Posts tagged Glenn Beck
Posts tagged Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally in Jerusalem ends with a whimper #Photo
After months of preparations, hours of television and radio talk all geared up for the big day, tons of merchandise manufactured, Glenn Beck could just about muster over a thousand people at his “Restoring Courage” last night in Jerusalem. read more
Premiere On Call, a division of the Clear Channel subsidiary that distributes Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, is a service that hires actors to call into radio shows and read a script that purports to be a true story presented by the public. They bind their actors to confidentiality agreements, and disavow any involvement in fraud, saying “Premiere, like many other content providers, facilitates casting—while character and script development, and how the talent’s contribution is integrated into programs, are handled by the varied stations.”
The actors hired by Premiere to provide the aforementioned voice talents sign confidentiality agreements and so would not go on the record. But their accounts leave little room for doubt. All of the actors I questioned reported receiving scripts, calling in to real shows, pretending to be real people. Frequently, one actor said, the calls were live, sometimes recorded in advance, but never presented on-air as anything but real.
Michael Harrison, the editor of Talkers Magazine, the talk-radio world’s leading trade publication, said he knew nothing of this particular service but was not altogether surprised to hear that it was in place. There was, he said, a tradition of “creating fake phone calls for the sake of entertainment on some of the funny shows, shock jocks shows, the kind of shows you hear on FM music stations in the morning, they would regularly have scenarios, crazy scenarios of people calling up and doing pranks.”
Everyone Glenn? That takes big balls seeing as how Washington passed trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich in December.
There are a number of words and phrases that are repeated incessantly by Glenn Beck as he pontificates against the menagerie of menaces that haunt him. He is driven into a near panic by the mention of “social justice” or “transformation.” And because Barack Obama used the word “change” in his presidential campaign, anyone else who ever uses it in any context is immediately pegged as a member of the progressive cabal that seeks to destroy America.
But no other phrase is as foreboding to Beck as “community organizer.” He has spent years demonizing the notion as some sort of secret society mechanism that can only produce harm. He frequently disparages the President as the “Community-Organizer-in-Chief.” On his radio program on July 27, 2009, Beck said that…
“If you want to understand Barrack Obama (sic), you’ve got to think like a community organizer – one that is transforming America into some sort of a thugocracy, and in the process trampling on and erasing our individual rights.”
A few days ago Beck advocated the need to “rebuild our communities, and not through community organizing.” But he has now taken an abrupt turn to the enemy camp. In a shocking fit of betrayal Beck told his listeners that…
“Community organizing is going to change the world. And last week I said to you, before I found out about the Freedom Connector, if you’re not organized you lose. Why did this thing happen in Egypt? Because of organization. It is community organizing on a global scale. […] Community organizing is the answer. They’re doing it and they are way ahead of us. You must, must, must connect.”
So Glenn Beck is now a community organizer. The problem is, he doesn’t really grasp the concept. The “Freedom Connector” he mentioned is a new system he was announcing to help his Tea Party disciples clasp hands and fend off the nasty progressives and radicals that have infiltrated America. He teased his audience last week that he would be introducing this organizing tool that was brought to him by a couple of guys he had met with last year.
Beck never mentioned the names of the “guys” with whom he had met, but we now know who they are. The Freedom Connector turns out to be a project of FreedomWorks, the right-wing lobbying group led by Dick Armey that was instrumental in creating and bankrolling the Tea Party. I don’t think that wealthy lobbyists coordinating AstroTurf offshoots of the Republican Party qualify as community organizers. But that’s Beck’s version of it.
The revolutionary idea behind Freedom Connector is that it enables people to find friends and form groups of like interest. Gee, I wonder why no one ever thought of that before. It’s like a big social network where people can post their personal profiles and….oh, wait a minute. I guess Facebook has too many liberals and foreigners for the Beck/Tea Party crowd.
Technology is not a strong point for conservatives. There are too many young people associated with it and Beck hates those darn kids. On today’s program he actually escalated his assault on a Google employee who had helped to coordinate the protests in Egypt. Beck implied that Google was somehow responsible for this individual’s activities. Therefore, Beck advised his viewers not to use Google when researching his crackpot schemes. (Did Bing’s servers just get a traffic spike?)
I really am beginning to think that Beck may be attempting to preempt Jon Stewart and The Onion by coming up with stuff that is too crazy to satirize.
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Beginning February 9, 2010, Glenn Beck’s UK broadcast started running without any commercials. But, on February 7, 2011, a small amount of ads returned to Glenn Beck’s UK broadcast. Drats! Just before we were about to make our 1 year ad-free announcement too. Perhaps the return of ads is a pitiable attempt to thwart our celebration?
On February 8, 2011, Halifax ads were among the small number of ads that returned to Glenn Beck’s UK broadcast. Halifax is the trading name for the Bank of Scotland.
As with other advertisers, participants in the StopBeck effort promptly reached out to Halifax. We kindly requested that they follow the responsible action of hundreds of other advertisers and refrain from advertising on Glenn Beck’s show.
In a statement sent to the StopBeck effort, Halifax confirmed that the ad that ran on 2/8/11 would be their last ad:
“We have no plans to advertise in this slot post 8/02.”
Asked if this means that we can count on Halifax not advertising on Glenn Beck’s show going forward, Halifax confirmed that they would no longer advertise on Glenn Beck’s show, saying:
“We’ve other preferable opportunities and no planned slots”
Just how crazy does a conservative have to be to get Bill Kristol to say please stop, you’re embarrassing us? I bet you can guess who was the first to find out…
Yes, Glenn Beck has been raining on Kristol’s neocon parade by portraying Egypt’s revolution as a scary uprising of communist Islamofascism that will “cascade” and sweep across the entire Middle East… as opposed to a triumphant, heartwarming vindication of Bush’s belief that the Muslim world is so thirsty for freedom and democracy that it would even welcome it at the point of an American gun.
Glenn Beck is walking toward a cliff — or running, or skipping. The question is, will Fox News go flying over the edge with him, or give him a push?
For years, Beck has pitched various conspiracy theories with a rather predictable thrust: The left is out to take over and/or destroy the United States. (The relationship between assuming control of the country and scheming its decimation has always been a bit fuzzy.) And his targets have been sinister lefty outfits that are not household names: the Tides Foundation, ACORN, and others. As long as Beck stuck to this classic tale — secret commies undermining this great land of ours — he wasn’t much of a problem to most conservatives and his patrons at Fox. Sure, some conservative commentators (such as David Frum) derided Beck. But Beck was more like the crazy uncle in the attic who could be ignored. And Fox News could bank the revenue Beck generated without worry. Good ratings forgive much.
But only so much.
Scarborough Slammed Beck’s “Violent Rhetoric” In Wake Of Tucson Shooting. In a January 18, 2011, Politico column, Joe Scarborough wrote:
We get it, Sarah Palin. You’re not morally culpable for the tragic shooting in Tucson, Ariz. All of us around the “Morning Joe” table agree, even if we were stunned that you would whine about yourself on Facebook as a shattered family prepared to bury their 9-year-old girl.
The same goes for you, Glenn Beck. You’ve attacked your political opponents with words designed to inspire hatred and mind-bending conspiracy theories from fans. Calling the president a racist, Marxist and fascist may be reprehensible, but it did not lead a mentally disturbed man to take a Glock to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s “Congress on Your Corner” event.
Good on ya, buddy. You weren’t personally responsible for the slaughter at the Safeway. Maybe you can put it on a poster at the next “Talkers” convention.
But before you and the pack of right-wing polemicists who make big bucks spewing rage on a daily basis congratulate yourselves for not being responsible for Jared Lee Loughner’s rampage, I recommend taking a deep breath. Just because the dots between violent rhetoric and violent actions don’t connect in this case doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the possibility — or, as many fear, the inevitability — that someone else will soon draw the line between them.
