Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beck University's David Barton doesn't stop lying

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Last week's class at Beck University, Faith 102, was taught by pseudo-historian, David Barton. This Review has previously documented a dumb lie told by Barton that he didn't even believe on one of Beck's Founders Fridays shows on Fox. This "class" was reviewed by Barton critic, Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus.

The following from Talk to Action is reprinted here with permission of the author, Chris Rodda. For the video responses, click on the Talk to Action link.

[Talk to Action editor: here's Chris Rodda's take on David Barton's claim that a substantial number of the Founding Fathers were ministers:
"Barton cleverly uses the word 'seminary' to dupe his followers into thinking that 29 signers of the Declaration of Independence had theology degrees and were ministers, when in reality the word 'seminary' just means college, although its use today is almost always to refer to a theological seminary. The truth is that only four of the 56 signers of the Declaration went to college to study theology, and only two, John Witherspoon and Lyman Hall, stuck with it and became ministers, but Hall was booted out of his church for some moral indiscretion and decided to become a doctor instead of a minister. Of the other two, one became a lawyer and the other became a merchant."]

This week's class at Beck University was the second class taught by "Professor" David Barton, and, as expected, the class was packed with quite a few of Barton's pseudo-historical lies and distortions. In fact, Barton managed to get over a dozen separate lies into this single half-hour class.

The entire goal of Barton's "Faith 102" class was to prove that the two least religious founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, had no intention of separating church and state. I've debunked many of the lies Barton used in this class before, so, since I've been a bit swamped with my "day job" at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and didn't have time to make an entirely new video this week, I've thrown together a few videos debunking some of the lies from "Professor" Barton's Beck U class, mainly using my debunkings of these same lies from a video series I made last year.

Barton's lie that more than half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were ministers (he also used this one in his first Beck U class):

Barton's lie that Benjamin Franklin chose to begin a treaty in the name of the trinity:

Barton's lie that Thomas Jefferson started church services at the Capitol (should be watched along with the next video about the Marine Band):

Barton's lie that Thomas Jefferson told the Marine Band to play at church services:

Barton's lie that Thomas Jefferson sent Christian missionaries to evangelize the Indians

Barton's lie about why the Danbury Baptists wrote to Thomas Jefferson, and what his reply meant:

During this Beck U class, Barton once again told his lie about Thomas Jefferson dating his documents "in the year of our Lord Christ," a lie that he told on Beck's show that I debunked in my current "No, Mr. Beck …"">video series, so here's that video:

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Glenn Beck’s Common Nonsense: an interview with Alex Zaitchik

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For those finding this blog for the first time, there is much here to review, and it is all available in the Contents above. The interview with Zaitchik below is not the view necessarily of The Glenn Beck Review, but there is some eye-opening information about Glenn Beck contained in it and in Zaitchik's book. Common Nonsense is available by clicking on the "Buy from amazon" button to the left.

The following is reprinted in its entirety with permission of Alex Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, from, May 27th, 2010.
                             Alexander Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense

America has this long tradition of twisted, odd, widely beloved and yet darkly dangerous right-wing cultural impresarios that pop up out of our landscape like cultural tornadoes, leaving huge swaths of derangement and destruction in their wake. Aimee Semple McPherson. Father Coughlin. Joe McCarthy. Once in a while, when the cultural cross-currents intersect just so, they rise on the whirlwind, gather huge followings, and lead their followers on a furious high-velocity turn that blows across the countryside in desperate pursuit of a utopia only they can see. These maunderings are typically mercifully short and usually end in disaster, for both the people who started the storm as well as those who got swept away in it. And all is forgotten — until the next time.
The next time, in this case, arrived on 9/11/01; and the tornado took on the form of Glenn Beck. It only seems like Glenn Beck has been with us forever. It’s hard to remember a time when his endless rants weren’t filling hours of TV time on Headline News, and more recently dominating everything else on FOX. But Beck was basically going nowhere fast before 9/11 — the event that saved his failing TV career, turned this know-nothing showman into a leading political theorist, and catapulted him into the very eye of the far-right’s always-churning cultural storm.
Who is this guy? A precocious former Top 40 deejay with a longstanding drug problem, no discernable book learning, and a mean streak a mile deep. A “morning zoo” radio host known for his ruthlessness in ratings wars, yet unable to keep any job for more than a couple of years. A Mormon convert who immediately gravitated to the farthest edges of that faith’s orthodoxy. The hottest host on cable TV. And soon, if all goes according to “The Plan,” America’s next great spiritual leader, stepping boldly forward to guide the Tea Party faithful in a complete re-making of this nation.
It’s high time somebody took a critical look at the full arc of Beck’s character and career. That somebody turned out to be Alex Zaitchik, who had already spent quite a bit of time covering the right wing. Zaitchik’s book, Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, hits the bookshelves this week (Some of the chapters originally appeared as articles at Alternet). Besides being an engaging telling of Beck’s personal tale,Common Nonsense examines Beck’s character and motivations in a way that might help progressives get a better handle on who he is, what he means to do to America, and what we’re really up against.
Sara Robinson: I guess the first question is: what possessed you to write this book? Where did your interest in Glenn Beck begin? What did your research process look like?
Alex Zaitchik: It came out of a conversation I was having with an editor at Wiley about a rather different project — about India, of all things. It could not have been more different. And we started talking about Glenn Beck shortly after his “we surround them” episode on Fox in March of last year. We were talking about how bizarre it was, and trying to figure where this guy was coming from — we’d never seen anything like it.
This is, of course, the famous episode where Beck started crying about how much he loved his country and feared for it and the rest of it. And the more I started looking into him after this conversation, the more I realized there was this culture forming around him, this “cult of Beck” with big viewing parties, meetups, this kind thing. And I sort of got fascinated by it, and wrote an article for Alternet, and the response was pretty overwhelming. There seems to be a lot of interest in this guy.
So I when brought the idea back to Wiley, we put the other idea on hold, and decided to do a book-length treatment on this phenomenon — Glenn Beck.
SR: There’s a lot in the book that’s extremely damning. One of the things that struck me was your description of Beck’s antics while working as a morning zoo DJ in Phoenix, which is one of the most over-the-top things I’ve read this year. But it also revealed the extent of Beck’s essential meanness, as well as the extent he’ll go to to win a ratings war. Can you talk about that?
AZ: One of the consistent threads running throughout Beck’s career has been this rather vicious mean streak that has changed over the years. It now sort of masquerades a sort of political argument — but in fact, at its base, it’s the same kind of gut spleen that’s constantly looking for new avenues of expression.
As a young DJ, he used to attack other people in the market for being overweight. Lately, of course, he’s attacking people like Rosie O’Donnell for being overweight — but now he says it’s because she’s a Democrat and a progressive, not just because she’s overweight, which is what he used to do back when he was doing Top 40 radio.
Probably the most famous example of this mean streak that I was able to track down is the time he called up a competing DJ’s wife on the air and proceeded to mock her for having a miscarriage the previous week. She had just come back from the hospital. He did this live on the radio, which is of course illegal — he didn’t notify her that she was on the radio — and then there’s the moral question involved. He was the bad boy of an already bad-boy genre.
SR: Did the local media cover any of this when it was going down? Was it widely known, or just known within radio circles around Phoenix?
AZ: It made him infamous in radio circles. He had quite a reputation nationally for being talented, but also a bit of a prick. So yeah, people were definitely aware of it.
He never lasted very long in any one market. I think his record was close to two years. He bounced around quite a bit; I think he had over seven jobs in the space of 20 years.
SR: One of the things that struck me about that whole description of his early career, Phoenix, Tampa, and elsewhere, is how vicious he gets when he’s backed into a ratings war. I’m looking at that in the context of his newest schtick, “The Plan,” which he announced last Thanksgiving and is planning to roll out this August on the anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech on the mall — having his King moment.
What can you tell us about “The Plan”? Is this just another ratings stunt, or does Beck really have the wherewithal to pull off a Tea Party 2.0 kind of movement?
AZ: That seems to be what he’s going for. It seems to be something quite on a different level than creating controversy for ratings. He sees himself now as not just a movement leader, but actually (if his words are to be believed) a conduit for the Word of God itself. The idea that God is giving him this plan for the saving of the Republic is, of course, a very Mormon idea — the Constitution hanging by a thread, and Mormons will come to its rescue, possibly led by Beck. That seems to be where he’s headed — the idea that he’s a sort of world historical religious figure who’s actually going to be saving the country.
