Glenn Beck Goes Far Beyond The Birthers With His “Old Racist And Clerical Toxic-Waste Material”

I’ve pointed out several times that Glenn Beck has basically been recycling old Bircher conspiracy theories. I stand corrected. Christopher Hitchens writes that Beck does far worse in recycling the most extreme ideas from the far right that even Birchers rejected in the past:

Right up to the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, and despite the efforts of such conservatives as William F. Buckley Jr. to dislodge them, the Birchers were a feature of conservative politics well beyond the crackpot fringe.

Now, here is the difference. Glenn Beck has not even been encouraging his audiences to reread Robert Welch. No, he has been inciting them to read the work of W. Cleon Skousen, a man more insane and nasty than Welch and a figure so extreme that ultimately even the Birch-supporting leadership of the Mormon Church had to distance itself from him. It’s from Skousen’s demented screed The Five Thousand Year Leap (to a new edition of which Beck wrote a foreword, and which he shoved to the position of No. 1 on Amazon) that he takes all his fantasies about a divinely written Constitution, a conspiratorial secret government, and a future apocalypse. To give you a further idea of the man: Skousen’s posthumously published book on the “end times” and the coming day of rapture was charmingly called The Cleansing of America. A book of his with a less repulsive title, The Making of America, turned out to justify slavery and to refer to slave children as “pickaninnies.” And, writing at a time when the Mormon Church was under attack for denying full membership to black people, Skousen defended it from what he described as this “Communist” assault.

So, Beck’s “9/12 Project” is canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting it right back in again. Things that had hidden under stones are being dug up and re-released. And why? So as to teach us anew about the dangers of “spending and deficits”? It’s enough to make a cat laugh. No, a whole new audience has been created, including many impressionable young people, for ideas that are viciously anti-democratic and ahistorical. The full effect of this will be felt farther down the road, where we will need it even less.

Ed Brayton has more on this, but the best comment on the Tea Party movement comes from one of his commenters:

Once you throw out all the birthers, and the people who think we’re going to balance the budget by lowering taxes, and the people who want the gubmint to keep its hands off their medicare, and the people who mutter about saving the constitution but don’t know what’s in it – who’s left?

As I’ve often said, they support of version of the Constitution which exists only in their heads and is certainly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.


Olivia Wilde said in an interview that she tried not to be sexy in Tron: Legacy. Olivia Wilde not being sexy in a skintight costume is like Sarah Palin not being stupid or Dick Cheney not being evil.

Quote of the Day

“Sarah Palin is going to Haiti this weekend to deliver humanitarian aid. If there’s one thing that’s reassuring, it’s seeing Sarah Palin above you in a helicopter.” –Jimmy Fallon

Leaked Email Shows Fox Lied Again, This Time About Climate Change

Leaked email showing that Fox was spinning the news related to climate change are no more surprising than the leaked memos showing they did the same with health care reform. This would explain why so many misled conservatives believe that global warming has stalled when actually this has been the warmest decade on record, 2009 was the second warmest year on record, and 2010 will fall in the top three, depending upon how much the recent cold weather brings down the annual average. It also explains why so many misled conservatives believe that there was something to the so-called “climate-gate” affair when the hacked emails failed to contain the material claimed by climate change deniers.

Media Matters reports:

In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the “veracity of climate change data” and ordering the network’s journalists to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was “on track to be the warmest [decade] on record.”

…Sammon’s orders for Fox journalists to cast doubt on climate science came amid the network’s relentless promotion of the fabricated “Climategate” scandal, which revolved around misrepresentations of emails sent to and from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

At the time of Sammon’s directive, it was clear the “scandal” did not undermine the scientific basis for global warming and that the emails were being grossly distorted by conservative media and politicians. Scientists, independent fact-checkers, and several investigations have since confirmed that the CRU emails do not undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet.

Contrary to Sammon’s email, the increase in global temperatures over the last half-century is an established fact. As the National Climatic Data Center explains, the warming trend “is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change” and “is also confirmed by other independent observations.”

The full post has far more information on the misinformation presented on Fox. Watching Fox for news is a lot like watching pro wrestling. They’re both fixed.