Glenn Beck Uses Fox To Demonize Unions

Glenn Beck has repeatedly used his Fox News show as a platform to villify labor unions, accusing unions of perpetuating violence, linking them to communists, likening union pensions to rape, accusing unions of wanting to destroy “the Western way of life,” and claiming that unions are destroying children's education.

Beck Repeatedly Accuses Unions Of Being Violent

Beck Said Violence Is A “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” Of Labor Unions. Beck said, “The unions are in bed with Washington and special interests and they are not in your or this nation's best interest anymore. They are following the playbooks from Europe.” Beck went on to spell out the “playbooks from Europe,” concluding that the process ends with “violence.” He added, “This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/3/10]

Beck Used Blatant Distortions To Smear SEIU As A Violent Organization Of “Thugs.” Beck fired off a series of false and misleading attacks to claim that Service Employees International Union members are “thugs” who “beat down” opponents and command elected officials. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/17/09]

Beck Suggested Progressive Coalition Will Become Violent And Riot “A Year From Now.” In September 2010, Beck claimed that progressives were trying to “nudge” the United States toward “global governance,” and said that “violence is a part of the overall strategy.” Beck said that he believed that a labor march that was being planned at the time would be “peaceful,” but he suggested that “a year from now” there may be violence and riots “when the cuts take place.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/14/10]

Beck Suggested Union Members May Kill Him. Beck criticized legislation supported by organized labor and said, “By the way, if I show up dead, check the unions.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/4/09, via Nexis]

Beck: Unions Share The Wealth “At The End Of A Baseball Bat.” Beck said that “the unions and their pensions are in jeopardy, because sharing the wealth, whether it has been at the barrel of a gun like Maoists, or at the end of a baseball bat like unions, it doesn't work.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/1/10]

Beck Accuses Unions Of Wanting To “End The Western Way Of Life”

Beck: “Powerful” Unions That Are “Led By Communists” Want To “End The Western Way Of Life As You And I Understand It.” Beck said:

Do you remember the big progressive One Nation rally? One Nation stuck out. It's what Van Jones autographed one of my books, he wrote, “Glenn, let's just be one nation.”

Working together - working together with the red star in between. Working together on what? Towards what - is what bothered me, especially when you saw all of these groups together.

What does the Young Communist League have to do with the UAW or the steelworkers? Progressive, socialist, Marxist groups, religious groups, green groups, communist, powerful unions led by communists, SEIU, AFL-CIO. Radical groups like La Raza - what did all of these groups - what were they all working together for?

Well, in one way or another, they want to end the Western way of life as you and I understand it. They may disagree on exactly what the new way of life will be.

For example, Van Jones, he wants a new green utopia. At least that's what he says. Leave old, gray capitalism to a new green capitalism. And then he says, will it stop there? Oh, no, it won't be enough.

Another one might want a communist utopia. But they'll work that out later. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/7/11]

Beck Repeatedly Accused SEIU Of Wanting To “Collapse The Wages” Of American Workers. Glenn Beck has repeatedly claimed that SEIU wanted to reduce the wages and living standard of American workers:

  • Beck: "[Former SEIU President Andy] Stern would like nothing more than to collapse the wages of the American worker with the wages of our economy, and then he can assist Obama in resetting America and a new unionized wealth redistributed 'workers of the world unite' world appears." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 12/9/09]
  • Beck: “Stern has already - is already driving down wages to bring us in line with the rest of the world. That's what they have to do, drive down - no matter what they tell you - drive down our standard of living.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/19/09]
  • Beck: "[W]hen you have a global community and you have unions, you're not going to be able to have the cost of living or the cost of creating a product in America, global. You're going to have to reverse it and bring our standard of living down. These guys - they either don't get it, which I don't believe for a second, or their agenda. They don't care about the standard of living in America." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/17/09]

Beck: Unions Are “Raping” Taxpayers

Beck Used Union Pensions As Example Of “Public Officials Raping You.” Glenn Beck discussed public officials in Bell, California, who have been accused of corruption and said:

This is just the most egregious example of public officials raping you, and on top of it, the public being saddled with unsustainable pensions that wind up collapsing the system.

