- At a time of 24-hour news and a proliferation of television
and radio talk shows featuring hatemongers and demagogues like Rush Limbaugh,
Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck may stand out as
the most unhinged and extremist of all as evidenced by his jihad against
anyone to the left of his views, disadvantaged minorities, Muslims, Latino
immigrants, and progressive change in some of his most outlandish comments,
- -- calling Barack Obama a "racist (who) has a deep-seated
hatred for white people or the white culture; I don't know what it is....This
guy is, I believe, a racist;"
- -- calling Van Jones "an avowed, radical, revolutionary
communist," then saying "Jones is the tip of the iceberg"
as part of his over-the-top campaign against anyone less extremist than
- -- stating "The most used phrase in my administration
if I were to be President would be 'What the hell do you mean we're out
of missiles;' "
- -- saying "We need to be the first ones in the recruitment
office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head....In 10 years, Muslims
and Arabs will be looking through a razor wire fence at the West;"
- -- telling Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison to "prove
to me that you are not working with our enemies;"
- -- advocating disposing of Guantanamo detainees by shooting
them in the head;
- -- accusing Al Gore of creating a new "Hitler youth"
by promoting environmental awareness, and called for kicking California
out of the union;
- -- in 2003, telling listeners he was praying for a gruesome
death for Democrat presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, and in 2005
saying he fantasized about strangling filmmaker Michael Moore;
- -- characterizing Obama's new regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein,
as a crazed animal rights activist who believes that rats matter more than
- -- in September 2005, expressing open "hate"
toward Katrina victims, calling them "scumbags" for not waiting
patiently for emergency aid at a time their lives were devastated, and
the Bush administration was forcibly removing them to distant locations,
then preventing them from returning so predatory developers could exploit
their neighborhoods for profit.
- In May 2008, a Media Matters Action Network report titled,
"Fear & Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News"
highlighted undocumented Latino immigrant hatemongering by Lou Dobbs, Bill
O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck, each making outlandish claims, including:
- -- an alleged connection between undocumented Latinos
- -- how they exploit social services and don't pay taxes;
- -- the "reconquista" myth about a supposed
Mexican plot to take over the US Southwest; and
- -- an epidemic of Latino voter fraud.
- According to Beck, "It's time to wake up in this
country. We are dealing with an illegal alien (read Latino) crime wave,
and drug smuggling is just the beginning." He opened a special 2008
"Border Crisis" program saying: "America's border crisis.
Rape, drugs, kidnapping, even murder. It is beginning to look a lot more
like a border war....Every single illegal immigrant is guilty of a crime,
every single one....Every undocumented worker (read Latino) is an illegal
immigrant, a criminal and a drain on our dwindling resources."
- He added:
- -- "I've got a quick message for illegal aliens
if you happen to be watching; you better start packing your bags; and to
the politicians in Washington who are soft on illegal immigration, start
packing up your office, because when the terrorists strike, which they
will, and when we find out that they're here illegally from some other
country, we will be telling all of you to get the hell out;"
- -- earlier he said "I told you about the five-part
plan that I believe may lead to the end of the West as we know it; I called
it my 'Perfect Storm;' one of the elements....is illegal immigration; it
is still a great way for terrorists to come here and mess with us; but
even if that doesn't happen....at the very least (they're) attacking our
culture, and our way of life; they are not melting into our melting pot;
they're here for the cash;" and
- -- "I also know our country is on fire, and the
fuel is illegal immigration; they (threaten) our national security;"
they come for "three reasons: one, they're terrorists; two, they're
escaping the law; or three, they're hungry (because) they can't make a
living in their own dirtbag country."
- This is what passes for American mainstream "journalism"
that's in no worse form than from Glenn Beck - on Fox News, the radio outlets
that give him a platform, and the sponsors that make his kind of programming
possible. More on them below.
- Joe McCarthy's Earlier Jihad Against the Left
- In the 1950s, Joe McCarthy's witch-hunts against alleged
communists, those on the left, and Democrat administration and other "subversives"
included Secretary of State Dean Acheson whom he called "a pompous
diplomat in striped pants," General George Marshall when he was Secretary
of State for being "soft on communism" and being "a man
steeped in falsehood," and many others on his so-called "blacklist."
