Parents Shouldn't Trust Beck To Educate Their Kids

Glenn Beck has said he is leaving Fox News in part to “target the youth” and pitch his distinctive brand of right-wing misinformation to a younger demographic. But Beck's long history of misleading his viewers demonstrates why no one should trust him to educate his or her children.

Beck Says He's Leaving Fox News To “Target The Youth”

Beck: “I've Got To Go Find A Way To Go To The Youth.” From the May 20 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: I am putting together something that -- you know, one of the reasons why I'm leaving Fox is to target the youth, to make sure that we go for the youth. I've -- you know, I think we've made our point here, and Fox does a great job of keeping people informed. I've got to go find a way to go to the youth. And David [Barton] and I have discussed some different things that we will be doing in a new initiative, that we will talk. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/20/11]

Beck: “If We Don't Target The Kids ... We Lose.” From the April 11 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: We have kept all of our options open for so long. And, it is -- I made the decision well actually several months ago as we were planning all of this, and we announced it, what was it, last week, that we were leaving Fox. One of the reasons why we did that is because I have to start putting eggs in one basket. I've got to start doing something really right.


BECK: We in the end are picking one of the places that we're going to concentrate really hard is on the Internet. Because I believe that is the future. If we don't target the kids, if we don't get people to watch us that are, you know, 25 years old, if we don't get that information and package it in a way where they consume it, we lose. We lose. They know this. That's why they're concentrating all on the young. They don't care about any seniors. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/11/11]

Beck Misinforms About ... U.S. History

Beck, Ignoring Violent Military Campaign, Claimed That George Washington “Loved The Indians.” On August 18, 2010, Beck claimed that Washington “loved the Indians” and did not accept the “eventual justification for pushing Indians off their land.” In reality, Washington waged a bloody campaign against Iroquois settlements. [Media Matters, 10/29/10]

Beck Misrepresented Martin Luther King Jr.'s Views On Organized Labor. On the April 4 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck called it “absurd” to say that Dr. King died fighting for labor rights. In fact, King was assassinated while supporting striking public sanitation workers in Memphis, and King repeatedly spoke out in support of the labor movement during his life. [Media Matters, 4/4/11, 4/5/11]

Beck Mounted A “Completely Wrong” Defense Of The Three-Fifths Clause. On the January 6 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck claimed that the three-fifths clause “was a way to take a step to abolish slavery.” University of Pennsylvania history professor Rick Beeman said in an email to Media Matters, “My goodness -- Glenn Beck got it completely wrong.” He added that the “practical effect” of the three-fifths clause of the Constitution “far from making easier to abolish slavery, made it more difficult.” [Media Matters, 1/10/11]

Beck Misinforms About ... World History

Beck Downplayed The Number Of Deaths Caused By The Chernobyl Disaster. During the March 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Beck claimed that the United Nations had exaggerated the number of deaths caused by the Chernobyl disaster. In fact, reputable scientists believe that the UN underestimated the long-term death toll. [Media Matters, 3/15/11]

Beck's Roman History Lesson Was Thoroughly Dismantled By Historians. Beck spent a week in late 2010 repeatedly comparing the present era in American politics to the fall of the Roman Republic. Academic historians, however, debunked many of his claims, including his portrayal of the first emperor as the man who single-handedly destroyed the Republic in a non-violent coup and refused the title of “Caesar.” In reality, Julius Caesar named himself dictator for life well before Octavian's reign, Octavian embraced the title “Caesar,” and the beginning of his reign was one of the bloodiest periods in Roman history. [Media Matters, 12/3/10]

Beck Revived An Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory To Smear George Soros. During the October 5, 2010, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck, citing former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, suggested that Soros might have “helped trigger the economic meltdown” of Southeast Asian currencies in 1997. Mohamad's claims to that effect, during which he noted that “coincidentally, Soros is a Jew,” were completely unsubstantiated. Mohamad later retracted the claim about Soros. [Media Matters, 10/6/10]

Beck Misinforms About ... Religious Studies

Beck And Guest Joel Richardson Attempted To Connect Islam To The Antichrist. During the February 1 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said that the Twelfth Imam foretold by some Muslim sects “has all of the earmarks ... of an Antichrist.” He has also frequently hosted author and anti-Muslim activist Joel Richardson on his Fox News program. Richardson argues that the Muslim Mahdi will be the Antichrist, and that Islam is the “primary vehicle” of Satan. [Media Matters, 2/18/11]

Ignoring Pronouncements From The Pope, The Christian Coalition, And 86 Evangelical Pastors, Beck Called Religious Environmentalism “Fascism” And “Evil.” During the July 16, 2010, edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Beck denounced religious environmentalism, calling it “fascism” and “evil.” However, environmentalism has been endorsed by Pop Benedict XVI, the Christian Coalition, and 86 evangelical leaders who signed onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative. [Media Matters, 7/16/10]

