Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conservative Author Bernard Goldberg on Glenn Beck: DON'T PRETENT TO BE A JOURNALIST!

Glenn Beck: Praying to Obama

Once again, Beck jumps on board, without doing even minimal fact checking.

Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and prominent conservative bloggers followed the lead of conservative website after the site falsely claimed that an online video showed community organizers from the Gamaliel Foundation "pray[ing]" to President Obama. subsequently updated the original post with an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying "oh God" rather than "Obama"; the Gamaliel Foundation subsequently stated that "at no time have we prayed to President Obama" and that in the video, the organizers "can be heard saying, 'Hear our cry oh God,' 'Deliver us oh God,' etc." claims Gamaliel organizers "Pray TO" Obama, later to walk back claim claims "Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elect Obama." As Media Matters for America noted, on September 29, -- published by Matt Drudge protégé Andrew Breitbart -- embedded a video with the headline "Shock Discovery: Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elect Obama." The video included captions such as "Deliver Us Obama" and "Hear Our Cry Obama," suggesting that the crowd was "pray[ing]" to Obama.

Post states organizers are members of Gamaliel Foundation, which "helped sponsor Barack Obama's initial work in Chicago." The post stated:

The Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus held "a New Orleans style funeral procession as they deliver a casket symbolizing the death of old ways of providing health care and pray for a new day for health care in America."

The Gamaliel Foundation is the community organizing group that helped sponsor Barack Obama's initial work in Chicago.

Editor's note: "Does the crowd say, 'Hear our cry, Obama' and 'Deliver us Obama?' Or are they saying 'Oh God?' " later "updated" the post with "the longer version of the original event" -- a video that did not include the captions -- and added an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying, "Oh God," rather than "Obama":

Editor's note: We've updated this post with the longer version of the original event. As you'll see in the comments and related links there is a debate over what is actually being said. Does the crowd say, "Hear our cry, Obama" and "Deliver us Obama?" Or are they saying "Oh God?" In the longer version the first two repetitions seem to have a distinct "uh" sound at the end that resonates as "Obama." The later repetitions are a little fuzzier. Did some of the religious leaders present become uneasy? Or was there a mix of what was being said? Read some of the blogger analysis below. What do you think?

Beck jumped on Breitbart story, suggested organizers "just mocking God by faking a prayer to Obama"'s Baker: "I think you could only characterize it as a prayer to Obama" During the September 29 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Glenn Beck hosted Breitbart staffer Scott Baker, who stated that the video "[j]ust went up seconds ago" on and asserted: "I think you could only characterize it as a prayer to Obama. Not for Obama. They're literally chanting and saying, 'Deliver us, Obama.' 'Hear us, Obama.' "

Beck: "Link to the front-page top story on the front page of" Beck then asked executive producer Steve "Stu" Burguiere to tell the show's webmaster, Chris Brady, to post the video "on the front page of" and to "make sure that it is also included in our email newsletter."

Beck: [T]hey're mocking God" At one point during the segment, Beck suggested that the participants were "just mocking God by faking a prayer to Obama."

Baker highlights Gamaliel ties to Obama. Baker stated:

Gamaliel is -- here's why Gamaliel is important. They were a community organizing group based in Chicago. They now have a national reach. But when Barack Obama got out of Columbia, right -- so this goes back to some of the earliest days for him -- it was the Gamaliel Foundation that essentially brought him to Chicago. It was -- you know, they interviewed him. They, in fact, on their website, say he was an organizer and trainer for us. They used Woods Fund money to sponsor the subsidiary group that Obama worked on.

Baker later added of the organization that a "very important person there was Celia [sic] Muñoz, who is now in the White House. She's the director of intergovernmental affairs." Beck replied: "So, wait a minute. The lady who used to run this group, that was praying to Obama, is now in the White House?"

Video posted on Beck's blog. At 10:39 a.m. ET, video of the participants was posted on Beck's blog with the text: "Is this group saying a prayer to Barack Obama? Glenn is skeptical. Are they saying 'Obama' or 'Oh God?' Are they praising the president or just mocking religion? Turn up the volume and see what you hear. (Unless you're at work, where you would look a little nuts.)"

