On his Fox News show tonight, Glenn Beck smeared the union protests in Wisconsin over Republican efforts to restrict collective bargaining rights and benefits for state workers as a communist plot to cause widespread unrest.
Toward the end of his show, Beck connected the anti-government protests in the Middle East to the protests in Madison, Wisconsin. “We all know that it's crazy talk now to say that the Egyptian unrest would spread beyond its borders. Sure, rioting and protests have hit Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco and, of course, the bloody revolt in Libya, just to name just a few,” Beck said. He added: “Protests and unrest are now sweeping through our own country, including this union uprising in Wisconsin. But even though we have the AFL-CIO saying we all have to unite this is all purely coincidental. It's amazing coincidental timing, that's all it is.”
To illustrate his claim that the protesters are in bed with communists, Beck said that a number of “group[s] on the left” backing the Wisconsin protests were also participants in “that One Nation thing” -- also known as the “One Nation Working Together Rally” held in October 2010. According to Beck, the groups that attended the One Nation Rally -- including SEIU, AFL-CIO, and MoveOn.org -- “were standing with communists.”
Beck also said: “Oh, and the communists have rallied for the teachers in Wisconsin. Teachers, you must be so proud to stand next to the socialist and the communist.” He then added: “The Socialist Party USA put this statement out: 'As socialists we stand steadfastly in solidarity with the protest movement. We pledge to support the immediate goal of blocking Governor Scott Walker's reactionary and draconian anti-union legislation and the longer-term project of building a serious left-wing political movement in the U.S.' ”
As further evidence of a communist plot, Beck connected the Wisconsin protests to Code Pink, an anti-war organization he has previously linked to socialism and blamed for Egypt's unrest. Beck referenced a statement by Code Pink's co-founder, Medea Benjamin, likening the protests in Wisconsin to “Cairo,” and added, “But again, to say that there's anybody involved in both of these and there's some sort of tie-in by the far-left, that's -- that's just crazy talk.”
What this proves, of course, is exactly nothing: communists supporting the union protests and Code Pink's co-founder seeing a connection between Wisconsin and Egypt doesn't exactly confirm that the protests are actually a plot to stir up unrest. The actual question is whether the protesters and protest leaders are relying on that support or are themselves fomenting unrest. And Beck has shown no evidence that they are.
This is pretty desperate, even for Beck.