Beck denies being “responsible” for planned massacre at office of group he demonized

Glenn Beck has denied being “responsible” for a planned attack on the leaders of the Tides Foundation, a nonprofit organization Beck has repeatedly demonized. Beck has said that he “stand[s] by each one” of his attacks on the group and lauded his coverage of the organization.

CA shooter targeted Tides, wanted “to start a revolution”

CA gunman wanted to “start a revolution” by “killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation.” On July 18, Byron Williams, a convicted felon, engaged in a shootout with police after being pulled over on I-580 in California. Williams was heavily armed, wearing body armor and wielding “a high-powered hunting rifle, a pistol and a shotgun.” After being taken into custody, Williams reportedly told investigators that “his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”

Gunman's mother: Williams watched TV news, was upset with “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.” Following her son's arrest, Williams' mother told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son was angry about “what's happening to our country.” The Chronicle reported that Williams “watched the news on television” and that his mother stated that he was upset with “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.”

Beck tipped the scale of Tides coverage before Williams' attempted attack

In virtually the only cable or network TV coverage of Tides, Beck mentioned the group 29 times on his Fox News show. As Media Matters has detailed, a LexisNexis search reveals that the Tides Foundation has been mentioned 29 times on Fox News' Glenn Beck in the time between the show's premiere and Williams' attempted rampage. In contrast, the Tides Foundation has not been mentioned once on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, or PBS in the same timeframe.

Beck called Tides a “shady organization” and accused it of “indoctrination,” “warp[ing] your children's brains.” In his coverage of Tides, Beck has repeatedly implicated the organization in his conspiracy theories, linking it to George Soros, the Apollo Alliance, the Joyce Foundation, and the Weather Underground. Beck has referred to the group as a “shady organization” [May 11] and claimed it is “a major source of revenue for some of the most extreme groups on the left” [May 21, 2009]. Beck frequently airs a video produced by Tides, which he refers to as an “indoctrination video...shown in schools all across America to warp you children's brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is” [June 21].

Beck denies being “responsible” for planned attack, lauds his coverage of Tides

Beck mocks idea that “I am now responsible for terrorist attacks.” On the July 29 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck discussed the thwarted rampage in California and decried criticism of his coverage the Tides Foundation, claiming that his critics “are now imaging me as a terrorist and a racist.” Co-host Pat Gray called the charges “unbelievable” while Beck stated in disbelief: “So I expose the Tides Foundation and show you what it is, and I am now responsible for terrorist attacks.”

Beck: “I stand by each one” of my attacks on Tides Foundation. Beck continued on to defend his attacks against Tides, saying of his accusations of the group “being anti-capitalist, far-left radicals and indoctrinating children” that “I stand by each one of those.” Beck also said it was “obscene” that "[t]here are no records of any other talk show mentioning the Tides Foundation" and that “I am the only one that has mentioned the Tides Foundation.”

Beck producer Stu Burguiere calls accusations “liberal spin.” On the fourth hour of Beck's July 27 radio show, available only to “Insider Extreme” subscribers, Beck's executive producer Stu Burguiere defended Beck against claims appearing on “liberal blogs” suggesting he inspired the actions of Williams, Burguiere called such the accusations “really pathetic” and stated that “just because some idiot goes and does something, you can't blame -- you cannot blame the host of a program who's talked about that organization.”

Beck: Putting Tides Foundation on blackboard was “the first time that I really realized its success.” On July 28, in a special podcast titled “Fundamental Transformation” for paying subscribers to his website, Beck called his chalkboard “the real star of the show.” Beck then stated that “the first time I really realized its success: Tides Foundation and ACORN.”

Beck brags about “turning the light of day” on Tides Foundation. On the July 26 edition of his radio show, Beck bragged that “everyone told us that we couldn't” explain what Tides was but that “the reason why the blackboard really became what the blackboard is” was because of his coverage of the group. Beck aired criticism of his coverage of the Tides Foundation from Color of Change's James Rucker and claimed Rucker was saying that Beck is “a danger because no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard. Meaning, that they need the cover of darkness. They must silence people that turn the light of day on to these organizations.”

