? What you know or don’t know is not a good measure of personal worth.
This approach is comparable to a self-important public figure that asks, “Do you know who I am?” Substitute “Do you know what I know?” and the effect is the same, demeaning another person by suggesting they are “lesser than” the speaker. Using arrogance and condescension only makes one look small and petty.
There is no attempt at education, here. Disqualifying answers are usually met with an off-the-cuff response by the host having no relationship to the question, all the while, his co-hosts giggle and guffaw like tenth graders whose friend has just farted.
It is hoped that Glenn Beck will drop this infantile exercise from his programming. Otherwise, it will appear that he hasn’t learned enough from his own struggles to appreciate others who are only trying to make a good life for themselves and their families.
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