Glenn Beck has presented Fox News with an interesting dilemma:
Does the cable network hang onto its star tea-partying pundit with the once-stellar (but now rapidly declining) ratings, or does it now give its official imprimatur to a talk-show host who openly promotes the work of a Nazi sympathizer -- and then refuses to apologize for it or even acknowedge that his endorsement was misbegotten?
Because yesterday, faced with the insurmountable fact that he had avidly promoted the work of Hitler apologist/American fascist Elizabeth Dilling, Beck refused to back down, and in fact tried to pretend that it was somehow that fault of liberals that he had done so.
Simon Maloy at Media Matters has the whole sordid story. Here's Beck's response:
BECK: But I'm also getting some amazing mail from the left that now says I'm a Nazi anti-Semite because I quoted a book on Friday -- it was the Red Book, or something like that. It was a who's who, who's in the communist party in 1935. Apparently, I don't know, apparently written by a Nazi sympathizer here in America. Part of the, I'm sure -- I don't know because I didn't look it up -- but I'm sure part of the Father Coughlin, social justice crowd, because this is the choice that progressives give you -- you're either a Nazi or a communist. No, I'm neither. But now -- so now I'm kind of stuck between the place where the left says that I'm a Nazi sympathizer and a Jew lover. So I guess the left can have it all, that I'm a Jew-loving Nazi sympathizer. It's a really interesting place that I don't know if anybody's ever been.
Sorry, but WTF? Beck's understanding of fascism has been so completely polluted by Jonah Goldberg's Newspeak that he is incapable of any kind of coherent understanding of what Americans fascists were all about in the 1930s and afterward.
As Maloy puts it:
First of all, you don't get to play like you don't even really remember what book you were talking about. You told everyone that you spent all of Thursday night reading it, and you were praising it to the skies on Friday as an early example of the sort of communist documentation you yourself claim to be currently undertaking: "This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it." I mean, really, Glenn -- you held the book in your hand as you feted it...
MM's Eric Hananoki notes that Dilling actually attended Nazi meetings in Germany.
And if you want to sample Dilling's work for yourself, the text of The Red Network can be found online.
It's really very simple: If Fox News continues to employ Glenn Beck after this, it will forever after be known as a TV network that employs an apologist and advocate for Nazism.
If so, it will have irrevocably proven itself to be not a news organization, but a propaganda organ for the worst kind of racial and ethnic hatred known to man. It's pretty close to that judgment now.