In selecting the 2010 winner of the Glenn Beck Honorary Award for Excellence in Misinformation, Media Matters weighed the vigor and meticulous detail the 2009 recipient, Glenn Beck, brought to the craft.
Beck's dedication to fabricating facts to smear those he disagrees with is so complete, we at Media Matters for America decided to name the award in his honor. Thus, it is only fitting that the recipient of the first Glenn Beck Misinformer of the Year Award would embody the spirit Glenn Beck brings to lying, distorting, and smearing; someone who regularly promotes the very same lies and extreme rhetoric as Glenn Beck; someone who truly stands with Glenn Beck.
Sarah Palin announced early this year that she would join Beck and become a Fox News contributor. Within days, Palin sat for what Beck called an “eyeball to eyeball” interview. For the rest of the year, Beck and Palin would share talking points and cross-promote each other's violent rhetoric, falsehoods, and distortions -- continuing a pattern that first emerged in 2009.
Palin “Stands With” Beck
Beck Has A Long History Of Violent Rhetoric That Has Resulted In Real-World Consequences. As Media Matters for America has documented, Beck frequently spews violent rhetoric and pushes conspiracy theories about progressives. Byron Williams told journalist John Hamilton that Beck “blew my mind,” adding that Beck is “like a schoolteacher on TV.” Williams was arrested after being wounded in a shootout with police, and he reportedly told investigators that “his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”
Beck regularly attacks Tides on his show. Williams also said that “Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, I understand what he's doing.”
David Brock Called On Palin To “Stop This Insanity.” In an October 26, 2010, appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Media Matters CEO and founder David Brock called on Palin to “stop this insanity.” Brock explained that Palin is uniquely poised to help scale back Beck's violent rhetoric. [MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 10/26/10]
Palin Responded On Beck's Radio Show: “I Stand With You, Glenn.” Palin later called in to Beck's radio show to reaffirm her support for Beck. From the show:
PALIN: So, you know, when I speak of your love of our Founding Fathers, and how you are helping to educate Americans about respecting our nation's history so that we don't lose what makes America exceptional, and the far, far left mouthpieces, they're twisting and perverting that message. No, what I do, I go back to what Abraham Lincoln said about standing with anybody who stands right. You stand with him when he stands right, you part with him when he goes wrong. I stand with you, Glenn. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/28/10]
Palin Regularly Promotes Beck's Lies and Extremism
Palin Has Appeared On Beck's Fox News Program Three Times. Beck has hosted Palin on his Fox News program on three occasions: on March 18, 2010, January 13, 2010, and January 19, 2009 (Beck's first broadcast on Fox News).
During his January 13, 2010, interview with Palin, Beck read her an entry from his diary:
Tomorrow, I meet Sarah Palin and family for the first time. I'm actually a little nervous -- as she is one of the only people that I can see that can possibly lead us out of where we are. I don't know yet if she's strong enough, if she's well-enough advised, or if she knows she can no longer trust anyone. I don't know if she can lead and not lose her soul. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/13/10]
Palin Wrote Beck's "Time 100" Article. Palin wrote Beck's article in Time magazine's annual issue profiling the 100 “people who most affect our world.” Palin wrote:
Who'd have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers -- kicking it old school -- instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host.
His love of the Founding Fathers inspires others to learn and respect our nation's history. Best of all, Glenn delights in driving the self-proclaimed powers-that-be crazy. [Time, 4/29/10]
Palin And Beck Hosted 9-11 Event In Alaska. On September 7, 2010, Palin wrote a note on Facebook inviting followers to join her and Beck at a ticketed event on 9-11. Palin wrote:
We can count on Glenn to make the night interesting and inspiring, and I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will “never forget.” Hope to see you there! [Facebook, 9/7/10]
Palin Spoke At Beck's “Restoring Honor” Rally On The National Mall. Palin spoke at Beck's August 28, 2010, “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, D.C:
I must assume that you, too, knowing that, no, we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want, we must restore America and restore her honor. [C-SPAN, 8/28/10]
Palin: “Lamestream Media: Watch Rerun Of Glenn Beck's Show Today.” In a September 13, 2010, post to her Twitter account, Palin wrote:
Lamestream media: watch rerun of Glenn Beck's show today. Listen/Learn/Don't underestimate the wisdom of the people. Times,they r a'changin! [Twitter, 9/13/10]
On That Show, Beck Said, “There's A Lot Of Us” Who Think America Isn't Going To “Continue As A Country.” On the show that Palin promoted, Beck said:
We have to set things right in this country. We have to continue as a country. Isn't that our goal? Continue as a country, and there's a lot of us that don't think we will very much longer. Did you see the national debt?
