I don’t consider myself an expert on evolution; however, I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time studying the matter, if for no other reason than to try and understand humanity. The answers to some of our most puzzling questions become obvious once you realize that we are nothing more than apes that have evolved over millions of years from a common ancestor to other primates. While our chimpanzee cousin’s “evolutionary focus” was more on climbing trees and eating fruit we went a different route, which lead to our large brains, our upright posture, and a significant loss of hair.
The evidence of our ancestry is so strong that you cannot find a serious scientist who refutes the fact that we are, in fact, just another branch of the ape family. Despite all this, scientifically illiterate morons like Glenn Beck continue to refute the obvious. Their arguments are so weak and stupid that attempting to answer them seems like a waste of time:
“I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half monkey / half person yet. Did evolution just stop? Did all of a sudden, there’s no other species that is developing into half-human.”
Other species developing into half-humans...what exactly does Beck think evolution is all about? Does he think all species eventually develop into upright primates or something? Even someone vaguely familiar with evolution would never make such an infantile assumption.
profoundly ignorant propagandist
Luckily for Glenn he’s not the only moron on the show; his idiot cohost brings up Piltdown man in an attempt to refute the scientific evidence of our ancestry, as though mentioning a hoax that was exposed in the 1950′s somehow means that evolution is wrong. These morons don’t understand that science is a process, and that individual scientist are human beings that make mistakes, and occasionally try to defraud people (yes, sometimes people suck). Luckily, the scientific method demands evidence and applies intense scrutiny to any claim. With this error correcting mechanism built in, it’s usually only a matter of time before hoaxes are exposed.
Think of how science and religion contrast with the simple example of The Shroud of Turin. This pathetic relic has clearly been identified as a 14th century pious hoax (which matches the date of the appearance of this supposed relic), and yet the Catholic Church continues to try and assert that it is indeed the cloth that was placed on the body of Jesus when he was buried. They do this because the item serves as pathetic “proof” that their God existed, and that’s the level of scrutiny they are willing to apply. That’s the real difference between religion and science; while hard working men and women probe the very fabric of the Universe, pious morons like Glenn Beck continue to disbelieve the evidence simply to maintain a belief that a bearded super being created us in “his” image.
On Glenn Beck's website is a story from his radio show that was critical of NBC's Andrea Mitchell's spin of how the President discussed his proposal for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The clip will be shown below, but the hypocrisy on Beck's part derives from his nearly constant spin on the facts. This spin is not documented here. Spin is -- at least -- a version of the truth, and Beck strays from that often enough to render his spin of the facts insignificant from a critical perspective. However, examples of spin are evident in his book, Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure; and one of them along with a spin of the facts about Obama's Middle East speech on Beck's website story will suffice to prove that Beck's criticism of Mitchell is another demonstration of blatant hypocrisy on his part. Commentary about the meaning of Beck's routine hypocrisies will be followed by a rewrite from Lawrence O'Donnell on the supposed controversy, the hysteria, coming from Beck about what President Obama is proposing regarding the 1967 borders of Israel as a negotiating position with the Palestinians.
Got it? Beck and the other two stooges of his morning zoo commentary are critical of Mitchell for spinning or reframing the President's words even though that is essentially what he said. Compared to what Beck has done, purposely editing video of the President on multiple occasions to completely distort what he meant, Mitchell is merely offering a liberal bias or spin on the President's words. Examples of Beck purposely distorting video of the President are here, here and here; and that deliberate distortion is far worse than spinning facts around to support Beck's reactionary perspective.
Of course, Beck spins the facts routinely. In fact, right in the story on the website describing Mitchell's liberal "hackery" (his word), it stated that "Obama had just dissed Israel." The President did not express disrespect for Israel! That comes closer to deceit than spin, but one could argue that Beck himself probably did not write what was written on his site under the video clip above. Fair enough.
