Monday, October 31, 2011

Beck Unwittingly Admits Past Lie

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The following piece is republished here with permission of the author, Roger Fallihee who has extensively researched Glenn Beck's past. This was published October 27th under the title "Glenn Beck Reveals Past Lies on 'The Today Show.' "

Glenn Beck Reveals Past Lies on "The Today Show"

Lied about his mother's death

Glenn Beck, the former FOX TV host, appeared on the October 26, 2011 broadcast of NBC's Today Show to plug his new book titled "The Snow Angel."
During the emotional interview with Today host Kathy Lee Gifford, Beck, without realizing it, revealed that he lied about the circumstances of his mother's drowning, in a 2003 interview with the Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette.
The Tacoma Police and the Coast Guard concluded at the time that her death was an accidental drowning.  On hundreds of occasions Beck has repeated his version of the story that Mary Beck was an alcoholic who took her own life when he was 13 years old.(1)
In the Journal Gazette interview reporter Rick Farrant wrote:

But the same year he started in radio, his alcoholic mother, Mary, left a suicide note by the family's crock pot and drowned herself in a bay near Tacoma.

When I contacted Farrant about his source on the suicide note he told me:

“Well, the interview was obviously some time ago, but I am 99.99999 percent sure he told me that information. I don't recall looking up any information regarding those events. Too bad I didn't say "he said." but I think you're safe to say he told me the information.”

“Had I acquired the information by some other means, I would have attributed it to the source, especially since it is so sensitive. Then I would have asked Glenn about it. Another piece of supporting evidence: Glenn told me he read the article and liked it. He did not dispute a single thing in the article.”
This was the first and possibly only time that Beck mentioned the presence of a suicide note. In future interviews, until today, Beck has insisted that Mary Beck’s death was a suicide even though he's only offered vague and convoluted details.
Flash forward to today on Today.
Beck: We never even talked about my mother’s suicide. She died when I was in my teens.

Gifford: She drowned. Was it a suicide?

Beck: I saw a big expose a couple of years ago on this… people actually almost dug my mother up. The jury’s still out. You don’t know—

Gifford: Still a mystery?

Beck: I think we all avoided it because when you live in an alcoholic family or an abusive family you tiptoe and you don’t want to step on any mines.
The jury’s still out? Glenn Beck is now not sure what happened to his mother?
What about the suicide note next to the Crock Pot? A handwritten suicide note is prima facie evidence and it’s also not an insignificant bit of information that would slip Glenn Beck's mind.
Beck didn’t forget to mention the suicide note. He forgot that he lied about the very existence of a suicide note.
After all these years of accusing his devout Catholic mother of committing the ultimate sin of taking her own life, Beck today tacitly admitted that it was maybe all a lie.
Better late than never.

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

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1)  This is confirmed in a Salon piece by Alex Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Herman Cain is every bit as extremist as Glenn Beck

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Previously on the Review, a thorough analysis of Governor Perry was offered because he embraced Glenn Beck and joined him on his show twice. Another candidate for President, Herman Cain, also visited Beck on his show. Below are two segments from The Last Word where Lawrence O'Donnell analyzes Cain's 9-9-9 proposal.

Listen to O'Donnell dissect Cain's plans. Via MSNBC:

Far more than even Gov. Perry, it's obvious why Herman Cain came onto Beck's show. He was not just pandering to Beck's extremely reactionary audience, as O'Donnell made clear, Cain is every bit as reactionary as Glenn Beck and his gullible followers. That explains why Cain joined Beck on stage at one of his "Restoring Courage" rallies in Israel last summer.

Update, 10/14/2011: O'Donnell followed up with his commentary and analysis of Cain's plan. Via MSNBC:

This will continue to be updated as Lawrence continues to deconstruct and analyze the reactionary, anti-social welfare plan of Herman Cain. For more on how Cain's plan would affect working class people, see "Herman Cain's Plan to Double Your Taxes."

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beck attacks the Occupy Movement with fear-mongering

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Not surprisingly, Glenn Beck is attacking the Occupy Wall Street movement with crude fear-mongering. Beck makes bizarre claims about the protesters, and his critics fired back.

Occupy Wall Street             The Tea Party

First, listen to Beck via Media Matters for America:

Is it not strange that any credible source would tell Beck about this imminent revolution instead of contacting the FBI? One can only guess what sources Beck considers "credible."

It gets even better, or worse, depending upon one's bias. Beck jacks up the fear-mongering about this movement. Again via Media Matters:

Jason Easley from PoliticusUSA wrote this about Beck's remarks:
Beck’s lies are the sort of fear based rhetoric that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are going to be up against. People like Glenn Beck can’t defend and argue for the support of system that benefits people like himself at the expense of everyone else, so they have to fear monger and claim that there is something dangerous about battling corruption and inequality.

