PT Barnum is credited with saying: "There's a sucker born every day" and history has proven him right. Robert Welch created the John Birch society by conning as many wingnut rubes as he could into forming an anti-government and anti-Communist advocacy group. It became very powerful in the early sixties by promoting crazed Communist conspiracy theories that reached as far up as the White House. Even William F Buckley railed against them as vociferously as he could so that the Republican party wouldn't be besmirched by their apparent lunacy.
The society had been founded in 1958 by an earnest and capable entrepreneur named Robert Welch, a candy man, who brought together little clusters of American conservatives, most of them businessmen. He demanded two undistracted days in exchange for his willingness to give his seminar on the Communist menace to the United States, which he believed was more thoroughgoing and far-reaching than anyone else in
America could have conceived.
His influence was near-hypnotic, and his ideas wild. He said Dwight D. Eisenhower was a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” and that the government of the United States was “under operational control of the Communist party.” It was, he said in the summer of 1961, “50-70 percent” Communist-controlled...read on
Conspiracy nuts have been on the fringes of political discussion for a long time, but with the rise of Fox News, the Tea party and the Internet, Glenn Beck has snatched the crown from Welch and proudly wears it for all to see. In the process, he's making millions of dollars off the dupes and weak-minded followers of extreme right-wing orthodoxy.
Here's Beck's latest nonsensical conspiracy rant about the possible Islamic brainwashing of John Brennan:
Perhaps the most amazingly hypocritical thing about Glenn Beck is that his entire Blaze network serves as nothing but a repository for conspiracy theories, wild speculation, and outright lies while Beck holds himself up as a champion of "the truth."
Case in point. On his program last night, Beck took up the allegation that John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, may have secretly converted to Islam as part of a counterintelligence operation run against him by the Saudi government.
Despite the fact that this claim originated from one laughably unreliable source, Beck found it to be entirely "plausible," saying that "if somebody makes a charge like that, shouldn't we at least explore it" before saying that the media wouldn't even bother to investigate because "it seems like we can't even ask reasonable questions any more"
Yes, crazy indeed, but we've seen his Muslim hysteria many times before.
Beck: I believe that I can make a case in the end that there are three powers that you will see really emerge. One, a Muslim caliphate that controls the Mideast and parts of Europe. Two, China, that will control Asia, the southern half of Africa, part of the Middle East, Australia, maybe New Zealand, and God only knows what else. And Russia, which will control all of the old former Soviet Union bloc, plus maybe the Netherlands. I'm not really sure. But their strong arm is coming. That leaves us and South America. What happens to us?
Not much daylight between Glenn Beck and Robert Welch!
The idea that anyone who hates liberals and makes a lamebrain assertion about anyone at all immediately becomes plausible and should be investigated. Can you imagine if he did acquire a network?