This is historic -- the first (and, very possibly, last) time I ever come to the defense of Glenn Beck. As a bonus, assuring more widespread hatred toward me, I'll also defend Gilbert Gottfried.
Gottfried, you may have heard, tweeted a bunch of post-tsunami jokes. "What does every Japanese person have in their apartment?" he asked, thus adding a grammatical error to his other sins. "Flood lights." He said a lot more, including the fact that "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."
Meanwhile, Beck -- with his usual manic chuckle -- said on his radio show that this may be an act of God: "There's a message being sent. And that is: 'Hey, you know that stuff we're doing? Not really working out real well.'"
Gottfried was promptly fired from his job on Aflac commercials. People also lambasted Beck; my comments:
1) Hey, lighten up, people. Humor is not a bad thing, even during (or especially during) tough times.
2) In its statement, Aflac said: "There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during Japan's difficult time." The part about having compassion and concern is correct; all of us feel deep sympathy for the Japanese people. But to say there is no place for anything else is dead wrong. As a Vietnam veteran, I'm convinced there's always room for gallows humor.
3) OK, Gottfried's humor was a bit sophomoric. Still, put this in perspective: People are now saying he doesn't have the stature to portray the voice of a talking duck.
4) Beck's sole crime is idiocy. After his act-of-God statement, he went on to ramble some more, none of it making much sense. People do that on national radio shows; nobody notices because only their minions are listening.
5) If God planned retribution, why would He choose Japan, a country that practices so many traits favored by conservatives (cleanliness, hard work, tough education) and liberals (health care, mass transit, healthy diets)?
6) Wasn't it kind of nice when no one had a Twitter and the world had no reason to decide if people were worthy of voicing a duck?