Beck Compared Reform Judaism To “Radicalized Islam.” During the February 22 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' Glenn Beck, Beck claimed that Reform Judaism is “more about politics” than about faith and compared it to “radicalized Islam.” Beck later apologized after facing widespread criticism from the Jewish community. [Media Matters, 2/22/11, 2/24/11]

Beck Estimated That 10 Percent Of Muslims Are Terrorists. During the December 6, 2010, edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Beck estimated that roughly 10 percent of Muslims are terrorists. After CNN's Fareed Zakaria called that estimate “total nonsense,” Beck dismissed the rebuttal and said “it doesn't matter” whether his numbers were false because there are “enough” terrorists to “wipe us” out. [Media Matters, 12/6/10, 12/13/10]

Beck Misinforms About ... Basic Economics

Beck Falsely Attributed Entire 2009 Debt To Obama. During the January 21, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck claimed that the entire deficit for the fiscal year 2009 was President Obama's fault, stating that the federal debt was "$10.6 trillion in 2008," and that since Obama “comes in,” “we've gone in the one year, we've gone to ... $12.3 trillion on the debt.” In fact, only a small portion of the FY 2009 deficit -- which totaled $1.4 trillion -- was due to Obama's policies; in January 2009, before Obama took office or signed any legislation, the Congressional Budget Office projected that, based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for FY 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion. [Media Matters, 1/21/10]

Beck Advanced Myth That Stimulus Bill Was “Not Working” And No Jobs Were Created. During his February 17, 2010, Fox News show, Beck stated of the stimulus, “Can I ask you this question: Was there any intent to restore the economy in the first part? 'Cause that's not working either. Maybe it could be in the third part. I don't know.” He later said that the recovery law “was not about creating jobs. None have been created.” In fact, data at the time showed the stimulus raised employment by 1.6 million to 1.8 million -- a number that has continued to increase since then -- and had “substantial positive impact on real GDP growth.” [Media Matters, 2/17/10]

Beck's Ideal Economic Plan Is Based On Discredited Laffer Curve. During his April 12, 2010, Fox News show, Beck hosted former Reagan administration economist Art Laffer to promote Laffer's theory that increases to current federal tax rates would decrease federal revenues. But Laffer's theory about the effect of cuts to current tax rates is widely discredited, with Bush administration economist N. Gregory Mankiw calling it not “credible,” and numerous Bush administration officials acknowledging that tax cuts produce a net decrease in revenue. [Media Matters, 4/12/10]

Beck Thought It Was The Federal Reserve's “Job” To Oversee Goldman Sachs Before Financial Crisis. During his January 28, 2010, Fox News show, Beck claimed that the advisers of former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan were supposed to “oversee things like Goldman Sachs. ... That's their job.” In fact, the Federal Reserve did have regulatory authority over banks before the financial crisis, but Goldman Sachs was an investment bank and was not subject to Fed regulations at the time. [Media Matters, 1/29/10]

Beck Falsely Claimed That “49 Percent” Of Americans “Don't Pay Any Tax.” On the April 16, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck said: “How do we get people that are not paying taxes -- I mean, I saw this -- did you see this poll this week? There was like 48 percent say that they pay their right amount of taxes, and 49 percent don't pay any tax. So, I mean, you know, how do we get those people to understand, no, no, we gotta shut this system down and change it dramatically?” However, the Tax Policy Center noted that while nearly half of U.S. households pay no federal income taxes, a “vast majority” pay other taxes. [Media Matters, 4/12/11]

Beck Misinforms About ... Science

Beck: There Has Been “Zero Warming For Over A Decade,” And Climate Change Is A “Socialist Scam.” On his April 24, 2010, Fox News show, Beck falsely claimed that there has been “zero warming for over a decade” and that climate change is a “socialist scam” that has been “totally discredited”. In fact, longer-term data establishes a warming trend, including 2000-2009 being the warmest decade on record. Furthermore, scientific consensus behind human-driven climate change remains intact and heavily supported by the international community. [Media Matters, 4/23/10]

Beck: “Nearly All Of The [Arctic] Ice Has Returned” And “Is Increasing.” Purporting to correct comments made by former Vice President Al Gore about the impact of global warming on the North polar ice cap, Beck falsely suggested that the ice “has returned” and “is increasing.” In fact, 2008 and 2009 were the second- and third-lowest years on record for summertime Arctic sea ice, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center has stated that the data from those years are consistent with the long-term negative trend that will result in ice-free summers for the Arctic Ocean. [Media Matters, 12/15/09]

Beck Mocked The Idea That Carbon Dioxide Could Be A Pollutant. While discussing the cap and trade proposal in 2009, Beck joked that his exhaling CO2 may be harming the planet, according to the EPA, and suggested they might start regulating his breathing to “50 times a day.” However, scientists have pointed to the serious danger posed to the atmosphere by excessive discharges of C02. The Natural Resources Defense Council has further noted that “when too much CO2 is put into the atmosphere, it becomes harmful.” [Media Matters, 5/21/09]