Purporting to provide evidence that progressives are trying to “poison” churches with a “radical perversion of the gospel,” Glenn Beck recycled distortions of remarks made by Rev. Jim Wallis and Al Gore in order to paint them as Marxists.
Beck falsely suggested Gore admitted the “basis of his entire argument for global warming” was false
Beck cropped Gore's testimony to claim statement on CO2 undermines “his entire argument for global warming.” From the May 18 edition of his Fox News show:
BECK: Al Gore has admitted that CO2 doesn't even necessarily drive temperature up. Wait a minute -- wasn't that the basis of his entire argument for global warming? Watch this:
[begin video clip]
REP. JOE BARTON (R-TX): The temperature goes up before the CO2 goes up.
GORE: Sometimes that -- sometimes that has been true in the past. The opposite has also been true in the past.
[end video clip]
BECK: That's kind of an inconvenient truth that you should have put in your movie The Inconvenient Truth [sic]. Yeesh. What we have to remember now: This is not about the truth. It's not about the truth at all. It's not about saving the planet. It is about redistribution of wealth. Please understand this: In the progressive movement, they knew we were a God-centered people, that we had morals, we used to solve problems through charity. Got it? Well, that's not good if you're a Marxist.
In fact, Gore said “what's happening now is that we, because of human action, are overwhelming all of those cycles.” On March 21, 2007, during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, Barton stated, “I have an article from the Science magazine ... that explains historically a rise in CO2 concentrations did not precede a rise in temperatures but actually lagged temperature by 200 to 1,000 years -- yes, lagged. CO2 levels went up after the temperature rose. It appears that temperature appears to drive CO2, not vice versa.” During his response, Gore stated, "[T]he fact that more CO2 traps more heat in the lower part of the Earth's atmosphere is really beyond dispute. I mean, it's not -- that's not me saying that; that's what the scientists have known for 180 years. And for 100 years they've done the calculations on pretty much exactly what the magnitude of the heating effect is." After Barton then claimed that “the temperature goes up before the CO2 goes up,” Gore responded:
GORE: Sometimes that has been true in the past. The opposite has also been true in the past. But what's happening now is that we because of human action are overwhelming all of those cycles. [Joint House committee hearing, 3/21/07 (from the Nexis database)]
Breitbart, Beck guest host previously pushed same distortion. A December 9, 2009, headline at Andrew Breitbart's website Breitbart.tv falsely claimed that Al Gore admitted that “temperatures cause CO2 to increase not other way around,” and provided video of the exchange between Gore and Barton. The next day on Beck's radio show, guest host Pat Gray aired the same exchange between Gore and Barton that Beck played on May 18 and commented that Gore had “just admitted the entire premise for An Inconvenient Truth wasn't really true.”
Beck distorted Wallis' remarks to smear him as a Marxist
Beck again smears Wallis as a “Marxist” by selectively cropping his comments. From the May 18 edition of Beck's Fox News show:
BECK: In the beginning, I explained that social justice is presented by many of these people on the left as code for Marxism. Who was it that attacked me from the beginning on this, the moment I said this? Jim Wallis. Here he is, an adviser to the president, adviser on politics and faith, in his own words:
[begin audio clip]
MAUREEN FIELDER (host): Are you then calling for the redistribution of wealth in society?
WALLIS: Absolutely. Without any hesitation. That's what the gospel is about.
[end audio clip]
[begin audio clip]
WALLIS: I get a call one day from the priest and Dorothy Day's in town, opening a Catholic border house on Kenmore up on the north side. “She wants to meet you; do you have time?” Do I have time? We had one community car; it was always broken, and so I ran, you know, 20 blocks. And I'm in the parlor of the Catholic Worker and in walks the great lady. Dorothy wrote a book about her life called Love Is the Measure, but she wasn't ever soft. Very tough. “So, you're a radical student like me, right? You were a Marxist like me, right?” “Yeah.”
[end audio clip]
BECK: Got it? That's who these people are. They can hide behind the cloth all they want, but they don't know the difference -- actually he does, he just denies it -- he doesn't know the difference between individual salvation, he doesn't know the difference between individual redemption, individual justice, and collective. They need it to be collective; Marxists always do. That's why they've been so vicious and relentless in trying to discredit and destroy me or anybody who says these things. Well, you get a piece of paper and pencil, because they can't have the American people understand what they're doing with this social justice and EPA faith office. It is a radical perversion of the gospel, and you will see why this hour.
Wallis actually discussed how individuals have “transformed” their lives to focus on charity. In the portion of Wallis' January 13, 2006, radio show Interfaith Voices interview selectively edited by Beck for the first clip, Wallis did not discuss the forced redistribution of wealth. Responding to Maureen Fielder's question, “Are you then calling for the redistribution of wealth in society?” Wallis stated, “Absolutely. Without any hesitation. That's what the Gospel is all about.” He then went on to explain, “It's about the rich moving into solidarity and a relationship with people who have been left out and left behind.” Wallis added, “I see it all the time where people from middle-class backgrounds are having their lives transformed by their encounter with the poor in their neighborhoods or across the world and changing their lifestyle and their priorities because of that.” Wallis went on to highlight Bill and Melinda Gates's philanthropy as an example of “a redistribution of wealth.”
Wallis and Day were actually discussing their “conversion” from “secular radicalism and Marxism to Jesus Christ.” In a March 24 blog post discussing a previous Beck distortion, Wallis discussed retelling the story of his first meeting with Day, which is discussed in Beck's second deceptive clip. Wallis included an extended portion of his WBEZ interview and wrote of Beck:
Beck recounted a conversation I had with Dorothy as a new young convert to Christianity. She was in her eighties and asked me if I had been a radical student in my early years as she had been. “Yeah,” Beck recorded me saying. And if I had been attracted to Marxism, as she had. “Yeah” I said again. Gotcha! Beck said. They're both Marxists! What he left out was the next lines of our conversation that I still remember and, of course, were on the same tape he abruptly cut off. “And now, you're a Catholic?” Dorothy Day asked me. “Well, now I'm a Christian,” I said. “You're not a Catholic?” she chided. I lamely responded that “some of my best friends” were Catholic, and Dorothy smiled. We were sharing our conversion stories from secular radicalism and Marxism to Jesus Christ and his gospel of love and justice. Glenn Beck just left that part out, as he often leaves stuff out or just makes up stuff and puts it in.