Glenn Beck is none too happy about the 100+ advertisers and the many Christians and others who are boycotting his TV and radio shows, which were reportedly costing Fox News nearly $600,000 per week back in September 2009. I guess he didn't realize that calling the President of the United States a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” and encouraging Christians to leave their churches if their pastors preach social justice might make some people angry enough to boycott him and advertisers wary enough to keep their names -- and money -- far, far away from him.
For the second day in a row, Beck went on the offensive today, attacking the groups that are leading the boycotts against him. But leave it to Beck to completely misconstrue why people and advertisers don't want to go anywhere near him. It couldn't possibly be because of the hateful and violent rhetoric he spews daily on his TV and radio shows. No, that would be too much like taking personal responsibility for his actions. Instead Beck continues to push the conspiracy theory that the boycotts of his shows are really being orchestrated by of the President of the United States, in order to “destroy” his “career” and “silence” him - you know, just like the Nazis did to the Jews.
Let's note right off the bat that at no point during his rant does Beck acknowledge that the first boycott of his show was started by ColorofChange.org in direct response to his calling Obama a “racist.” At the time, Beck stood by his comments, but for some reason, he doesn't want to remind his audience of them.
Though it's vile and disgusting for Beck to compare his self-inflicted “plight” to the Holocaust, let's not pretend that this is the first time Beck has invoked Holocaust / Nazism imagery to fear-monger, make false claims, and produce outright crazy conspiracy theories about President Obama's agenda. But, since most of his latest rant has already been debunked by Media Matters for America, the take-down of this ill-formed conspiracy should at least be quick -- if not painless:
BECK: The boycotts are gathering steam. To date, I believe there is at least one internet report that we have lost 7,832,000 sponsors and yet through the charitable kindness of this network, we are still here. You know what? The fact is I haven't felt this good and positive in a long time. Why? Because the boycott attempts are the most transparent astroturf attacks I have ever seen or ever heard of. Who is it that currently is launching the efforts against me and this show? Well, let's see. We have radical union organizer Andy Stern. Say hi to the people, Andy. There he is. He's the advisor to the president and frequent visitor to White House and the “workers of the world, unite” anti-capitalist guy. Him, Andy Stern. Then there is the group that Van Jones founded whose boycott effort now - can we bring up the clock -- is in its 251st day. That's a boycott. There it is. Former advisor to the president. I'm gonna put here for a radical 1960s kind of guy. And this is a current communist. There is the spiritual and policy advisor to the president Jim Wallis. Jim is a Marxist for Jesus. Also, an advisor. Such a blatantly astroturf attack from the top that the boycott form letters from SEIU and the Van Jones group, they're actually the the same. It's weird. Isn't it? Isn't it a coincidence that all of the above are or were advisors to the president? By the way, he was an advisor to the president and now he's with George Soros' group. Is it possible that maybe by pointing out every night that there are radicals, communist and Marxists in the White House, maybe that struck a nerve?
Andy Stern is not a radical, didn't say “workers of the world unite” in the “anti-capitalist” context as Beck claimed, and is not even close to being the most “frequent” White House visitor. Van Jones is not a “current communist” ; indeed, the same interview that Beck used to declare him a “current communist” in the first place details his move away from that ideology. And Jim Wallis is not a “Marxist for Jesus,” although Beck has repeatedly distorted Wallis' comments to declare him one. Perhaps it's Beck's repeated false statements that have “struck a nerve.”
Try to keep up with this next part: Beck goes on to accuse his “attackers” of accusing him of attacking them with “angry, hateful rhetoric” that's also “crazy.” Of course those attacks against Beck are completely baseless (except for all of these examples):
BECK: In all of the attacks on me, which nearly always involve “angry, hateful rhetoric,” or, you know, “he's crazy,” in all of these we have seen not one has ever mentioned the White House let him go. And now he's working for George Soros. But also, never mention that he's a communist. Jim Wallis, not one, nobody mentioned no, no, Glenn Beck got it wrong. He's not a Marxist. Andy Stern, not a radical 1960s guy from S.D.S. Never mentioned that one. Wouldn't it be easy to disprove these things from the rantings of a crazy man if they were untrue? I think so. It'd be a lot easier than coordinating from the Oval Office or from the White House, or maybe he doesn't know. I'm sure that's very, very possible.
BECK: Would it be easier just to say “no, that's not true and here is the evidence” ? Than coordinating an attack? It would sure be cheaper. They can't do that, because the facts reveal otherwise. Their own words. I never said they said things. I played them on tape. Truth is not hateful rhetoric. Jim Wallis, Andy Stern, Van Jones, none of them could come on the show and disavow redistribution of wealth or embrace the American free market principles that built the country. They can't come on the show and accept that charity comes from individuals or church groups. Not the government.
Obviously, in Glenn Beck's America, he gets to smear the innocent with repeatedly debunked claims and then wait for the red phone to ring and his victims to clear their own names while further validating his clown show. But of course, Beck couldn't end it there. Always the victim, Beck then went on to equate boycotts of his vitriol and alleged complicity of the silent bystanding media to the atrocities of the Nazis:
BECK: Has there ever been a case in American history, outside of the hard-core radical progressive Woodrow Wilson, where an American president and administration tried to destroy the livelihood of a private citizen with whom they disagree? Can't think of any. Much has been made over the years and rightfully so of Richard Nixon's enemies list. It's been chronicled over and over again by the mainstream media. But isn't this the same thing? Where is the media? Do the rest of you in this business think it's going to stop with me? Really? Once they get me, what happens to you? Is there no chance whatsoever you might be a target at some point in the future? What is that poem? First they came for the Jews and I stayed silent?
Perhaps he should've been that one who “stayed silent” before making such a ridiculous and offensive leap!
But while we're on the subject, this might be a good time to alert Beck that the Anti-Defamation League is the latest group to both denounce his anti-Obama Administration conspiracy theories and reject his invocation of Nazism to “stoke the fires of anti-government anger.” Tell us, Glenn, where on your chalkboard of paranoia does the ADL fit?