Glenn Beck’s Japanese “Pulp Fiction” Moment

Pulp Fiction was a dark, offensive, and revealing film about one highly disturbing part of American life. While there are many memorable scenes that are seared into the memory of anyone who has seen the film, none is more memorable than Samuel Jackson’s speech he gave before assassinating each of his many victims. “Jules” repeated these memorable words immediately before shooting each of his victims:

“ The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.


The irony was obvious. Jules cast himself as a “righteous” man and suggested that the people he was about to kill were the selfish and evil ones. Jules indicated that it was “charity and good will” that caused him to “help” his victims by killing them. Jules describes himself as his “brother’s keeper,” invoking religious images, and the finder of the lost, because he finds people and kills them. When Jules says “My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee” he is indicating that he is himself God-like, and thus the violence that he inflicts is the vengeance of God, not a mere mortal.


Until today I would have described Glenn Beck as an evil liar who earns millions of dollars at the expense of the American public. Until today I would not have compared him to Jules in Pulp Fiction. However today the comparison is striking, and the irony is obvious.


In his show yesterday Glenn Beck suggested that the disaster in Japan was God’s “message being sent” to the Japanese people.

Listening to Beck was like listening to Jules, declaring that the tsunami and the disaster that followed were caused by God ‘s “vengeance and furious anger”.


For years people have listened as Beck has promoted anti-American-government sentiment. One year ago Mark Potok, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit group that monitors militias, white supremacists groups and other extremists, highlighted the problem for anyone who would listen. He said:

“We’ve seen more threats and actual attacks in the past 18 months than we’ve seen at any given period over the past 15 years,”.


Mr Potok specifically blamed Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Lou Dobbs.



In March of 2010 ABC reported :

“A host of recent attacks on law enforcement, plots against President Obama, and a shooting at Washington, D.C.’s Holocaust museum are “signs of the times,”

“We’ve seen more threats and actual attacks in the past 18 months than we’ve seen at any given period over the past 15 years.”


During that same month Palin posted her infamous map of the United States with the crosshairs on it for Ms. Giffords.


As predicted, violence occurred in Arizona. Gabby Giffords and other innocent victims were shot.  Instead of recognizing the need to tone down the rhetoric, Sarah Palin incited more hatred by her attempt to create the impression that she was a victim by using the “Blood Libel” image. In case there was any doubt about her knowledge of just how offensive that term might be, she talked with Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox, about it. He specifically advised her not to do it. Because Sarah Palin ignored his admonition, we are left with the clear indication that she intended to escalate the situation.

Time Magazine identified Beck as one of the World’s Most Influential People. Palin was chosen to write about him in the article. She described him as “amazing” and “patriotic.” She explained that Glenn Beck “inspires others to learn and respect our nation’s history.”  If she had seen Pulp Fiction she could have used the memorable words of Jules to describe Beck. “Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper. “

The truth is that Glenn Beck, although worth millions, has a history of disfunction. His mother and his step-brother committed suicide. Beck himself admits that he was suicidal. He admits to being an alcoholic has a history of drug use. In July of 2010 he was diagnosed with macular dystrophy which could result in blindness. He has been divorced and remarried. One of his children has cerebral palsy. Beck has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Whoopie Goldberg’s description of Mr. Beck as a “Lying Sack of Dog Mess” was quite descriptive.

Like Palin, Beck has used his national presence to incite violence. Beck tells blatant lies, and promotes fear mongering.. In the course of this particular tirade he makes reference to Sarah Palin and the Lord. He said that a “Great and Powerful Evil” is coming.

Beck’s recent suggestion, that the horrific disaster facing the people of Japan was the result of God’s vengeance, was a clear example of just how far this deranged person will go to promote fear. His attack on the Japanese people is an example that his attempts to incite fear are not limited to “progressives” or “liberals” but to anyone who may not be a follower. Beck didn’t do the “Christian” thing to try to raise money for the victims. Instead he suggested that they deserved this tragedy. Instead of bringing attention to the lack of chaos and riots that have been associated with American disasters, Beck was silent.   Japan has suffered the world’s seventh most powerful earthquake, a tsunami with a 23 foot wall of water, at least 10,000 fatalities, a nuclear power plant crisis requiring the evacuation of more than 180,000 nearby residents, and property and other losses amounting to as high as $35 billion. Millions of Japanese residents are struggling with dwindling supplies of food, water, and other necessities.Millions of Japanese were without drinking water or electricity Sunday, surviving on instant noodles and rice balls. Thousands of hungry survivors huddled in darkened emergency centers, cut off from rescuers. At least 1.4 million households have gone without water since the quake struck and some 2.5 million households were without electricity. Large areas of the countryside were surrounded by water and unreachable. At least 380,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters, many of them without power.

Fox News should be ashamed of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Lou Dobbs. Glenn Beck’s Pulp-Fiction Moment is perhaps the most obvious example of the fact that Fox and Beck seem to intend to incite violence as it must be good for ratings. When Jules shot and killed people it was obvious to the audience that he was not actually doing God’s work.  Beck’s behavior is worse because the danger he creates is not so obvious.


