Beck's “talk about racism” -- more race-baiting, falsehoods, and distortions

Introducing his show tonight, Glenn Beck stated, “We want to talk about racism tonight.” The hour that followed added a new chapter in Beck's already long history of race-baiting.

Beck, who last year called President Obama a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred of white people,” engaged in a series of distortions, baseless claims, and outright falsehoods in his continuing attacks on President Obama and the administration.

Many of Beck's attacks revolved around video of a member of the New Black Panther Party making a hateful speech in public. Beck claimed that the hate speech in the video was “voter intimidation,” adding that “We seem to be experiencing a government that doesn't care about racism from these guys.”

But Beck's claim that the hateful speech was “voter intimidation” is false. As Media Matters previously noted, the video of the speech is from a National Geographic Channel documentary that was produced in 2008, before the November 4 election.

Later, Beck said the New Black Panther case was an “open-and-shut case,” adding that “Bush started the prosecution before the end of his term, but then Obama comes in and decides suddenly in May of 2009 to drop the case.”

This ignores the fact that it was the Bush Department of Justice that decided not to pursue criminal charges against the New Black Panthers, and that Obama's DOJ obtained default judgment against New Black Panther member King Samir Shabazz for carrying a weapon outside a polling station, which Beck himself noted later in the show.

Beck then hyped comments from Bartle Bull, who he identified as “a civil rights lawyer from the 1960s” and “a former campaign manager for Robert Kennedy.” Beck quoted Bull as stating, “This is the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have ever seen.” Beck stressed again that Bull was “not a right-wing Republican shill.” But just as his colleagues at Fox & Friends did recently, Beck left out the fact that Bull was serving as a poll watcher for John McCain on Election Day 2008 and that he seems to have a longstanding dislike for Obama.

Like most of his Fox News shows, it wasn't long before Beck turned to his blackboard, using it to illustrate how Obama took “suspiciously long” to address some crises that have faced his administration. Among these complaints was that for 477 days Obama has conducted “no new investigations” into ACORN.

Of course, prosecutors in New York reportedly “cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing” after looking into video of ACORN offices that were made by conservative activist James O'Keefe and relentlessly promoted by Beck. After an investigation by California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr., his office stated in a release that ACORN “committed no violation of criminal laws.” The release added that the videotapes were “severely edited by O'Keefe.”

Next, Beck complained that it took Obama 47 days to address the fact that he had appointed Van Jones, “an actual communist,” to his administration. Of course, long before he'd been appointed, Jones had made clear that he no longer held those beliefs.

Beck further claimed that Arizona had been “begging for reinforcements” for border security for 454 days but had received “nothing.” In fact, the Obama administration has implemented numerous measures to increase border security and improve immigration enforcement.

In his further ranting about radicals, Beck brought up a pipe bomb attack in Houston on the spouse of an oil executive. Suggesting that the Obama DOJ hasn't looked into the case, Beck stated (in apparent sarcasm): “The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms unit is now looking into it. If we can just get the Department of Justice to be investigating, well then I know we'll get to the bottom of it.”

In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is a “law enforcement agency in the United States Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism.” So, if the ATF is “looking into” the bombing, then the Justice Department is investigating it.