We have to ring the bell, but we have to ring it equally, equally, on all issues. No matter who's in office, we have to ring the bell. But it is important to meet on the battlefield of ideas and engage with each other, actually have a dialogue -- not between one personality and another, but American citizens having a dialogue. You wait until I show you what's happening later on the program. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/13/10]
Palin: Beck “Hit The Nail On The Head” In CPAC Speech. On February 20, Palin wrote on her Twitter account: "@GlennBeck hit the nail on the head in his #CPAC speech: USA is the abiding beacon of freedom & we need 'less Marx, more Madison'!" [Twitter, 2/20/10]
In That Speech, Beck Said That A Liberal “Minority” Has “Hijacked” America And “Progressivism Is The Cancer In America.” In his February 20 CPAC speech Beck suggested a liberal “minority” has “hijack[ed]” America, and he claimed that "[o]ur government looks at the American people as the bad guy," that "[e]conomic holocaust is coming," and that "[p]rogressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution."
Palin Promoted Beck's Documentary Linking Progressives To Atrocities Of Communism. On January 22, Palin wrote on her Twitter account: “Pls watch Glenn Beck's FOX documentary on Friday to learn about 'manufactured crisis'-mode of govt operatives that lead to harmful proposals.” [Twitter, 1/22/10]
Beck Used This Special To Link Progressives To Hitler And Other Dictators. In previewing his documentary on communist atrocities, Beck promised to show what “progressives don't want you to know.” Beck opened his documentary by citing Che Guevara, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong as “left-wing icons.” Beck also suggested that Adolf Hitler was a liberal and claimed that Soviet genocide has been “erased” from history books.
Palin Invited Her “Friends” To Watch Beck Exposé On “Who Is Actually Running The White House.” On August 26, 2009, Palin posted a note on Facebook inviting her “friends” to watch Beck. Palin wrote: “FOX News' Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House. Monday night he asked us to invite one friend to watch; tonight I invite all my friends to watch.” [Facebook, 8/26/09]
During The Shows Palin Highlighted, Beck Told Viewers They Were “About To Lose [Their] Freedom Of Speech” And Suggested There Could Be A Venezuela-Type “Clampdown.” During the week of August 26, 2009, Beck's shows regularly featured violent and paranoid rhetoric:
BECK: Is this America? Is it? Ask yourself that question. These are reasonable questions in apparently unreasonable times.
Is this the way we decide how things happen? Do we have these shadow operations with these new czars or advisers or whatever the hell they want to call them, calling the shots? And doing it with a hidden agenda? Doing it slowly, quietly behind the scenes and then, boom! There it is.
You are about to lose your freedom of speech in this country. If you disagree with that, please contact me and tell me how, because I'd like to live in that world. I'd like to believe that. But with everything else I have shown you this week, and then you see the clampdown by somebody who is extolling the virtues of the revolution in Venezuela, I don't know how you see that.
Could somebody, please -- I mean this sincerely -- please explain to me how this isn't anti-capitalist, revolutionary in nature, and anti-constitutional? How is this -- how does this resemble our republic and our First Amendment at all? Please answer that question. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/26/09]
Beck: An Early Adopter Of Palin's “Death Panels” Lie
In 2009, PolitiFact.com named Palin's claim that health care reform legislation would create “death panels” the 2009 Lie of the Year. Palin popularized the phrase “death panels” in an August 7, 2009, Facebook post. Days later, on August 10, 2009, Beck fully embraced her claim as true.
Palin Introduces “Death Panels” Falsehood. In an August 7, 2009, post on her Facebook page, Palin wrote, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” [Facebook, 8/7/09]
Beck On “Death Panels”: “I Believe It To Be True.” On his radio show, Beck fully embraced Palin's claim that health care reform would establish death panels:
GLENN BECK: So, why is there no more discussion than there is on Sarah Palin and what she said over the weekend that there would be death -- what did she call it? -- a death squad? Or a death --
STEVE “STU” BURGUIERE (executive producer): Death panel.
BECK: A death panel for her son Trig. That's quite a statement. I believe it to be true, but that's quite a statement. She also called health care this -- Obama health care -- “evil.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 8/10/09]
Palin And Beck's Brazilian Oil Conspiracy Theory
Beck and Palin falsely accused the Obama administration of lending $2 billion to Brazil to benefit foreign oil interests at the expense of the U.S. economy. In fact, Bush appointees to the Export-Import Bank -- not the Obama administration -- unanimously approved the loan, and the funds must be used to purchase U.S. goods and services. Beck falsely claimed the loan was part of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to enrich George Soros. Byron Williams cited this conspiracy theory in an interview discussing his plan to target the Tides Foundation.