Gamaliel Foundation responds: "At no time, however, have we prayed to President Barack Obama." Beck's blog post was later updated with the Gamaliel Foundation's response, in which they stated:

As a faith-based organization, it is customary for Gamaliel Foundation affiliates to begin and end every action with prayer. At no time, however, have we prayed to President Barack Obama. In the form of call and response, those who took part in the UnitedHealthcare action can be heard saying, "Hear our cry oh God," "Deliver us oh God," etc.

It is obvious that those who took the time to distort our sincere action for healthcare reform, by posting their own edited version on the Internet, are against what we believe is a fundamental right. It is also obvious that those who are against healthcare reform will stoop to any level to stop what Dr. Martin Luther King called, one of the greatest forms of inequality.

Beck relies heavily on Breitbart in attacks. In recent weeks, Beck has been credited with precipitating the resignation of White House "green jobs" adviser Van Jones, the reassignment of National Endowment for the Arts communications director Yosi Sergant, and the amplification of an anti-ACORN video produced by a conservative filmmaker. In all three instances, Beck has credited the "instrumental" work of conservative columnist and Web publisher Andrew Breitbart, who has a history of smearing progressives and making inflammatory statements.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Come Not To Praise Glenn Beck, But To Bury Him

I Come Not To Praise Glenn Beck, But To Bury Him
Glenn Beck, despite what he has accomplished, hurts the right more than he helps.
by Dan Riehl

When originally endeavoring to write an approximately 800-word opinion piece on Glenn Beck, I hadn’t taken into account what a truly difficult task it would be. I’ve no desire to alienate some of my many friends on the right currently embracing Beck. But I do have this terrible habit of usually speaking my mind. Glenn Beck deserves credit for what he is doing to hurt Obama — there is no question about that. But in thinking about the man overall as a media figure today, one allegedly aligned with the right, I also have serious concerns. I tried to do my best to address the topic fairly, and I regret that so complex a topic took me almost 1,800 words.

Given the down feeling across the right after last year’s elections, it’s almost exciting to watch Glenn Beck inject a new vitality into the nation’s political discourse. Nearly every one of Beck’s shows packs the respect, depth, sincerity, and intelligence of a good joke at a funeral parlor into one uproarious hour after another. I don’t know how anyone can keep from snickering … at least a little bit. So, what’s the harm in a good joke?

The harm as I see it is that so many seem to be taking the joke seriously. But can you blame them? No, probably not. The media culture of today has done everything in its power to prevent the right from seeing a serious, effective leadership emerge on the national stage. One need only look back to the recent — in fact, ongoing — mistreatment of Sarah Palin to demonstrate that. A deeply informed and experienced radio host, Mark Levin, has broken out in the radio world with ratings that make Glenn Beck’s real numbers look like the third tier radio host he actually is. Levin also wrote a significant New York Times bestseller, moving well over a million copies by now. But there was no Time cover, no Newsweek splash, no Katie Couric interview for that. Have you ever paused long enough to ask yourself why?


Shocking ... NOT. Glenn Beck Admits To Never Checking Facts

Glenn Beck Admits To Never Checking Facts

So, in reading all of your comments to my ongoing series exposing Glenn Beck for the idiot that he is, many of you have complained that I have failed to take him on line by line on his facts. Well, here’s why. I don’t need to. Glenn Beck doesn’t bother checking his facts, and seems to take great pride in not wanting to be labeled a “journalist.”

Glenn Beck is not about facts, never has been. If he had to stick to the facts, he would have dramatically fewer followers. The reason so many people take his word as gospel is that he plays to the lowest common denominator. People in America are rightly quite angry about the state of the economy, the war, the state of healthcare, and the list could go on for pages. Beck gives them a channel for their anger by telling them the sky is falling and that the President is responsible for all their problems.

[More ...]

Monday, September 28, 2009

When did Glenn Beck stop beating his wife?

