Previously we warned voters about supporting the Glenn Beck allied Tea Party candidates. Since the 2010 elections, they have led the obstruction of the President's agenda: good for doing nothing, bad for solving problems and getting the economy into a stronger recovery from the Great Recession. Now, Glenn Beck is helping lead the effort to purge Republicans who do not toe the extremist, reactionary views that he and his Senate ally, Senator Cruz, pursue. Last night, MSNBC's Chris Hayes covered this effort and Beck's role in it.
Hayes makes a common MSM mistake of calling extremist reactionaries "conservative." It would advance the discourse in the United States if he and others would call the Tea Party types what they are in fact, i.e., reactionaries.
Beck, clearly, is one of those people making a living without having power. That Beck is smearing anti-tax Grover Norquist's wife is simply his modus operandi. Do not underestimate his influence though. Beck is leading the effort to divide the Republican Party and turn it into a Party for the 19th Century. Eventually the adults (moderates) in the Party will have to step in or the Republican Party is in for a long recess from national power. That, actually, is what the nation needs in order to solve the problems that are piling up.
This clip from anyone on MSNBC certainly will not convince a Republican supporting their Party's effort to block anything and everything that the President supports, but it should make it clear to voters who want government to function effectively that so long as Obama is the President, Republicans in Congress need to be pushed out of office.
This month we have had a shutdown of government by those allied with the reactionary politics of Glenn Beck. In this clip, All In's Chris Hayes interviews two mainstream Republicans to discuss the extremists who are fracturing the Republican Party. Via MSNBC:
Again, the ONLY way to get solutions to the problems this nation faces is by sending Republicans home in 2014 and having a unity government, one that a minority cannot block needed legislation, even basic legislation like funding the government. Glenn Beck's allies have got to go. Because many of them are in gerrymandered districts, voters need to send "moderate" Republicans home as well.
"...all reporters are advocates...People should be skeptical of everything they read. In fact, people should be more skeptical of reporters who claim not to be advocates, because those people are almost always lying, whether they know it or not."
Readers coming to this post to find more about the latest claim, absurd comment, lie, example of hypocrisy, blatant contradiction or baseless conspiracy theory from Glenn Beck would be best served clicking on the Right Wing Watch logo below. This post is a swansong, a farewell to a project that has taken up a lot of time and energy and must now be wrapped up. The following is a summary of over three years of learning, critically observing of and listening to Glenn Beck and his "politivangelism," to use an apt word coined by someone on the Mediaite blog to describe his style of "commentary."
Keeps a vigilant eye on Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck has many character flaws and disturbing characteristics. One that has not been covered at length here is his tendency to come up with conspiracy theories that suit his paranoid style. Previously, Mr. Beck's Crime Inc conspiracy and his Boston bombing conspiracy have been debunked in this Review. Recently, Beck has questioned why the entire media (in a conspiracy) ignores him and ironically argues that it is because they think that he is a conspiracy theorist. (Apparently whiner Glenn Beck is out of touch with conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck. More on Beck's lack of self-awareness in video below.) That could be one reason, but more likely, it is because of Beck's sleazy and deceitful propaganda against progressives and especially against President Obama.
Recently, Beck and the other two stooges on his morning (zoo) radio program did a bit about Obama (D) and Governor Christie (R) being gay in a piece entitled online "Brokeback Boardwalk: Obama and Christie Rekindle Bromance." Asserting, to the delight of many of his followers and the disgust of some, that the President and Gov. Christie are gay lovers is not the approach that any serious adult will perceive as responsible political commentary. Beck is not ignored by the media just because he's a conspiracy theorist; Beck is ignored because he's not an adult in the spectrum of media. He is not "the adult in the room" to quote an oft-used phrase.
Can't figure out why the media ignores him. REALLY?
There are many reasons that Mr. Beck should not be taken seriously by the media or anyone else for that matter. The list below contains hot links to the arguments making the claims asserted. (Some browsers make them hard to see.)