Palin: The Obama White House Is “Prepared To Send More Than Two Billion Of Your Hard-Earned Tax Dollars To Brazil So That The Nation's State-Owned Oil Company, Petrobras, Can Drill Off Shore.” In August 2009, Palin wrote, “So why is it that during these tough times, when we have great needs at home, the Obama White House is prepared to send more than two billion of your hard-earned tax dollars to Brazil so that the nation's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, can drill off shore and create jobs developing its own resources?” [Facebook, 8/19/09]
Beck: Loan Intended To Help Soros Get Rich While The American People Are “Getting Screwed.” Beck advanced the conspiracy theory that the Obama White House was giving money to Petrobras in order to enrich Soros:
BECK: I'm not sure if [Soros] knew that the administration would be making a $2 billion preliminary commitment for Petrobras, for Petrobras, for exploration, just days after he strengthened his investment. Isn't that weird? You see, he's got some connections here, but I'm sure he had no idea what was coming on the other side of the circle? No. It's probably just another one of those bad luck situations for Obama, because this doesn't seem to pass the smell test at all. No. Billionaire investor dumps money into a state-controlled Brazilian oil company; days later the American administration dumps $2 billion into the exact same company. What are the odds, Gilligan?
Let's go here. George Soros starts the Center for American Process with John Podesta. John Podesta, Center for American Progress, selects the Obama transition team. Soros buys $900 million in gasoline powered bras. Then, in a completely unrelated story, BP has their oil spill. But wait a minute, who's this guy? John Podesta. John Podesta is the guy who does all the lobbying for BP? Certainly -- I'm sorry, Tony Podesta -- certainly no relation to John Podesta, other than they're brothers. We'll have to come back to that one later in the show. So then Center for American Progress starts to make Obama policy. This one, we'll show you, laid out by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. One of the policies: cap and trade, which goes right to Crime Inc. and all of the Obama friends with the Climate Exchange in Chicago. That's weird.
Then Obama suspends the deepwater drilling at 1,500 meters. He says “Hey, hey, that's dangerous! Fifteen hundred meters, that's crazy.” Petrobras is drilling at 2,777 meters. Obama knows it and loans $2 billion to Petrobras. Last stop, Petrobras shareholders get rich. Oh my gosh, we're back at the beginning: shareholder, Petrobras. Getting rich. You getting screwed. You see how this works? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/21/10]
Bush Appointees At Export-Import Bank -- Not Obama -- Unanimously Approved Loan To Brazil. FactCheck.org called the claim “bogus,” noting that the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved a “preliminary commitment” to Brazil to finance “their purchases of U.S. equipment, products and services.” At the time, “the Bank's Board consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by George W. Bush.” [FactCheck.org, 9/18/09]
Ex-Im Spokesman: “This Is The Government Doing What It's Supposed To Do: Create Jobs.” Politico's Ben Smith reported:
A spokesman for the bank, Phil Cogan, noted to POLITICO that the bank does not rely on tax money and that Palin's statement ignores the bank's central function: To lend money to foreign companies for the purchase of American goods and services.
“It has to be produced by U.S. workers,” Cogan said. Palin's statement refers to “creat[ing] jobs and health benefits in the U.S.”
“That's exactly what a purchase financed by the U.S. government would do,” Cogan said.
In this case, Cogan said, the proposed loan would likely finance engineering services, sales of ships to service oil platforms, or drilling equipment. [Politico, 8/19/09]
Beck Repeats Palin's Falsehood That Obama Has Not Prioritized Ending Gulf Oil Leak
After Obama gave an Oval Office speech addressing efforts to stop the BP oil spill, Palin and Beck falsely claimed that Obama did not prioritize ending the spill. In fact, in that very speech, Obama said, “We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes.” Obama had previously called stopping the oil spill his “top priority.”
Palin: “We Haven't Had The Assurance By The President That That Has Been His Top Priority.” Palin appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss Obama's Oval Office address:
O'REILLY: Tell the nation tonight what you would have said your main point in that speech. Go.
PALIN: Stopping the gusher. That's the number one priority of the nation.
O'REILLY: But nobody knows how to do it.
PALIN: We need to make sure all technology is being thrown at this problem.
O'REILLY: Nobody knows how to do it.