Glenn Beck is a master at the "when did you stop beating your wife" type of "reporting. You throw any old rumor out there, state that you don't know or think it is true, remind everyone that you're just asking questions and throw in "some people say" which lets you say basically anything you want without having to back it up. Add in the kicker that the subject of your rant has yet to deny it, and you too can play Glenn Beck. Give it a try and look for these tactics when you watch for listen to Glenn Beck.
Some people say that Glenn Beck has not stopped beating his wife. I don't know that this is true, I am just raising the question. Some people say that Beck has stopped beating his wife on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays because Mornon tradition forbids it on these days. Glenn Beck has still yet to deny that he has or has not stopped beating his wife.
Beck has done this with lots of conspiracy theories in the last year. The FEMA Death Camps are a great example. He did this for a week, then claimed in a short segment that he had "debunked it." This is like Journalism meets the WWE.

Fighting Fire with Fire ....
If you follow politics at all the name Glenn Beck more likely than not sends you into a towering rage at this point. He's the latest addition to the Fox News stable and by far the craziest and/or sleaziest. Some highlights include capitalizing on 9/11 after attacking the 9/11 families, openly and bizarrely weeping because "he loves his country so much and he's so scared for it", and literally acting out "Obama pouring gasoline on the average American" for god knows whatever he was riled up about at the moment. His main claim to fame, beside being the biggest scumbag in mainstream media, is his perfecting the "when did you stop beating your wife" style of reporting to an art form. Couched in the phrasing "some people are saying" without ever explicitly embracing the allegations or discussing their legitimacy he has advanced pretty much every insane right wing conspiracy theory for the last year or so into the mainstream. The FEMA death camps, the birther nonsense, Obama's secret army of brown shirts; all these have been slide into legitimate discussion using this formulation. It's an especially weaselly wording that lets him back off any particular allegation when confronted while continuing to advance every insane idea under the sun in the guise of discussion of what other people are talking about. There's been a certain amount of hand wringing over the degrading of discourse in the US and the fact it's almost impossible to disprove a myth or outright lie once it's gotten into people's heads (the more you argue against it the more people who already believe the lie believe it even more). In what is either another step towards the complete destruction of intelligent discussion in American politics or one of the most beautifully poetic rebuttal of stupidity I've ever seen, someone from Fark with the help of the other aggregator sites started the Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 website. The sites makes it clear that it's a parody site and that it's attacking this kind of slimy insinuation without any evidence that has been creeping up more and more in the Fox News era and has reached it's crescendo recently, making sure to always be presented along the lines of "Some people say Glenn Back has X and he has yet to deny it".

Horowitz Replies to David Frum concerning Glenn Beck

Horowitz Replies to Frum

One of the comments to this article sums up the backlash against Beck nicely:

Horo: “One is a remarkable conservative outburst against the broadcaster Glenn Beck…”

No. What Horowitz doesn’t get is that this isn’t a conservative outburst against Glenn Beck. It’s a *decent citizens* outburst against Glenn Beck.

There is a point where someone’s behavior is so toxic, it’s bad for America, regardless of which party it hurts. There’s a point where good citizens are supposed to stop caring about what the effect of poisonious thinking might be on the polls and start caring about what the poison is doing to the nation.

And the problem with today’s GOP (and of course, with countless Democrats, too) is that too many forgot where that point is, drove right past it, and then forgot that the idea of ‘nation before politics’ ever even existed. And now Beck is trying to destroy any last shred of that memory.

A ringmaster may have emerged to tame the party loons

When the circus animals take over the circus, it is time for someone to brave the threats of being trampled and move to bring some order to the goings-on. There is only one marching order: Get them back in their cages.

It has happened.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough has finally done what someone on the conservative right should have done long ago. Scarborough, who now hosts a show on MSNBC, has said publicly that Glenn Beck is bad for the conservative cause because of his wild, unsubstantiated commentaries and his ongoing appeals to manic paranoia.

Scarborough has gotten loud with his attempted marching orders by saying that anyone interested in running for President the next time around should plant their flag on the small hill of rationality that seems virtually impossible for most Republicans to find.

