August 3, 2010

To hear Glenn Beck yesterday on his Fox News show, you'd think he was just a regular frickin' Gandhi:

Beck: Let me make this very clear. You and I have to have a special relationship, because -- we'll show you tomorrow what these people are doing to the media and how they're infiltrated into the media. It's amazing. So you're not going to get the truth about me except here. And that's just not a big enough number in America.

So you and I have to have a straight conversation from time to time. Here's one of them:

There are crazies on both sides of the aisle -- left, right, up, down, doesn't matter -- they're crazy! Crazy people are part of society. But there is one side that has a history of terror and violence -- orchestrated history of terror and violence! And it's about to [e]merge its ugly head again.

No one has preached on TV or radio more than me that violence is not the answer. The reason why I've been doing it so long is because I was telling you about the financial collapse two years before anybody else. When I preach about it, and I say, listen, you've gotta batten down the hatches, you have to be a good person, you have to get right with God, you've got to get back to church, because trouble is coming.

When I say that, the leftists and all their media organs -- they all speculate, 'Why would Glenn Beck have to say that, unless his crazy viewers weren't one push away from a shooting spree?' Well, I say that for the exact same reason that Martin Luther King said that.

Obviously, Glenn's a little sensitive about the violence thing these days because, after all, one of his nutty fans shot two Oakland cops this week en route to a planned terrorist attack on one of Beck's favorite scapegoats, the Tides Foundation. And he obviously thinks that piously declaring his opposition to violence will give him the fig leaf he needs to cover his fat ass.

At one point in the rant, you even think he's going to come clean:

But there is one side that has a history of terror and violence -- orchestrated history of terror and violence! And it's about to [e]merge its ugly head again.

But no. He's actually talking about the radical left -- the radical left of the 1960s, mind you -- and not the radical right of the 1990s and 2000s.

Because there is indeed one side with a very recent and indeed current and ongoing "history of terror and violence" -- and that would be the radical right. Yesterday we pointed out three other recent cases involving right-wing extremists, all inspired to some degree by Fox News: Jim David Adkisson in Knoxville, Scott Roeder in Topeka, and Richard Poplawski in Pittsburgh. But that's just touching the tip of the iceberg, one that goes back to The Order, Timothy McVeigh, and Eric Rudolph. And it includes, just in the past year alone, James Von Brunn, who walked into the Holocaust Museum and opened fire; Joseph Andrew Stack, who flew a plane into an IRS building; John Patrick Bedell, who walked into the Pentagon and opened fire; and Jerry and Joe Kane, two "sovereign citizens" who gunned down two police officers in West Memphis, Arkansas, and wounded two others before being mowed down themselves.

Funny that whenever those cases erupt, Glenn Beck simply writes them off as "crazies" instead of the right-wing political terrorists they clearly are. And then wrings his hands and warns that violence isn't the answer.

And what's really funny is that you'll notice Beck preceded this entire vow of anti-violence with a long rant demonizing and smearing progressives as being part of a faction that is out to destroy America. This is of course classic eliminationist rhetoric -- something that Glenn Beck has come to specialize in the past year, particularly in his attacks on progressives.

As I explain in The Eliminationists:

The history of eliminationism in America, and elsewhere, shows that rhetoric plays a significant role in the travesties that follow. It creates permission for people to act out in ways they might not otherwise. It allows them to abrogate their own humanity by denying the humanity of people deemed undesirable or a cultural contaminant.

At every turn in American history—from Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s characterization of the New World “barbarians” as “these pitiful men … in whom you will scarcely find any vestiges of humanness,” to Colonel Chivington’s admonition that “Nits make lice!,” to the declarations that “white womanhood” stood imperiled by oversexed black rapists, to James Phelan’s declaration that Japanese immigrants were like “rats in the granary”—rhetoric has conditioned Americans to think of those different from themselves as less than human. Indeed, their elimination is not just acceptable, but devoutly to be wished and actively sought.

Moreover, Beck's rhetoric has a long history of being violent in nature and encouraging violence, as Media Matters' researchers explain in some detail:

Violent rhetoric is a staple on Beck's shows

Beck pours gasoline on "average American," asks, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?" On his television show, Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an actor portraying the "average American." Beck said during his demonstration: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic."[Fox News' Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]

Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." On his March 30, 2009, Fox News show, Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said: "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." Beck returned to that imagery on his January 19 radio show, warning listeners that progressives are "vampires" who now have a "taste of blood" and are "gonna start getting more and more violent."

Beck talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine. In 2009, Beck's Fox News show featured a segment in which Beck said the following to a woman wearing a mask of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck 8/6/09]

Beck: "To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter." Telling his listeners that they "are going to learn so much on Friday," Beck compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters" and commented: "I'm going to find these big progressives and, to the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter." He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care where -- I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they have done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution, our republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people are waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to losing our republic. [The Glenn Beck Program, 1/20/10]

Beck: "Grab a torch." Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch." [Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]

Beck suggests Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and is pushing America toward civil war. While discussing the ongoing controversy over Arizona's immigration law, Beck told his listeners that "we are being pushed" toward civil war and that Obama is "trying to destroy the country." [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/19/10]

Beck's advice to Liberty grads: "Shoot to kill." During his May 15 commencement speech at Liberty University, Beck told graduates that they "have a responsibility" to speak out, or "blood ... will be on our hands." His advice for graduates (as well as his daughter) included "shoot to kill."

Quoting Jefferson, Beck warns about "rivers of blood." On his Fox News show, Beck quoted a letter by Thomas Jefferson warning " 'if they lose freedom' -- he's speaking of us, future generations -- 'if they lose freedom, there will be rivers of blood.' " Beck continued in his own words, "Boy, I hope that's not true, but I can tell you there will be rivers of blood if we don't have values and principles." [Glenn Beck, 5/14/10]

Beck: "I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on." During an interview with in which he discussed opposition to Obama's Federal Communications Commission policies, Beck said: "I fear an event. I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced. God help us all.'' [, 10/7/09]

That's really just a sampling. Go check the whole long, exhaustive list. Because that alone will tell you why Beck's lameass little fig-leaf covering -- "But I preach nonviolence!" -- deserves just to be laughed right out of the room.

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