Master of spin
In Broke, Beck wrote that President "Wilson didn't usher in progressivism alone: He had lots of help. His secretary of state William Jennings Bryan took the attitude that the wealthy must be punished for their affluence: 'If New York and Massachusetts pay more tax under this law than other states, it will be because they have more taxable income within their borders. And why should not those sections pay most that enjoy most.' "(1) Calling a fair tax policy punishment is a reactionary spin on this approach to differential taxation. Calling it justice is another spin on differential taxation on states. Spin: it is how Beck describes history and current events.
Beck is not criticized here for offering his spin on the facts because spin, Beck's version of the truth, is the least of his problems. However, when Beck gets critical of another media figure for offering spin, then he is again standing in front of his glass house throwing rocks. Glenn Beck is demonstrating hypocrisy with this criticism of Andrea Mitchell's spin. This is the 24th example of hypocrisy documented here in the course of the year this Review has been active. For a man, who described himself to the New York Times Magazine as a "principles and values guy," one example of hypocrisy matters. However, 24 documented examples of hypocrisy translates into a deeper meaning. No one is this hypocritical unless they are mentally ill or a complete fraud. Beck is certainly not a "principles and values guy." This list of hypocrisies paint Beck as a fake, a charlatan, a sham.
An alternative narrative to Beck's false, reactionary and hypocritical discussion of Mitchell and the last word on the business of whether she spun the facts of Obama's position on the 1967 borders too far or not is offered by Lawrence O'Donnell. He used the rewrite segment of his show on May 25th to address the hysterical reaction coming from Beck and others on the right over how Obama framed his speech about peace between Israel and Palestine.
The following piece is being republished here with permission of the author, Mark Howard. He first submitted this essay to AlterNet and has published it on his site, News Corpse, The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay where it is entitled "How Roger Ailes and Fox News Have Sabotaged the GOP." Howard is addressing an article published in New York Magazine, "The Elephant in the Green Room," which addressed Roger Ailes and the mess he has created at Fox News where he is president. This analysis supports the view previously expressed here that Beck was released early from his contract in order to insure that Fox/Glenn Beck do not get blamed for the re-election of President Obama. If you read the original piece on New York Magazine, it is not a stretch to understand that Ailes let Beck stay on for a while instead of firing him outright was due to a consideration of how the children (Beck's following) would react.
Fox is bad for journalism and Democracy. It is bad for America. But is it also bad for the GOP?
An article just published by New York Magazine is getting attention for its revelations about what Fox CEO Roger Ailes really thinks about his on-air personalities. The article titled “The Elephant in the Green Room,” began with this colorful introduction:
“The circus Roger Ailes created at Fox News made his network $900 million last year. But it may have lost him something more important: the next election.”
Amongst the insider disclosures in the NYMag article are that Ailes thinks Sarah Palin is an idiot who hasn’t helped the conservative movement. Ailes also reportedly worried that Glenn Beck had become bigger than Fox News and was uncontrollable. Both of those assessments are obviously true, but what is unsaid is even more interesting.
Roger Ailes is directly responsible for elevating Palin and Beck to their current celebrity status. He cannot absolve himself of having inflicted those pests on America without admitting how dreadfully wrong he was in the first place by promoting them. Furthermore, he cannot pretend that they are aberrations. The Fox schedule is rife with the very same pestilence (see Why Fox News After Glenn Beck Will Still Suck). It is their trademark and extends far beyond any individual personalities.
The case was made long ago that Fox News is a blight on the media map. It is bad for journalism. It is bad for Democracy. It is bad for America. A so-called “news” network that repeatedly misinforms, even deliberately disinforms, its audience is failing any test of public service embodied by an ethical press.
However, there is a case to be made that Fox News is demonstrably harmful to the Republican Party. In fact, it may be the worst thing to happen to Republicans in decades. That may seem counter-intuitive when discussing Fox News, the acknowledged public relations division of the GOP. Fox has populated its air with right-wing mouthpieces and brazenly partisan advocates for a conservative Republican agenda. They read GOP press releases on the air verbatim as if they were the product of original research. They provide a forum where Republican politicians and pundits can peddle their views unchallenged. So how is this harmful to Republicans?
