Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beck's course crash on "revolutionaries"

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Glenn Beck is on vacation this week, so his viewers are being offered a version of Glenn Beck's greatest hits on his Fox show. The following clip was shown at the beginning of his program on December 21st. Following this will be the reprints of two blog posts: one from News Corpes: The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay, which addresses Beck's "history" in general, and the other will be the response from the liberal Media Matters for America to some of the claims Beck makes in this clip regarding his favorite target as of late, billionaire philanthropist and political activist, George Soros.

This clip is introduced on The Daily Beck, an effort by a loyal and admiring minion of Mr. Beck, with the following: Tonight: A Glenn Beck 'crash course' on radicals and revolutionaries. From George Soros to Cloward & Piven- if you're new to the program or have friends that are still (still??) on the fence about whether our country is in serious trouble, this episode is a great place to start. Tonight, the history of revolutions- and what are the warning signs that a revolution is about to occur? We'll also talk about the influence of radical revolutionaries that have an impact on our current administration. Plus, how our kids are taught to revere revolutionaries like Che' and Mao- and not Adams or Washington

"Restoring History" is the supposed theme of this presentation. However, given the far right slant Beck gives to the understanding he has of history from the extremist Mormon author Cleon Skousen, it's safe to argue, as they have on News Corpes, that:

Glenn Beck’s A Historian Like Hannibal Lecter’s A Vegetarian

Pope Glenn BeckGlenn Beck began his program yesterday asking his audience to…
“Join me on another one of my ‘designed just to get TV ratings’ history lessons?”
The only the wrong with that statement is everything in it. First of all, nobody is joining Beck as he embarks on his solo venture across the blackboard seas of his dementia. The best you say is that his disciples can watch glassy-eyed from afar. Secondly, everything Beck does is designed to get TV ratings, despite his snarky allusions to the contrary. And lastly, his idea of history lessons leaves out a major component of the curriculum: the history.
In yesterday’s lecture, Beck sought to explain the concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction,”wherein nations in conflict proposed deterrence of aggression by threatening overwhelming retaliatory response that would effectively destroy both nations. Beck began by falsely asserting that scientists had first proposed a version of MAD that involved a “Doomsday Device,” wherein the whole planet would be obliterated. In fact, that was only proposed by analysts at an Ayn Rand think tank and Stanley Kubrick in “Dr. Strangelove.” It was not real science, policy, or history.
Then Beck reveals to his disciples the source of his historical doctrine. It’s a book called “Tragedy and Hope” written by Mormon historian Carrol Quigley. Beck describes Quigley’s thesis as MAD via a network of interconnected and reliant economies. Then he asserts that this plan has already been implemented and offers as evidence this question:
“[C]an you think of a war since [the 60's] where there has been a clear winner and loser since then? Vietnam? The Gulf wars? Afghanistan? The War on Terror?”
Well, yes. I’d start with Vietnam and the Gulf wars. Clearly the North Vietnamese took over the whole of the peninsula after American troops pulled out. And does anyone think that Kuwait is still under the grip of Saddam Hussein, or that Hussein wasn’t toppled from power in Iraq? And there is a reason the former Yugoslavia is called the “former” Yugoslavia. And don’t forget the great battle for sovereignty in the Falklands.
This makes Beck’s accusations that “Progressives don’t want you to read real history,” particularly amusing. Clearly it’s Beck who is reading and recommending fictional accounts of history. One of his favorites is “The 5,000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, another Mormon historian Beck fancies. Beck beseeched his disciples to heed Skousen as a prophet:
“I beg you to read this book filled with words of wisdom which I can only describe as divinely inspired.”
Skousen also read Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope,” and found it compelling to say the least. In a superb essay about Beck’s roots and influences, Alexander Zaitchik noted the relationship between Beck, Quigley, and Skousen:
In 1969, a 1,300-page book started appearing in faculty mailboxes at Brigham Young, where Skousen was back teaching part-time. The book, written by a Georgetown University historian named Carroll Quigley, was called “Tragedy and Hope.” Inside each copy, Skousen inserted handwritten notes urging his colleagues to read the book and embrace its truth. “Tragedy and Hope,” Skousen believed, exposed the details of what would come to be known as the New World Order (NWO). Quigley’s book so moved Skousen that in 1970 he self-published a breathless 144-page review essay called “The Naked Capitalist.” Nearly 40 years later, it remains a foundational document of America’s NWO conspiracy and survivalist scene.
[T]he editors of Dialogue: The Journal of Mormon Thought invited “Tragedy and Hope” author Carroll Quigley to comment on Skousen’s interpretation of his work. They also asked a highly respected BYU history professor named Louis C. Midgley to review Skousen’s latest pamphlet. Their judgment was not kind. In the Autumn/Winter 1971 issue of Dialogue, the two men accused Skousen of“inventing fantastic ideas and making inferences that go far beyond the bounds of honest commentary.” Skousen not only saw things that weren’t in Quigley’s book, they declared, he also missed what actually was there — namely, a critique of ultra-far-right conspiracists like Willard Cleon Skousen.
“Skousen’s personal position,” wrote a dismayed Quigley, “seems to me perilously close to the ‘exclusive uniformity’ which I see in Nazism and in the Radical Right in this country. In fact, his position has echoes of the original Nazi 25-point plan.”
So Beck is now promoting Quigley’s book which he plainly fails to understand. Skousen, the authority Beck regards as divinely inspired, was castigated by Quigley as reminiscent of Nazism. Now there’s a shocker – Beck reveres a discredited, Nazi-esque academic. But it’s Beck’s viewers who are the ultimate losers as they are subjected to a plethora of disinformation. Beck’s sermons are as representative of “history” as “Alice in Wonderland.” Anyone who believes Beck’s version of the past may just as well munch down a sack of magic mushrooms in their search for reality.
Media Matters for America responded to this particular "lesson" with the following post on their site:

