Tuesday, August 31, 2010

During his speech to "restore honor," Beck deceived his audience twice

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"Our sacred honor. It means that you tell the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth."
~~Glenn Beck
August 28th, 2010

Captain Newton still deceiving his followers

During his restoring honor speech last Saturday, Glenn Beck used an old deception of his, a rewritten quotation from Thomas Jefferson, and a new fabrication about why the Washington Monument is "scarred." Normally, "little" deceptions like these are just another day on the job for Mr. Beck, but on what Beck has now called a "world stage," after calling on his listeners in front of him and where ever people heard him to "tell the truth" no fewer than six times, these made up facts are nothing short of cynical hypocrisy of our period's self-assigned, messenger of God.

Previously, this Review has offered Beck two Fox News shows to correct his intentional or accidental deceptions and demonstrate credibility as a media representation of a reactionary (Tea Party) movement. After Monday's and Tuesday's episodes, during which Beck talked about nothing but how the media got it wrong about how the event would go down, and how wonderful the whole day was for his audience, the country and Glenn Beck, nary a word of correction was uttered about his two historical fabrications.

The misquote of Thomas Jefferson comes originally from Beck's book, The Real America, where Beck claimed that Jefferson, in a letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, wrote "Question the very existence of God, for if there be a God, He must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear." What Jefferson actually wrote in that letter was, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

During his speech on 8-28, Beck used this self-modified quote again: "If you haven't, as Thomas Jefferson said, 'Question with boldness even the very existence of God, for if there be a God, He must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear." "More approv[ing] the homage of reason" is not "surely rather honest questioning." This notion of  Beck's "honest questioning" has been dismissed by this Review previously as "unintelligible," but more reflection upon the idea of what other types of questioning someone might engage in led to the simple opposite: dishonest questioning.

An example of dishonest questioning would be Mr. Beck asking about why the Communist, Van Jones, was working in the Obama Administration. It's a dishonest question because at that time, Van Jones was no more a Communist than Glenn Beck was a lush. The honest question would have been why there is an ex-Communist working in the White House, but Beck never asked that. That was then, and the very dishonest questioning of Mr. Beck makes the need for him to insert the phrase "honest questioning" into this quotation by Jefferson all the more puzzling. Why would he invite researchers to follow this odd phrase from the misquotation to one more example of hypocrisy on Beck's part? That's an honest question about Beck's method of communication.

This misquote could be ignorance (Beck uses ghost writers), or it could be intentional. Either way, using this distorted quote during a speech stressing truth and honor was not just disingenuous, it's Beck being Beck: one more shade of hypocrisy.
Beck's story about how the Washington Monument got "scarred" was also made up. Beck said, "A quarter of the way up, it changes color...How did the scar get there? They stopped building it in the Civil War." Construction wasn't stopped because of the Civil War as Beck claimed. According to "History and facts about the Washington Monument:"

As the work began, the obelisk gradually began to ascend towards the sky. To aid in the process of building the monument, the Society invited civic groups, nationalities, states, and private organizations to donate commemorative stones to be placed in the interior walls surrounding the stairwell. However, due to increasing instances of vandalism and theft, the contributions eventually ceased in 1854, when the monument was only 152 feet tall.

The Civil War did not start until 1861. This is another deception from someone who deems himself informed about history; another shade of hypocrisy.

This Review previously posited that Beck's story about Captain Newman's changed life could have been an indication that Beck was turning a new leaf toward honesty, truth, integrity and honor, but if Beck wasn't truthful even during this "world-wide speech," then apparently nothing has changed. "Captain Newton" is still piloting a slave ship meaning that Glenn Beck is still a liar, a hypocrite and a charlatan, or more precisely these days, a false prophet. 

Maybe, henceforth, Beck will stick with the truth. That's highly unlikely because he knows his followers don't care or notice that he deceives them. Why should they? After all, Glenn Beck is a man of God leading the country in a new direction: backward toward the 19th Century. 

Update 9/01/10: Make that three deceptions, but this one ranks as a bald faced lie. As noted, Beck's misquoting of Jefferson may have been a consequence of ignorance if Beck had a ghost writer for his book. The second lie about the Washington Monument may have been a leap of imagination on Beck's part, a white lie. Investigation has now revealed that Beck's claim to have held Washington's inaugural address in his hands was a flat out lie. According to Susan Cooper, spokeswoman for the National Archive, "Those kinds of treasures are only handled by specially trained archival staff." (1)

There is no excuse any supporter can offer to rationalize the sheer and naked hypocrisy of making that claim, which he had to know to be false, in a speech proposing to reclaim honor. The Review has documented many of Beck's false claims and examples of hypocrisy over the last four months. However, the hypocrisy of this lie, in this nationally staged setting, after Beck's repeated insistence in truth and honesty in a speech about honor, God and country, takes first place in terms of obviousness and, in what would have been in the moral order this blogger grew up in, completely disgraceful.  For any politician this kind of bold-faced lie would be remembered at election time. Because "brother" Beck has elevated himself from "rodeo clown" to the position of messenger of God, he will -- because of the emotional bond he has built up with his supporters over the years -- be forgiven by his flock.