If all we were witnessing was the emergence of a mainstream conservative network that aspired to advance Republican themes and policies, there would not be much of note here. Most of the conventional media was already center-right before there was a Fox News. But Fox has corralled a stable of the most disreputable, unqualified, extremist, lunatics ever assembled, and is presenting them as experts, analysts, and leaders. These third-rate icons of idiocy are marketed by Fox like any other gag gift (i.e. pet rocks, plastic vomit, Sarah Palin, etc.). So while most Americans have never heard of actual Republican party bosses like House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, posers like Joe the Plumber and Andrew Breitbart have become household names.
Crazy ideologue: notify O'Reilly!
Fox News has descended into depths heretofore reserved for fringe characters. They are openly promoting the wackos who believe that President Obama is ineligible to hold office because he isn’t a U.S. citizen. They feature commentaries by secessionists and even those calling for an overthrow of the government and the Constitution. This development was inadvertently addressed by one of Fox’s own:
“If crazy ideologues have infiltrated the news business, we need to know about it.”
~ Bill O’Reilly, 7/16/09
Well said. The Fox News audience is being dumbed down by a parade of paranoid know-nothings. This strategy appears to be successful for Fox in that it has attracted a loyal viewership that is eager to have their twisted preconceptions affirmed. The conflict-infused fare in which Fox specializes has been a ratings juggernaut – just like any good fiction. However, this perceived popularity is having an inordinate impact on the GOP platform. By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders.
That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party. Most Americans do not believe that we are on a march toward socialism, led by a Muslim alien, and bankrolled by a Jewish Nazi sympathizer. The truth is that most Americans think that the loopy yarns spun by Fox News are fables told by madmen – and believed by even madder men and women who wallow in their doomsday utopia.
Consequently, the Party of Fox News has materially damaged their political allies in the GOP. Many of the recent candidates endorsed by Fox were embarrassing losers. There was Christine O’Donnell (DE), Joe Miller (AK), Ken Buck (CO), Linda McMahon (CT), Carly Fiorina (CA), Sharron Angle (NV), and Carl Paladino (NY). In every one of those cases the Tea Party candidate ousted the more establishment Republican, and then went on to defeat. And that was during a Republican wave election cycle.
This is a textbook example of how the extreme rises to the top. It is also fundamentally contrary to the interests of the Republican Party. The more the population at large associates Republican ideology with the agenda of Fox News, and the fringe operators residing there, the more the party will be perceived as out of touch, or even out of their minds. It seems like such a waste after all of the effort and expense that Fox put into building a pseudo-journalistic enterprise with the goal of confounding viewers with false news-like theatrics.
The recent GOP presidential primary debate in South Carolina illustrated this divide between the interests of Fox News and those of the Republican Party. The only candidates they could muster were second and third tier players with little chance of getting the nomination: Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. These candidates generally pull in single digits in most polling. And of these, Cain, the pizza maven, was widely regarded as the winner by pundits and Fox focus groups.
The rest of the field has been dominated by sideshows like Palin, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump, or abstainers like Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Haley Barbour, and Mitch Daniels. This deficiency of serious contenders was lamented by Ailes in the NYMag article:
“Ailes’s candidates-in-waiting were coming up small. And, for all his programming genius, he was more interested in a real narrative than a television narrative – he wanted to elect a president. All he had to do was watch Fox’s May 5 debate in South Carolina to see what a mess the field was – a mess partly created by the loudmouths he’d given airtime to and a tea party he’d nurtured.”
Ailes has no one to blame but himself. His mission for Fox News has always been to be the voice of the opposition. Yet, despite the torrid embrace between Republicans and Fox News, it is apparent that Fox is the source of a sort of friendly fire that is decimating the GOP by exalting its most outlandish and unpopular players. The Psycho-Chicken Littles are coming home to roost.
