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Todd Gregory

Author ››› Todd Gregory
  • Embarrassing: Beck Says The Alamo Was About "Mexican Independence"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Glenn Beck was upset tonight about teachers in Texas having to teach the Battle of the Alamo with a "neutral perspective." Or, he was upset about them having to do so back in 2002, anyway.

    Before he started reading from a 9-year-old Christian Science Monitor article that formed the basis of his segment, Beck demanded, "Well, let's make sure we get it right. They were only fighting for Mexican independence. Uh, that's the truth, but apparently, that's not good enough."

    BECK: Were you aware -- "Remember the Alamo"? When they teach "Remember the Alamo" to students in Texas, teachers now have to be careful how they teach it, because it has to be taught with a neutral perspective. In Texas classrooms? "Remember the Alamo"?

    Well, let's make sure we get it right. They were only fighting for Mexican independence. Uh, that's the truth, but apparently, that's not good enough.

    If you're like me, when you first heard this, you wouldn't believe it. But let me show you an article from 2002 about how Texas schoolteachers feeling more pressure to, quote, "bring more perspective into state history."

    As you probably know, the Battle of the Alamo was about Texan independence.

  • Attention, Beck: Want Your Egypt Theory Taken Seriously? Prove It

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Hey, Glenn.

    We noticed you admiring our work last night -- thanks. We put a lot of time into understanding just what it is you're saying, and it's hard sometimes, so your approval means a lot to us.

    We also noticed that you've been a bit touchy lately about commentators on the left and the right dismissing what you've said about the uprising in Egypt.

    We understand. As you pointed out on your show last night, you bear a heavy burden:

    BECK: When people come at us, it's just because they're behind the curvature of the earth, and they can't see, because they can't think the way radicals do. I don't know why I can, but I can. I can see -- I can predict their moves. But I've not seen such an unbelievable effort to discredit me and this show like it is right now. And it's all on the conspiracy theory.

    So, I wanted to take a moment -- because, really, they're either right, or I'm right. And if they're right, you shouldn't watch this show. And I'm telling you that. You shouldn't watch this show if they're right. If they're right that this is just all pulled-out-of-the-air, crazy stuff, you shouldn't watch this show.

    Well, those of us who are behind the curvature of the earth and can't think the way radicals do need some help. Specifically, we'd like evidence to support what you said about what's happening in Egypt early last week.

    Here's a refresher. You had this exchange with Bill O'Reilly on his show on January 31:

    O'REILLY: You've proving my point, OK? We tried to stay out of World War II. All right? The majority of Americans didn't want to get involved with Hitler. All right? And it was a disaster.

    BECK: I understand that, but what you're not taking into account is that that is what the average person thinks, just like the average person on the street of Cairo thinks they're swept up in some freedom movement. It is not about freedom. It is being orchestrated by the Marxist communists and primarily also the Muslim Brotherhood. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/31/11, via Nexis]

    That's what we'd like proof of.

    That Marxist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood are orchestrating what's happening in the streets of Cairo.

    Not your other theory, the one you introduced on Thursday, after Daily Beast contributor Michelle Goldberg said on Fox & Friends that you'd been peddling "lunatic theories" about what was happening in Egypt.

  • Dick Morris: Mubarak, Obama Should Be "Aggressively Confronting" Egyptian Protesters

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Dick Morris said a very strange thing on The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday:

    MORRIS: I think that what Mubarak should be doing and what the Obama administration should be doing is aggressively confronting the demonstrators. I think that if we encourage the military to stand down, if we encourage the Mubarak supporters to refrain from controversy or even from violence, we really are opening the door to Islamic fundamentalist domination.

    So, Morris thinks that if we "encourage the Mubarak supporters" to refrain "from violence," we are "opening the door to Islamic fundamentalist domination." And in fact, Mubarak and the U.S. should be "aggressively confronting" the anti-Mubarak protesters.

    Is Morris suggesting that violence should be used to stop the anti-Mubarak protesters (which is what now seems to be happening)? We'll let you decide.

    Morris' subsequent comments didn't do much to clarify: "If Obama's so concerned about this," Morris said, "where was he when they were doing the same stuff in Iran? In Iran, he didn't lift a finger, and there were these massive street demonstrations. What, does he only oppose America's allies and not our enemies?"

  • Beck's Egypt Narrative Riddled With Contradictions And Imagined Connections

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY & SEAN EASTER

    Tuesday's episode of Glenn Beck built on Beck's theory that the protests in Egypt are being "orchestrated by the Marxist communists" and the Muslim Brotherhood. It veered into the territory of New World Order conspiracy theories and stopped along the way to take a nonsensical swipe at President Obama, but as usual, his story rested on a series of contradictions and poorly supported accusations.