Beck’s logic is that not allowing the super-rich and powerful to exploit our system is bad for America. Much like the GOP’s (Grand Old Party) job creators argument, Beck is claiming that America benefits from the greed and corruption of the bankers and Wall Street. He seems to be saying that when the banks and Wall Street win, America wins, but this isn’t true.
The truth is that when the banks and Wall Street win, the same people that Beck is trying to scare with his radio show lose. Millions aren’t going to die if the banks and Wall Street are properly regulated. The people who are protesting at Occupy Wall Street aren’t trying to destroy America. They are trying to save it. Glenn Beck has a personal financial interest in making sure that the protests fail.
The weeks of protests have revealed that the Occupy Wall Street movement is the exact opposite of what Glenn Beck claimed. These people aren’t violent. They have no desire to inflict violence on anyone. They have been the victims of violence at the hands of some overzealous members of the NYPD, but the goal of Occupy Wall Street is not to cause or inflict violence.
On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Beck made the Worst Person of the day with his absurd fear-mongering about this movement and the protesters. Olbermann accurately summed up Beck with a single word. Via Current TV:
This time Olbermann is spot on: Glenn Beck is an "asshole." If a single, succinct sentence could summarize this entire blog, this 18 months worth of effort, that would be it. This movement, this American Autumn led by no one (so far) but supported by millions may end up increasing Glenn Beck's income tax a few percentage points if it is successful. That is all Beck really needs to fear about this movement because he is one of the 1%.
For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Without Beck, Fox is now more "moderate" but not much more honest

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After Glenn Beck announced that he was leaving Fox before the completion of his contract, it was speculated here that Roger Ailes pushed him off from the airwaves before he could damage the Republican chances of winning the White House by supporting some far right candidate such as Michele Bachmann. A recent article about Ailes by Howard Kurtz on The Daily Beast supports that perspective.  This piece was discussed on Countdown by Keith Olbermann and Markos Moulitsis, founder of the Daily Kos blog. Via Current TV:

From The Daily Beast piece written by Kurtz was this:

He calls it a “course correction,” quietly adopted at Fox over the last year. Glenn Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric—his ranting about Obama being a racist—“became a bit of a branding issue for us” before the hot-button host left in July, Ailes says...Privately, Fox executives say the entire network took a hard right turn after Obama’s election, but, as the Tea Party’s popularity fades, is edging back toward the mainstream.
It's worth reading that whole piece that Olbermann and Moulitis are discussing. It is puzzling to see that it was penned by someone deemed to be a "media critic." For example, the piece ends, " In some ways, Fox is still Fox;" but he does not spell out exactly what that means. Fox may be more "moderate" now that Beck is off their channel, but it is still deceitful. It is still propaganda for conservatives and (perhaps slightly less now) reactionaries in the Tea Party portion of the Republican Party.

Headshot of Howard Kurtz

Roger Ailes photographed at the Fox News Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2011., Jake Chessum for Newsweek


If you have ever wondered how Fox gets away with deceiving their viewers with misinformation and false claims, it is explained in one of the essays comprising Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" -- and How You Can Fight Back, published on TruthoutThom Hartmann addresses Fox "News" '  "right" to lie to their viewing audience.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beck embraces assassination of American abroad

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On the day that the Shirley Sherrod story broke in 2010, Glenn Beck completely ignored it during his show on Fox and led with seven month old "news" that the Obama Administration had put an American citizen suspected of involvement with al Qaeda on a hit list. Appropriately, Beck railed against such an un-Constitutional strategy, but after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed last Friday, Beck sidekick, Pat Gray, sought to give partial credit for this killing to George Bush and neither he nor Beck uttered nary a word of dissent.

not principled

From Beck's website, he said on the radio Friday:

Do you remember the underwear bomber? He was so good. Sometimes I wear my underwear bomb just on Friday nights, just to be crazy. Anyway, remember the underwear bomber, the Fort Hood shooting, the inspiration behind these terrorist attacks is dead. Dingdong, the witch is dead. Anwar al-Awlaki is dead.
There is no dissent on Beck's part, no principled stand that he took back in 2010. This embrace of the un-Constitutional assassination of an American without due process by Beck is just one more on the long list of hypocrisies that he has demonstrated during the last 18 months of this Review. Beck is great at telling his audience what they want to hear, but a "principles and values guy" he is not, despite his claim to that!

Anwar al-Awlaki
 U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed in Yemen.
 (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group, File)

One of the other two stooges on Beck's morning show, Pat Gray, sought to give President George Bush partial credit for this assassination:

What’s going to drive me crazy about this is the Obama administration and their surrogates claiming credit for it like this is the greatest thing they’ve ever done and, you know, they’re fantastic, they’re tough on terror. They inherited this effort from the Bush administration. They inherited the intelligence, the resources, the military, the people.
That man is an idiot! To his credit, George Bush never crossed this Constitutional line; and, if he had, many of the same progressives supporting this assassination of al-Awlaki would have been screaming bloody murder. Progressive blogger and Constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald addressed this killing in a piece on

From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture.  It not only finds ways to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process).  It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.
If Beck were the "principles and values guy" that he touts himself as, he would not have fallen into that authoritarian trap.

Update, 10/04/2011: On his new show, Up with Christopher Hayes, they had a round table discussion about this killing of an American suspected of involvement with al Queda on the Arabian Peninsula. Hayes was joined by Vince Warren, an attorney who represented Al-Awlaki's father in court, and he had a principled position about this as did conservative Micheal Dougherty. Via Mediaite:

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