Glenn Beck, media critic? The pundit certainly wore that hat this week, devoting a giant segment of one broadcast to a virtually line-by-line dissection of a 9News piece about Wyoming's so-called "Doomsday bill."
Does he have a point?
Beck doesn't help his credibility by introducing the bit as an example of how the local Wyoming media is covering the legislation: House Bill 85, sponsored by Representative David Miller, which would enable a task force to prepare for a potential federal government collapse. And he's clearly got a dog in this fight. He sees the logic behind the legislation, and argues that every state should consider similar proposals.
Yet he still manages to make some strong arguments about the mocking tone of the 9News package, introduced by anchor Eric Kahnert and reported by correspondent Kevin Torres.
The bit's introduction suggests a disaster-movie trailer, with screen cards setting the date as Wyoming in 2042, after both New York and California have ceased to exist -- after which the scene cuts to a forced-perspective shot of a Godzilla-sized Torres about to devour the Wyoming Capitol building. That's followed by a description of the bill delivered in an about-to-burst-into-laughter tone featuring background music played on a banjo.
As one of Beck's cohorts notes, said instrument might as well be playing the theme from Deliverance.
Appropriate given the subject matter? The sort of over-the-top editorializing that makes one wonder why 9News decided to cover the subject in the first place? Or evidence that staffers have been watching a little too much of The Daily Show? Judge for yourselves below by viewing the 9News piece, followed by Beck's takedown of it. As a bonus, we've also included a copy of House Bill 85.
One last bit of irony: When I logged on to 9News to watch the station's coverage, the web ad over the screen, for St. Anthony Hospital, read "EMERGENCIES HAPPEN 24/7." Betcha Beck would see that as karma.
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