Bud Norris didn't realize what a firestorm he had created.
The Mount Vernon, Wash. mayor decreed that Sept. 26 would be known as Glenn Beck Day. He also scheduled a ceremony to give Beck a key to the city that the Fox cable host was born in.
"I don't know if I expected the magnitude of resistance," Norris told CNN. But he also indicated that he has received "a tremendous amount of positive response."
Norris has known Beck since Beck’s parents owned a bakery in Mount Vernon. The city official feels as though Beck's success story should inspire all Mount Vernon residents regardless of their politics.
Evidently, some Dems disagree. Democrat groups have led protests in the city over the Beck salute.
Glenn Bordner, past chairman of the county Democratic Party, has suggested that Dems may even seek a censure of the mayor.
"This county is divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. He doesn't represent even the Republicans here. They are Eisenhower-style Republicans," Bordner complained.
The local paper has gotten into the act with the launch of an editorial attack. The Skagit Valley Herald editorial board ran a commentary with a headline that read: "Honoring Beck One of the Mayor's Worst Ideas."
"An accident of birth and Beck's fame, or rather notoriety, hardly justifies the mayor's plan to exercise his authority to hand the key to the city to one of the most divisive voices in broadcasting," the column stated.
Norris has said that he has even received calls threatening a boycott.
Meanwhile a mayor from a nearby city has jumped in with an invitation of his own. Bellingham’s mayor has extended an offer to Comedy Central host Jon Stewart to come to town.
Mayor Dan Pike, who apparently went to high school with Stewart in New Jersey, claims that the comedian does a better job than Beck at presenting the news.
According to Pike, Beck "contributes to a pettiness of spirit" and thus "does not improve the public discourse."
There's currently at least one distinction in the city tussle, though. Beck has accepted his invite to appear in Mount Vernon but Stewart has been mum.
Meanwhile Stewart’s fellow comic and cynical soul mate, Bill Maher, recently did some dealing from the bottom of the deck.
On his HBO "Real Time" show, the pretend psychologist claimed that an Internet headline showed an example of how "right-wingers are always dropping subliminally racist messages.”
Back in the late 1950s, a market researcher named James Vicary claimed that he had influenced filmgoers to buy more refreshments by flashing messages very quickly on a movie screen. He was the first to use the term “subliminal advertising.”
The problem is Vicary later admitted to lying about his research and falsifying results in order to boost his consulting business.
The headline that Maher claimed had a subliminal message was on the Drudge Report. It read as follows: “Poll Hell: Obama Negs Rise.”
Maher apparently saw hidden meaning in the words and said, “I just think for a certain number of people, when they see 'Negs Rise'. . . .”
Then the host paused to let the “negs” word sink in with his audience, his facial expression, body language, and timing playing for maximum effect subliminally and otherwise.
Interestingly, the practices of the then-candidate, now-president and the ring kissers in and out of his administration use things like Lincolnesque stages, Greek Styrofoam columns, preacher prattle, press conference plants, town hall trickery and even State of the Union redos to craft impressions.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a media analyst, teacher of mass media and entertainment law at Biola University, and professor at Trinity Law School. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood
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