His plan is actually a little bit less exalted than that — it’s basically just your usual list of right-wing think tank talking points. If you had the Heritage Foundation and Cato come together and put their best minds together, it would look something like The Plan. He wants an 11 percent flat tax, abolishing most federal departments, cutting social services, that kind of thing.
He originally advertised the date to coincide with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, but he’s since pulled back from that and now he claims that he picked that date just because it’s near Labor Day, and he wanted people to be able to bring their children and make it a family vacation. But clearly what happened is that somebody informed him that Martin Luther King was a famous progressive “cockroach” (in Beckian language), and of course he must have felt pretty embarrassed. He stopped talking about the King connection pretty quick.
SR: You also got several people on the record about Beck’s struggle with mental illness. In one of his books, he’s admitted to being a borderline schizophrenic; another is premised on his confession of multiple personality disorder. He’s also copped to having ADHD, and taking medication for it. And of course there’s this very long history of addiction. What did these folks tell you, and why do you think they were so forthcoming with this information? And what part does all of this play in his history?
AZ: One of the first things people used to say when Beck first arrived on the national radar is over the last few years is: This guy is obviously crazy. And, in fact, a number of his former colleagues said that they believed that Glenn was under treatment for some form of psychiatric problem. They didn’t know exactly, but many believed that it was bipolar disorder, and he used to take medication that one person believed was lithium, and all the behavior traits seemed to be lining up in that direction. That was in the early 90s in Baltimore. And then from New Haven in the mid-90s, I heard another colleague say that that sounded about right. One of his old bosses in Baltimore said he always used to remind Beck, “Don’t forget to take your pill.”
So clearly, he’s now or was at some point under treatment for something. But what that is is less important than the fact that he’s able to command such influence over so many people while putting forward a sort of political version of his personal mental illness.
SR: Another thing that struck me is the crass way he manipulates his own family stories to elicit sympathy. He uses his daughter, who has cerebral palsy, as one of his props; and he tells people that his mother committed suicide when all the evidence points to a very straightforward boating accident. Even for someone like me, who’s intimately familiar with the testimonial culture of the religious right, lying that your mom committed suicide for the sake of ratings is just beyond comprehension. You actually went out and tracked down the documents on that.
AZ: The police records record a drowning accident in 1979. His mother and a friend of hers were found dead in the water after they apparently went swimming. There was an empty bottle of vodka found in the boat; there was no sign of foul play; and there was no suicide note left that was left or referenced in the local papers or police records.
Family friends also seemed to think that it was just a tragedy. I tracked down one of Beck’s closest childhood friends who was actually a pallbearer at the funeral, and he said that there was never any sign or discussion of a suicide at the time. So while I don’t know for certain why the death occurred, it appears to be the case that Beck sort of embellished this tragedy to make a more compelling life story.
Which, of course, is one of his stock-in-trades. He’s constantly talking about his personal redemption narrative, which begins with the tragedy of his mother, and continues through this sort of 700 Club arc to his brother’s death, after passing through a valley of depression and despair.
SR: Which is, of course, the classic redemption narrative. There’s a lot of incentive on the right to make those stories as dramatic as possible. That’s how you get your cred in that highly emotional culture. You need that drama.
Tell me about Glenn Beck’s America, the one that he wants to take us to. Is this really about a return to some mid-century Golden Age, and is that even possible?
AZ: He does sentimentalize the middle of the 20th century, and even the America of his youth. Which is an odd thing to sentimentalize, because that’s the mid- to late 1970s, which most conservatives usually don’t remember as the halcyon days.
But what I think is most interesting about his reveries about mid-20th century America is that this was the social democratic peak of the country’s history. I mean, this was when the New Deal and the post-New Deal programs gave the country its most egalitarian tax structure. There were more dollars flowing down the income pyramid than ever before.
This was the nation that FDR built — and of course, the America that [Beck] would like to build looks nothing like the America that was built by New Deal policies. So he seems to want to have the benefits — the sense of social purpose, the middle-class fantasy — without having the economic policies that really are alone capable of leading to this kind of society that he remembers as a kid.
The policies he advocates result in Detroit today, not Mt. Vernon in 1955.
SR: What influence do you think his conversion to Mormonism had on Beck? And how do Mormons view him?
AZ: Mormonism has, I think, had a pretty big impact on Beck in a couple of ways. First, he didn’t have much of a political education before he went to talk radio. There was a big void that needed to be filled. He sort of poured the liquid from right-wing Mormonism, in the form of this guy Cleon Skousen, into this empty vessel. That’s what formed the bedrock of his political education.
Cleon Skousen’s this very right-wing Mormon involved with the [John] Birch Society and later got more and more into conspiracy culture. In the 50s, 60s, 70s and into the 80s, he was a very influential guy in Mormon circles.
SR: Although he was also something of an embarrassment to the Mormon elders as well, wasn’t he?
AZ: He became so, yes. He became too extreme, and he was causing problems for the church. But he did manage to drag the church fairly forcefully to the right, and now you have this orthodox Mormon culture that is in many ways the product of Cleon Skousen. And it’s the same Mormon culture that embraces Beck. So that’s one way that the conversion deeply influences his development.
