Bill Kristol and other media conservatives have recently denounced Glenn Beck for using "hysteria" and "apocalyptic conspiracy terms" in his commentary about the uprising in Egypt. This is the latest case in which Beck's violent rhetoric and conspiratorial fearmongering have triggered criticism from Republicans and right-wing media figures.
Fox Nation today posted an article from Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet.com website, entitled "Obama's Blocking of New Power Plants Triggers Nationwide Blackouts?"
As Kate Galbraith reported yesterday in the Texas Tribune, the rolling blackouts throughout Texas earlier this week were primarily caused by problems with the power plants from the extremely cold weather -- not a government conspiracy:
Initially, it appears, some coal plants went offline due to cold-weather problems, taking a large chunk of electricity out of the grid. Luminant, a major power-generation company, confirmed that its two coal units at the Oak Grove plant in Robertson County failed, as did two units at a coal plant in Milam County. "We are in various stages of start-up and operation for that group," Allan Koenig, a Luminant spokesman, said via e-mail. Three of these four units only began operating in the last few years; Fraser, who chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, noted that they had new emissions-control technologies, and said one question was how those technologies had handled the cold.
Dave Knox, a spokesman for NRG, another power company, said that a cold-weather problem also caused a shut-down of its Limestone coal plant near Jewitt, Texas. The problem occurred yesterday, albeit after the early-morning crisis, and the plant returned to operating early this morning.
Natural gas plants were hastily turned on to make up for the coal-plant failures. But, Fraser said, some power cuts affected some stations for compressing natural gas -- so without power they couldn't pump gas, causing some gas power plants to go offline. In addition, rules regarding "curtailment" of natural gas -- who gets first dibs on gas when gas supplies are tight -- were last revised in 1972, Fraser said, leaving some power plants at risk of losing out on supplies.
Fox Nation is just the latest Fox entity to mainstream Jones. Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano previously revealed himself as a 9-11 Truther on Alex Jones' radio show in November 2010. Napolitano has long been friendly with Alex Jones during his employment with Fox. Alex Jones himself is best known for his wild conspiracy theories, and was cited as an inspiration by alleged would-be assassin Byron Williams last year.
Glenn Beck recently promoted the turmoil unfolding in Egypt as the "Archduke Ferdinand moment" he claims he has been warning about for years, warning that it could lead to a "Muslim caliphate" and a Marxist "insurrection." This is at least the seventh different "Archduke Ferdinand moment" Beck has identified in the past four years.
Fox News has dragged out their regular roster of credibility-challenged experts to comment on the uprising in Egypt. Media Matters has compiled a list of these guests and the shows they appeared on, along with their past inflammatory remarks.
Fox News' Todd Starnes objected to President Obama's words of support for "the people of Tunisia" during the State of the Union address. Starnes wrote on his Twitter account: "I thought this was the State of our Union?" However, Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush also referenced democratic movements in foreign countries during State of the Union addresses.
Within a day of Michelle Obama and Wal-Mart's joint announcement of the company's Healthy Foods Initiative, conservative media figures accused the Obama administration of threatening Wal-Mart to get the company to offer healthier foods.
Bill O'Reilly downplayed concerns about Americans not having health insurance, saying, "Hospitals are mandated to treat uninsured people." In fact, uncompensated care shifts the burden of providing care to the insured and to government budgets.
While discussing extreme rhetoric and the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Chris Matthews singled out right-wing radio hosts Michael Savage and Mark Levin for their "ugly talk." While Savage and Levin have reacted by calling Matthews a "loudmouth fraud" and an "A-hole," Matthews is right: Savage and Levin are regularly "in some rage" filled with "ugly talk."
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.