However, Glenn Beck cannot restore even his own honor because Beck, a recently self-described "recovering dirtbag" with many lies and hypocrisies documented over just the last four months, never had any honor to begin with. He can't even use his moment in the spotlight, his grand rally, which is supposed to, according to Mr. Beck, begin a new direction for America to move, to stop acting like the slave ship version of Captain Newton. In other words, in terms of the three criticisms of The Glenn Beck Review - that Beck is a liar, a hypocrite and a charlatan - August 28 was just another day on the job. He makes this deceitful claim, that he's telling the truth, all the time.
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1) From Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Sept. 1, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is Glenn Beck turning over a new leaf?

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On the eve of his Restoring Honor rally in Washington last Saturday Glenn Beck agreed to sit down for an interview on XM radio with Joe Madison. During this exchange, Beck is walking back from his position that got him into so much difficulty with the sponsors that dropped from his show. The last third of his rally speech is also worth considering for its hope that Beck is going to stop, to use his analogy, being a captain of a slave ship.

Mr. Beck admits to ignorance

It is refreshing to hear Mr. Beck admit to having been ignorant, but his understanding of liberation theology is still far from informed. Jesuit priest and author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything wrote in "Glenn Beck vs. Christ the Liberator" that liberation theology:
...also sees the figure of Jesus Christ as the "liberator," who frees people from bondage and slavery of all kinds. So, as he does in the Gospels, Christ not only frees people from sin and illness, Christ also desires to free our fellow human beings from the social structures that keep them impoverished. This is this kind of "liberation" that is held out. Liberation theologians meditate on Gospel stories that show Christ upending the social structures of the day, in order to bring more--uh oh--social justice into the world. Christians are also asked to make, as the saying goes, a "preferential option for the poor."
It's not hard to see what Beck has against "liberation theology." It's the same reason people are often against "social justice." Both ideas ask us to consider the plight of the poor. And that's disturbing. Some liberation theologians even consider the poor to be privileged carriers of God's grace. In his book The True Church and the Poor, Jon Sobrino, a Jesuit theologian wrote, "The poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore, as having an inherent capacity of understanding it better than anyone else." That's pretty threatening for any comfortable Christian. For not only do we have to help the poor, not only do we have to advocate on their behalf, we also have to see them as perhaps understanding God better than we do.
...It's hardly "the opposite of the Gospel," as Beck said. The opposite of the Gospel would be to acquire wealth and fail to work on behalf of the poor.
Clearly, Beck's "enlightenment" has progressed only so far.

In his speech during his rally, Beck's sermonizing offered an interesting analogy for Beck's life to date. This clip along with the first two parts of his speech are available on Mediaite. Earlier in this speech Beck exhorts his supporters four times to "tell the truth."

From describing his whole life as dishonorable, Beck again urges his supporters to be truthful. But, not teaching division?!? Since this is what Beck has been doing since he moved to Fox, it's difficult to understand how he feels people should not include him as a divider. 
However, perhaps Mr. Beck will use this event to turn the same kind of new leaf as  John Newton, the slave ship captain in the 1700's, who turned his life around. From being a "despicable man," who could not see the horror that he was engaged in," Newton became a changed man from that storm and wrote "Amazing Grace." 

Will Mr. Beck become an honorable man and start telling the truth as he exhorts his followers to do? Beck knows that he's under closer scrutiny than ever. He has dismissed Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog organization, but they, like The Glenn Beck Review, research his claims and have found much in the past that was baseless and false.

As previously pointed out, if Mr. Beck continues to misinform,  every deceit, every example of misinforming, whether purposeful or from ignorance, will be one or another level of hypocrisy.

Everyone makes mistakes, so Beck will be given two shows on Fox to correct his factual errors before this Review takes Mr. Beck to task for not being the honorable person that he implored his followers to become on August 28th, 2010.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interview with Media Matters' Chris Harris

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On August 27th, The Glenn Beck Review arrived in Washington, DC early enough to visit with the progressive, media watchdog organization, Media Matters for America. After a tour of their facility, GBR sat down for an interview with their communications director, Chris Harris.

