Jonah Goldberg, writing in USA Today, defends Glenn Beck:
Still, much of the anti-Beck backlash (He's an extremist! He's paranoid! He's hate-filled!) from the left is hard to take seriously. First, this is a crowd that lets
There are two enormous problems with this analogy. First is that the comparisons are absurd. Michael Moore is a demagogue and somewhat of a conspiracy theorist. I have no idea what Janeane Garofalo’s politics are. Al Franken is a mainstream liberal policy wonk who likes the Democratic Leadership Council. Jon Stewart is a moderate liberal satirist. Glenn Beck constantly accuses President Obama of imposing totalitarianism. (To take just one example, he suggested that Obama was using FEMA to build detention camps to hold political dissidents.) The accusation against Beck isn’t that he makes jokes. It’s that he’s insane and/or employing lies to foment paranoia.
Second, even if the comparisons were perfectly apt, Goldberg is using the accusation of hypocrisy to avoid taking a position of his own. What do I think of Glenn Beck? Well, the other side does it, so there! I’m all in favor of uncovering hypocrisy as a tool of exposing bad faith arguments. But using the accusation of hypocrisy to avoid any moral reckoning is just a dodge.