And it's not just happening in California. In virtually bankrupt New York, 738 educators are collecting city pensions of more than $100,000 a year and three make more than $200,000 a year.

Union pensions at G.M. and Chrysler helped drive those auto manufacturers to the brink of disaster and into the loving arms of the federal government where they're currently going through your wallet to take that. I could go on and on and on.

It is happening in every city, every state, every branch of the federal government, in Washington, D.C. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 7/27/10, via Nexis]

Beck Accuses Unions Of Being Communist

Beck: “You Have The Communists In Bed” With The AFL-CIO. Beck said:

During the late 1990s, the AFL-CIO suspended their statute that communists weren't allowed in the union. I've asked several times, never heard an answer - why would you want to do that? I mean, unless you want to have more communists in the union.

So, you have the communists in bed - their words - in bed with the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO in bed with the White House. Are you surprised? Van Jones was there. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/17/10]

Beck Labeled Stern A Communist. Beck accused Andy Stern of being a communist for using the slogan “Workers of the World Unite”:

BECK: Let's refresh. What are the goals of Andy Stern and SEIU?

STERN (video clip): Workers of the world, unite, it's not just a slogan anymore. It's the way we're going to have to do our work.

BECK: “Workers of the world, unite.” That's a really dicey kind of phrase there. You might have heard that before, because it's the old communist slogan. “Workers of the world, unite.” Good thing there hasn't been a recent rash of communist radicals running around the White House, right? I mean, because then I'd really be concerned. Let's for a moment, give old Andy Stern the benefit of the doubt that he just went to the Anita Dunn school of comedy over and over and over again. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/16/09]

Beck: AFL-CIO Head Trumka's Support For Egyptian Workers And Democracy “Sounds Almost - I Don't Know -- Chinese.” Beck said:

And speaking of unions, AFL-CIO head, Richard Trumka, wrote to the Real Estate Tax Authority in Egypt, the workers president and to the director of the independent Egyptian labor group, the Center for Trade Union Workers Services, and he supported their uprising there.

He said, quote, “Their organizations symbolize the strength and the courage of the Egyptian workers and their families who have been standing up to repression for many, many years. We salute you this brave endeavor, forming the new labor federation and join the international labor movement in the standing with you.”

That's fantastic. That's fantastic. By the end of the week, that will make the hair on the back of your neck. The people's movement for democracy in Egypt and the role the unions are playing for freedom and workers' rights.

He says, “Inspire us and will not be forgotten.” He then concludes, democracy. Democracy. Democracy will rise up. Really. Sounds beautiful. Democracy. The people's movement for democracy -- wow, that even sounds better. It's sounds almost -- I don't know -- Chinese, doesn't it?

I feel confident that the workers in Egypt will absolutely thrive under a new government formed by these guys and supported by all of these guys. That's going to be fantastic.

Look at the wonderful freedoms enjoyed by the Iranians after their Islamic revolutionary council took over. And unions and workers? Oh, that is great! That's great. The unions -- they'll think they are dealing with John Adams and Patrick Henry by the time the brotherhood seizes control. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/7/11, via Nexis]

Beck: Unions Are “Wreck[ing] Our Children's Education”

Beck Accused Government And Teachers Unions Of Conspiring To “Wreck Our Children's Education.” Beck asked, “Why is the government and the teachers union working together to wreck our children's education?” Beck went on to say, “Educational bureaucrats reward failure.” He also said, “Once kids are stuck in the public school systems, they don't either learn anything or much of anything. or, worse, they're indoctrinated with history lessons that don't resemble the real truth about America, and - oh, yes, the Constitution.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/17/09, via Nexis]

Beck On Teachers Unions: “Break The Back Of The Leech That's On Our Neck.” Beck applauded Frances Gallo, a Rhode Island superintendent who fired all the teachers at a high school when an agreement with their union could not be reached. Celebrating the decision, Beck said, “Fire them. If the unions won't do it, fire them all. Break the back of the leech that's on our neck.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/19/10]

Beck Called For Elimination Of Teachers Unions. Citing an example of a teacher in a “rubber room,” Beck said, “the Department of Education, mind you, blames the teachers union for the problem. The teachers union blames the Department of Education. I say we eliminate both of them. Problem fixed.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/14/10]