6 of Glenn Beck's Most Paranoid, Dangerous Attacks on Progressives
Glenn Beck's sermons of hatred against progressive leaders and organizations have had dangerous, almost deadly consequences.
As journalist John Hamilton wrote in a Media Matters article, "On July 18 this year, Byron Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle. ... In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams "stated 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."
Hamilton wrote that observers were "mystified by one of Byron Williams' reported targets: the Tides Foundation, a low-profile charitable organization known for funding environmentalists, community groups, and other organizations." It turned out Beck had attacked Tides 29 times on his show, including warning the Foundation, "I'm coming for you," before Williams went on his shooting spree, and Williams admitted Beck was his inspiration.
Beck has resorted to brazenly lying and rewriting history to engage in torrents of red-faced paranoid rants about the threats posed by individuals and groups dedicated to social justice -- and make no mistake, they could have grave consequences. Here are six of his worst attacks:
1. George Soros
This November, Beck devoted hours of his show to launching a venomous attack on George Soros. Fabricating a story about Soros' childhood involvement in the seizure of Jewish property under the Nazis, Beck was called out by Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times' chief foreign affairs commentator and Simon Greer of The Jewish Fund for Justice (who was also assailed by Beck in May with "Nazi" comparisons) for crossing the red-line with blatant antisemitism. Writes Rachman: "He accuses a financier, whom he repeatedly emphasizes is Jewish, of being a 'puppet-master,' a man with no national loyalties, who makes vast profits by overthrowing governments and subverting currencies, and who manipulates events from behind the scenes." Media Matters for America has collected an archive of Beck's attacks on Soros, now numbering in the dozens.
2. Credo Mobile
This November, Glenn Beck attacked the country's only progressive phone company, Credo Mobile. Beck went after its activist arm, Credo Action, on his notorious blackboard: "Nearly 350,000 members of Credo asked Discovery Communications to cancel Sarah Palin's 'nature' show," a Credo Action petition explains, "and on his show Beck challenged the authenticity of our sweeping grassroots activism and our values. Incredibly, Beck waved it off as just another part of some vast socialist conspiracy."
Here's part of Beck's rant:
"There's another grassroots boycott! Yes, this time of conservative 'Sarah Palin's Alaska.' This is a fantastic reality show which looks great ... Well, Discovery is being targeted by environmentalists. Now, it's a grassroots boycott, it must be that regular Americans are outraged at Sarah Palin. Man! Well, the group organizing the boycott is Credo Mobile, and Credo Action, which is a part of the larger organization... These groups focus on "progressive" philanthropy and activism! And they're also a mobile phone provider, which is great, so your phone calls go to help these ... hmmm... It's the same group of people. So very 'grassroots' -- there's your grassroots boycott of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' on Discovery! So organic, so pure."
Credo hit right back: "Credo is proud to fund other progressive organizations that do valiant work to protect our environment, fight Fox, and stop the hate, lies and fear promoted by Beck and others in the right-wing media every day. That's why we're giving $.25 for every signature to the other organizations Beck called out as being funded by Credo: Media Matters, Center for Constitutional Rights, the Ruckus Society, Color Of Change and the Ella Baker Center (See below for more on these groups' campaigns against Beck) ."