Another thing: I have a chapter in the book where I talk about this very Mormon ritual known as “bearing testimony,” which involves members of the ward house getting up and telling what amount to radio monologues. They talk for a couple of minutes about some sort of gut knowledge that they have, and very often they get emotional and tear up. It’s very stylized. If you look at video of church leaders doing it off the LDS website, often they look like they’re imitating Glenn Beck. It’s a very Mormon thing.
So it seemed that he sort of embraced that aspect of Mormonism, and it’s informed his persona, which is very much tearful, and has this sense of having direct access to spiritual truths.
SR: Why does Glenn Beck cry?
AZ: I think that, at bottom, there’s a really fundamental emotional neediness in Beck that’s come out over the course of his career in different ways. To some extent, you see it in a lot of entertainers — people who’ve always had audiences and always sought them out. Even as a young kid, Beck was on stages performing magic; and then he was on the radio from age 13. He loves to be heard, to be the center of attention.
And crying is a way to not just be the center of attention, but to hush the audience and draw them in emotionally and connect with them in a way that is unique. That’s something he’s really trained himself to do well. That’s one of the reasons why his success has been as striking at it is: he does manage to connect with his radio and television audiences and his live audiences and his readers in ways that most people doing conservative commentary cannot or dare not.
Beck’s willingness to go there is one of the keys to his success. And it’s not just a media strategy; it also dovetails with his personality and his deepest needs.
SR: OK, this is a long question, so bear with me. One of the things that’s got progressive right-wing watchers most concerned is Beck’s real skill in co-opting the language and symbols of American patriotism. The right has done this systematically for 40 years — but Beck is a genius at it.
I’m thinking specifically of the way he’s hijacked Tom Paine, who was easily the most progressive of the Founders. Paine was the first one to propose social security and welfare. The 19th century elites found him so threatening that they wrote him right out of history. Most Americans didn’t even know who Tom Paine was until FDR and Eleanor put him back in the pantheon, for reasons of their own.
Another example is how he’s publicized Jonah Goldberg’s revisionist idea that the Nazis were somehow left-wing welfare statists. Can you speak to this?
AZ: What makes that that founder appropriation possible is relative ignorance on the part of his fan base. Also: Beck himself has only recently started to learn about this stuff, and he’s really not a scholar on early American history. So it’s an easy sort of touchstone for him to seem like he’s representing the deepest and most consistent traditions in American history.
Of course, if you went back to exactly what the founders believed — Paine being perhaps the most glaring — it’s just absurd that he would claim that mantle. Another one is Ben Franklin. [Beck] has a picture of Ben Franklin on his TV set a lot, and also in his radio studio. Of course, Ben Franklin was a giant of the Enlightenment: this is not a guy who’d have had very much patience for Glenn Beck had they been contemporaries. And Beck himself would probably not have idealized Ben Franklin.
And you can just go down the line. Thomas Jefferson, of course, believed in a pretty radical egalitarian view of society. He belief in limited government isn’t limited government for its own sake, but limited government for the sake of a society of equal citizens, in which there weren’t massive concentrations of economic wealth like the kind we see today — which Beck not only glorifies, but openly worships. There’s few things that’ll quiet Glenn Beck faster than a kind word or the presence of a multi-billionaire industrialist.
SR: Beck has set himself up as this sort of revisionist history and civics teacher. What do you think it means for the country that we’ve got two million people watching his fractured-fairy-tale versions of history every day?
AZ: It doesn’t speak very well for the state of conservatism, that’s for sure. It wasn’t that long ago that those people representing conservatism in high-profile positions were people like Bill Buckley, who — disagree with him as you might have on the issues — was fairly educated, and didn’t make statements that were so wildly at odds with reality. So I think first and foremost, it’s a statement on conservatism more than it’s a statement on the country.
You also need to keep it in perspective that it’s only a very small percentage of the country at large that’s watching this guy, and those people tend to be the more hardcore conservatives.
And to the extent that it is a reflection on the country, it’s a sign of the fracturing of media into these niche communities where people get their politics — and in this case, their ignorance — reinforced. The old gatekeeper system is, of course, done. You no longer have people producing what used to be called “quality television.” You don’t have three networks and PBS deciding what goes on television. Now you have FOX producers, and people like Glenn Beck, who are able to draw audiences — who formerly were forced to go on community television or become street corner preachers and stuff — are now on FOX News.
SR: Having written this book, do you think Glenn Beck really deserves the attention the left wing lavishes on him? And knowing everything you’ve told us about him, what’s the best way for progressives to deal with this huge Glenn Beck phenomenon going forward?
AZ: It’s certainly important that his statements — and those of his peers, like Rush Limbaugh — are taken seriously and debunked. To some extent, I’m glad there are organizations like Media Matters out there doing fact-checks on these guys.
At the same time — and I may be a weird messenger for this, having just spent the better part of a year thinking and writing about Glenn Beck — I do think that at some point you have to start asking yourself what the opportunity costs are of fixating on every absurd statement coming out of the mouths of Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, and the rest. I mean, it takes a lot of time to mock and/or fact-check every idiocy that is said these days. Sometimes, when you tune into radio or blogs, it seems there’s a real lot of time spent talking about this stuff.
And while it’s important to know, and counter, I think we need to ask ourselves sometimes how much is enough, and realize that it’s much more important to come up with a positive agenda that is educative and based in reality to counter the profusion of lies. Ultimately, what this amounts to is diversionary programming coming from the right wing message machine, of which Beck has emerged as a central component.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glenn Beck's campaign speech ignores news, defies reality

