Glenn Beck feverishly promoted a conspiracy theory throughout his Fox News show tonight that involved George Soros owning stock in a company that makes full-body scanners. Beck said that Soros had sold off the stock “two days ago” because “someone in the media” -- presumably Glenn Beck -- was on to his plan to quietly profit off the scanners.
You're probably used to Beck's theories falling apart in short order, and in comical fashion. This time, though, it comes with a special twist.
We noted yesterday that the right-wing media had done their best to dig up a connection between Soros and Rapiscan, the company that makes the scanners. The Washington Examiner's Mark Hemingway found a website called GuruFocus.com that indicated Soros held 11,300 shares in OSI Systems, the parent company of Rapiscan.
Today, in a blog post headlined “Soros sells shares in TSA contractor making naked scanners,” Hemingway wrote, “Well, now it appears Soros has sold off his small stake in the company." As you can see from the link there, Hemingway's reporting appears to have consisted of visiting the GuruFocus page for OSI Systems again, only to find this:
Hemingway commented, “It would be nice if he did this as a response to public pressure, but it seems equally likely that as an investor he simply realized the political tide was turning against the company and the stock may drop as a result.”
The Blaze picked up on Hemingway's post and put together an article headlined “Coincidence? Soros Apparently Sells Off All Shares of TSA Scanner Company.”
It's all very mysterious, isn't it?
Later, an interesting update appeared on the Blaze story:
The Blaze spoke with a representative from gurufocus.com, the site referenced by Hemingway and Media Matters. According to the representative, Soros owned the OSIS stock at the end of the second quarter and sold it during the third quarter. That puts the sale sometime between July 1 and September 30. The representative said the site first updated the information yesterday, which explains the change in the amount of stock owned.
So, according to Beck's website, the original source for all of this -- GuruFocus.com -- says that Soros sold the stock at the end of September, at the latest. That was long before the widespread outcry over the full-body scanners began.
What we're left with is evidence that Soros held stock in a manufacturing conglomerate for a period of time, then sold it.
Nice try, Glenn.