When calling out Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich on the issue, Scarborough also might have called out Michael Steele. He probably felt that would do no good after seeing some of Steele's embarrassing genuflections to similar nonsense. After all, the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee shuffled into place and did an apologetic buck dance in the wake of referring to Rush Limbaugh as an entertainer and being rebuked over the air waves by dittohead commander in chief.

The reason is not that they agree with Beck, or find him no more than the circus clown that he calls himself. It is for a reason that we all have seen far too often in American politics whenever an irresponsible person with incendiary rhetoric arrives and develops a big following, or seems to have developed one.


Joe Scarborough - Glenn Beck is playing with fire

"When you preach this type of hatred and say that an African-American president hates all white people, you are playing with fire, and bad things can happen. And if they do happen, not only is Glenn Beck responsible, but conservatives who don't call him out are responsible," Scarborough said on his show Tuesday. "You can not preach hatred, you can not say the president's a racist, you can not stir up things that could have very deadly consequences. I was in Congress in 1995. I know where this can end. You can't do it and then say, 'I'm a rodeo clown.'" - Joe Scarborough, TV Host, Former Republican congressman, a moderate conservative

Glenn Beck on White Culture

Glenn Beck squirms and attempts to use his "I don't want to create a sound bite" logic when he can't answer a simple question. He can't answer what he meant by "white culture" because one answer would make him look like a racist and the other would offend the chunk of his fans that actually are racists. Glenn Beck is the white version of Jerimiah Wright. Hating and demonizing everyone who disagrees with you is getting a tad old. The we're right and the other guy is the antichrist, end of the world crap, is not helping the conservative movement. It has been World War III or the End Times on Beck's shows for year. Throw in his lies and conspiracy theories and it's easy to see that real conservatives need to distance themselves from this loon. As is when Beck rants on something like the FEMA Death Camps for a week, and then spends a few minutes claiming that he "debunked" it. What a sleeze ball. He is ratings whore concerned about one thing, Glenn Beck.

Sunshine Libertarians

Tom Delay was a warmonger and socialist when Bush was in power, and a sorta-libertarian under Clinton. (Now he’s on Dancing With The Stars.) Glenn Beck was among the most commissar-like of the neocons under Bush—he even compared Ron Paul donors to terrorists. Now, under Obama, Beck claims to be a libertarian.

More ... Sunshine Libertarians

Sincerity? Glenn Beck Can Fake That

Sincerity? Glenn Beck Can Fake That

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Fox News blatherskite Glenn Beck (who at the time was with CNN) traduced Ron Paul and his supporters as potential domestic terrorists.

He later featured Dr. Paul in several interviews and treated him respectfully, going so far as to compliment him on his principled and prescient economic views — while pointedly condemning his lack of zeal for murdering Muslims. (Beck, at one point, criticized American Muslims for not lining up at recruiting offices for the chance “to shoot bad the Muslims in the head,” warning that their lack of nationalistic zeal might prompt other Americans to “round you up” and put them behind “razor wire.”)

Beck has also passionately and repeatedly endorsed torture as a “counter-terrorist” tactic.

Beck has now emerged as something of a key media cheerleader for that element of the “Tea Party” movement that discovered the evils of government profligacy, executive dictatorship, and economic fascism shortly after noon last January 20th.

A self-identified “Rodeo Clown,” Beck is often seen awash in tears, his face contorted with bravely suppressed emotion as he is rendered verklempt by his love of, and concern for, our country. Or something.

Well, to the surprise of nobody who can exercise even a particle of educated skepticism, the tears of that Rodeo Clown are as bogus as Joe Biden’s hairline.

Gawker describes Beck’s recent photo shoot for GQ magazine with photographer Jill Greenberg, whom Beck condemned last year as a leftist “nut job” who “terrorizes children.” He referred to an earlier shoot in which Greenberg, to make what she considered an artistic point of some sort, gave candy to children and then took it away and photographed their reactions.

Greenberg wanted to capture Beck’s notorious lachrymosity, and the blabbermouth — more than willing to set aside ideological and artistic scruples — eagerly complied. Greenberg gave Beck just a little bit of chemical help in order to get the “money shot.” The results are suitably dramatic, if not Oscar-worthy.

