Is Glenn Beck helping the Chamber of Commerce “indoctrinate” children?

Glenn Beck has vilified the Tides Foundation for what he said were efforts to “indoctrinate” children with a film that has been shown in schools. But recently, Beck helped raise money for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which reportedly plans to distribute teaching guides to schools around the country.

Beck launched huge fundraising drive for Chamber

Beck expressed solidarity with Chamber of Commerce: “They are us.” As Media Matters noted, on October 14, Glenn Beck launched a donation drive for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying on his radio show, “I would like to make this the biggest fundraising day in the Chamber's history.” He also said, “I don't know why we're not” a member of the Chamber and asked, “Can't we join the Chamber of Commerce in New York?” Beck's websites, and, also encouraged visitors to make donations to the chamber:

Beck donated $10,000 to Chamber of Commerce. During his October 14 fundraising drive, Beck told his audience that he was personally donating $10,000 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Later in the program, the Chamber's Bruce Josten called in to thank Beck for his donation and tell him that Beck's fundraising efforts had led to “the single highest contribution we've ever received” through their website.

Chamber of Commerce now advertising in Beck's newsletter. The October 20 edition of Glenn Beck's free email newsletter included the following ad:

The ad includes a link to a fundraising webpage for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

Chamber of Commerce reportedly distributing teaching guide on energy to middle school classrooms

Politico: Chamber “plans to distribute” teaching guide “to roughly 100,000 classrooms.” On October 19, Politico reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “wants middle school students to consider what would happen if government regulations shut down the coal industry or another domestic energy source.” The report continued:

The question is part of a teaching guide the group plans to distribute to roughly 100,000 classrooms across the country as part of its “Shedding Light on Energy” program with educational publisher Scholastic Inc.

“What do you think could happen if one of our energy sources was suddenly unavailable (e.g., power plant maintenance, government curb on production, etc.)?” the guide asks.

Beck previously said efforts to educate children about resource use were “indoctrination”

Beck: Story of Stuff video is “indoctrination.” Beck has repeatedly tied an animated film about resource use called The Story of Stuff to a conspiracy theory about progressive organizations trying to “indoctrinate our kids.” The Story of Stuff Project's website describes the effort as designed to “amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community's involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.” Beck has often cited The Story of Stuff during his attacks on the Tides Foundation and organizations related to it.

For example on October 15, Beck said that The Story of Stuff was “another fabulous progressive project brought to you by George Soros and the Tides Foundation” and that "[t]hey played this propaganda to our kids in the schools in hopes that the kids become part of the environmental movement" [transcript from the Nexis database]. And on his September 22, 2009, radio show, Beck played part of the Story of Stuff film and asked, “Are we not engaging in anti-American, anti-capitalism propaganda now in our schools?”

Indeed, Beck regularly compares the film to “indoctrination” :

On the September 23, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck said [all transcripts from Nexis]:

You want to give money to Joe, but you don't want anybody to know that you gave money to a nefarious dirtbag. So, what do you do? You give the money to me in the Tides Center, and then I say, “Thank you so much for your donation.” Joe, a gift to you. That's what the Tides Center does.

And what they do is just like on the beach -- they just erase the footprints in the sand. Tide comes in and washes away any trace of anything. You never know who was ever on the beach. These are the people that are also the people that paid for that indoctrination video that we showed you yesterday.

OK, do you remember this? This thing, we played yesterday the “Story of Stuff.” I have to tell you, we had so much e-mail from people, tons of e-mail from parents that had their kids in the room last night, and the kids were like, “Oh, yes, I've seen that before.” Excuse me?

Wait until you see the follow-up. That was paid for by the Tides Foundation.

On the September 25, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

On top of that, they are now indoctrinating our children. We showed you all kinds of video this week. Start with this one -- “The Story of Stuff.”


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let's start with the government. Now, my friends tell me I should use a tank to symbolize the government and that's true in many countries and increasingly in our own. After all, more than 50 percent of our federal tax money is now going to the military. But I'm using a person to symbolize the government because I hold true to the vision and values the government should be of the people, by the people, for the people.


BECK: She followed that with the government's job is to take care of us. No, it's not.

Is telling that to our children, and telling our children that America is a bad place, is paid for by the Tides Foundation and all comes out of Berkeley, California, and it's all over our schools.

On the October 2, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

How could you possibly sit on the sidelines when we keep seeing the indoctrination attempts on our children? The anti-capitalist “Story of Stuff” that we showed you this video. It's made by Tides. This audience knows who Tides is.

On the April 9 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

I want to play a little bit of indoctrination that we've talked about on this program before. This is being played in schools and colleges all around the country. It's the “Story of Stuff.”

On the June 21 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

He started the Open Society Institute which seeks fairness, justice -- huh, social justice? No!

He also helped start the Tides Foundation, which among its many super, super classics are the anti-capitalist “Story of Stuff,” indoctrination video. Yes, George Soros money. Isn't that great? Shown in schools all across America to warp your children's brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is.

On the September 28 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

Soros and the Tides Foundation have been trying to indoctrinate our kids. Do you remember that stupid - what was the name of that - what was the name of the film that they did? There it is - “Story of Stuff.” Remember this?

Well, I said at that time somebody else has to do it. And I waited for somebody else to do it and they haven't, so we have. I like to call it reverse propaganda on the Tides Foundation and our children. I'll show it to you before the end of the hour. Stay here.

On the October 19 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said:

Tides is a group responsible for running anti-capitalist propaganda movies in our schools. We talk about it, “The Story of Stuff.” And now, this is for our schools, but, of course, you can't just indoctrinate people in their schools. You've got to do in churches, too. So, now, they have the “Story of More Stuff,” or “Let There Be Stuff” or -- it's great. It's great.