These truths about Mr. Beck are obviously not shared by his supporters. They have a whole different set of truths about him and accept as "fact" Beck's most absurd lie about his BlazeTV, i.e., its slogan: "The truth lives here." They believe that claim in part because repetition of a big lie, as Joseph Goebbels explained, "will eventually [have people] come to believe it.“
The Truths about Glenn Beck
The variety of truths, dependent in part on the range of values different people have, about Mr. Beck (or any political reality) is the one and only original idea developed in this blog. Readers seeking more information about Beck's political values, dishonesty, ignorance, background, development, methods of communication, followers and enemies would benefit from scrutinizing the Contents of this Review, available in the link at the top of every post.
Glenn Beck is a freak of media. When an athlete is considered to be a "freak of nature," that is usually a complement. Beck is unlike anyone else in the media. An entertainer pretending to be serious, a hypocrite with an agenda accusing those in the mainstream media of having an agenda, a reactionary propagandist who rails against propaganda...the list goes on and on. A perfect example of Beck's ironic and complete lack of self-awareness is conveyed in the following clip when he simultaneously explains why 9/11 conspiracy theorists are fools and why freaks of deceptive media should be ignored.
Via Right Wing Watch from January of this year, listen to this:
Astonishing. "If I'm Satan...." Well, Mr. Beck, that shoe fits.
There has been a conscious and purposeful effort to include criticisms of Mr. Beck on this Review by many other people, both from the left and the right. This has been done to convey that the criticisms made against this freak of media are not some personal vendetta against him. Beck needed and still needs to be exposed for what he is. Luckily, Mr. Beck has been marginalized ... for now. He is, however, trying to make a comeback and get his BlazeTV on cable and satellite providers; and he's been successful to an extent. This blogger is done with Mr. Beck, but Beck is not done with his often childish and always deceitful campaign of extremist, reactionary propaganda against progressives and progressivism. Beck will someday die plotting his next project to inspire and motivate people to embrace a version of the past that never was.
People on the right, i.e., conservatives and reactionaries, are more critical and more aware of lies, hypocrisies, bias and agendas coming from those on the left and in the media in general. People on the left, i.e., liberals, progressives and radicals, are more critical of lies and hidden or explicit agendas from those on the right and in the media in general. No one is purely objective because everyone involved in the media and politics have values, and these values contribute to decisions about what to report and how to report it. That is why a right-wing media and echo chamber has developed in the U.S. The left has their own media and echo chamber although it tends to be more diverse in its values and biases. This makes it very difficult for people, especially busy people, to dig down and get to the truth of the matter.
Watch both Sheppard Smith and Chris Hayes to get at the truth
Two hours of time devoted to understanding the truth about the day's news, political issues and "scandals" is too much for most people to spend, but the balance is necessary if truth is desired and not just "information" that people want to believe. Watching Fox Report with host Shepard Smith at 7 p.m. EST and then All In with Chris Hayes at 8 p.m. EST on MSNBC would offer truth seekers a balanced understand of the days' news. Alternatively, watching the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and then On the Record with Greta Van Susteren at 10 p.m. EST on Fox can provide balance lacking from watching just the left-wing, mainstream or right-wing media. Unfortunately, that will not happen as most people on the left and the right want their beliefs reinforced by the media they consume and most everyone else is too busy to spend that much time getting the truth about a current event, scandal or policy proposal. It would, however, make a good project for a current events class in high schools.
Farewell Mr. Beck
Life is too short to remain focused on one freak of media for too long. Wrapping this up by conveying why Beck should be ignored by the media and anyone interested in the truth is as good of time as any other since Beck departed ways with Fox News. It is time to move forward to more important issues, more important causes than exposing one media personality for what he is. Writing this Review has been fun, exasperating, frustrating and enlightening. For that, a debt of gratitude is owed to Mr. Beck. For the damage he has wrecked on political discourse and the true believers, Glenn Beck is owed a debt of opprobrium from the media, from his critics and from anyone who values truth over sleazy, deceitful propaganda. That would include his own fans if they would spend more time checking his "facts."