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On his Fox show of July 26th, Beck highlighted some of the comments made about him at the Netroots Nation Conference in Las Vegas, NV over last weekend. He posits that as a point, a movement to contrast for Americans to make a choice about; but first he showed the interview on Fox with Gov. Howard Dean when he said, "I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist...and [the Sherrod video] was about to go on Glenn Beck, which is what the Administration was afraid of."

Beck mocked the idea that people could know what is going to be on his show, and indeed he didn't mention Sherrod on the 19th. Instead he covered a story he had just heard about that was in fact over six months old. On the 26th, Beck seems to be waiting a few months to cover the most important story on the minds of actual journalists, the WikiLeaks release of the documents showing how badly the war in Afghanistan is going. Beck had an ax to grind against Dean and all those progressives arrayed against him in Las Vegas.

The following is a speech he gave to claim that America is at a turning point, a moment of choice, an odd selection of wording for someone who opposes choice in reproductive planning. Beck's words are in red, and the dialogical responses of The Glenn Beck Review are in blue. This is not a deconstruction; Beck's words are not worthy of that philosophical movement's efforts.
Beck pontificates

So what is this really all about America? What is the real issue here? Cause it's not racism. This issue is choice as it always is. It's choice.  We must choose now. Now is the time. Do we choose those who create fear, limit choices, lie, cheat, steal? Do we stand with ACORN, Communist revolutionaries, Black Panthers, union thugs, or do we stand with the truth?