PALIN: Well, we haven't had that assurance that president -- we haven't had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/15/10, transcript from Nexis]
Beck: Stopping Oil Spill “Should Be Our Priority. But It's Not.” Days later on his Fox News show, Beck adopted Palin's criticism, saying that stopping the oil spill “should be our priority. But it's not.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/17/10]
Obama From Oval Office “Make No Mistake: We Will Fight This Spill With Everything We've Got For As Long As It Takes.” During his address from the Oval Office, Obama stated: “But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.” [Remarks By The President To The Nation On The BP Oil Spill, WhiteHouse.gov, 6/15/10]
Obama Had Called The Spill “My Top Priority.” During a May 27 press conference, Obama said: “Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred.” He also said, " But here's the broad point: There has never been a point during this crisis in which this administration, up and down up the line, in all these agencies, hasn't, number one, understood this was my top priority -- getting this stopped and then mitigating the damage; and number two, understanding that if BP wasn't doing what our best options were, we were fully empowered and instruct them, to tell them to do something different." [Remarks By The President On The Gulf Oil Spill, WhiteHouse.gov, 5/27/10]
Beck Shares Palin's Falsehood That Food Prices Have “Risen Significantly”
Palin and Beck have pushed the falsehood that grocery prices have risen significantly in the past year in order to criticize the Federal Reserve's plans to purchase Treasury securities and to stoke fears of rampant inflation. Beck has frequently warned that hyperinflation is coming while attacking progressive policies and encouraging his audience to purchase gold, food insurance, and survival food kits -- products sold by sponsors of his radio show. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, food prices had increased by “the slowest pace on record.”
Palin: “Everyone Who Ever Goes Out Shopping For Groceries Knows That Prices Have Risen Significantly Over The Past Year Or So.” Addressing a trade convention in Phoenix, Palin criticized the Federal Reserve's plans to purchase long-term bonds from the Treasury and said:
The Fed hopes doing this may buy us a little temporary economic growth by supplying banks with extra cash which they could then lend out to businesses. But it's far from certain this will even work. After all, the problem isn't that banks don't have enough cash on hand -- it's that they don't want to lend it out, because they don't trust the current economic climate.
And if it doesn't work, what do we do then? Print even more money? What's the end game here? Where will all this money printing on an unprecedented scale take us? Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won't be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually -- inevitably -- no one will want to buy our debt anymore? What happens if the Fed becomes not just the buyer of last resort, but the buyer of only resort?
All this pump priming will come at a serious price. And I mean that literally: everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher. And it's not just groceries. Oil recently hit a six month high, at more than $87 a barrel. The weak dollar -- a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market -- is pushing oil prices upwards. That's like an extra tax on earnings. And the worst part of it: because the Obama White House refuses to open up our offshore and onshore oil reserves for exploration, most of that money will go directly to foreign regimes who don't have America's best interests at heart. [National Review Online, 11/07/10]
Beck: “How Is The Price Of Your Grocery Bill? ... We Showed You The Projections Of Where Food Prices Are Heading: Way Up.” From Glenn Beck:
I've talked about the road that we're heading down, that it will only lead to inflation. The critics all scoffed, claimed that it was deflation that we had to worry about. Me, again, 2009. Hello? Printing money.
Well, ask yourself this: How is the price of your grocery bill? Has it gone up or down in this deflationary period? Your food -- up or down in this period? How about school tuition? Up or down? I could go on -- health care and everything else.
We showed you the projections of where food prices are heading: way up. Critics responded by saying, “It hasn't actually happened.” Really? Check out the price survey done at the nation's largest retailer, Walmart. And the results of a secret survey showed a 0.6 percent increase in just the last two months, according to MKM Partners.
Anything notable happened in the last two months? Oh, that's right. The monetizing of the debt and the Fed announcing the 600 billion, which is actually $900 billion. QE2, the little bears told me about it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/15/10]
WSJ: Food Prices Have Increased By “The Slowest Pace On Record.” The Wall Street Journal reported:
Grocery prices haven't risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index's measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968). Even if you pick a single snapshot -- say, September's year-over-year increase in prices -- that was just 1.4%, far better than the 6% annual increase for food prices recorded in September 2008.
The overall consumer price index was up 1.1% in September from a year earlier. Apart from September 2009 (when prices were down 1.3%), that was the slowest annual inflation rate for September since the early 1960s. That's not strong evidence to argue about rising prices today. [The Wall Street Journal, 11/8/10]
Palin, Beck Call Park 51 Islamic Community Center A “Slap In The Face”
Criticizing plans to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan, both Palin and Beck said that the center, known as Park51, would be a “slap” to the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Right-wing media figures repeatedly demonized Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam spearheading the project, with Islamophobic smears and outright falsehoods throughout 2010. Foreign policy experts warned that these attacks threatened to undermine anti-terrorism efforts, and, in fact, the U.S. State Department has had a long-term relationship with Rauf, who is broadly viewed as a moderate.