GBR: Beck is talking to Media Matters, directly to you and challenging your finding that his position regarding Rauf is hypocritical. Can you respond to what he said on the air…last night?

Chris Harris: Well, obviously we don’t expect him to actually present the whole picture. What he says is that our assertions from 2006 and our assertion today are contractory, and they’re not. In 2006 we were saying that he was linking the majority of Muslims with Al Quada,  which is true, he was. And then now, we are saying that he pointed to Iman Rauf as an example of a good Muslim which we didn’t touch on then because we had no reason to. So the two points we’re making do not contradict each other. They aren’t all that related, but the point we’re making now is not in any way a contradiction with what we said back then.

GBR: Just to follow up on that, he doesn’t think he was pointing to Rauf when referring to good Muslims, which one could have a discussion about  what a good Muslim is, i.e., someone who agrees with what Glenn Beck says, but it looked to me like he was gesturing toward the iman. This could be more of a contradiction than a hypocrisy.

Harris: He says he doesn’t remember the interview…

GBR: I think he’s a burn-out from the alcohol and cocaine and stuff…he gives a some evidence that he’s not got a real sharp mind … not remembering that interview is indicative of this.

Harris: I don’t begrudge him for not remembering everything he does, especially that long ago, but if he doesn’t remember the interview ... I can’t really believe that he can’t remember the hand motions he was making.

GBR: So the hypocrisy is that back then he was a good Muslim but now he’s…

Harris: …a radical.

GBR: a radical. Couldn’t it be just he changed his mind. He did more reading and research.  I’ve read your Rauf post, and I suspect I know more about the iman than Beck does.

Harris: I’m certain.

GBR: Hypocrisy is a strong word. I’ll go back to inconsistency.

Harris: I don’t know that it’s hypocrisy. I’d say it’s a contradiction.

GBR: In that same tape he calls Islam "a beautiful religion." He hasn't played the tape that far on Fox, and now he’s replicating the Pamela Geller memeattacking Rauf and not standing by his "sacred" Constitution and the 1st Amendment. That is Beck's hypocrisy, that he would join this reactionary meme instead of standing with the 1st Amendment like Ron Paul did.

I also caught Beck hypocritically criticizing you guys for quoting Stu and Pat’s tape. You cut off the end when they went on to indicate that they were joking. But he does the same kind of “Breitbarting” of others. He did it last Tuesday with Obama, cutting him off on his supposed “Apology Tour.”

Harris: That was a mistake. Once we figured out that, because we didn’t go back and listen to the entire thing. Once we figured out that it was cut short, we went back and corrected that.

GBR: I understand journalistic standards: you fix your mistakes. I had to do the same thing as Media Matters because one time you had the word “if” in a sentence that exonerated Beck from claiming that the Park 51 cultural center was going to open on 9-11. He didn’t say “if,” and you corrected that too after I e-mailed you about that. I had to go back and update that post.  You didn’t want to [publish] the hypocrisy of him pointing at you for doing the same thing he does over and over again.

Harris: Everybody makes mistakes. What establishes your credibility, how you judge someone’s credibility: 1) admit the mistake and 2) fix it. We always fix it. 

GBR: Have you ever heard him fix a mistake? We watch him; we know how much he gets wrong….

Harris: No. I don’t think he….

GBR: He says he will. He says that if he gets something wrong, he’ll fix it the first thing on the next show.

Harris: He says that, but he doesn’t.

GBR: He also says that he tells the truth a lot. How’s he get away with that with this massive following?

Harris: He says he’s a rodeo clown. They’re good entertainers, but not so much someone you want to follow.

GBR: Alex Jones refers to Beck’s “gift.”  He does have a gift.

Harris: He’s a great entertainer. He looks sincere saying what ever words he wants to say, and that is a gift.  It could be dangerous, but I think he’s definitely talented. I think you also need to be skeptical of pretty much of everything he says.

GBR: He tells his people to look and check his material, but apparently they’re not doing it because it’s so easy to find where he’s said something bogus.

Harris: Yep, he’s made a career out of this… It’s not about informing people; it’s about entertaining people.  That’s how you get people to listen to you. Ever since then, that’s been his goal: to entertain. He’s a rodeo clown now…

GBR: I think he’s trying to give himself a promotion to messenger of God. He said that he’s just got some bullet points for his speech tomorrow, so God can speak through him.

Harris: Yeah, especially since he moved over to Fox News, and especially in the last few months, he started channeling the religious aspect of things. It’s much more religious than it is amusing now-a-days.