Beck is right, it's not racism. Dean's choice of wording opened the door for Beck to avoid "the real issue" which is Fox "News" and Beck's incessant race-baiting. If there is someone creating fear, limiting choices and lying, it's Glenn Beck. Race baiting is "... a means of implying that racism is a motive in the actions of others towards the race being baited, where none in fact exists." Glenn Beck and Fox are constantly implying that racism is a motive in the President's actions or motives. How often has Beck warned against reparations? Beck specializes in creating fear, and was deemed the fear-monger-in-chief last year by the Anti-Defamation League. The "Communist revolutionary" Beck depicted behind him was Van Jones. If Van Jones is a "Communist," the Glenn Beck is still a drunk.  The idea that Glenn Beck stands with the "truth" is laughable on the face of it. Readers who need convincing of Beck's deceit should check out the category of Beck's false claims in the contents of this blog. If that long list of proven deceits is not enough to convince anyone that Beck plays loose and fast with facts, then they are wasting their time here. This Review is for the open minded.

Cops. Your church. Small business men and women. Moms and dads who are just doing their best to make sure their kid has a decent education. Parents that fear America's best days are behind her because [raising his voice] the powerful forces of greed and corruption are [louder] blocking the road to individual freedom. Individual faith, responsibility. [More intensely] Individual responsibility, inventiveness. Blocking us from volunteering.

The most powerful forces of greed and corruption are large corporations, but Beck knows who pays his bills. He doesn't address how they block the road to survival and prosperity in the name of putting profit before people. Who is preventing people from volunteering?  Beck often says things that make absolutely no sense, and this is just one example.

This is the same choice. Man has always been at this place. They've asked us to make this choice over and over and over again. In the 18th century we've made the choice. We said no to a king that was in bed with special interests and didn't care about the people.

Beck cares mostly about...his income.

[Referring to Lincoln depicted behind him] In the 1850s, the most unlikely of heroes stood with people of faith to right the wrongs of the past. When both parties were corrupted, this man began a new one, [louder yet] the Republican Party. A name back then that had meaning. After we ... had that bloody battle, they tried to make us choose again during Reconstruction, and that time we almost failed. We got so lost, and then Wilson and FDR. Each time they made us choose. They weakened the system.

Beck has supporters who feel the South should have been allowed to secede from the Union, but that is another post. How Wilson and and FDR weakened the system is not clear other than they were progressive presidents and Beck thinks progressivism is a cancer for America. Isn't every election about a choice?

In the 60's they stole our grandparent's children and those that had the most and had done the least began to conspired on how to destroy our children's inheritance. And here we stand. We stand at that epic choice. Do we let man finally conquer the American Spirit, or do we [even louder] stand again and shake off the ever-forming chains? Reclaim our rightful place by picking up our [stressing his voice] God given responsibilities to make sure that man continues to crawl from the swamp to the stars.

What Beck calls "chains" are protections set up to protect the American people for the greed, excesses, and abuses of unregulated Capitalism. A safety net that protects people from starvation and homelessness is for Beck and other Conservatives a form of slavery. It may work well as a rhetorical device, but the logic fails on the face of it. The roll of government is to protect life, liberty and property.

[Loudly as an orator] Stand. STAND, FOR YOU ARE MAN. And what is more, you are an American. Let them cry racism. Let them cry it all day long. I ask you to stand and cry freedom. All men. All races. Freedom! Freedom from want. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom from a monolithic, faceless bureaucracy that makes that choice for you. It's the same story over and over and over again throughout history. Make a choice. [Softer now] And they usually fool you because they dress it up.

Beck and other reactionaries have painted the comprehensive health care bill, which puts limits on how the health care insurance companies can abuse their customers, as restricting freedom. This does curb the corporate bureaucracies choices, and Beck time and again stands with corporate America as he conveys that he's standing with his audience, some of whom would have been allowed to die by the death panels at the insurance companies that have dropped claimants when their health costs threaten company profits. Again, Beck supports profits before people.