Palin: Park 51 Center Is “A Slap To Those Innocent Victims Who Were Murdered That Day On 9-11.” Discussing President Obama's comments about plans for Park51, Palin said:
It was shocking, because this leader of the free world has such power in his words. He should utilize that power in the word to represent the will of the people and not underestimate the wisdom of the people in America and the overwhelming majority of Americans right now are saying, “Mr. President, no, this hurts. This is a slap to those innocent victims who were murdered that day on 9-11.” Build a mosque, build it somewhere, join the other 100 mosques that are already there in New York, but build it somewhere else that is less offensive and less provoking of more pain and anger. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 8/16/10]
Beck: Park51 Is “A Slap In The Face.” From Glenn Beck:
So my question has been: how does building a mosque right next to the place where radical Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans -- how does that help improve the negative perception? Not really seeing the upside there especially -- especially reopening the scar because it comes as a slap in the face when you think, “you know, wait a minute. when were they going to open that again?”
It doesn't sit well with Americans. It probably sits as well as a Serbian Orthodox church on the ground where 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Serbranka or -- seriously, what is it? Srebrenica. Thank you very much. Whatever.
Really? Are you going to build that there? No. Why? Because it would be a slap in the face.
To describe it anything other than that is really a second slap in the face. And if they have a reason, well, I'd love to hear it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/10/10]
Haass: World Watching “To See Whether Muslims In America Have Rights, Have Opportunities That Muslims In Lots Of Other Countries Don't.” Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former advisor to Colin Powell, said, "One of the great ironies is the people doing this mosque, this community center, want to develop an American version of Islam that competes around the world with the Wahhabi -- with the Saudi intolerant version of Islam. So this issue now is being watched around the world to prove or to see whether Muslims in America have rights, have opportunities that Muslims in lots of other countries don't." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 8/16/10]
NSN Policy Analyst James Lamond: Attacking Ground Zero Mosque Is “Counterproductive To Our Anti-Terrorism Efforts. James Lamond, a policy expert for the progressive National Security Network condemned comments Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich's made about Islam and against the Islamic cultural center as ”counterproductive to our anti-terrorism efforts. First, at a strategic level, it plays into al Qaeda's framework that the West is at war with Islam." [The Huffington Post, 7/30/10]
Former Bush Official Armitage Discussing Mosque: Terrorists Are Winning “When We Change Our Own Ideals.” On The Charlie Rose Show, former Bush deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage responded to the question, “We should put [the mosque] there and be confident about it?” by saying: “My own view is don't let the terrorists win. When we change our own ideals and our own principles, they're winning, we're not.” [PBS, The Charlie Rose Show, 8/9/10, via Nexis]
State Dept. Spokesman Crowley: U.S. Has “Long Term Relationship With Rauf.” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley discussed Rauf's participation in a citizen dialogue program:
For Imam Feisal, this will be his third trip under this program. In 2007, he visited Bahrain, Morocco, the UAE and Qatar. And earlier this year in January, he also visited Egypt. So we have a long-term relationship with him. His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States. And our discussions with him about taking this trip preceded the current debate in New York over the center. [Daily Press Briefing, State.gov, 8/10/10]
Beck, Palin Compare Burning Qurans To Building A Community Center
In September 2010, Florida pastor Terry Jones announced plans to burn several Qurans to protest the Park51 center. Palin and Beck both criticized Jones' plans to burn Qurans by comparing it to the plans to build Park51.
Beck: “It's Just Like The Ground Zero Mosque Plan.” In a September 6 blog post to his website The Blaze, Glenn Beck wrote:
I'm on vacation and trying to unplug but the news can make that hard. I just read the story about the Florida church planning to burn copies of the Koran.
What is wrong with us? It's just like the Ground Zero mosque plan. Does this church have the right? Yes. Should they? No. And not because of the potential backlash or violence. Simply because it is wrong. [TheBlaze.com, 9/6/10]
Palin: Quran Burning “Is Insensitive And An Unnecessary Provocation - Much Like Building A Mosque At Ground Zero.” Palin wrote in a Facebook post:
Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation - much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.
I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don't feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.
Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don't need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn't that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about? [Facebook, 9/9/10]
Beck, Palin Push For “Windfall Profit Tax” On Fed -- Which Already Returns Profits To Treasury
Criticizing the Federal Reserve, Palin and Beck complained that “nobody” was talking about taxing the Federal Reserve's profits in order to return the money to the American people. In fact, the Fed returns all of its profits to the U.S. Treasury.