- In 1950, with no proof, he said he had a list of 205
known communists in the State Department, later reduced the number to 57,
but said they were passing secret information to the Soviets. He claimed:
- "The reason why we find ourselves in a position
of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores,
but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who had all the benefits
that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer - the finest homes,
the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government (and the
private sector) we can give."
- He characterized enemies as "card-carrying communists."
Others as "loyalty risks" or being "soft on communism."
For political gain, he vilified patriotic Americans, created years of hysteria,
targeted anti-American books in libraries and got them removed, then overstepped
enough to be hung on his own petard with publications like the Louisville
Courier-Journal reporting that:
- "In this long, degrading travesty of the democratic
process, McCarthy has shown himself to be evil and unmatched in malice."
On December 2, 1954 the Senate censured him and took away his power base.
Later ill with cirrhosis of the liver from years of abusive alcoholism,
he died a broken man on May 2, 1957.
- Today, the term "McCarthyism" is synonymous
with baseless malicious slander, unscrupulous fearmongering, vilifying
the innocent, accusing them of disloyalty, and calling them terrorists,
Islamofascists, illegal immigrants, and unpatriotic for supporting progressive
change and ideas to the left of right wing views.
- McCarthysim Redux Through the Right Wing Media
- Nightly on Fox News, Glenn Beck delivers some of the
worst of it to his estimated 2.3 million faithful and millions more on
The Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show aired by
Premiere Radio Networks (a Clear Channel Communications subsidiary) throughout
the country on over 300 stations, according to a Premiere Speakers Bureau
promo about him stating that his program "is presently the third highest-rated
national radio talk show among adults ages 25 - 54."
- It said that he debuted on CNN's Headline News in May
2006 "with his self-styled topical talk show and quickly soared in
popularity." CNN at the time called it "an unconventional look
at the news of the day featuring (Beck's) often amusing perspective on
the top stories from world events and politics to pop culture and everyday
- In early January 2007, he also joined ABC News' Good
Morning America as a regular contributor with its senior executive producer,
Jim Murphy, saying:
- "Glenn is a leading commentator with a distinct
voice. At times, he is the perfect guest for many of the talk topics we
cover on morning news programs."
- In 2008, Beck won the Marconi Radio Award for Network
Syndicated Personality of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters.
Previous winners included Rush Limbaugh and Fox News' Sean Hannity. After
his award, Premiere Radio Networks president, Charlie Rahilly, said:
- "Glenn's conversation with millions of Americans
weekly on The Glenn Beck Program....makes him a familiar voice in our culture.
We salute his work, creativity, and humor, and congratulate him on his
genuine recognition by our industry."
- He regularly features guests like Karl Rove, John McCain,
Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh, and an array
of the most extremist Republican members of Congress, others from right
wing think tanks, and former Bush administration officials.
- His syndicator, Premiere Radio, is a subsidiary of Clear
Channel Communications, the world's largest radio broadcaster, concert
promoter, and billboard advertising firm. It's also a major player in US
television and Spanish language broadcasting, and very much to the right
of center in ideology. As one of America's most powerful media companies,
it's played a leading role in destroying media diversity by airing the
same content on many dozens of its stations simultaneously, suppressing
everything not supportive of its views.
- In 2002, Clear Channel attracted the attention of Senator
Russ Feingold and several other members of Congress over its anti-competitive
behavior and alleged shady business practices. In 2009, the company remains
a powerful force, ranking ninth among the top 20 US media companies ahead
of The New York Times Co., the Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp., and McGraw-Hill.
- More on Beck's Background
- He's written three New York Times-listed bestsellers,
publishes the entertainment Fusion Magazine, and tours the country twice
yearly in his own one-man show to promote himself as a national institution.
- Instead of condemning his extremism, on December 4, 2006,
The New York Times described him as a "tearful rising star" in
calling him "brash (and) opinionated (with an) unfiltered approach
(in) saying what others are feeling but are afraid to say." Writers
Brian Stelter and Bill Carter said he "has a gift for touching the
passion nerve (by) tapping into fear about the future."