Actually, someone already has. When you get a minute, Google “Byron Williams” and “Tides Foundation” to see just how thin a layer of ice Beck skates on every day. [Politico, 1/18/11]
Former Bush Speechwriter Frum: Beck Creates “Alternative Reality” Allowing Conservatives To “Dupe Themselves” Using “Pretend Information.” In a November 12, 2010, New York Times op-ed, David Frum wrote:
Too often, conservatives dupe themselves. They wrap themselves in closed information systems based upon pretend information. In this closed information system, banks can collapse without injuring the rest of the economy, tax cuts always pay for themselves and Congressional earmarks cause the federal budget deficit. Even the market collapse has not shaken some conservatives out of their closed information system. It enfolded them more closely within it. This is how to understand the Glenn Beck phenomenon. Every day, Beck offers alternative knowledge — an alternative history of the United States and the world, an alternative system of economics, an alternative reality. As corporate profits soar, the closed information system insists that the free-enterprise system is under assault. As prices slump, we are warned of imminent hyperinflation. As black Americans are crushed under Depression-level unemployment, the administration’s policies are condemned by some conservatives as an outburst of Kenyan racial revenge against the white overlord. [The New York Times, 11/12/10]
Senator Gregg: Beck Is A “Screamer” Who Has “No Interest In The Facts.” In a September 14, 2010, article on Politico, Ben Smith reported that then-Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) chastised Beck as one of the primary “screamers” who he claimed unfairly “demonized” the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP):
Rammed through Congress in the final months of the Bush administration by a political and financial establishment that felt it had looked into the abyss, TARP had the support of not just President Barack Obama but also his likely foes in 2012, such as former Govs. Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. But it has been only sporadically defended, or even explained, by leaders of both parties who have shown decidedly little courage of their convictions.
“It’s become demonized on the left and the right by screamers — Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow — who have no interest in the facts; they’re just interested in hyperbolizing and generating attention,” lamented New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a key player in guiding the measure through the upper chamber and one of the few Republicans willing to talk about TARP in positive terms. [Politico, 9/14/10]
Former Bush Press Secretary Fleischer: “I Find Glenn Beck To Be A Little Weird And A Little Creepy.” In an August 28, 2010, post to his Facebook account, Ari Fleischer wrote:
I find Glenn Beck to be a little weird and a little creepy, but he’s entitled to give a speech on the Mall. How come the press didn’t go nuts when Louis Farrakhan and other out-there groups used the Mall to promote their thinking? It’s called press bias and it’s a double standard. [Facebook, 8/28/10]
NewsBusters’ Whitlock Criticized Beck For “Play[ing] The Nazi Card.” In an August 27, 2010, post to conservative media criticism blog NewsBusters, Scott Whitlock criticized Beck for “play[ing] the Nazi card” when condemning Good Morning America’s segment on Beck’s 8-28 rally, saying “it is over-the-top”:
Good Morning America’s Claire Shipman on Friday launched a pre-emptive one-sided attack on Glenn Beck’s August 28 rally in Washington D.C., including selectively editing clips from the conservative host. The ABC journalist featured a snippet of Beck asserting, “Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King.” [MP3 audio here.]
On his radio show, Friday, Beck complained about the “hatchet job.” Shipman clearly distorted the context. He actually said, “Whites don’t own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King. Those are American icons, American ideas and we should just talk about character.” (H/T to The Right Scoop and Noel Sheppard.)
Playing the segment on the radio, Beck hyperbolically declared, “That’s what Goebbels did. The truth didn’t matter.” Now, while ABC should be criticized for the dishonest editing job, it is over-the-top to play the Nazi card. [NewsBusters, 8/27/10]
Weekly Standard’s Continetti: “For Beck, Conspiracy Theories Are Not Aberrations. They Are Central To His Worldview.” In a June 28, 2010, article in The Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti wrote:
“Socialism and fascism,” the author writes in Glenn Beck’s Common Sense, “have been on the rise for two administrations now.” Beck’s book Arguing with Idiots contains a list of the “Top Ten Bastards of All Time,” on which Pol Pot (No. 10), Adolf Hitler (No. 6), and Pontius Pilate (No. 4) all rank lower than FDR (No. 3) and Woodrow Wilson (No. 1). In Glenn Beck’s Common Sense Beck writes, “With a few notable exceptions, our political leaders have become nothing more than parasites who feed off our sweat and blood.”