Beck And Palin Push To Tax Fed Profits. From Beck's interview with Palin:
BECK: Do you see that the Fed made the -- you know, Exxon had their record profit a couple of years ago. It was $45 billion. The Fed just had record profit, over $50 billion. No one's having hearings on the Fed. Nobody is looking for a windfall profit tax on the Fed. We can't even open the Fed's books. Where do you stand on the Fed?
PALIN: It's so ironic there, too, especially that you bring up this private sector company, Exxon, because in Alaska, we saw what was going on with Exxon, and we did have our own hearings on what was going on with this private sector company, and how could the state of Alaska adjust some things to make sure that there was a share of the resource.
Yet, you're right, nobody has even lifted a finger to go that route with the Fed. And it's a scary thing. It's one of those things that we're thankful for, Glenn, that you're bringing this to light. And I don't know anybody else who is, certainly nobody else who has a platform or the megaphone like you do. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/13/10, via Nexis]
Wash. Post: The Fed “Returns Its Profits To The Treasury... The Numbers Are Good News For The Federal Budget.” The Washington Post reported on January 12, 2010, that the Federal Reserve “will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009 ... the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury.” The Post added that these profits “are good news for the federal budget and a sign that the Fed has been successful, at least so far, in protecting taxpayers as it intervenes in the economy -- though there remains a risk of significant losses in the future if the Fed sells some of its investments or loses money on its stakes in bailed-out firms.” [The Washington Post, 1/12/10]
Palin Joins Beck In Co-Opting King's Legacy To Attack Progressives
Beck promoted his August 28, 2010, rally in Washington, D.C., by invoking Martin Luther King Jr., claiming that his rally would “reclaim the civil rights movement.” He has claimed that progressives have hijacked King's legacy. Palin also invoked King in her speech at the rally. Palin also misappropriated King's legacy in her book, America By Heart, in order to attack Obama.
Beck: 8-28 Rally Will “Reclaim The Civil Rights Movement.” Promoting the rally on his radio show, Beck said, “This is a moment quite honestly that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It is -- it's an abomination what has happened.” Beck also said: “We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties, and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement because we were the people that did it in the first place.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/26/10]
Beck: At 8-28 Rally, We Will “Pick Up Martin Luther King's Dream That Has Been Distorted And Lost.” Beck also said, “As we create history together, your children will be able to say, 'I remember. I was there.' As we -- as we pick up Martin Luther King's dream that has been distorted and lost, and we say 'We bought it when he first said it. It's time to restore and to finish it.'” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/15/10]
Beck Invoked King To Proclaim: “We Are The Inheritors And The Protectors Of The Civil Rights Movement.” Beck discussed Rev. Al Sharpton's statement that King's “dream” was “not to put one black family in the White House. The dream was to make everything equal in everybody's house.” Beck responded: “That is not the dream. That is a perversion of the dream. We are the people of the civil rights movement. We are the ones that must stand for civil and equal rights. Equal rights. Justice. Equal justice. Not special justice, not social justice, but equal justice.” He added, “We are the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement. They are perverting it.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/24/10]
Beck: “Martin Luther King's Dream Is Being Massively Perverted. ... It's Time To Set It Right.” On the June 14 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said that “Martin Luther King's dream is being massively perverted.” Beck added, “It's time to set it right. One side has all the power. Enough power.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/14/10]
Palin: “We Fill The Spirit Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” From Palin's speech at Beck's August 28, 2010, rally:
We stand today at the symbolic crossroads of our nation's history, and all around us are monuments to those who have sustained us over the years in word or deed. There in the distance stands the monument to the father of our country, and behind me, the towering presence of the Great Emancipator. He secured our union at the moment of its most perilous time and freed those whose captivity was our greatest shame.
And over these grounds where we are so honored to stand today, we fill the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He, who on this very day two score and seven years ago, gave voice to a dream that would challenge us to honor the sacred charters of our liberty, that all men are created equal. [C-SPAN, “Restoring Honor” rally, 8/28/10]
Palin Claimed Obama's Call For A “Fundamental Transformation” Was At Odds With MLK. In her book America By Heart, Palin wrote:
My only wish is that President Obama would follow through on this hopeful view of America. To want a better and brighter future for our country does not mean a rejection of our founding or a “fundamental transformation” of who we are. Instead it means following, in part, the wisdom of the most powerful American voice for civil rights of the twentieth century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Famously, Dr. King called not for a rejection of America's founding principles, but for America to “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” [America by Heart, Page 32]
King: The Civil Rights Movement “Must Address Itself To The Question Of Restructuring The Whole Of American Society.” In his last address as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the civil rights movement “must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society.” [A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., Page 250]
Beck And Palin Each Criticized Unnamed Media For What Fox News Itself Did
Criticizing media coverage of the debate over Arizona's controversial immigration law, Palin and Beck both criticized unnamed media for saying the law “will make it illegal to be an illegal immigrant.” Fox News itself ran a similar graphic to those criticized by Palin and Beck.