How many slave owners put a happy face on taking men's freedom away? "Oh, we're helping them. Oh, they'll never be able to be on their own. Oh they'll die without me." Fredrick Douglas understood a kind and benevolent slave owner [getting louder again] is still only a slave owner. We solved this fundamental question. [Louder] We solved it how many times? [Increasing volume] We never solved it completely [yelling] BUT WE'VE ANSWERED THE QUESTION. WE MADE THE CHOICE A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, but the evils of man have conspired to form a new chain. A new chain, again, is benevolent. One of help and handouts and health care, but it is a chain around our neck nonetheless.

Beck knows that rich people like him will bear the burden of forthcoming tax increases, but he very successfully has his audience believing that the middle classes and the poor who the health care bill was passed to protect will wear "chains." If Beck were ever on the need end of "handouts," he might possess something that he clearly lacks: empathy.

This is your choice. Kiss the hand that feeds you, or fight for your right to eat and sleep, work and worship as you wish. [Loudly] Man must speak while man can speak.

The only one on Beck's show who suggested that free speech should be curtailed is Glenn Beck. See "What does Glenn Beck have against dissidents."

I have to tell you, I've learned an awful lot in the last 12 months. I've learned an awful lot. The world seemed a lot more simple even 12 months ago.

Glenn Beck missed his opportunity to grasp the complexities of our world when he dropped out of Yale many years from now.

They're not going to drag me down to this level. [Quiet now] I've made mistakes in the past, but I have to tell you something, I uh, I have learned a lot. We don't need to call people names. We don't have to. Their words are evidence enough. They cannot make the argument in the open. They know no man of any color would choose to be enslaved, so they have to lie. They have to cheat.

Why does Beck call people names if he doesn't need to? If anyone is guilty of lying on the Glenn Beck Show, again, it's Glenn Beck. Protection from starvation and homelessness (social programs) are not the same as slavery unless you hate poor people or the taxes needed to protect people.

I don't think that those in power and those who seek even more power are racists. As I have come to understand that racist is too small of a word. I believe these people will enslave any man. It doesn't matter what color they are. It doesn't matter what party they're in. In the end, if America chooses this new path, mark my words, [voice quivering] all knees shall bend and all heads will bow to a new earthly king.

Powerful rhetoric, but it us just more fear-mongering, campaign style. Clearly Beck is gearing up for the midterm elections. Expect more of this framing of the choice people will make this year. Expect reframing of the same choices here on The Glenn Beck Review. Glenn Beck is the perfect straw man.

The story that we are seeing unfold is the oldest story around. It is a story as old as man himself. To make this about me or make this about the President is to [louder] mock the point at history at which we find ourselves. We are small and insignificant. [Loudly] The choice is monumental and universal. Once again we find ourselves in the same point with the same choice and someone saying choose.

[Softer] We have. Over and over, but because we're human. We're flawed, and we never quite get it right. But in the past, we've always been moving forward. We've always been standing more erect.

If Beck has his way, the Republic will begin moving backward toward the past. That's what reactionaries like Beck want. Beck is a 19th Century conservative.

I believe again that Americans will draw the line between them and those who currently hold the keys that control the force of the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth. [with loud emphasis] That force they have behind them. Those who would be our self-appointed kings. Those who would blaspheme our sacred American ideals while they cry racism.

If there is anyone around who blasphemes our sacred American ideals, it is Beck's frequent guest and historical revisionist, David Barton. If there are self-appointed "kings" in America, it is the captains of industry and moguls like Beck's boss, Rupert Murdoch.

[Softer] Americans will humbly stand together in the fire of God's truth, and once again cry freedom.

How about a round of applause for one of America's most convincing public speakers? Of course, those convinced, those standing in the fire of God's truth, those who will, "once again cry freedom" are the few million people that take the words of a liar, hypocrite and charlatan seriously. Yes, Mr. Beck; this IS about you, not your audience. 

Later in this episode, Beck proclaimed that "truth will set you free." Mr. Beck, we're still waiting for you to exercise some discipline on this concept and set yourself free. When Glenn Beck stays with the truth and stops making false claims and telling flat out lies, he will only then be close to God. Beck is a self-proclaimed "recovering dirt bag," and he has a long road to travel. Meanwhile, the real pundits are focused on actual current events.

Before more people start tuning into Beck's 
CONvincing propaganda, 
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