Beck continues to include Tides in his conspiracy theories since thwarted attack

Beck: “Why wouldn't you want us talking about Tides?” On the July 25 edition of his Fox News show, Beck responded to Rucker's criticism of his Tides coverage by asking, “why wouldn't you want us talking about Tides?” Beck went on to ask, “Why would you hide it” if Tides were simply “helping people” and “working for social justice.”

Beck links Tides to Weather Underground in plot to redistribute wealth. On the July 28 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck attempted to tie the Tides Foundation to the Weather Underground. Beck read a portion of the Weather Underground's “manifesto.” He then commented, “Now, when I first read this, I thought, boy, where have I seen this before? And then, it dawned on me. George Soros funded the Tides Foundation, which funded the ”Story of Stuff," which is now shown, most likely, in your child's school." From Glenn Beck:

BECK: We stopped at -- there's no property rights, because the ignorant masses -- you know, the bigots or the stupid -- they like the free market. They have some stuff.

And what the ignorant masses don't understand -- by the way, that's you, you're clinging to your silly traditions and your God and your guns -- the truth is: your wealth really isn't your wealth. In the truly progressive society, in this society that they wanted, wealth belongs to the world.

Quote, “The relative affluence existing in the United States is directly dependent upon the labor and the natural resources of the Vietnamese -- remember this is written in the 1960s -- the Angolans, and the Bolivians and the rest of the peoples of the third world. All the of the United Airlines, Astrojets, all of the Holiday Inns, all of the Hertz's automobiles, your television set, your you're your wardrobe already belong, to a large degree, to the people of the rest of the world.”

Now, when I first read this, I thought, boy, where have I seen this before? And then, it dawned on me. George Soros funded the Tides Foundation, which funded the “Story of Stuff,” which is now shown, most likely, in your child's school. Watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [video clip]: Then, along came the corporation. Now, the reason the corporation looks bigger than the government is that the corporation is bigger than the government. Of the 100 largest economies on earth now, 51 are corporations. And as the corporation has grown in size and power, we've seen a little change in the government where they're a little more concerned in making sure everything's working out for those guys than for us.

BECK: If you're familiar with this, we've played this before. It shows how we have gone and raped the rest of the world, so our stuff isn't ours.

Yes, it is all of this capitalist greed that is causing all of the problems on the entire planet. It is our system and it is set up to make sure that it stays that way -- and the Weather Underground talk about, it's going to stay that way by force.

Beck has a history of promoting violent rhetoric

Beck pours gasoline on “average American,” asks, “President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?” On his television show, Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an actor portraying the “average American.” Beck said during his demonstration: “President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic.”[Fox News' Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]

Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests “driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.” On his March 30, 2009, Fox News show, Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said: “The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy.” Beck then suggested “driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.” Beck returned to that imagery on his January 19 radio show, warning listeners that progressives are “vampires” who now have a “taste of blood” and are “gonna start getting more and more violent.”

Beck talks about “put[ting] poison” in Pelosi's wine. In 2009, Beck's Fox News show featured a segment in which Beck said the following to a woman wearing a mask of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck, 8/6/09]

Beck: “To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter.” Telling his listeners that they “are going to learn so much on Friday,” Beck compared himself to “Israeli Nazi hunters” and commented: “I'm going to find these big progressives and, to the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter.” He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care where -- I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they have done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution, our republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people are waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to losing our republic. [The Glenn Beck Program, 1/20/10]

Beck: “Grab a torch.” Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: “When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch.” [Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]

Beck suggests Obama is “trying to destroy the country” and is pushing America toward civil war. While discussing the ongoing controversy over Arizona's immigration law, Beck told his listeners that “we are being pushed” toward civil war and that Obama is “trying to destroy the country.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/19/10]

Beck's advice to Liberty grads: “Shoot to kill.” During his May 15 commencement speech at Liberty University, Beck told graduates that they “have a responsibility” to speak out, or “blood ... will be on our hands.” His advice for graduates (as well as his daughter) included “shoot to kill.”

