Yes, Virginia, Glenn Beck lies.
Like a rug.
Last weekend at the Beck rally in Seattle, one of his supporters (you can see him in the video) was upset that one of the protesters carried a sign proclaiming, "Glenn Beck Lies". He wanted to know when Beck had ever lied.
Answer: Oh, about nightly.
Case in point: His program last night.
In his opening rant, Beck talked about his Seattle appearances, and opened up by pointing out that there were only "about 40" protesters outside his Safeco Field shindig. And this was true. But what Beck didn't bother to explain to his viewers was that up in Mount Vernon, at his main event, there were more than 500 who showed up to protest him.
Then he said this:
Beck: Now they're worried about bombings taking place. Well, let me show you some new footage. A bombing did take place this past week in a town just north of Seattle called Everett. The only reason why I know this story is 'cause I was there. Radio station KRKO, their towers were blown up. When freedom of speech is being squelched, the left usually says, "That's fascist!" But in this case the left doesn't even call them anything!
But in reality, there were no bombs in this incident at all. All Beck and his staff had to do was read the actual news reports -- you know, the same ones from which they obtained their ELF quote:
"What they used was a machine called an excavator, it has a front arm off the front end of the machine. They stole it out of the yard," Andy Skotdal, president and general manager of KRKO. "They went and attached it to the tower and pushed one of them over and pulled the other one down."
Moreover, the vandalism had nothing to do with "free speech" and everything to do with the towers being a public nuisance:
The towers have been at the center of controversy for years. There are four towers currently at the location and there have been plans to build two more towers. Opponents have claimed that AM radio waves can harm people and wildlife.
More recently, nearby residents claim radio signals coming over home phone and intercom lines have increased since KRKO recently boosted its broadcasting power.
Just to be clear: Eco-terrorism, even without bombs, is a despicable act that deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The people who brought these towers down need to be caught and jailed.
But the threat they pose, at least so far, is strictly to property, not to people. The same cannot be said of the right-wing extremists who Beck is calling out of the woodwork now.
Someone needs to ask Beck: When, exactly, was the last time a left-wing activist walked into a church or a museum and opened fire with a gun? When was the last time an eco-terrorist gunned down police officers because he feared the President and his New World Order were trying to take his guns away?
Because just in the past year alone, there have been five such incidents involving right-wing extremists. Nancy Pelosi is right to be concerned about the potential for extremist violence from the right -- because it's already happening. And when we talk about right-wing violence, we're not talking about damage to property or facilities -- we're talking about terrorists who kill people.
Moreover, we can thank Glenn Beck for his share of fomenting it.
This wasn't the only case of Beck lying on Fox last night. He also went on The O'Reilly Factor and lied about the size of the crowds that came out to protest him:
You'll note he repeats the bit about how "only 40" showed up to protest him in Seattle. But then he claims that there were "about 400" among both the anti-Beck and the pro-Beck protesters in Mount Vernon.
That's simply a baldfaced falsehood. I was there, and can tell you that the anti-Beck protesters outnumbered the pro-Beck side by about a three-to-one margin. By my count, there were about 600 anti-Beck marchers, and less than 200 who supported.
I also asked people where they were from. I couldn't find a single pro-Beck protester who was actually from Mount Vernon; most of them came from the Seattle area, particularly from the Eastside suburbs. Most of the anti-Beck protesters came from Skagit and Island counties.
And yes, there was a single busful of protesters who arrived, though there was no indication they were brought in by SEIU, as Beck claimed. Rather, these were farm workers who came down from the nearby town of Linden, a conservative farming community a little to the north, in Whatcom County.
The way Beck described it to O'Reilly, SEIU was busing in inner-city protesters to Mount Vernon. But there were no such creatures there. Again, Beck lied. It's what he does -- practically every time he opens his mouth.