Glenn Beck has been warning his audiences for some time that the country's radical leftists were planning violence as the means to "radically transforming" the country. Just how they were supposed to be doing this, we're not sure, but recently he's been insisting that the left is far more hate-filled and violence-prone than the right.
Well, yesterday he explained it: It's not so much that the "far left" is actually going to commit left-wing terrorism. No. What they're actually plotting is to recreate Oklahoma City by pulling off an act of domestic terrorism and then blaming Glenn Beck and the Tea Partiers for it.
Yep, that's really what he said:
Beck: Here's the first birth pang that I think we're about to see: Violence! Pressure from below.
Why do you think that the left spent so much time and energy trying to paint the Tea Parties as violent? We showed you the videos -- where NBC would be shaking in fear over the possible coming violence from the Tea Parties. You know, every time we'd show it to you it would always be a picture of something like this. [Shot of Tea Partiers.] Aaaaagggh! People, you know -- a mom with a double stroller, a grandma sitting in a fold-up lawn chair. And the script didn't match up. But boy, oh boy -- they had to have violence.
... I know who they are. They're agitators. The far left needs the violence. This is the strategy of the radical leftists. They create chaos. They put pressure from below. And then they have the government -- they're all infiltrated here in the government -- pressure down below -- and it causes them, the government, who they're in league with, can swoop in and fix the problem to save you.
A little later, Beck asked: "So, why does the left need this violence?" His answer: They need it to boost President Obama. He cited recent idiotic remarks by noted Democratic dimbulb Mark Penn:
The president himself has to reconnect with the people. Remember, President Clinton reconnected through Oklahoma [City]. And the president right now, he seems removed. And it wasn't until that speech that he re-clicked with the American public. Obama needs a similar kind of event.
In Becktopia, this meant that Penn was actually hoping for another right-wing terrorist attack -- rather than in fact observing that a national tragedy gives a president a chance to connect with the public. (Of course, Beck then piously goes on to observe just how callous about the loss of human life Penn was in his wish -- though he seemed to suffer no such pangs when Michael Scheuer wished for a terrorist attack on his show the year before.)
But the point of all this was to point to that letter from the head of the Tides Foundation, Drummond Pike, warning advertisers to Beck's show against supporting him. Beck whined that according to Pike, "I will be the guy who causes the next Oklahoma City."
This, to Beck, reveals the full nefarious conspiracy:
Beck: They are setting up another Oklahoma City. They are claiming that one is coming. And they've already marked the one who caused it.
Funny thing about this conspiracy: It just happens, by pure coincidence, to almost perfectly parallel the conspiracy that Beck explores in his "factional" book, The Overton Window. Simon Maloy at Media Matter observes:
The conspiracy Beck lays out in The Overton Window is as follows: an evil PR genius engineers a complex scheme to detonate a nuclear weapon outside Harry Reid's office and blame it on a group of patriotic, tea party-like Americans who are dangerous because they love their country so much. The explosion is supposed to shock the nation into adopting a crypto-socialist form of government that an unidentified shadowy group of progressives and plutocrats want to impose because they hate freedom and are jerks.
What's particularly insidious about Beck's particular framing of this as as "recreation" of Oklahoma City is that he seems to be promoting old theories about the OKC bombing, particularly their overarching context that the bombing was purportedly carried out by the government (or with its full knowledge) in order to frame the militia movement and to enact antiterrorism legislation, using Timothy McVeigh as a scapegoat. Indeed, those theories have long been the metier of radio conspiracist Alex Jones, from whose storylines Beck seems to be increasingly borrowing.
The funny thing about all of this squirming and theorizing and fingerpointing by Beck is that he never ONCE mentions the underlying context of all this: Byron Williams, the would-be terrorist whose planned rampage against the Tides Foundation was fortunately pre-empted by Oakland police.
Remember what Williams told Media Matters' John Hamilton:
You know, I'll tell you," he says, "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."
Beck does indeed know what he's doing. He'll feign ignorance and innocence whenever one of his followers acts out violently. And his network will continue abetting his targeting of individuals and groups with a relentless campaign of eliminationist rhetoric.
Here's just a sampler of the kind of attacks he's made on "the far left" in the past year:
And then, when right-wing violence against liberals breaks out around the election, everyone -- or at least those who notice -- wonders how it could be happening.
Glenn Beck knows: It's actually an evil plot by liberals to make conservatives look bad -- by, apparently, killing and maiming liberals, and then blaming it on the conservatives who only SEEMED to encourage the violence with vicious rhetoric all year long. Right. That's the ticket.
Has anyone, like, checked Beck's lithium supply lately?