Palin Criticized Immigration Language That Was Also Used In A Fox News Graphic. Criticizing media coverage of the debate over Arizona's immigration law, Palin said:
This is the problem with that lamestream media throughout our country. It's not just this issue, but so many. One of the media outlets the other day just was killing me on this one, Sean, where they had a caption across their screen that said this Arizona law will make it illegal to be an illegal immigrant?
Some bizarre type of headline like that where it was just this illustration that they just don't get it and that they are trying to turn this into something that it is not. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/27/10]
A Fox News Graphic That Very Day Read “Illegal To Be Illegal.” From Fox & Friends:
Beck Adopts Palin's Criticism. From Glenn Beck:
First, I want to tell you about a headline I saw just the other day on another news network, luckily that nobody watches. Here's what it said. The banner at the bottom of the screen said, quote, “Papers, please. Law makes it crime to be an illegal immigrant.”
I don't -- I mean, it's just like, you know, illegal murder is now illegal. I mean, it's illegal. We have to make something illegal that's already illegal? This is how they summarize the new law in Arizona, designed to do something that our federal government will not, and that's take illegal immigration seriously. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/6/10]
Palin And Beck Jumped On Same Phony Climategate Controversy
In 2009, after emails were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Palin and Beck falsely claimed that the emails proved scientists were trying to “hide the decline in temperatures.” In fact, the phrase “hide the decline” referred to unreliable tree-ring data, not to a decline in global temperatures. The phony controversy surrounding the emails has been completely discredited, and, in fact, global temperatures have not declined.
Beck Claims Climate Scientist Was “Talking About A Trick ... To Apparently Hide The Decline In Temperatures.” Discussing the stolen emails, Beck said, “How about Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia? 'I have just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years to hide the decline.' Yes, he's talking about a trick that another scientist previously used in a peer-reviewed journal to apparently hide the decline in temperatures. Incredible.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/23/09]
Palin: Climate Scientists “Manipulated Data To 'Hide The Decline' In Global Temperatures.” In a Washington Post op-ed, Palin wrote, “The e-mails reveal that leading climate 'experts' deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals.” [The Washington Post, 12/9/09]
WaPo: Scientist Actually Referred To “A Problem With Data From Siberian Tree Rings.” Discussing the stolen emails, The Washington Post reported, “Phil Jones, the unit's director, wrote a colleague that he would ”hide" a problem with data from Siberian tree rings with more accurate local air temperature measurements." [The Washington Post, 12/5/09]
Multiple Inquiries Have Cleared The Climate Scientists Of Data Manipulation. Investigations by Penn State, the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and an independent panel in the United Kingdom led by former industrial scientist Lord Oxburgh have all cleared the climate scientists in question of the charge that they manipulated data.
Temperature Records Show There Was No “Decline” In Actual Temperatures To Hide. In a December 8, 2009, London Times column, Andrew Watson, research professor at the University of East Anglia explained, “The tree-ring measure declines, but the actual temperatures after 1960 go up.” Jones has similarly explained that “it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.” Indeed, measurements from each of the major climate centers show the clear warming trend.
Palin Joins Beck In Using Media Platform To Support The GOP
During the 2010 midterm election, Palin and Beck used their media platforms to endorse candidates and encourage their followers to vote for GOP candidates.
Palin To O'Donnell: “Speak Through Fox News.” Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Palin advised Christine O'Donnell, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Delaware whom Palin endorsed, to “speak to the American people. Speak through Fox News and let the independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is that she stands for, the principles behind her positions.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/15/10]
Palin Touted Her Endorsement Of Rand Paul On Fox News Sunday. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Palin discussed her endorsement of Republican Rand Paul in the Kentucky Senate primary:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): You recently stirred up some controversy, as you often do, even your -- when you endorsed Rand Paul as the Senate -- he's running in the Senate primary for -- in Kentucky, the GOP Senate primary. And Bill Kristol, your longtime supporter, was upset with you because one of the things he pointed out -- Paul wants to close Guantanamo. He wants to send the detainees back to Afghanistan. He wants to repeal the Patriot Act. He wants to do away with any federal role in either gay marriage or drug laws, leave it to the states.
