In response to criticism for spewing so much disinformation and fear-mongering, Glen Beck long ago hit the nail on the head when he said: ‘Look, I’m just a rodeo clown’. The implied meaning was that he was not mensch or a wise person, but rather a performer who is riling up already over-emotional bovines and misdirecting their rage. Also implied is that he did not necessarily believe all the crap he was selling; he was just giving what his audience, and his employers, wanted. And, of course, the performance brings in the all-important Benjamins.
Now we have a whole stable of popular right-wing rodeo clowns, e.g., Rudy, Rushbo, Hannity, Tucker, Alex Jones, Mark Steyn, Howie Carr, the majority of the House Republicans, etc. Fox News has been a major media outlet highlighting its curated rodeo clowns.
The left also has its rodeo clowns, to be sure. But fortunately they are less of an immediate danger to civilized discourse and social cohesion.
The specialties of rodeo clowns are anecdotal reasoning, bombast, misdirection, egregious use of absolutes, and lies in both the small and pants-on-fire categories. Then, of course, there is the endless shilling for gold investments, their own sites, lame miracle cures, storm windows, pyramid schemes, house-flipping deals, etc.
Their devoted listeners will probably never see the light, but the rest of us can sit back, tune in occasionally , and enjoy brief blasts of unintended humor.