Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Does Glenn Beck lie? (Volume II)

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It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.”

Before continuing to criticize Beck’s shows as they run going forward, it’s well worth it review just some of the claims Beck has made in the past.

On April 23rd, Beck claimed that climate change is a “scam” and that there has been “zero warming for over a decade.” The facts are thatduring the last 13 years, we’ve had 11 of the warmest years on record. A graph of this information, which shows increasing temperatures is also available on a NASA site.

On the 26th of April, Beck ended his show that discussed a conspiracy among the Joyce Foundation, Barack Obama and Goldman Sachs as well as making a distinction between equal justice and social justice with the line, “America, you know the truth.”  By “America,” he must be referring to people who do not watch his show.

First, he claimed that an unidentifiable silhouette of Barack Obama, which he referred to as “mystery meat” before he revealed his image, IS, not was, on the board of the Joyce Foundation. That’s not a fact according to their web site. He corrected this the next day.

Next Beck tried to claim repeatedly that when you do not have equal justice before the law, you have social justice.  In fact, if you do not have equal justice before the law, you have injustice, not social justice. Social justice is more about economic policies and protection against big corporations, although in some quarters social justice is equivalent to equal justice.

Referring to the President, any president, any person as “mystery meat”  is just SO NOT funny.  That was so disrespectful.  That was so … Beck.  Calling a human “meat” conjures up cannibalism.  Worse, meat is something we hunt to kill.  Mr. Beck has a lot to learn about non-violence.

On April 29th, Beck claimed that “Fox couldn’t allow me to say things that were wrong.”  Why not?  Lots of people, Fox staff and guests, say things on Fox that are wrong, often. He claimed that Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch would not let him say things that are wrong, but Murdoch did not even know until April 8th that Fox was supporting the Tea Party! apparently Murdoch doesn’t watch Fox.

On April 23rd, Beck referred to the “current onslaught against free speech and points to one group, Freepress, “a Marxist organization” which is “leading” the push for Net Neutrality.  Net Neutrality is what we have now, but Internet providers want to change that and make us pay for certain content and high speed access to some sites. Arguing against Net Neutrality is arguing against the interests of the Internet users in his audience and for the large corporations that want to change Internet access to their financial interest.

Part of what Beck is selling on Fox is greater control of America by the large corporations against the public interest of the American people. Of course, he doesn’t word it quite like that because he is deceiving his viewers.  He is conning them!

Again, on April 23rd, Beck claimed that “freedom of speech is under attack…the person that questions comes under vicious attack.  We know that to be true.”  Rachel Maddow questions the President’s policies on Afghanistan and the secret war in Pakistan, but she doesn’t come under attack.   Last year, before The Glenn Beck Review, this blogger tried to reassure conservatives and reactionaries in comments on AOL story boards that Obama is an imperialist bent on preserving the American empire, but I have not been attacked. Furthermore, The Glenn Beck Review sent overnight letters to six members of the White House staff in late May. The only ones who attack in comments are conservatives and reactionary supporters of Beck.


Beck continues to demonstrate what Joe Klein of “Time Magazine”points out, namely that much of what Beck says rubs right up against being seditious. It has only been lately that Beck began to embrace the strategy of nonviolence of Martin Luther King. Before this recent change, much of what Beck has said was  seditious, or very near to it. Klein pointing this out is hardly a “vicious attack.”   Beck still gets close to sedition in much of his hyperbole, but that will be elaborated upon in another post.

Update, June 30: Although what Beck discusses is still working to make his viewers "mad as hell," his dissent has fallen into a clear legal range. His portrayal of the President only has to motivate one "patriot" in his audience to act on this rage against elected officials. Beck calls for peace and instills violent rage against those Beck perceives to be transforming America into a socialist hell starting at the top. 

NOTE:   Sedition is incitement  of  discontent  or  rebellion  against  a government.

The day before that, on the O’Reilly Factor, Beck claimed that he’s not fomenting rebellion, but “trouble is coming. It will be the French Revolution, not the American Revolution.”  Beck is one of the loudest voices leading this “French Revolution;” but, beside that lack of awareness about what he’s saying, he shows that he doesn’t realize that the American Revolution was not a revolution at all, it was in fact an insurrection against the British Empire.

This doesn’t point to Beck lying as much as it reveals his utter lack of post-secondary education.  Beck isn’t lying; he just doesn’t know history very well. That is usually referred to as ignorance, but because Beck cherry picks the facts out of history that fits his values; one can consider Beck selectively ignorant and selectively informed in part by his selective research team.

On April 19th, Beck was bemoaning that the other media aren’t picking up on his conspiracy theories and claimed, “I don’t think anyone really wants to tell the truth anymore in America…I think we have an honesty shortage in America.” It's noted elsewhere on this blog that Beck doesn't seek the truth. The "Wizard" behind Crime, Inc. is a man that no one from The Glenn Beck Show or Fox News cared enough about to contact. This story was a scoop no media organization cared enough about to confirm. By now it's clear that Beck isn't particularly concerned with the truth either. This is a clear example of hypocrisy.

Furthermore, if a journalist with integrity thought that there was real dirt, something significant to uncover, some genuine corruption to unearth about this President, or any President, their motivation to break the story open, to get the scoop, to have the lead story or the front page headline would be stronger than some imagined desire Beck seems to think mainstream media journalists have to maintain a good relationship with the White House.  It is Beck who suffers from an honesty shortage!

Professional journalists with high standards don’t want to embarrass themselves publishing the nonsense that Beck spews. Beck’s theories may be red meat to the conservatives and reactionaries in his audience that want their fears of President Obama confirmed, but no journalist with professional standards and ethics is going to stoop to the unprofessional standards that are in place at Fox. For elaboration on this, see Newshounds.


On April 6th, Beck slandered Jim Wallis by calling him a “Marxist,” but in fact Wallis emphasizes how people transform their lives by focusing on charity, something that should put him close to Beck’s own philosophy. Slander is a lie about someone.  It’s defamation.

There are many more examples of Beck deceiving his viewers on his Fox show, and in time more of  the lies will be presented in these posts.  For now, we have to wonder why millions of people believe anything that he says.  If a person is shown to be a liar, repeatedly; how does that person continue have any following?

Part of the answer in Beck’s case in his presentation. His pitch, his acting and his persuasiveness are extremely convincing.  When he repeatedly claims that he’s telling the truth, it difficult to not believe him. If he’s as honest as he claims, why does he keep repeating it?

Also, people want to believe the worse about the political opposition.  For millions of people, President Obama is the opponent in a nasty game of politics. For some, the President is seen as the enemy destroying America. Beck is responsible for blurring the difference, for perpetrating the Obama-as-enemy myth. For this and other reasons Glenn Beck has become the biggest scourge on political discussions in America. Television makes Glenn Beck bigger than Rush Limbaugh.

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