This is nonsense. Whatever you think of Theodore Roosevelt, he was not Lenin. Woodrow Wilson was not Stalin. The philosophical foundations of progressivism may be wrong. The policies that progressivism generates may be counterproductive. Its view of the Constitution may betray the Founders’. Nevertheless, progressivism is a distinctly American tradition that partly came into being as a way to prevent ideologies like communism and fascism from taking root in the United States. And not even the stupidest American liberal shares the morality of the totalitarian monsters whom Beck analogizes to American politics so flippantly.
Read and watch enough Glenn Beck, and you realize that he is not only introducing new authors and ideas into public life, he is reintroducing old ideas. Some very old ideas. The notion that America’s leaders are indistinguishable from America’s enemies has a long and sorry history. In the 1950s it led Robert Welch, the head of the John Birch Society, to proclaim that President Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist sympathizer. For this, William F. Buckley Jr. famously denounced Welch and severed the Birchers’ ties to mainstream conservatism. The group was ostracized for decades.
But not everyone denounced Welch. One author, the Mormon autodidact W. Cleon Skousen, continued to support the Birchers as he penned books on politics and the American founding. And Skousen continued to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that American political, social, and economic elites were working with the Communists to foist a world government on the United States.
Glenn Beck is a Skousenite. During the “We Surround Them” program, he urged his audience to read Skousen’s 5000 Year Leap (1981), for which he has written a foreword, and The Real George Washington (1991). “The 5000 Year Leap is essential to understanding why our Founders built this Republic the way they did,” the author writes in Glenn Beck’s Common Sense. More controversially, Beck has recommended Skousen’s Naked Communist (1958) and Naked Capitalist (1970), which lay out the writer’s paranoid scenarios in detail. The latter book, for example, draws on Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope (1966), which argues that the history of the 20th century is the product of secret societies in conflict. “Carroll Quigley laid open the plan in Tragedy and Hope,” says a character in Beck’s new novel, The Overton Window. “The only hope to avoid the tragedy of war was to bind together the economies of the world to foster global stability and peace.”
For Beck, conspiracy theories are not aberrations. They are central to his worldview. They are the natural consequence of assuming that the world hangs by a thread, and that everyone is out to get you. [The Weekly Standard, 6/28/10]
Little Green Footballs’ Johnson: Beck’s “Show By Itself Should Have Been Enough To Thoroughly Discredit Beck To Any Sane Person.” Conservative blogger Charles Johnson wrote on his blog, Little Green Footballs, “TIME Magazine’s David Von Drehle asks: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America? I don’t know why anyone would think a far right populist demagogue who rants and weeps in front of millions of people and spreads conspiracy theories straight out of the canon of the John Birch Society would be a bad thing.” He continued: “The following show by itself should have been enough to thoroughly discredit Beck to any sane person. But the right wing didn’t even blink at it.” [Little Green Footballs, 9/17/09]
Frum: Beck Is Doing “Terrible Damage” With “Paranoid And Hysterical” Smears. In a September 11, 2009, blog post titled “GOP Surrenders to Beck’s Mob Rule,” Frum stated: “When Glenn Beck made his Fox debut, some shrewd conservatives responded with a wink. Maybe the show was paranoid and hysterical. Maybe Beck was none too scrupulous about facts and truth. But why be squeamish? The other side did as bad, or nearly. And see how usefully he mobilized the base! Those shrewd conservatives assumed Beck was working for them. Big mistake. Beck is working for himself — and he chooses his targets according to his own scheme of priorities.” In the blog post, Frum discussed Beck’s smears against Obama administration official Cass Sunstein and stated: “Glenn Beck is not the first to make a pleasant living for himself by reckless defamation. We have seen his kind before in American journalism and American politics, and the good news is that their careers never last long. But the bad news is that while their careers do last, such people do terrible damage.” [FrumForum, 9/11/09]
Former GOP Congressman Inglis: Beck Is “Trading On Fear,” Viewers Should Turn Off His Show. At an August 6, 2009, town hall event, then-Republican Representative Bob Inglis (SC) said to attendees who watch Glenn Beck, according to a spokesman’s comments to Politico’s Ben Smith, “What I would suggest is turn that television off when he comes on.” Rep. Inglis also accused Beck of “trading on fear.” [Politico, 8/07/09]
Scarborough On Beck: “You Cannot Preach Hatred. You Cannot Say The President’s A Racist.” From the September 22, 2009, edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
SCARBOROUGH: You cannot say that the president of the United States, Mike Barnicle, hates all white people. You cannot call the president of the United States a racist. You cannot wallow in conspiracy theories as he did for about a month, suggesting that FEMA might be setting up concentration camps and going on Fox & Friends and saying, “I can’t disprove it,” and then wait a month. You can’t stir up that type of hatred — calling the president a racist.