    For instance, Beck claimed that connections exist between the Muslim Brotherhood and over two dozen Muslim organizations in the United States, calling them "organizations and friends" of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Beck did not, however, draw any explicit connections between these groups and the Muslim Brotherhood or offer any reason to believe they support it.

    Beck's list mimics one found on DiscoverTheNetworks, a dubious source Beck has plugged in the past. DiscoverTheNetwork's case for connecting these groups relied on a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document. DiscoverTheNetworks says that the document "listed some 29 likeminded 'organizations of our friends' seeking to realize the same goal."

    To suggest that these groups are allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, absent any evidence of their own opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood, solely because one 20-year-old document described them as "likeminded" is the weakest sort of evidence for such a charge.

  • In Egypt Protests, Beck Sees ... A New Islamic Caliphate And Communist Revolution?

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY & SEAN EASTER

    On his Fox News show on Monday, Glenn Beck unleashed a torrent of wild speculation about the consequences of the protests in Egypt. Beck described a world remade by a shift in global power:

    BECK: I believe that I can make a case in the end that there are three powers that you will see really emerge. One, a Muslim caliphate that controls the Mideast and parts of Europe. Two, China, that will control Asia, the southern half of Africa, part of the Middle East, Australia, maybe New Zealand, and God only knows what else. And Russia, which will control all of the old former Soviet Union bloc, plus maybe the Netherlands. I'm not really sure. But their strong arm is coming. That leaves us and South America. What happens to us?

    That's right: China may control New Zealand, and Russia may control the Netherlands.

    Later, Beck proceeded under the assumption that there are connections between recent protests in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Beck designated these countries -- which included France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy, among others -- as being "on fire." Pretty much every country that has seen a protest of any kind in the past couple of years, in fact.

    While jabbing at Egypt on a map of Africa, Beck said, "When you take the Marxists and you combine them with the radical from Islam, when you combine those forces, which is exactly -- we'll show you this week -- what is happening here, the whole world starts to implode."

    He also suggested that the Tunisian revolution could prove analogous to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the event that began the first world war.

    All of this was offered up in service of his theory that the protests in Egypt are the manifestation of The Coming Insurrection, an obscure book that French police believe was written by a member of a small group of anarchists. Beck has repeatedly described the anonymous author (or authors) of the book as "communists." He's tied George Soros and President Obama to The Coming Insurrection, as well.

    So, a diverse group of the Egyptian people are in the streets protesting an autocratic leader, and Glenn Beck has decided that this is directly connected to an anonymously written anarchist tract from France that he's been obsessing about for the past two years?

    Normally, we are in the business of debunking the falsehoods and smears that Beck promotes. But how do you debunk pronouncements that quite obviously bear no relationship to reality?

  • Is Limbaugh Trying To Reclaim His Crown From Glenn Beck?

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Rush Limbaugh was in rare form last week.

    His mockery of Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech -- mockery that he later defended -- earned the condemnation of Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), who blasted his "childish and offensive tactic." He falsely labeled Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) a "well-known socialist" during his return to flirting with birtherism. And he devoted several segments on his Friday show to demanding a congressional investigation of a conspiracy theory that he ginned up about the Obama administration bailing out GE with TARP money. (That's wrong on many, many fronts.)

    It seems that Limbaugh is trying to regain his title as the most irresponsible voice in the conservative media, a position that is now clearly occupied by Glenn Beck, and it seems that he's doing it by using the exact same formula Beck has employed.

    Inflammatory ethnic rhetoric, similar to Limbaugh's open mockery of the Chinese culture?

    Beck has already been there. His smearing of Jewish philanthropist George Soros as a Holocaust collaborator was condemned by Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors. He's also said India's Ganges River "sounds like a disease" and was forced to apologize for mocking an Asian caller back in 1995.

    Red-baiting, similar to Limbaugh's attack on Abercrombie?

    Beck introduced the modern right-wing renaissance of red-baiting.

    Insane, complex conspiracy theories, like Limbaugh's flimsy attempt to reveal "serious insider dealing" between President Obama and GE?

    One of the websites run by notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has said that Beck "now sounds almost identical" to Jones. Limbaugh's Obama-GE theory bears a similarity to the conspiracy theory that Beck has promoted about the Obama administration, Soros, and a loan to a Brazilian oil company, in that both involve blaming the Obama for events that took place before he ever became president.

    We see where you're headed, Rush. If you want to take your crown back from Beck -- and the attention that comes with it -- you've got a lot of work to do.

  • Limbaugh Falsely Labels Hawaii Governor A "Well-Known Socialist"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    In the course of continuing his periodic winks and nods at birtherism, Rush Limbaugh said on his Friday show that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is a "well-known socialist."

    LIMBAUGH: This governor out in Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie -- a well-known socialist, by the way, longtime member of Congress, is now the governor of Hawaii -- really stepped in it earlier -- what, this -- well, I think it was not even this week. It was last week.