GBR: And it’s working. His followers are religious and he’s tapping into that. Have you seen A Face in the Crowd?”

Harris: No.

GBR: I just saw it this week. You know what that is?

Harris: I’ve heard of it.

GBR: [Spoiler alert: movie ending being conveyed.] That main character isLonesome Rhodes. You want to watch it because it will send a chill down your spine, not so much because of the analogous character, but because of the audience, the adulation and how much these people fawn over and follow him. They believe every word. Near the end, someone opens the mike back up after the end of his show, and he’s heard bad mouthing his viewers. He immediately leaves, takes an elevator ride down to street level which is symptomatic of his career falling down. Do you think Beck is going to have a ride down the elevator?

Harris: I have no idea. I wouldn’t speculate on that. It’s certainly a possibility, but I can’t speculate there.

GBR: I was surprised how easy it was to come up here…After the incident in CA, is there a security concern now that he’s addressing Media Matters so much?

Harris: We take it seriously, but Beck hasn’t impacted that. We’ve always been secure; we take everything seriously.

GBR: When he addresses you, when he tells Media Matters that he’s talking to you, does it make you uncomfortable? Is it disconcerting?

Harris: No, it’s often times pretty satisfying just knowing that he’s watching us, and we’re watching him and 9.99 times out of ten we’ll get the upper hand. We’re based on facts, and he’s based on paranoia and lies. It’s actually quite entertaining. [Emphasis added.] 
Agreed: Beck's blend of paranoia-based, yellow propaganda and misinformation is entertaining to witness and address.  With Mr. Beck misleading millions of previously, politically uninvolved Americans, his agitating against the Park 51 Cultural Center is becoming more dangerous as he works up hatred - as demonstrated on his website - against Muslims and consequently serving as another recruiting aid for Al-Qaeda in their war against the very Americans Beck claims to honor, i.e., American soldiers. This is not just blatant hypocrisy; it's the danger of an ambitious, charismatic and gifted reactionary with an above average IQ.

Now that Beck has made the nationally staged speech, when he emphasized four times to have his followers "tell the truth," his words henceforth are going to have to reflect the actual facts of reality. Otherwise, every deceit, every example of misinforming, whether purposeful or from ignorance, will be one or another level of hypocrisy.

Will Glenn Beck lead by example? Let the show begin.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Three ways opponents of Beck can act to curb his influence

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Readers coming to this Glenn Beck Review for the first time can find the contents of this blog laid out in more or less logical order in the contents page from the link above. This article is a NAN/Restoring Honor special post outlining three steps people can take to curb the influence of America's yellow propagandist-in-chief.

"There is nothing as trustworthy as the ordinary mind--of the ordinary man"
~~Lonesome Rhodes
from A Face in the Crowd

"You have to take [Beck] seriously. He's got a lot of people, 
who are going to come; and he sees himself as a Martin Luther King figure. 
There's a lot of people who buy that. If there's one thing we get out of this...
this is an opportunity to reflect on Martin Luther King's Legacy....I thought 
I'd close by referencing on one of [King's I Have a Dream Speech]. He said...
'In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty 
of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking 
from the cup of bitterness and hatred.'"
~~Faiz Sharkir
Think Progress.org
from Countdown with Keith Olbermann
August 25, 2010

As thousands converge on Washington DC this weekend, some are going to reclaim King's dream while others are going to "Restore Honor." Glenn Beck is the organizer of the latter event, and it's worth reviewing some of Beck's civil rights record. The following comes from Brave New Foundation:

Beck is reclaiming civil rights?

1) You are encouraged to go to Brave New Foundation, if you have not already, and sign their petition.

2) Because of the first thing heard from Beck in that video, a boycott has been organized to get companies to stop advertising during Beck's Fox show. At the forefront of that effort now is StopBeck.com. Here is the StopBeck effort’s statement on Beck's rally:

"The StopBeck effort is not organizing or endorsing any counter protests. Glenn Beck’s 828 event is a contemptible stunt to initiate the launch of his new book. On August 28, instead of thinking about Glenn Beck, we’ll be honoring the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating his dream and reflecting on the work ahead."

This statement isn’t intended to be a slight against those that are curious about the event and want to go to report on it. It just represents our official position on counter protests.

To learn more about what you can do to stop Beck, go to their website for information and ideas on how to help with this effort.


3) Above is a link entitled Share this URL.  On that post is a description of Beck's on-going attempt to promote his show, to get his viewers to watch his show and become part of his reactionary movement. Look this blog over, and if you do not find it objectionable to your views, please - in e-mails, on websites, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. - share this URL: www.sharethisurlaboutglennbeck.com. 

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