There have been many collaborators with this Review over the last three years. Some used anonymous names to protect themselves from Mr. Beck's followers; others did not. A warm word of thanks goes out to Roger Fallihee, Jonathan Schell, Tim Wise, Leslie Savan, Mark Howard, Karl Rogers, author of Debunking Glenn Beck, Alex Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, Lisa Houserman, Paul Westlake, Karl Frisch, "William Holden," Dr. Cynthia Boaz, "Sarah Jones," Elaine, "Anton," Angelo Carusone of StopBeck.com, Media Matters for America and Right-Wing Watch. Media figures (Cenk Uygur, Chris Hayes, Alex Jones, Lawrence O'Donnell, John Stewart, Steven Colbert, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow and others) either quoted in these posts or used in video clips to assist in the many criticisms of Glenn Beck are greatly appreciated. The many bloggers across the Internet, who have added The Glenn Beck Review to their blogrolls, are also given a huge thank you.
Last week, President Obama gave a speech on terrorism, the drone attacks and Gitmo, the prison in Cuba where suspected terrorists and around 80 individuals cleared of any wrong-doing are being held. The entire speech is embedded below, but the focus of this speech is the intentional killing an American suspected of terrorist activities, Anwar al Awlaki. Previously, the Review has called for the President's impeachment for this extra-judicial assassination of an American citizen. Glenn Beck? He celebrated when al Awlaki was killed after first pointing out how unconstitutional it would be to kill an American citizen without due process. No one will ever accuse Mr. Beck of consistency regarding principles.
Listen to the Presidents words. Via the White House website:
The relevant passage is as follows:
But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team
That’s who Anwar Awlaki was – he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab – the Christmas Day bomber – went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, and helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack. His last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki.
“I was pleased with his words. However, there still is a question in my mind, of what he thinks due process is. Due process to most of us is a court of law, it’s a trial by jury, and right now their process is him looking at some flashcards, and a Power Point presentation on Terror Tuesdays in the White House. For a lot of us, that’s not really due process.”
Impeachment was ingrained into the Constitution to hold presidents accountable to the rule of law, and in this instance, President Obama clearly violated the 5th and 14th Amendments.
Credit for Obama/drone pic: AP/Isaac Brekken/Lt. Col.. Leslie Pratt
President Obama had suspected terrorist al Awlaki, an American citizen, killed
Consider the assertions Obama made as if they had been proven in court:
“Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP”
There is no such title in al Quada in the Arabia Peninsula. The false claim was apparently used to comport with Attorney General standard in the OLC memo for targeted killing. It must be a senior leader who is targeted.
“That’s who Anwar Awlaki was – he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009.”
This is an allegation that was supposedly provided by the Christmas day underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Again, no proof was offered and no due process was undertaken outside of the "Power Point presentation...in the White House" as Senator Paul framed it.
“I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t.”
The U.S. didn't try to capture al Awlaki. It is possible to mount warheads in the hellfire missiles used to kill al Awlaki with knock-out gas. That would give time for an assault team to fly in and scoop al Awlaki up for a trail. Apparently, no one in the CIA or Pentagon has considered this. Furthermore, why was there never an indictment created against al Awaki? DSWright on the Firedog Lake blog conveys the problem with this claim by the President:
Perhaps if he were formally charged, as an American citizen should be, he may have decided to engage the legal system and we would have an actual factual basis to go on rather than unsubstantiated assertions by Obama. None of that happened. Instead an American citizen was killed by the word of one unaccountable man, President Obama.
Senator Rand Paul is not yet saying it (yet); DSWright did not write it. President Obama should be impeached. Let him stand before the jury of his peers, the U.S. Senate, and make his case for trashing the Constitution this way. It's not hard to imagine that liberals and progressives would be calling for President McCain's impeachment if he had won the election in 2008 and ordered al Awlaki assassinated in this extra-judicial manner. The silence heard on the left is the sound of hypocrisy.
Impeachment happy Glenn Beck, the "values and principles guy," is still focused on the "scandals" de jure as framed by the right: Benghazi, the IRS "targeting" of right-wing groups for extra scrutiny, the AP/Fox "journalist" subpoenas for phone records and the "lies" Obama is supposedly telling about them. Liar Beck making accusations at Obama for lying? That, too, is hypocrisy. Beck ignoring this major speech in his newsletters? That is just surprising.
