In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Glenn Beck has issued what he claims is a pledge denouncing violence. But as the language of that pledge makes clear, it is little more than the same attacks on President Obama that Beck has engaged in for the past two years.
While the tragic shooting at a public event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was done by a mentally unstable individual, and while there is no apparent connection to any political party, the current political rhetoric has reached an unacceptable level. Media Matters revisits instances in which conservative media figures ignored or minimized security threats against Nancy Pelosi in order to attack her for using a military aircraft. In fact, the Department of Defense provided the plane as a security measure after the 9-11 attacks -- a measure that was also provided to former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Conservative bloggers are denouncing President Obama for his statement condemning a terrorist attack against a church in Egypt on New Year's Day. These bloggers are falsely claiming that, in the words of Jim Hoft, "Obama is making up Muslim victims" of the attack. In fact, there were reportedly Muslims wounded in the attack.
Ace of Spades' Gabriel Malor followed up on Hoft's attack, claiming that Obama "create[d] Muslim victims" of the bombing. And Pam Geller wrote today that the president's statement "was grotesque, misleading, and deceptive."
All three blogs quoted Obama's statement that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities." Hoft explicitly drew the conclusion that Obama had falsely claimed that there were Muslims among the fatalities saying of Obama's statement: "Not true. All 21 of the victims in the attack were Christian. No Muslims died in the attack."
Of course, only people intentionally trying to gin up phony outrage would read that sentence and argue that Obama was trying to claim that there were Muslim fatalities and hoping that no one would fact-check the claim. Who knows? Maybe Hoft really believes what he wrote. But a rational person would see that Obama was saying that there the injured came from both the Christian and Muslim communities.
And it is true that there were Muslims among the injured. Indeed, Hoft included a quote from a Catholic Online article saying: "All but eight of the injured and all the fatalities were Christians from Saints Church, located on the eastern side of the coastal city.." Furthermore, Agence France-Presse reports that according to Egyptian authorities, "The hospitals have taken in seven deceased and 24 injured persons, eight of them Muslims."
All three bloggers also falsely suggest that Obama refused to call the church bombing an attack on Christians. Geller, for instance, wrote: "These were jihadi attacks against Christians. Islamic supremacists slaughtering non-Muslims. Does Obama the mourn the deaths of homicide bombers as well?"
In fact, Obama made very clear that this was an attack against Christians. Indeed, in the very next sentence after saying that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities," Obama stated: "The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshipers, and have no respect for human life and dignity."
President Obama's statement concluded with the following line:
The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the wounded in both of these attacks, and we stand with the Nigerian and Egyptian people at this difficult time.
If only these right-wing bloggers had responded to the attack concern for the victims, regardless of religion, rather than launching another desperate attack on Obama. Alas, that was not the case.
CNN announced today that it's hosting a presidential debate with the discredited Tea Party Express next summer.
In July, the Tea Party Express was expelled from the National Tea Party Federation for a racially charged post on then-spokesman Mark Williams' blog. Williams had penned a fake letter from the NAACP calling Abraham Lincoln the "greatest racist ever" for taking away the "great gig" of slavery from African-Americans. The Tea Party Express still doesn't appear on the membership list of the National Tea Party Federation.
While Fox News has heavily promoted the Tea Party Express -- a group that was launched by GOP consultants -- other Tea Party groups have denounced it as little more than an extension of the Republican Party.
As the New York Times reported, Phillip Glass of the conservative group National Precinct Alliance called the Tea Party Express a "Republican National Committee-related" group. Dave Weigel reported in October 2009 that other Tea Party activists view the Tea Party Express as "a scheme for Republican strategists and candidates to take advantage of a movement that was chugging along fine without them."
What will it take for CNN to hop off the bus?
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "the tactic known as deem and pass" was used for "final passage" of health care reform legislation. In fact, House Democrats did not use "deem and pass" to pass the bill, which Fox News itself reported in March.
Last night, Glenn Beck made clear that his Fox News show is little more than an infomercial for his radio sponsors, as he plugged UPillar.com without disclosing that the company is one of his paid radio sponsors.
Claiming that "somebody told me the other day" that "the average home in America has $25,000 worth of stuff they don't need or don't use, lying around," Beck declared that he will "downsize" the "stuff" in his home and "put it up on UPillar.com."
Incidentally, UPillar.com CEO Trevor Milton -- a paid Beck advertiser dating to at least January 2010 -- told a Las Vegas Fox affiliate in June of last year that "most families have an average of $25,000 worth of junk just sitting there, which is incredible because you'd never think that" (at the 1:36 mark).
Worried that, as Beck says, food inflation will soon make food unaffordable? Well, Beck has a product to sell to you: Another of his radio sponsors, Food Insurance. Come to think of it, Beck mentioned, once you sell your "stuff" on UPillar.com, the money can be used to pay for "extra groceries and add food storage!"
Perhaps Glenn Beck should be moved from Fox News to the Home Shopping Network.
Video after the jump.
Glenn Beck has repeatedly attacked financier and philanthropist George Soros with anti-Semitic stereotypes, referring to Soros as a "puppet master" and accusing him of controlling the media, the political process, and the global economy.
Yesterday, I documented how Glenn Beck turned a paid radio advertisement for his sponsor into a segment on his Fox News show within a single day.
Tonight, Beck doubled down, devoting his entire monologue to the perils of food inflation:
During his paid radio ad for Food Insurance on November 1, Beck told his audience that people he knows have urged him to tell his audience to invest in food commodities:
When I got this one guy on the phone, and I've had two now tell me this. They have said to me, "Glenn, please, tell your audience -- food. If you're investing, buy corn or commodities, because commodities are going to go up." One of the guys, who's not a crackpot at all and very, very reasoned, said to me, "It doesn't seem unreasonable that in the next 12 months, a quarter of this country can't afford food, because commodities -- the foodstuff is going up."
During tonight's Fox News monologue, Beck suggested that food commodities were an excellent investment, saying:
Now, if you would be scared of what would be coming next, if you're in the rest of the world, and you're like, OK, I don't really know, I got gobs of money. What do I put it in? What do I invest it in? I don't know if I trust bonds. I don't know what I trust anymore. What do you buy?
Well, you don't -- if you think that maybe times are going to be a little tough, you don't necessarily, you know, put your money into a company that's going to be making those 200-inch plasmas. You look for something stable.
What does the world always need? Food, corn, rice, wheat -- commodities.
It is abundantly clear that Glenn Beck is, without disclosure, taking an argument he used to promote his radio sponsor Food Insurance and turning it into a 17-minute long monologue on his Fox News show. Indeed, Glenn Beck seems to have quite the relationship with this particular sponsor. On the Food Insurance home page, the company features a Glenn Beck ad with the words, "as recommended on the Glenn Beck Program."
Isn't it about time Glenn Beck's employers at Fox News investigate whether he is violating his contract with them -- again -- by serving as a paid product spokesperson, like they did nearly a year ago when it came to his incessant promotion of gold?
On his radio show yesterday, Glenn Beck announced that he would do a segment on his Fox News show that night discussing how there really is inflation, because, he says, the dollar's value is declining and commodities such as food will cost more. It all sounds like a perfectly normal Beck monologue -- except he said the exact same thing in a paid radio advertisement for his sponsor Food Insurance the previous day.
Glenn Beck appeared to reverse his history of ridiculing birthers tonight by promoting Tom Tancredo's candidacy for governor of Colorado on his Fox News show. On more than one occasion, Tancredo has repeated the long-debunked birther conspiracy theory by claiming that President Obama has not revealed his birth certificate.
Beck, who previously labeled a birther protester an "idiot" and begged people to "please run away from the birther movement," introduced Tancredo as one of the 2010 candidates he thought was "worth talking to."
As Think Progress reported, Tancredo questioned Obama's birth certificate during the April 27 edition of Alan Colmes' radio show [emphasis from Think Progress]:
COLMES: Do you really believe -- you know he was born in Hawaii right?
TANCREDO: I have absolutely no idea where he was born.
COLMES: You've seen he was born in Hawaii; he was in two Hawaiian newspapers within two days of his birth.
TANCREDO: Anybody can put an article in a newspaper. Just show me your birth certificate!
Think Progress noted that Tancredo again jumped into birtherism during a rally in Phoenix in June [emphasis from Think Progress]:
I used to think, I used to believe that the greatest threat we ever had to this country -- I remember when I was a kid, it used to be Russia with the atomic bombs, and after that it was al Qaeda -- but there is somebody who is a greater threat to American liberty today than anybody else I can think of. His name is Barack Obama. He does not see the America that you and I see. He looks at a different place. He looks at the America that you and I love, he looks at the America that the Founders put together, and he says, "I don't like that, I'm going to create something else." And he says, when his friend, the President of Mexico is here, he says, "We are not defined by borders." Well maybe he isn't defined by borders. Citizenship is not important. I can understand why somebody like Barack Obama would say citizenship is not important since he refuses to even produce his own birth certificate!
Glenn Beck is so enthused about Tancredo's candidacy that on October 27, he said he "may move to Colorado" if Tancredo is elected governor.
Beck also did his part for FoxPAC's campaign efforts tonight by hosting two Republican candidates for Congress, Ruth McClung of Arizona and Ryan Frazier of Colorado. Fox News has relentlessly promoted GOP candidates all week long.