Quoting Jefferson, Beck warns about “rivers of blood.” On his Fox News show, Beck quoted a letter by Thomas Jefferson warning " 'if they lose freedom' -- he's speaking of us, future generations -- 'if they lose freedom, there will be rivers of blood.' " Beck continued in his own words, “Boy, I hope that's not true, but I can tell you there will be rivers of blood if we don't have values and principles.” [Glenn Beck, 5/14/10]

Beck: “I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on.” During an interview with in which he discussed opposition to Obama's Federal Communications Commission policies, Beck said: “I fear an event. I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced. God help us all.'' [, 10/7/09]

Beck speaks for one-third of the nation: "[Y]ou will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun" and “before I acquiesce and be silent.” Beck has warned “ACORN, GE, Obama, SEIU” that “you are awakening a sleeping giant, and I have nothing to do with it” and that “America is waking up. You know the American Revolution took place with 12 percent of the population? Twelve. Are you telling me there is not 30 percent of this population that you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I let somebody into my house to tell me how to raise my children; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I acquiesce and be silent.” Beck further stated:

BECK: They cannot move on these things, because they are building a machine that will crush the entrepreneurial sprit and the freedom that our Founding Fathers designed. This machine, whatever it is they are building, will crush it. Do not let them build another piece.

So while I turn away, I want to make sure that I have at least 10 million eyes watching -- watching every single move they are making.


We know why they're doing what they're doing. You need to do what you need to do, and as long as that is peaceful, we will save our country. [The Glenn Beck Program, 7/30/09]

Beck: “This game is for keeps”; "[Y]ou can shoot me in the head ... but there will be 10 others that line up." Asking his audience to “pray for protection,” Beck claimed that “the most powerful people on the planet on the left” were “not going to go away easy” because "[t]his game is for keeps. This is who controls the United States of America and its destiny." He went on to state, “Just pray for protection, please.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/8/09]

Later in the same program, Beck said:

BECK: You can try to put the lid on this group of people, but you will never silence us. You will never -- you can shoot me in the head, you can shoot the next guy in the head, but there will be 10 others that line up. And it may not happen today, it may not happen next week, but freedom will be restored in this land. Period. And no matter what you want to call it, it is a totalitarian state that you're headed towards. [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/8/09]

Beck: “There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America.” Beck has claimed that “there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly,” adding: “At this point, gang, I'm not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they're dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the -- the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time.” He also said, “And they're gonna say, 'we did it democratically,' and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 8/31/09]

Beck suggests that progressives support “armed insurrection.” After President Obama signed health care reform legislation into law, Beck suggested that progressives support “armed insurrection” and asked, “Why would the president take up immigration right away, after he's just punched you in the face with health care?” [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Beck suggests Pelosi and Obama support “pick[ing] up a gun” to advance “revolution.” During the same edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that “violence is the wrong way to go,” but asked his viewers: “You'd pick up a gun? Have you ever thought of that?” He then pointed to several pictures, including images of Obama and Pelosi, and stated: “These people have. Because possibly, maybe the question should be asked, maybe they're tired of evolution, and maybe they are waiting for revolution.” Beck also said: “Haven't we just been spanked? Hasn't most of the country -- doesn't most of the country feel like they've been spanked over health care? You bet. I do, you do. A lot of people do.” [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Beck suggests Obama administration may kill him. Also on that same edition of his Fox News program, Beck said: “For those of you in the administration, who are coming after me ... remember, you've broken three [of the 10 Commandments], let's not make it four; thou shalt not kill.” [Glenn Beck, 3/23/10]

Ranting that gov't under Nixon “wasn't as corrupt as it is now,” Beck suggests Obama admin might kill “10 percent” of population. On his Fox News show, Beck warned that “anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists” have to “eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population” in order to “gain control.” They couldn't achieve such a goal when Richard Nixon was president, Beck stated, but the government under Nixon “wasn't as corrupt as it is now.” [Glenn Beck, 6/10/10]

Beck: “The army ... of the extreme left is gathering” and they are saying “cops are bad, kill the cops.” On his radio show, Beck discussed riots in Oakland, stating: “The army, if you will, of the extreme left is gathering, and they are coming to the conclusion of cops are bad, kill the cops, they're the oppressors. It's all the 1960s, you know, pig stuff.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 7/12/10]