“The crying was my idea, and Glenn was cool with trying it,” according to Greenberg. “We used mentholated balm to make his eyes tear up naturally. From then on it was acting on his part. He had fun with it and was a great sport.”


Ron Paul Supporters Hate Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck 1.0: On Fringe Elements and Violence

Wow, hoe far Glenn Beck has shifted in the last couple of years. He's gone from constantly bad mouthing Ron Paul. Here he is ranting about fomenting violence, which is VERY ironic given that Beck is now the champion of exactly what Glenn Beck 2.0 does today.

"Ron Paul supporters are tapping into something real. If this leads to discussion, then the system works perfectly, but if fringe elements take that disenfranchisement and turn it into violence, we endanger the freedoms, we're supposedly all fighting for."

Flashforward to today where Beck wishes he had a time machine so he could go back and vote for Paul.

The Growing Conservative Backlash Against Glenn Beck

The Growing Conservative Backlash Against Glenn Beck
  • David Frum decried Beck's habit of treating punditry as all-out war against Obama:
    [Beck ally David] Horowitz agrees that Beck’s attack on Sunstein was false. Yet that falsehood does not worry Horowitz. The country is "under assault." (As the broadcaster Mark Levin has said, President Obama is "literally at war" with the American people.) In a war, truth must yield to the imperatives of victory. Any conservative qualms about the untruth of Beck's defamation of Sunstein amounts to "appeasement" – an appeasement that will end with the left decapitating the right. This is the language and logic of Leninism. There is no truth or falsehood comrades, there is only service to the revolution or betrayal of the revolution.
  • Peter Wehner called Beck "the antithesis of Ronald Reagan" who "should worry the conservative movement":
    I understand that a political movement is a mansion with many rooms; the people who occupy them are involved in intellectual and policy work, in politics, and in polemics. Different people take on different roles. And certainly some of the things Beck has done on his program are fine and appropriate. But the role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality. My hunch is that he is a comet blazing across the media sky right now—and will soon flame out. Whether he does or not, he isn’t the face or disposition that should represent modern-day conservatism. At a time when we should aim for intellectual depth, for tough-minded and reasoned arguments, for good cheer and calm purpose, rather than erratic behavior, he is not the kind of figure conservatives should embrace or cheer on.
  • Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter and adviser, agreed with Wehner:
    It is sometimes alleged, with varying degrees of accuracy, that conservatives refuse to police the excesses of their own. Those persuaded by this argument should read Pete Wehner on Glenn Beck. It is a model of reasoned response to an emotional populism that is something less than conservative.
  • Dan Riehl dismissed Beck as a disaster who "isn't and has never been" conservative:
    Get your mind around one thing right now, a Perot or Paul-like fracture in the Republican Party in 2010, or 2012 is a guarantee that Euro-socialism will prevail in America. And it will be too late to do anything about it by the time some next election rolls around. Turning back the clock will prove politically impossible after that. You may as well pack up your kids to be raised in France, or the UK, as there will be no marked difference from what it is we become over here.
[More ...]

Glenn Beck vs. Rush Limbaugh

Beck vs. Limbaugh

GOP media strategist Mark McKinnon thinks there are two people in the world who fear Glenn Beck — even if "neither will admit it."

The first is Barack Obama.

The second is Rush Limbaugh.

Beck is on a huge roll. Over the last month, the right-wing Fox News talker has claimed the scalp of the president's green jobs czar; motivated thousands of conservatives to turn out for town hall meetings and a Sept. 12 march on Washington; pummeled Democrats over ACORN and Obama's czars; and landed himself a spot on the cover of Time magazine.

"Beck is the man of the moment," says the Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb. "Everybody in town is watching him, waiting to see what he'll do next, who he'll take down next."

But if Beck is the man of the moment, where does that leave Rush?

In an e-mail to POLITICO, Limbaugh said any attempt to compare him with Beck in terms of Washington influence rests on a "flawed premise."

"I do not, and never have, measured my success in ways you describe, such as 'impact' in Washington," Limbaugh said. "I am a broadcaster and judge my success by those standards."

