Glenn Beck defends McCarthy's legacy with show devoted to red-baiting

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Glenn Beck -- who has said that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was "absolutely right" -- devoted his Fox News show to purportedly helping his viewers decide "was McCarthy right." During the show, Beck renewed his extended campaign of red-baiting President Obama, his family, and progressives, at one point opining on the effectiveness of duck-and-cover drills in raising awareness of the dangers of communism.

Glenn Beck has, here on his blackboard, a list ...

Beck unveils his timeline of communism in America. On his show, Beck displayed a timeline on a series of chalkboards:

Beck promotes telegram McCarthy wrote to President Truman promising "the names of 57 communists." During the show, Beck displayed and read aloud part of a telegram McCarthy sent to Truman:

BECK: What do they say about McCarthy? Oh, he's conducting witch hunts, smearing innocent victims, spreading hysteria. On February 11, 1950, McCarthy wrote this telegram to the president, President Truman, in which he explained, "I have in my possession the names of 57 communists who are in the State Department at present." [Glenn Beck, 6/24/10]

Beck asks, "Was McCarthy right?" before red-baiting Obama's family and "all of the people who are ruling now." On the June 4 edition of his radio program, Beck said that McCarthy "may have used bad tactics ... but he was absolutely right." During his Fox News show, Beck said, "You have the discrediting of Joseph McCarthy. The question is, was Joseph McCarthy right? Was he right? You'll probably begin to decide that by the end of the war. Here you have -- or the end of the show." He continued:

Here you have the Vietnam era now. You have Obama's parents meeting. Now, remember: He was a communist; she was a communist. She went to the little red school, the little red schoolhouse. Her parents went to the little red church. But remember the time period that we're talking about. We're talking at the height of the Cold War. That's when William Ayers is into Marxism. That's when all of the people who are ruling now were into Marxism. Marxism wasn't cool then.

Beck and guest agree: McCarthy "was telling the truth." During the show, Beck and Human Events contributing editor M. Stanton Evans, author of Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, attempted to rehabilitate McCarthy's legacy:

BECK: Tell me -- America, this is such an important turning point. Tell me -- when you went to go look for the documents on Joseph McCarthy, what did you find or not find?

EVANS: I found a lot of stuff missing, a lot of stuff had been censored, a lot of stuff that was in the records in one place but blacked out in another place. Mostly what I found was that the FBI files, which backed up what McCarthy was saying, had been withheld for 50 years. And we now have them, or many of them, and they show essentially that he was right in general. There was a massive penetration of the government, and that it was covered up, and that he threatened that cover-up. And that's why he was isolated, demonized, and destroyed. That's the technique.

[...]

BECK: And McCarthy was -- I mean, he was just an imperfect vessel or was he not? Was he clean? Was he just completely --

EVANS: He was imperfect as we all are.

BECK: Yeah, yeah.

EVANS: He made his mistakes, but he was telling the truth.

BECK: OK.

EVANS: And the truth was huge. It was so huge -- [unintelligible] the Big Lie, Hitler and so forth -- there's also a big truth, a truth so big that people can't believe it.

BECK: Right.

EVANS: And that's kind of what you're saying.

BECK: That's why I didn't want to read this. Because it changes your focus. And nobody wants to -- I mean, gosh, nobody wants to believe that there were people in our government that were bad. You can believe individuals, but you can't believe this mass, kind of -- this cover-up.

EVANS: There were hundreds. There were hundreds of them. [Glenn Beck, 6/24/10]

Beck grows nostalgic for duck-and-cover drills, links "evil[s]" of communism to progressives

Beck would have "mocked people" for red-baiting before, but now opines on the utility of "duck and cover." During his show, Beck claimed that "three years ago," he would have "made fun of people like" himself for devoting a show to the threat of communism. He went on to say, "We have children growing up now that don't even -- they don't even know what communism is. They didn't have to do what we did as kids. They didn't have to go through the emergency attack drills at school where we were like, 'What? OK, a nuclear bomb's going to go off and what, I'm going to get under my desk? For what?' They didn't have to go through duck and cover."

Beck says progressives "mutate" "evil" communism so that it "goes undercover." During his show, Beck again attempted to link progressives to communism, saying:

BECK: Today, communism has a happy face. It's a fashion statement. Call somebody a communist, and it's a joke. But as you've seen tonight from Hollywood, to class, to the Oval Office, Marxism is alive and well. It is thriving here in the United States. You might know what it is, but our children do not. We just think that somehow or another they know, but they do not. And they are not being taught the evil of communism and socialism. Progressives do know what it means, and they can mutate it. It always mutates. It goes undercover. [Glenn Beck, [6/24/10]

Beck has previously linked communist atrocities to progressives. As Media Matters documented, Beck previously attempted to link progressives to atrocities committed by communist dictators in his documentary special titled "Revolutionary Holocaust," following a long campaign of portraying progressives as prone to violence.

Beck has repeatedly accused Obama administration officials of being communists or similar to communists

Beck has portrayed current and former Obama administration officials as communists, Maoists, Marxists, and socialists. Media Matters has documented Beck's extended campaign of red-baiting Obama and current and former administration officials. Beck has falsely claimed that former White House communications director Anita Dunn "worships" "her hero" Mao Zedong; attacked "manufacturing czar" Ron Bloom for citing Mao in a speech, despite the fact that many conservatives have done the same; repeatedly called Obama a socialist and a Marxist and suggested he's a communist; and repeatedly smeared former White House adviser Van Jones as a communist, ignoring the fact that Van Jones has said he's not a communist.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Glenn Beck
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Glenn Beck show
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