Update, 5/06/13: On The Cycle today, Jeremy Scahill, creator of the documentary "Dirty Wars," was a guest talking about the killing of Anwar al Awlaki without due process. Listen to him not call for the impeachment of Obama on the all-Obama network, MSNBC, although he certainly could have mentioned it.
Via MSNBC, the relevant dialog begins at the 3:00 minute mark.
Update, 9/07/2013: Listen to this interview with Professor Francis Boyle who lists the killing of Americans in his articles of impeachment against President Obama. Via Next News Network:
Update, 7/24/2014: The "White Paper," authored by David Barron, which provided the legal reasoning for the killing of al-Alwaki, was released in June of this year. Today, The American Conservative published an article entitled "Drones Against the Fifth Amendment" which also makes the case for impeachment of the President. Author Peter Van Buren writes:
You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to
the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person
shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of
law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American
citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act
it is prepared to repeat as
necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified?
Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly
redacted—about one-third of
the text is missing—Justice Department white paper providing the basis
for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in
Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and
Unfortunately, there are too many Democrats who put partisan loyalty above the Constitution, and too many Republicans who fear appearing soft on terrorism, regardless of the constitutional consequences. For more on the rationale offered by Barron, read a related article at Fire Dog Lake.
Update, 12/27/2014: Op-Ed News has been running articles critical of the President, but an originally published Daily Kos article makes a strong case for the impeachment of Presidents Bush and Obama. See "A Decent Nation Would Have Impeached Bush and Obama." The Daily Kos is usually extremely supportive of President Obama. More on the left are waking up and leaving hypocrisy in the real view mirror.
Glenn Beck, meanwhile, wants Obama impeached because...well, just because. Glenn Beck has come up with a novel reason to impeach a president. Via the RWW Facebook feed:
He wants to stain a president's record. Creative fool. Beck's flip flop on the assassination of al-Awlaki demonstrates one of the three main criticisms rendered repeatedly on this Review. He doesn't seem sincere; it's all a performance, a show to keep his listeners frightened and angry. He's a fraud, a charlatan, a front-man for the Koch brothers and other far-right members of the 0.01%.
Beck, like virtually everymember of the House of Representatives, does not give the principle behind the Fifth Amendment the seriousness it deserves. From the Daily Kos piece:
Obama and approximately a hundred members of his national security team
gather for their "Terror Tuesday" meetings in which they hand pick the
next so-called national security "threat" to die by way of the American
military/CIA drone program. Obama signs off personally on about a third
of the drone strikes: all of the ones in Yemen and Somalia, and the
risky ones in Pakistan. ... These "Terror Tuesday" sessions run counter
to every constitutional and moral principle that has guided America
since its inception. It's not only suspected terrorists whose death
warrants are being personally signed by the president but innocent
civilians geographically situated near a strike zone, as well, whether
or not they have any ties to a suspected terrorist. As an anonymous
government official on Obama's drone campaign observed, "They count the
corpses and they're not really sure who they are." Indeed, Obama's first
authorized drone attack in Yemen led to the deaths of 14 women and 21
children, and only one al Qaeda affiliate....Should
we fail to recognize and rectify the danger in allowing a single
individual to declare himself the exception to the rule of law and
assume the role of judge, jury, and executioner, we will have no one
else to blame when we plunge once and for all into the abyss thatis
Beck has an "excuse;" he's an Islamophobe, or he pretends to be, and al-Awlaki was Muslim. Members of Congress apparently agree for one reason or another that our post-Constitutional "empire" should not be challenged with the instrument of impeachment the Framers made available in the Constitution. This tyranny, along with the NSA intrusion of American privacy, the legal attacks on whistle blowers, the neo-feudal world order and a variety of anti-democratic Supreme Court decisions will require another American revolution to restore the democratic, constitutional Republic that's been lost.