By those standards, the slimmed-down Limbaugh is still large and in charge.

He reaches a much bigger radio audience, with somewhere between 15 and 30 million listeners on more than 600 stations around the country. He's ranked No. 1 on the "Heavy Hundred" list put out by the industry magazine Talkers (Beck is fifth); he tops Mediaite's power grid of radio hosts; and this week, The Atlantic installed Limbaugh and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman atop its list of "the most influential commentators in the nation."

Back in April - when Time put Limbaugh on its annual list of the 100 most influential people of the world - Beck was called on to write the tribute. He wrote that Limbaugh was "on another level" and "attracts more listeners with his voice than the rest of us could ever imagine."

That may still be the case, but Beck's power has grown exponentially since then.

Newsmax president Christopher Ruddy, a conservative journalist who played a role in dredging up scandals during the Clinton years, said that right now, Beck is "the No. 1 populist, conservative voice in the media."

"Glenn's emergence reminds me of Rush's emergence in the early '90s," said conservative radio host Mike Gallagher. "People have asked me, 'Who's the next Rush,' because Rush is the gold standard."

The answer, says Gallagher, "seems to be Glenn."

While Limbaugh once had a television show — produced by Roger Ailes, now Fox News president — he never enjoyed half the success in that medium that Beck has now. Beck's nightly show on Fox News completely dominates the competition, drawing more than a million viewers more than any other prime-time show on MSNBC or CNN
And Beck is using the power of his show in ways that Limbaugh never has.

"Beck is playing more of a rallying role than Limbaugh has or is," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Rush is more broad-brush, longer-range in approach, and Beck's gotten specific," Norquist added. "Here's an appointee. Here's the czars."

In the days before last weekend's conservative march on Washington, Beck flogged it repeatedly. He became such a part of the story that, as CNN correspondent Lisa Desjardins tried to report live from the event, protesters drowned her out with chants of "Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck!"

Limbaugh's role in promoting the protest? He said it's not his thing.

"I don't rally people and haven't since the first year of my radio show," he wrote to POLITICO. "At that time, all local talk hosts were attempting to prove their worth by getting people to cut up gasoline credit cards, call Washington, etc. I thought it was cheap and disingenuous. The few times I did, early on, suggest people call Washington, the reaction to it from the media was that the response was not genuine (I shut down the House switchboard) because people only did what they did because 'Limbaugh told them to.'"


Glenn Beck Faces Backlash from the Right

As right-wing media personality Glenn Beck has grown in influence, conservative criticism has been, at best, muted.

In early August, Rep. Bob Inglis (R) of South Carolina, who isn't exactly a moderate, encouraged his constituents to "turn the TV off" and stop listening to Glenn Beck. The audience booed the conservative congressman relentlessly. A week later, David Frum, a conservative pundit and former Bush speechwriter, suggested Beck's rhetoric may be, quite literally, dangerous.

But these remarks were largely overlooked, and were not echoed by other conservatives. It seems, however, that we're starting to see a change.

On Tuesday, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blasted Beck, and argued that the Fox News personality may be fomenting violence. "You cannot preach hatred," Scarborough said. "You cannot say the president is racist. You cannot say things that have very deadly consequences." He added, in an apparent reference to the Oklahoma City bombing, "I was in Congress in 1995. I know where this can end." Scarborough also called on Republican leaders to "call out" Becks' "hatred."

Right-wing radio host Mark Levin called Beck "pathetic." Rush Limbaugh referred to Beck's role in promoting conservative protests as "cheap and disingenuous." Peter Wehner said Beck's "interest in conspiracy theories is disquieting" and his daily attacks are "not good for the country." Wehner called Beck a "roiling mix of fear, resentment, and anger." Conservative columnists Kathleen Parker and David Brooks told Chris Matthews that Beck is "baiting" and "empowering" racists.


Glenn Beck's Extremist rhetoric won’t rebuild GOP!

Michael A. Cohen has a piece in Politico today about the over-the-top irresponsible extremism and conspiracy theories promulgated by weeping Glenn Beck: Extremist rhetoric won’t rebuild GOP.