Even if we give Ailes the benefit of a doubt, and accept that he may have had an awakening and repentance, the disparaging characterizations of Beck and Palin are going to have to be addressed. Will Palin post an angry Tweet refudiating Ailes and defending her smartness? Will Beck place Ailes’ picture on his blackboard in between Karl Marx and Frances Fox Piven? Will Ailes issue a press release disclaiming the NYMag article? If so, he will, in effect, be re-embracing the unsavory characters from whom he seems so anxious to distance himself. So far, the only response has come in the form of a statement to the New York Times from Fox News executive vice president of programming, Bill Shine:
“I know for a fact that Roger Ailes admires and respects Sarah Palin and thinks she is smart. He also believes many members of the left-wing media are extremely terrified and threatened by her. Despite a massive effort to destroy Sarah Palin, she is still on her feet and making a difference in the political world. As for the ‘Republican close to Ailes’ for which the incorrect Palin quote is attributed, when Roger figures out who that is, I guarantee you he or she will no longer be ‘close to Ailes.’”
Is there any significance to the fact that Ailes did not respond himself? He is not exactly a shrinking violet. He has made it clear in the past that he would not tolerate anyone “shooting in the tent.” Yet now he is conspicuously silent and the statement from Fox defended only Sarah Palin. Fox didn’t refute the article’s characterization of Ailes’ view of the presidential field. There was also no denial that Ailes actively recruited Christie (and perhaps others) to run for president, not exactly the role of the head of a “fair and balanced” news network. Plus, it left out Beck entirely. There is more than a hint of plausibility that Ailes has deliberately withdrawn from criticizing the article.
the lunatic the idiot
So where does this leave Fox viewers? If Palin is an idiot and Beck is a lunatic, what shall we call the folks who have idolized them for so long? By finally telling the truth about his star pundits, Ailes has insulted his gullible audience. They obediently followed Caribou Barbie and the Weeping Profit for two years only to find out that they are frauds who don’t even have the respect of their co-workers or their boss. Who will lead them now? Charlie Sheen? Victoria Jackson? I believe Harold Camping may be available. Perhaps they could just let the people decide with new episodes of Tea Party Idol or So You Think You Can Rant.
In addition: On his show at MSNBC, Ed Schultz is making an argument that supplements and complements Mark Howard's perspective above. Via Mediaite:
On Glenn Beck's website, under a story entitled "Beck event bad for US foreign policy?," was a comment from a psychiatrist, James Ketchum. Ketchem is an assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA according to his Linked-In bio. If critics of Beck believe that his followers are seriously stupid people, this exchange should disillusion those critics.
To which The Glenn Beck Review replied:
FYI: If those links are not active, the first is to The Daily Caller, the second is to a clip of video during a debate when candidate Obama was describing how he'd go after bin Laden and the third is to a post here that describes how Beck manipulates his viewers using Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
This is a link to a post here documenting the 22nd hypocrisy exhibited by Glenn Beck in the last 12 months.
This example of just one exchange on Beck's website is a case study in biased assimilation and denial. Ketchum does not seem to hear what people who are not in Beck's flock hear: lies, false claims, smears, distortions, exaggerations and reactionary spin of the facts. Ketchum, like any other supporter and fan of Glenn Beck, hears what he wants to hear. Ketchum's degree should make him less prone to demonstrate denial, but clearly he did not even consider the proof of Beck's deceptions laid out in front of him. This begs the question: if Dr. Ketchum is beyond reach, if someone as educated as he is cannot or will not face even the possibility that Beck is a liar, how can anyone hope to reach anyone in Glenn Beck's flock with the truth about Beck's deceitful and manipulative propaganda?