Update 1/18/15: In a piece republished on Reader Supported News, The Intercept journalist, Jeremy Scahill, reported:
The U.S. government continues to maintain that Awlaki personally
directed the Christmas Day bomb plot. Its source for that is an alleged
confession given to investigators by Abdulmutallab immediately after he
was apprehended. But that confession has serious problems. Marcy Wheeler,
an independent journalist who has scrutinized this case more
extensively than any other journalist, has written several analyses of
this case. “Abdulmutallab gave 3 ‘confessions,’” Wheeler told me. “The
first on December 25, 2009, after he was captured. In that he attributed
all his direction to ‘Abu Tarak,’ which [the] DOJ would later claim was
just a pseudonym for Awlaki, which is impossible.” In Yemen, I asked
many sources close to Awlaki if they had ever heard this nickname used
or given to Awlaki. None had.
Clearly, Awlaki had joined AQAP; but the case against him, a case that never included an indictment, hearing or trial, is not cut and dry. In our post-constitutional, corporate-state, we have to just take the President's word for it. That's not what the Framers had in mind when they crafted the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
In comments around the Internet, this blogger, commenting as Gadamer_Too, is sometimes called by Glenn Beck's followers a "propagandist." Coming from followers of a blatant propagandist, that's rich. There is a difference between harsh, biting criticism of a propagandist like Glenn Beck or of a politician and counterpropaganda. That difference is factual accuracy. Are criticisms accurate or are they made up, distortions or exaggerations? Propaganda is "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person." This Review has used a rumor once to explain why Beck might have told Senator Santorum that he wanted to "kiss you in the mouth," and that was, in hindsight, regrettable. Beck uses misinformation, historical revisionism, false claims and outright lies to injure the President specifically and progressives and their political philosophy in general. Propaganda expert and author of Debunking Glenn Beck points out that Karl wrote: "Criticism encourages critical thought and reflection, and further questions; counterpropaganda opposes propaganda either by exposing it as propaganda or promoting its opposite. The former encourages learning and rational thought; the latter reinforces prejudices and irrational reactions."
To demonstrate the difference between biting criticism and counterpropaganda, two videos by two different people will be embedded below and contrasted. The first comes from "Anton," who wrote and performed an original song to, hopefully, make people think more critically about Beck's methods and goals. From "cobblewrite" on YouTube is this clever song entitled "Think:"
One criticism that could be made against Anton's lyrics have to do with the FEMA camps. Beck did, eventually, debunk that conspiracy. Beck also doesn't discuss his "magic underwear," and that is a cheap shot at his Mormon faith. Other than those minor points, this is an accurate and biting criticism of Beck and his paranoid style. The "character" railing against Beck at the end is an impression of Alex Jones, another far-right crank who rails against Mr. Beck.
In contrast, "Glenn Beck, Conspiracy Nut!!" is packed with misinformation about Beck. See if you can catch the factual errors as you listen to this from SantiagoJJJr on YouTube:
First, although Beck mockingly refers to himself as "crazy," that is an inaccurate assessment. Next, revolution in America scares the hell out of Beck; it's the last thing he would promote. The Tea Party wants to rule the U.S., and the U.S. rules the world.
Beck is not a shill for the GOP; Beck "hates" the Republican Party...until election time. Beck is a shill for corporations. Beck does not want to get people to blow stuff up or create another OK City. That is just a smear on Mr. Beck. The part about sending Beck your money is pretty accurate. Beck is a racist and a hate-filled host. Beck is not "openly trying to get people to be violent." Beck, a stochastic terrorist, is more subtle than that. The line, "you're going to have to shoot them in the head" is taken out of context. Beck was actually addressing what people in the Obama administration would have to do when "radicals" in Obama's White House attempted their "revolution." The full quote is as follows:
The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing -- change the pose. You will get the ends.
You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.
They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them -- they're revolutionaries.
Beck does not belong in an institution unless it's an institution for the performing arts. Beck's value is "for entertainment purposes only." Pathetically, his followers take him and his nonsense seriously. No argument, no matter how clear and unambiguous can get it through his fan's head that, for example, (<===link to Facebook page) Beck is a liar. They have been programmed through repetition to believe that at Beck's BlazeTV: "The truth lives here." Nothing is further from the truth.