27 thoughts on “Glenn Beck’s Japanese “Pulp Fiction” Moment

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  1. I would leave them to their insane selves–beck included. He is the MOST in need of serious help–a hitler wanna be of sorts. Less and less people are listeing to FOX over this…the Gifford shooting..and so many more awful things that have happened that the right has made such incredibly insensitive ignorant non-empathatic statements about after the fact. Remember..EMPATHETIC is a very bad work on the far right. You see how they beat Obama for using this when speaking of Sotomayor. Inncredible these cold blooded people like beck limbaugh the other woman who actually said Laura Lohan deserved it when she went to egypt..because she should have known it was dangerous. The woman was gang raped! The people on the RIGHT have absolutely no compassion for mankind. No diplomacy for anything. No respect for anyone not even themselves. They show it every day. No shame whatsoever. No bother to respect education so they can speak in a civil manner re all our recent situations. I’m just baffled at people who support the RW ideology machine. Its so blatantly awful. And IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU..THE PEOPLE. Never with the RW is it about the citizens. Because remember..they CANNOT BE EMPATHETIC. Its against their morals.


    1. Nefti17,
      I think this is exactly why I think of Pulp Fiction because while they pretend to be so righteous, the are in fact immoral. They are only fooling themselves. Malia


      1. Kim
        Sorry, but I would simply imagine Samuel Jackson reciting his tirade to Glenn Beck, and it might make it better. Malia


  2. This is an excellent post Malia. Thank you. I also hear that Rush Limbaugh has made some unsavory comments about Japan. As a Christian, I simply do not understand these people (who claim to be Christians). As a human being, I am abhorred by their behavior; their words. As an American, I am just so freaking mad …. I want to do something (and sometimes I want to do something harmful to them, and to others like Megan Kelly on FOX who sits there with her perky looks and smiles while purporting lies) – I don’t know how we get rid of these persons, get them off our airwaves. They give our country a bad, bad name. And they make me ill. I don’t watch any of them, but just to read about the things they say and are allowed to say day after day makes me sick.


  3. You know, some day, God is going to send a message to Beck. Oh to be a fly on the wall for that particular day of reckoning…


    1. Xenon,
      Given the many problems in his life, if Beck believes that bad things happen because God is punishing people…then that should tell him something. Malia


  4. The only thing that makes Beck what he is to the weak-minded fools who actually take him seriously is radio and television. If not for those mediums, he would be just another wacked out insane asylum escapee on a street corner holding up a “The end of the world is nigh” sign.

    I say weak-minded because it really doesn’t take much to come to the realization that without them, that is exactly what Beck would be.


  5. The bottom line is geology doesn’t care what we do, it will do its thing, and there will always be uncertainty unless we become super perfect at predictive science, which at this time seems impossible. However, the more we invest in science, the better we will become at predicting risk. At some point the Japanese decided to build 6 nuclear reactors near a subduction zone, making the decision to accept a certain level of risk in return for the ability to provide for economic development and reduce dependence on foreign oil. They did what they could to reduce the risk. If there is any “message from God”, perhaps it is that we need to get better at science and technology if we want to survive. These fake fundamentalist Christians like Beck seem to reject science, so it is unclear to me what their solution would be. They alone would not exist if it weren’t for human capacity to think critically, do leading science, innovate, and develop technologies that support the current population levels (and unfortunately the ability of Fox to broadcast). However, fro Beck to make these comments in the middle of this catastrophic tragedy being suffered by the Japanese people is callous and cold, and very unChristian. There is a huge difference between sitting back and saying, “I told you so” and actually being charitable and helpful to those in immediate need. As “newsmen” go, this is why Anderson Cooper is a far better man than Beck could ever be.


    1. Laura,
      It is so offensive to me that he would denigrate the people of Japan when they have handled this disaster so much better than we would! Malia


  6. Excellent Malia, just wonderful. Not being a very religious person I still must say If Jesus looked out at what beck, palin, bachmann, rush and others of their ilk are saying and doing to their fellow man he would hang his head and weep…


  7. Malia,

    As Laura pointed out in an earlier comment, the people of India will probably realize Palin doesn’t speak for all of us.
    I just sent an E-mail to my friend in India, to post a comment here, on his take of her show, when he sees it, so don’t be surprised to see something from him on the matter. I think it would be better to get it from someone who actually lives there, than from second-hand account.
    The “bots couldn’t repudiate/refudiate/redudiate it, either!!!


  8. Wasn’t Beck saying he was going Blind about a year ago. I don’t know if it has progressed.

    Maybe he wouldn’t think that is Gods judgement on himself??

    Because he is on better terms with his personal God? These deluded but hypocritical people disgust me. Sarah Palin and her self centered God is a prime example. Their personal God somehow always speak for their inner selves and to enable their personal desires.

    I thought only Paranoid-Schizophrenics heard Gods voice.


  9. How is Beck’s comment not further proof of Tea Party xenophobia and racism?
    Why is it ok for Beck to make this comment or any other comment, and it is not ok for Ron Shiller NPR former exec to say what he did on the ProjectVeritas sting video? Is Beck free to say what he wants because fed funding is not involved? (even though the NPR fundraising exec has no influence on the news portion of NPR). Let’s find out if Fox receives any tax subsidies or deductions or federal grants.


  10. Amazing how these people know what God is thinking or doing. By their statements, they imply they are Godlike, reading Her/His (my own spirituality) mind and associating events on earth with God. Disasters are caused by humans. We have free will refuse to learn how everything on earth interacts. We partition science and ignore the big picture. Finally, we build houses and cities in the path of a variety of natural events like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods. Free will and bad choices kill us, not God.


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