Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glenn Beck takes aim at George Soros...

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and misstates the facts again.

On The Glenn Beck Show on Fox June 21st, Beck created a circle of criminal conspiracy.

It's a dastardly tale of "organized crime" that links George Soros, a "spooky" and "evil" man for Beck, to the President for Soros' personal gain. It's so dangerous to discuss that Beck felt it necessary to tell Soros - like he has nothing better to do than watch The Glenn Beck Show - that "I do have a bullet proof car. I just want you to know."

One of the paradoxes of Glenn Beck is that he's paranoid and he incites paranoia, but back to the show.

Beck points out that Soros was one of the people who invested short on the British Sterling and contributed to its collapse. This was in 1992, and Beck added that he spent millions of that fortune of progressive blog sites like Media Matters "where bloggers can earn six figure salaries just to sit around in their underpants and distort conservative words all day." The master of distorting peoples words has a problem with people getting paid to fact check his words. (Beck keeps Media Matters for America pretty busy.)

For Beck, Soros "is one of the guys looking to replace the capitalist system once it has been destroyed."  Beck them played a clip of Soros from October, 2009: "I believe that the system is broke and needs to be reconstituted." While listening to the video clip of Soros, Beck made the following faces:

This is an "adult" listening to a man, who is making serious analysis, that Beck disagrees with. Are these adolescent antics what makes him so entertaining? After Soros noted that the economic collapse of  2008 portrayed the bankruptcy of market fundamentalism of Reagan and ThatcherBeck added "Something went very wrong and we need to reformulate our view of how our financial markets work." Beck added with his Soros' Hungarian accent, "They should all work through me, you see. If it all goes through me, then all my spookiness and evilness can come to full throttle. Did I say that out loud?" Then dropping the accent, Beck added, "Yes you did."

Got that? Beck put words in Soros mouth that Soros didn't say and then claimed that Soros said it. But that's not where Beck got his claims about Soros wrong. Let's look again at the board Beck is using:
Going around the circle starting at the 1 o'clock position, Beck ties Soros' founding of the Center for American Progress, CAP, which is run by John Posdesta, to Soros buying stock in Petrobras (at 5 o'clock). (Podesta, a former Clinton staffer, was selected by Obama to handle his transition team after the election.) At the 4 o'clock position the cloud shows where Soros bought stock in PetroBra, the state-run oil company in Brazil. Then, somehow the oil spill gets inserted into the circle. At the 7 o'clock position, Beck claims that CAP "makes Obama policy."

The Glenn Beck Review called CAP days after this claim and spoke to a blogger named Matt there. CAP makes lots of policy recommendations. Some are used by the Administration; many are not. George Soros does not get involved with CAP.

Beck continued, "One of the policies, cap and trade which goes right to Crime Inc," a conspiracy theory that Beck has elaborated upon without ever specifying what law has supposedly been broken. Then, at the 8 o'clock position, the Administration calls for a 6 month moratorium on "deep water drilling at 1,500 hundred meters. At the 9 o'clock position, Beck points out that PetroBras is drilling at 2,777 meters.
Beck continues, "Obama knows it and loans $2billion to Petrobras. Last stop, at the 12 o'clock position, "Petrobras shareholders get rich. We're back at the beginning, shareholders get rich. You getting screwed." Not so fast, there, cowboy.

Now for the facts. The undergarment wearing bloggers at Media Matters pointed out that the loan was "approved by Bush-appointed bank board. As FactCheck.org noted in September 2009, the "bogus" claim that Obama "loan[ed] $2 billion to Petrobras" can be traced to an email that was circulating at the time. FactCheck called the claim "bogus," noting that the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved a "preliminary commitment" to Brazil to finance "their purchases of U.S. equipment, products and services." At the time, "the Bank's Board consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by George W. Bush."

The other false claim has to do with Soros position in Petrobras.  Beck summarized the timeline, "Billionaire dumps money in Brazilian oil company; days later the American administration dumps $2 billion in the exact same company. What are the odds Gilligan?

However, from FactCheck.org:

The message claims that George Soros would "benefit most" from the loan, but that is also a baseless accusation. Soros is a favorite whipping boy of conservatives because of his early financial help to the liberal group MoveOn.org. And he is indeed a major investor in Petrobras, through his New York-based hedge-fund firm, Soros Fund Management LLC. But the hedge fund recently sold 22 million shares of common stock in the company (which carry voting rights) while buying 5.8 million shares of preferred stock (which is non-voting.) As reported by Bloomberg News, Soros reduced his stake in the company before any of the Ex-Im Bank's promised loan has been dispensed. 
There are plenty of people who watch Beck and believe that he knows what he's talking about. Time and time again, it's made clear that it's just not the case. Beck is the blind leading the blind in their furious rage against shadows, crimes that aren't crimes and vast conspiracies that just do not exist.

Now that's entertainment; but it's also just nonsense.

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Chris Leonard said...

Does he think the incessant mugging at the camera helps his case? The alcohol has bombed his brain back to the Stone Age.

The Glenn Beck Review said...

Chris, Beck still exhibits much of his morning zoo antics that he developed early in his career. The alcohol seems to have stunted his maturation. One can believe that Beck thinks this mugging and childish antics are "entertaining," but they detract from what is supposed to be "enlightenment."

He listens intently to someone who agrees with hims and mugs in various ways when others, including the President's videos, are speaking.

He's a bully in some ways, a child-like bully who is applauded by the mob who follows him.