SCARBOROUGH: And then say, “I’m just a rodeo clown.” Can I — can I — I’ve got an honor roll. We’re gonna have a conservatives honor roll on this show.
BARNICLE: All right.
SCARBOROUGH: And trust me, you want to be on this honor roll. I know how these stories end. I always know how they end — and I’m talking to you Mitt Romney, and I’m talking to anybody who wants to be president in 2012. You need to call out this type of hatred, because it always blows up in your face.
But yesterday, Pete Wehner, Karl Rove’s political guy inside the White House — brilliant guy, writes for Commentary. And we disagree on a lot, Pete and I do, but Pete came out yesterday and said Glenn Beck is bad for the conservative movement. We need more people doing that. You cannot preach hatred. You cannot say the president’s a racist. You cannot stir up things that could have very deadly consequences. I was in Congress in 1995. I know where this can end. You can’t do it, and then say, “I’m a rodeo clown.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 9/22/09]
Former Bush Speechwriter Wehner: “The Role Glenn Beck Is Playing Is Harmful In Its Totality.” In a post for Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog, Peter Wehner stated, “Only recently have I watched portions of [Beck’s] television program, as well as interviews with him, and heard parts of his radio program. And what I’ve seen should worry the conservative movement.” He later added, “Some of Beck’s statements — for example, that President Obama has a ‘deep-seated hatred for white people’ — are quite unfair and not good for the country.” Wehner also stated, “And certainly some of the things Beck has done on his program are fine and appropriate. But the role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality.” [Commentary, Contentions, 9/21/09]
Parker: Beck Is “Empower[ing] Racists.” On the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, after host Chris Matthews played clips of Beck calling Obama a racist and Rush Limbaugh claiming that “in Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering,” Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker stated: “What Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh did in those two clips is to empower racists and to legitimize them. And so that’s — that’s the shame and horror of what they’re doing.” [NBC, The Chris Matthews Show, 9/20/09]
Brooks: Beck Is “Race-Baiting.” Also on The Chris Matthews Show, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks said, “What Rush and Glenn Beck are doing, that’s just race-baiting — 100 percent, that’s race-baiting.” [NBC, The Chris Matthews Show, 9/20/09]
Politico’s Roger Simon: Beck’s Claim That Obama Is “Racist” Is “Repulsive.” During the August 17, 2009, edition of Lou Dobbs’ radio show, Politico’s chief political columnist said:
I still gotta say, it’s repulsive when national figures in the media say that Obama acts like Adolf Hitler, that he rules the same way Adolf Hitler does. It’s just wrong. And when you say that President Obama has a deep hatred of white people -
It was Glenn Beck. He said, deep hatred of white people and the white culture. First of all, the phrase ‘the white culture’ I think is jarring to some people. [United Stations Radio Networks, Lou Dobbs Show, 8/17/09]
The View’s Hasselbeck: There Is “Danger In What [Beck] Said,” And He Is Not “Able To Back It Up.” On ABC’s The View, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck said of Beck’s “racist” comment: “There’s danger in what he said, too. That was a bit sensationalist to go and say something like this. And I think whenever you throw that word out at somebody, you better be able to back it up. And he’s not able to.” [ABC, The View, 7/30/09]