This exchange and Ketchum's unwillingness to even consider that Beck is fundamentally dishonest means that this Review and all of the research done at liberal media watchdog sites like News Hounds and Media Matters for America is not likely going to change many right-wing minds. This Review, therefore, is for those who have not plugged into Beck's manipulative and convincing propaganda. If you have not yet shared this blog with your friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances, then consider becoming a 21st Century Paul(ette) Revere. Warn those you know and care about that Glenn Beck is bad for America.
The following is a press release from the liberal media watchdogs that Beck tries to discredit because they receive a percentage of their funding from a billionaire that Glenn Beck hates, Media Matters for America. Beck has previously deceptively edited video in order to deceive his audience which can be seen here and here. Beck's penchant for changing reality by editing video is just one of many techniques he uses in his yellow propaganda.
Beck Uses Deceptive Editing To Claim Netanyahu Had To Rebuke Obama For Aiding "Radicals"
America's chief propagandist
Glenn Beck deceptively edited Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's comments to Congress to suggest they were a rebuke of President Obama, who purportedly "played into the hands of radicals." In fact, Netanyahu made clear that his comments were not a denunciation.
Beck Edits Netanyahu's Comments To Suggest They Were A Rebuke Of Obama
Beck: Netanyahu "Had To Say" 1967 Borders Are Indefensible Because Obama "Played Into The Hands Of Radicals." From the May 24 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: But tonight Benjamin Netanyahu, he addressed a joint session of Congress to make crystal clear where he stands. Listen.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU [video clip]: Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.
BECK: Now, because he said that -- no, I take that back. Because the President of the United States knowingly or unknowingly has played to the hands of radicals in the Middle East and here in America, he had to say that. And now the world is on a collision course. The world is very clear where Benjamin Netanyahu stands. I have told you where I stand. I stand with Israel. We know where the president stands. Soon, soon, if you don't know yet, soon you're gonna be-- You're gonna need to be crystal clear on where you stand. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/24/11]
But Netanyahu Clearly Established That His Comments Were Not A Rebuke
Netanyahu: "As President Obama Said, The Border Will Be Different" From The 1967 Lines. From Netanyahu's address to Congress:
The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and greater Tel Aviv.
Now, these areas are densely populated, but they're geographically quite small. And under any realistic peace agreement these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance, will be (ph) incorporated into the final borders of Israel.
The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations. But we must also be honest. So I'm saying today something that should be said publicly by all those who are serious about peace: In any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel's borders.
Now, the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We'll be generous about the size of the future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4th, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967. [Transcript of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Address To Congress, 5/24/11, via The Washington Post, emphasis added]
Indeed, Obama Made Clear That The Border Will Be Different From The 1967 Lines
Obama Called For "A Viable Palestine, A Secure Israel" "Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps." From Obama's May 19 speech on the Middle East and North Africa:
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -- by itself -- against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.
These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. [Remarks by Obama on the Middle East and North Africa,5/19/11]
Obama: "Mutually Agreed Swaps" Means "By Definition" The Border Will Be Different From The 1967 Lines. From Obama's remarks at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011:
There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations. Since questions have been raised, let me repeat what I actually said on Thursday -- not what I was reported to have said.
I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps -- (applause) -- so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -- by itself -- against any threat. (Applause.) Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. (Applause.) And a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign and non-militarized state. (Applause.) And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated. (Applause.)
Now, that is what I said. And it was my reference to the 1967 lines -- with mutually agreed swaps -- that received the lion's share of the attention, including just now. And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what "1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" means.
By definition, it means that the parties themselves -- Israelis and Palestinians -- will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. (Applause.) That's what mutually agreed-upon swaps means. It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. (Applause.) It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people -- (applause) -- and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people -- each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. (Applause.)
If there is a controversy, then, it's not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I've done so because we can't afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace. (Applause.) The world is moving too fast. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow. Delay will undermine Israel's security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve. [Whitehouse.gov, Remarks by the President at the AIPAC Policy Conference, 5/22/11]