    Abercrombie is obviously no such thing. (Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on the other hand, is an actual well-known socialist.)

    Pretty much the only reference to Abercrombie as a "socialist" that seems to exist in the media is in a July 12 article from WorldNetDaily, the very same birther hothouse that Limbaugh references shortly after his statement about Abercrombie. The headline of the article, which was posted during Abercrombie's campaign to become governor, is "Hawaii guv candidate member of socialist group?"

    Given how well known that is, they seem strangely unclear on the subject.

    There's little point in getting into the specifics of the charge that Abercrombie is a "well-known socialist." But for the record, two days after WND published its article, Abercrombie's campaign addressed the claim on its website in a post titled "Get the facts on Neil Abercrombie: Debunking socialist rumors":

    The latest wave of rumors and attacks are lame attempts to link Neil Abercrombie to a socialist group. See the facts below.

    QUESTION: Was Neil a member of the Democratic Socialists of America or any other socialist or communist organization?

    ANSWER: NO. Neil has never been part of any socialist or communist organization. These rumors are being spread by Neil's political opponents and conspiracy theorists including those behind the so-called "birther" movement who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.

  • Limbaugh Demands Congressional Investigation Of His Obama-GE Conspiracy Theory

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY & DAVID SHERE

    President Obama announced on Friday that he is appointing General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to lead an economic advisory panel called the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Rush Limbaugh responded on his radio show by accusing Obama of "serious insider dealing" with GE and spinning out a conspiracy theory based on the falsehood that the Obama administration expanded the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in order to bail out GE. "Congress needs to really look into this," Limbaugh said.

    The discussion about whether Limbaugh has a point can start and end with one fact: GE Capital, the financial services division of GE, asked to be included in the bailout program in question -- and was granted entry to it -- in the fall of 2008, before Obama became president.

    The sheer volume of details that Limbaugh got wrong while discussing this story is staggering, and it's plain that he got some of them wrong knowingly in an attempt to vilify Obama.

  • Fox Nation Inexplicably Upset Over Obama's Plans To Get Re-Elected

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox Nation highlighted a Politico article as its top story for most of the day:

    Naturally, the Fox Nation headline bears no relation to the headline on the Politico article itself: "Barack Obama's 2012 cash challenge." In fact, the first paragraph of the article highlights the reason that the Obama team needs to raise so much money -- because conservative groups outside the Republican Party are set to pour a ton of money into the 2012 campaign:

    Bracing for a half-billion-dollar onslaught of outside GOP cash in 2012, President Barack Obama's advisers are quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president.

    Indeed, Bloomberg reported that "Republican-leaning political organizations" -- including American Crossroads, the organization promoted by Fox News' own Karl Rove -- "spent $167 million on the U.S. midterm elections."

    It may not qualify as such for tax purposes, but one of those outside groups is Fox News itself.

    From January through October last year, five potential GOP presidential candidates who are Fox News contributors or hosts for appeared on the channel for a total of nearly 66 hours. Media Matters estimated that this time was worth at least $40 million in advertising costs.

    Fox News political analyst Dick Morris even celebrated the fact that Fox will give Republican candidates "national publicity" they otherwise couldn't afford.

    Don't act so surprised, Fox Nation.

  • Once Again, Fox's "Straight News" Echoes Glenn Beck, Rather Than Actual News

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Martha MacCallum led off the 10 a.m. hour of America's Newsroom today with super-scary news that necessitated a Fox News Alert: "The headline this morning, folks, is that inflation is starting to rear its ugly head in America."

    "Take a look at this," MacCallum said. "Very significant. Up 1.1 percent in the Producer Price Index. Usually you get a move, you know, in the tenths of a percent. That's a pretty decent move in prices in December." She continued: "Higher energy costs and higher food costs, so that adds up to one thing: that's a confirmation that there is inflation, which people have been fearing for quite some time. We're now actually seeing inflation kicking in."

    That is wrong.

    Martha MacCallum led off the 10 a.m. hour of America's Newsroom today with super-scary news that necessitated a Fox News Alert: "The headline this morning, folks, is that inflation is starting to rear its ugly head in America."

    HTTPS://WWW.MEDIAMATTERS.ORG/embed/clips/2011/01/13/12795/fnc-amnewsroom-20110113-maccalluminflation

    "Take a look at this," MacCallum said. "Very significant. Up 1.1 percent in the Producer Price Index. Usually you get a move, you know, in the tenths of a percent. That's a pretty decent move in prices in December." She continued: "Higher energy costs and higher food costs, so that adds up to one thing: that's a confirmation that there is inflation, which people have been fearing for quite some time. We're now actually seeing inflation kicking in."

    That is wrong.