Whoops: In Revolution Special, Poe Undermines Beck's Soros Conspiracy

It's the week before Christmas, traditionally the time of year when Fox News' hosts go on vacation, leaving behind clip shows, digging up guest hosts, or simply airing reruns to fill the air time. After rounding out last week by turning his show over to Fox resident Truther Andrew Napolitano on Thursday and re-airing his Wilmington special on Friday, Glenn Beck today provided his audience with a special on "the history of revolutions" and the influence of "radical revolutionaries" on the Obama administration.
And wouldn't you know it? He kicked off the special with discussion of "the world's revolutionary in chief, George Soros":
BECK: Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes. With his Open Society Fund, which was founded in 1979, Soros has helped fund the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, and Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us. America.
But in their rush to get out of the office and get their holidays started, Beck and company let right-wing author Richard Poe undermine Beck's claim that Soros is dangerous because he "collapses regimes" and America is "his target now."
In the first part of his multi-day special on Soros, Beck claimed:
BECK: Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes. With his Open Society Fund, which was founded in 1979, Soros has helped fund the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, and Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us. America.
The next day, Beck said that Soros was "notorious for collapsing... regimes all around the world."
But tonight, Poe started to peel back the curtain on this claim, pointing out that Soros had backed "the Solidarity movement in Poland and ... the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia." Poe acknowledged that in these cases, Soros worked to bring down "communist regimes, which is good."
As far as I can tell, this is the first time that Beck's program has acknowledged that the Soros-backed Velvet Revolution overthrew a communist regime, and the first time it has noted Soros' work with Solidarity. For that matter, it's probably the first time the program has hosted someone positively characterizing anything Soros has done.
Of course, Poe goes on to say that "then, he started overthrowing all kinds of regimes," and has "bragged about it in many cases, that he overthrew this government, he helped overthrow that government."
In his discredited book The Shadow Party, Poe and conspiracist co-author David Horowitz provide one such example of Soros' "bragg[ing]":
But the fall of Communism did not bring an end to Soros' programs of subversion, nor seem to lessen their pace. "My foundations contributed to democratic regime change in Slovakia in 1998, Croatia in 1999, and Yugoslavia in 2000, mobilizing civil society to get rid of Vladimir Meciar, Franjo Tudjman, and Slobodan Milosevic, respectively," Soros boasts. [Page 232]
Contrary to Poe's claim that Soros was "overthrowing all kinds of regimes," the groups he supported acted against autocratic and corrupt governments. Milosevic died awaiting trial for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity; Tudjman's "rule became increasingly autocratic" and featured the state shutting down newspapers that opposed him, according to the BBC; Meciar's "government was widely considered illiberal, discriminatory and corrupt, practicing crony politics," and he once allegedly ordered the kidnapping of the son of a political rival, according to The New York Times; the Orange Revolution in Ukraine was a non-violent response to a disputed election that involved poisonings and assassination attempts; and Georgia's Rose Revolution came in response to what BBC called "the flawed results of a parliamentary election," and brought about the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili, who was praised by Glenn Beck in 2008 for his Western-friendly reforms.

Addendum (12/24/2010): Beck demonstrates one of two traits by accusing Soros, a progressive reformer, of being a "revolutionary." Either Beck knows that Soros is a reformer and disinterested in overthrowing the government of Barack Obama, which Soros generally supports, or he really believes that Soros is a revolutionary. If the former is true, then Beck is purposely deceiving his followers. He is lying. If Beck doesn't know the difference between a reformer and a radical, then Glenn Beck is too uneducated and ignorant (unqualified) to be spouting his utter nonsense on television during his own show on the Fox Propaganda Channel. That is a course crash; wrecking a history lesson and demolishing any take away one can have. Beck's purpose, his agenda to roll back 100 years of progressive reforms for the American people, won't allow him to be an honest broker of history's lessons.
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1 comment:

tiohero said...

You have once again managed to write an extraodinary article! It is your fine research and careful consideration of the facts that keeps bringing me back to read more. And as for Anonymous (who commented on one of your recent posts), I don't give a hoot what he says because (as you pointed out) he fits the very definition of a Troll. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised of Anonymous is the almighty Glenn himself. I hope it is him, as it would be a testament to just how much you are exposing him for the lier he is an pissing him off along the way!

I love the poll numbers that you posted recently regarding Fox News viewers. Facts don't lie. And by the way, here are some actual FACTS for Glenn Beck viewers to consider:

-Even the non-partisan CBO says that the new health-care legislation will actually decrease the federal budget:
"CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation]estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal—would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010–2019 period"

-even Rupert Murdock's right-leaning Wall Street Journal claims that the economy is getting better:

-Just in time for Christmas! Because of climate change global reindeer populations have fallen 57% from their peak over the past two decades.

-Taxes were decreased for 95% of working families because of Obama's stimulus bill:

Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and Victor all have the right to free speech. They can say what they want and when they lie, it is also the right to free speech that allows others to point out the lies. When any one of these news sources are caught in a lie, it only serves to tarnish their reputation, eventually resulting in decreased viewer-ship. Honesty IS the best policy and the sources with the highest regard for truth and accuracy will eventually win out in the end (or so I hope)!

Another great article Victor! And a job well done! I had click "follow" at the top of the page one more time just to make sure I am subscribed. Keep the blog posts coming!