PALIN: Well, because...
WALLACE: Why would you support a...
PALIN: ... because he's a...
WALLACE: ... guy like that?
PALIN: ... he's a federalist and he wants the states to have more say in -- as we respect the Tenth Amendment in our Constitution. He wants the states to have more say in a lot of the issues.
But nobody's ever going to find a perfect candidate. There are things that I don't agree with Rand Paul and yet his domestic policies, for the most part, I do agree with. He wants limited government. He wants the feds to start taking their hands off states' issues.
And I respect that and I'm proud to support him -- again, never finding a perfect candidate. No doubt, he disagrees with me on a whole lot of issues, but -- proud to support him and others whom I can believe in. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 2/7/10, via Nexis]
Palin Touted Her Candidate's Appearance On Fox News. Palin promoted Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey's appearance on Fox News in a Twitter post encouraging her followers to support his congressional campaign. [Twitter, 10/19/10]
Beck To GOP Sen. DeMint: “What Kind Of Help Do You Need?” Discussing the midterm elections with Republican members of Congress days before the election, Beck asked Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), “What kind of help do you need? What should we, as citizens, be looking for in a candidate?” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/26/10]
Beck: “Do Not Vote For Dick Blumenthal.” Discussing the Connecticut Senate race, Beck said, “Do not vote for Dick Blumenthal. That's the one thing I do know. I know who this guy is. This guy is a guy who -- I mean, he's the chief law enforcement officer and he'll just disregard the law.” He later added that all he “need[ed] to know” about Blumenthal's opponent Linda McMahon was that “she's not Dick Blumenthal.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/25/10]
Beck: Whitman Is “Not Jerry Brown. I Mean What Part Of This Don't We Understand?” Beck also said: “Let's try California. You've got Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown. Now, what's her face. Meg Whitman, she seems like a delightful person. But do you trust her? Is she another Arnold Schwarzenneger? Yeah, could be, could be. Is that good? Nope. But she's not Jerry Brown. I mean what part of this don't we understand.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/25/10]
Beck: Chris Coons Is “A Bad Candidate.” Discussing the Delaware senate race, Beck said, “You want to talk about extremists? It's the progressives and the revolutionaries in the Democratic Party. Real revolutionaries. Now you look at O'Donnell. For some reason, they're all attacking her, and I have to ask myself, has anyone looked at Harry Reid's pet?” Beck then read a quote from Reid about O'Donnell's opponent Chris Coons and said that Coons is “a Marxist. The guy's a staunch anti-capitalist. You want to talk about a bad candidate. OK, you can talk about the masturbation thing all you want. Really? Is that what we've turned into in this country?” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 9/16/10]
Beck: “I Don't Endorse Candidates, ... But I'm Going To Endorse Rubio And The Other Guy ... Over The Dirtbag Charlie Crist.” Discussing the Florida Senate race, Beck stated: “I'm about to break my policy and endorse a candidate. I don't endorse candidates, I don't think anybody needs my endorsement, but I'm going to endorse Rubio and the other guy that's running for the Democrats ... over the dirtbag Charlie Crist.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/30/10]
Beck Suggests Reid Is A “Danger To Society.” Discussing a comment Sen. Harry Reid -- who was facing a 2010 re-election challenge from Sharron Angle -- made about immigration reform, Beck stated: “Politicians will just say something like 'what are you talking about? I don't have any face. I don't have a face. You're not looking me in the eye, because I don't have any eyes. This is nothing. I don't even have a mouth. I'm not talking to you right now.' And you're like 'what the hell -- what? What are you saying?' 'Nothing, I'm not saying anything, because I don't even have a mouth. You are a danger to society, sir.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/14/10]
Beck: “I Agree” With Palin On Rand Paul Endorsement. After playing a clip of Sarah Palin defending her decision to endorse Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul, Beck said “I have to tell you. I know Pat, because you're shaking your head, I agree with her.” Later in the segment, Beck stated: “I can make friends with Rand Paul because I think Rand Paul is somebody I disagree with, but the fundamentals are there, the fundamental of the understanding of the Constitution. I would rather make a friend with Rand Paul than John McCain. If I had to campaign -- if I had to choose who am I going to campaign for, Rand Paul, from what I know about Rand Paul and what I know about John McCain, if I had to choose, Rand Paul.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/8/10]
Beck: Paladino “Is Damn Near Nuts. He's Still Better Than Cuomo.” Discussing a controversial comment New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said with Michele Bachmann, Beck said: “I live in the next state over from New York, and I don't even pay attention to this race. ... He's damn near nuts. He's still better than Cuomo, but he's nuts.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/14/10]