Right-wing media figures have dismissed the consequences of defaulting on America's debt. Yet experts agree that if the U.S. were to default as a result of not raising the debt ceiling, it would have a catastrophic effect on the economic recovery.
The "Final Chapter" of Glenn Beck's Fox News run kicked off Friday with Beck warning that a plot to "collapse the system," "redistribute the wealth," and create an Obama-centered empire was based on a willingness to kill "25 million Americans."
Fox News announced weeks ago that Beck "intends to transition off his daily program" on Fox News. Earlier this week, News Corp. announced that the "Final Chapter" of Beck's Fox News show would begin Friday.
That chapter of the Glenn Beck saga began with Beck claiming that he is leaving Fox to transition from "preaching to the choir" into getting "involved" in stopping the "nefarious plans" of progressives.
Setting the stage, the final chapter chalkboard revealed that all the same demons continue to haunt Beck: magnets representing the "radicals" whom "Obama has surrounded himself with" -- Richard Trumka, Andy Stern, Van Jones, George Soros, Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein, Stephen Lerner, and The Tides Foundation -- populated every corner of the chalkboard.
Beck warned his audience of the dangers posed by the "true revolutionaries" on his chalkboard, who support communism and the "redistribution of wealth," and by "people like George Soros" who want to "collapse the system." Beck then asked, "If communists went and tried to collapse the system and took over the system, OK, what would happen." He pressed:
Who would not fight for the rest of your life if someone overthrew the Constitution of the United States? Raise your hand.
Would you fight -- would you fight for the rest of your life and give yourself if someone overthrew the government of the United States?
So, we know that. There are millions of people that would do that. Well, George Soros is smart enough to know that, isn't he?
This is not atypical -- in fact it is a hallmark of Beck's show to suggest violence is originating from "the left" and to then beg his audience to resist.
After all, when Beck tearfully announced his 9-12 Project, he told his Fox News audience, "They don't surround us; we surround them." Months later, he amped up the paranoia, proclaiming, "Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government -- I will stand against you, and so will millions of others."
Friday night, Beck returned to his chalkboard to again explain how "they" were organized into groups of thinkers, thugs, doers, organizers, and Marxists trying to "collapse the system." Beck went on to explain how their plan to create an empire under Obama was rooted in a willingness to kill 25 million Americans:
So, the real question here is, is what is the illusion of the republic that George Soros has planned? Because if we all know, if we all know this guy is in bed with all of these guys and we know that, you won't sit down. Unless, remember [William Ayers] said, we have an FBI agent who infiltrated his Weather Underground who said they will kill 25 million Americans. Twenty- five million Americans just won't do it -- just won't sit down for it. So, they will kill 25 million.
OK. So, we know he is willing to. But wouldn't it be easier if this guy could convince the youth. This guy could convince faith groups. These guys could just keep everybody in line. These guys could figure out a way to make it look good.
There has to be the illusion -- there has to be illusion of the republic remaining. That's what you look for. That's I think what's coming in the next year -- is the illusion that these guys are somehow or another ratted out, to satisfy, after you cry out, "Top-down, protect us."
At one point Friday night, Beck said that it was "getting boring" to demonize the "same people," raising the question as to just how much longer this transition will be supported by Fox News.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto hosted Quenton Dokken, identified as a "Marine Biologist and President of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation" to downplay the impact of the BP oil spill. Cavuto did not disclose that the Gulf of Mexico Foundation has direct ties to the offshore drilling industry, including Transocean, a company at the center of last year's Gulf spill.
From a May 4, 2010 post at The ProPublica Blog:
At least half of the 19 members of the group's board of directors have direct ties to the offshore drilling industry. One of them is currently an executive at Transocean, the company that owns the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded last month, causing millions of gallons of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.
Seven other board members are currently employed at oil companies, or at companies that provide products and services "primarily" to the offshore oil and gas industry. Those companies include Shell, Conoco Phillips, LLOG Exploration Company, Devon Energy, Anadarko Petroleum Company and Oceaneering International.
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation's president is a retired senior vice president of Rowan Companies Inc., an offshore drilling contractor.
Meanwhile, Transocean hosted the group's winter board meeting in January and sponsored a dinner for the board of directors. Past board meetings have been hosted in full or in part by Anadarko Petroleum Company, Shell Exploration and Production, Valero Refinery and Marathon Oil Corporation.
During the interview, Dokken said that "everything is looking pretty good" in the Gulf and that "nature has simply taken care of" the spill.
Eric Bolling deceptively edited President Obama's remarks on the need to "reduce spending in the tax code" and accused him of using "fuzzy math, Obama math." In comments Bolling excised out of the address, Obama made clear he was comparing "tax expenditures" to spending, a comparison economists routinely use.
Right-wing blogger Doug Powers has taken the Drudge bait, pointing to benign comments Rep. Nancy Pelosi made about political extremism to accuse her of embracing "tyranny."
As the budget negotiations were raging in Washington late last week, Nancy Pelosi ducked out for a mini fleebager road trip to Tufts University. While there, she vented some frustration about Tea Party influence in Washington and expressed her dissatisfaction with the election process when things don't go her way.
Transcript from Mediaite:
"To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn't matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors."
Powers linked to a web post on "Nazi Germany - Dictatorship." Subtle: Powers is literally linking Pelosi to Nazis.
The full context of Pelosi's remarks makes clear she was not advocating tyranny, but simply pointing out that political extremism can distort the political debate:
But the fact is that elections shouldn't matter as much as they do. There should be someplace on the spectrum where we respect each other's views and all the rest. But when it comes to a place where there doesn't seem to be shared values then that can be problematic for the country, as I think you can see right now. [via Real Clear Politics, 4/8/11]
Doug Powers' Nazi rhetoric actually demonstrates Pelosi's point.
Despite announcing Glenn Beck's departure, Fox News is still embracing his rhetoric. Monday, Bill O'Reilly parroted Beck's conspiracy theory that the "far left" is intentionally trying to collapse "the entire American economic system," an idea that Beck has pushed on Fox News for over a year.
America Live featured a segment focused on "pro-union groups pour[ing]" money into Wisconsin's Supreme Court race in order to criticize "pro-union" attacks on the incumbent, conservative Justice David Prosser Jr. In fact, more outside money has been spent on Prosser's behalf -- a fact ignored by America Live, and Fox News has recently hyped Prosser's campaign, which many see as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union policies.
Media figures have been quick to portray Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, as "courageous" "genius" for introducing an "adult plan" for the 2012 budget. Ryan's current role as the lone "adult" on budget issues is belied by his support for policies - including the Bush tax cuts - that created massive federal deficits.
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that the New Hampshire Supreme Court prevented "parents" from home schooling their children based on a case that simply resolved a dispute between two divorced parents over the best way to educate their daughter. Beck has previously demonized public schools for "indoctrinat[ing]" children and "beg[ged]" people to home-school their children.
Glenn Beck mocked AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for saying that Dr. Martin Luther King lost his life while fighting for the rights of public union workers. In fact, King was shot while in Memphis to support striking municipal workers, and in his eulogy honoring King, Benjamin Mays -- King's mentor and friend -- spoke of King's dedication to "fighting to get a just wage" for workers.