Watching Fox News’ new sensation Glenn Beck is not for the faint of heart. It is a disquieting entree into the feverish mind of a conspiracy theorist who believes, among other things, that the government wants to remotely control our thermostats, that the relaxing of the ban on stem cell research — as well as efforts to prevent global warming — is reminiscent of Nazism, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be setting up concentration camps [Slightly off here - Beck actually semi-debunked that story. – ed.] and, finally, that the country is on the path to socialism or possibly fascism but definitely some “-ism” that should be avoided.

Yet for all of his conspiracy-addled and occasionally tear-filled declarations, Beck has become the new darling of the conservative right. His show is a regular stomping ground for Republican congressmen and party pooh-bahs like Karl Rove, Sarah Palin and Michael Steele, and his ratings rival those of Fox stalwarts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. According to The New York Times, Beck has become “one of the most powerful media voices for the nation’s conservative, populist anger.”

Populist agitators such as Beck are nothing new, particularly in times of economic instability — and they aren’t restricted to the right. During the Bush years, liberal anger over the administration’s policies bred bizarre conspiracy theories of its own, like accusations that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job.

However, Beck’s paranoid style is seeping into the discourse of conservative politics, which should be of concern to Republicans. The charge that President Barack Obama is a socialist, first raised in the 2008 campaign, has become a de rigueur epithet heard not only on talk radio but in the halls of Congress. Calls by China to consider replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency have been met by bizarre warnings from congressional Republicans that the Obama administration wants to scrap the greenback for a new global currency. Thirty-four House Republicans have even signed on to a constitutional amendment that would prevent this from occurring, though no such proposal is being considered.

Glenn Beck: Scorched Earth Conservatives

Glenn Beck: Scorched Earth Conservatives

In a fiery debate, editor David Horowitz accuses NewMajority’s David Frum of “scorched-earth attacks on Glenn Beck.” Frum replies:

David, your piece above is a real service. It focuses the issues very clearly and tightly in a way that helps everybody understand this discussion better, whatever side they ultimately end up on.

It’s bad luck for you that we are having this discussion in the same week that Glenn Beck a) expressed his enthusiasm for a Hillary Clinton presidency, b) stated that he thought Obama a better president than John McCain would have been, and c) wished that he could travel back in time to vote for Ron Paul. Now do you see what I mean when I call Beck “unscrupulous”? He’s an act, a showman, as indifferent to the future of conservative politics as he is to the facts of Cass Sunstein’s career. I agree he’s a very good showman, a natural TV talent. But he cares nothing, David, about politics in the way you care about it, and you are in for more nasty surprises if you continue to place your hopes in him.

[MORE ... Scorched Earth Conservatives]

Glenn Beck and Ron Paul

David Frum, Glenn Beck and Ron Paul

September 19, 2009

Debating David Horowitz about Glenn Beck, I made the point that it was very strange that David Horowitz can excoriate Ron Paul and then enthusiastically defend Beck, who is (I wrote) Paul’s “chief TV enthusiast and publicist.” You’d think that reviewing Glenn Beck’s comments would be a matter of some urgency for David Horowitz.

Conservatives Against Glenn Beck: Whose Side is Glenn Beck On?

David Frum, Whose Side is Glenn Beck On?

September 14, 2009

In his attempted rebuttal of my post on Glenn Beck, David Horowitz agrees that Beck’s attack on Cass Sunstein was false. Yet that falsehood does not worry Horowitz. He would still rather have “Glenn Beck out there fighting for our side.” But how do we define “our side”?

David Frum, GOP Surrenders to Beck’s Mob Rule

David Frum, GOP Surrenders to Beck’s Mob Rule

Sept. 11, 2009

Republican senators know the truth about Cass Sunstein - Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Only 33 Republican senators voted “no” on the cloture vote on his nomination, the vote that mattered. Yet unfortunately they also fear the wild disinformation broadcast by Fox News and credulously believed by millions of Fox viewers.

Joe Scarborough "conservative honor roll" of those brave enough to denounce Glenn Back

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