- They quoted Old Dominion University's Jeffrey Jones saying
Beck engages in "inciting rhetoric. People hear their values are under
attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand
up and do something" without realizing how destructive Beck's extremism
is to their own well-being. Even Beck once said about himself: "I
say on the air all the time, if you take what I say as gospel, you're an
- His Premiere's Speakers Bureau bio says he debuted in
radio at age 13 in Seattle, and grew up in nearby Mount Vernon. After high
school, he got jobs "as a Top 40 DJ" in Baltimore, Houston, and
New Haven, CT.
- It also explained that at age 30, he became consumed
by alcoholism and drug addiction, then regained sobriety and "found
a new direction." He remarried, became a baptized Mormon, and decided
to pursue talk radio after being offered his own show on Tampa, Florida
station WFLA-AM. In his first year, it became number-one rated, and within
18 months, Premiere Radio Networks offered him national syndication.
- In January 2002, The Glenn Beck Program debuted on 47
stations. Today, he's on over 300 as well as XM satellite radio.
- LDS Living Magazine (for Latter Day Saint Mormon families)
provides more details about Beck's background. It said he was fired from
his first three radio jobs in Washington State. Six months later, he returned
on WPGC in Washington, DC. Was again fired. Then he became program director
and "morning guy" on a small Corpus Christi, TX station. After
two years of "moving around from city to city, he ended up in Baltimore."
He also worked at WRKA in Louisville, KY and WKCI-FM in Hamden, CT.
- Three days after converting to Mormonism, he was offered
his first radio talk show in Tampa. It propelled him to national prominence
and his current positions at Fox News, his syndicated radio program (first
from Philadelphia in January 2002, now in New York), and as a hot topic
on other programs, including MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's war of words with
- He posted a September 6 request on The Daily Kos to "Send
Me Everything You Can Find About Glenn Beck." He added that he'll
"expand this to the television audience and have a dedicated email
address to accept leads, tips, contacts, on Beck, his radio producer Burguiere,
and the chief of his tv enables, Ailes (head of Fox News)...."
- It may simply be a PR stunt to boost ratings and get
added revenue for General Electric, MSNBC's owner, that certainly can stop
this if it wishes.
- Sponsors Bailing Out on Beck
- To date, over five dozen decided they'll no longer be
associated with his kind of antics, fearing, of course, it may harm their
image and hurt sales and profits.
- In 2005, Van Jones (now inactive) and James Rucker co-founded
ColorOfChange.org "to strengthen Black America's political voice"
toward the goal of making "government more responsive to the concerns
of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change
- In the wake of Beck calling Obama a "racist"
and attacking Van Jones, it sent a letter to his sponsors urging them to
boycott "the kinds of views and tactics" he espouses and cease
all advertising on his program.
- FoxNewsBoycott.com joined in as part of its campaign
"to help people realize that Fox News Channel and its personalities
are a detriment to journalism and journalistic integrity." It urges
supporters "to boycott, not only Fox News Channel, but Fox News sponsors
and companies that air Fox News in their places of business."
- To date, over 60 companies no longer advertise on Glenn
- -- AT & T
- -- Bank of America
- -- Bell & Howell
- -- Best Buy
- -- Campbell Soup
- -- Capital One
- -- Clorox
- -- Berkshire Hathaway's GEICO Insurance
- -- General Mills
- -- HSBC
- -- Johnson & Johnson
- -- Kraft Foods
- -- Mercedes-Benz
- -- Procter & Gamble
- -- Sanofi-Aventis
- -- Sprint
- -- Travelers Insurance
- -- UPS
- -- Verizon Wireless, and
- -- Wal-Mart
- Many others still advertise, but more keep pulling out,
showing the effectiveness of the national campaign, backed by many tens
of thousands of signatures from ColorOfChange.org and FoxNewsBoycott.com
- The Internet's power is real and proves when enough committed
people back progressive issues, constructive change follows. If if works
against Glenn Beck and Fox News, why not in a campaign to reclaim the kind
of America people deserve and can have if they work hard enough for it.
- If not now, when? If not us, who? If not soon, maybe
never? If that's not incentive enough, what is?
- Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre
for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday
- Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished
guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy