That's the nearly inevitable conclusion one must reach based on a breathtakingly absurd contention in a (I can't believe I'm typing this) "Breaking News Update" that appeared at the Associated Press at 3:40 p.m. yesterday.
When Glenn Beck spoke yesterday at his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, he told his audience: "One man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference."
The AP's reaction was to assert that "Beck is borrowing some lines from President Barack Obama." By using the word "borrowing," AP in essence arrogantly, ignorantly and insultingly contended that Beck couldn't possibly have come up with those sixteen words on his own, and that Barack Obama is the only historical repository of such profundity. From here, it looks like the wire service might be accusing Beck of plagiarism. My goodness, "The Essential Global News Network" should be thoroughly embarrassed.
When you take a look at the full AP item, you further realize that whoever prepared the unbylined story didn't even bother to try to prove that Barack Obama has ever used the words Beck allegedly "borrowed":
Contrary to the story's barely disguised contention, there are plenty of other people who have previously strung together the three sentences Beck used.
Putting aside the likely countless references one could compile if all the religious sermons, meeting orations, political speeches, and mealtime discussions in human history were assembled, Google Web searches on the three exact sentences the AP quoted return the following results:
- "One man can change the world" -- about 65,600 results.
- "That man or woman is you" -- about 184,000.
- "You make the difference" -- about 32,800.
As hard as it may be for the AP to believe, I can confidently contend that not every one of the results cited originated from the mind of Barack Obama. Though readers will have to forgive me for not being in the mood to go through the over 280,000 results found to prove it, the possibility exists that that Barack Obama has rarely if ever exactly said any of them.
AP's rendition of Obama's thought pattern, if one is to believe it, is vastly different from that of Beck, whose message is far more empowering.
Under Obama's logic as AP has laid it out, one person can't make a difference on their own. They need a room to be able to change a city. One room on its own can't change a state; only a city can. A city can't change a country; only a state can. The logic is that of the collective; one person really can't make a big difference without a host of others assembled into ever larger formally organized entities.
Beck skips all of the intermediate steps. One person, by himself or herself, can change the world. Sure, people can and do work together in groups to make change happen, but unlike what is strongly implied in Obama's logic, they don't have to submit themselves to the will of a collective entity to accomplish great things. The difference between Obama as AP explains him and Beck in his own words could not be more profound.
Finally, a Google Web search on this exact phrase -- "One man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference." -- returns 51 results without "similar" ones. Beck is the source of all 51.
P.S. Yes, I also noticed the complete-crock reference to a crowd of "tens of thousands."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.