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.
Glenn Beck tied President Obama and George Soros to a group he has vilified for purportedly bringing "violent revolution" to "our shores." Beck has repeatedly demonized Soros as "evil," characterized Obama as a Soros pawn, and has accused Soros of putting a "bounty on my head."
Glenn Beck promoted radio sponsor FreedomWorks on his Fox News show, placing president and CEO Matt Kibbe in the audience and turning to him in response to a question from another audience member about political organizing. FreedomWorks has been advertising on Beck's radio show since April, a fact he neglected to disclose tonight.
Here is FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe on Glenn Beck tonight:
Glenn Beck has a close working relationship with FreedomWorks that dates back to at least April of this year, when he read a paid advertisement from FreedomWorks on his radio show. FreedomWorks has continued to sponsor The Glenn Beck Program, with Beck advertising for its $200,000 money bomb just last week.
The right-wing media have recently advanced the conspiracy theory that the $1.8 million grant to NPR from the Open Society Foundations -- which were founded by philanthropist George Soros -- is related to Juan Williams' firing. Andrew Breitbart's websites have dramatically one-upped that conspiracy theory, accusing the White House of having a role in Williams' termination and suggesting that Williams' firing is evidence of a "shariah-mandated stealth jihad" -- perhaps part of a "Muslim Brotherhood influence operation."
Glenn Beck has vilified the Tides Foundation for what he said were efforts to "indoctrinate" children with a film that has been shown in schools. But recently, Beck helped raise money for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which reportedly plans to distribute teaching guides to schools around the country.
Tonight, Glenn Beck took up the cause of Florida GOP congressional candidate Allen West, whom Beck called a "man of integrity." In doing so, Beck defended West for assaulting a detainee during an interrogation when he was serving in Iraq -- actions military officials say violated the law. West also reportedly has a close relationship with a motorcycle club suspected by the FBI of criminal activity.
Here is what Beck said about Allen West tonight:
CNN contributor Erick Erickson, who once promised that he would ban birthers from his RedState blog, announced today that he would guest-host longtime birther G. Gordon Liddy's radio show. Erickson, who later seemingly reneged on this pledge, took to his Twitter account to make his announcement:
In a February post, Erickson equated birthers with 9-11 truther conspiracy theorists and was specific about his position on not letting them post at RedState:
If you think 9/11 was an inside job or you really want to debate whether or not Barack Obama is an American citizen eligible to be President, RedState is not a place for you.
Birfers and Truthers are not welcome here. Period. End of Story.
He also wrote, "The tea party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation for allowing birfers and truthers to share the stage."
One must wonder how he can reconcile his concern that birthers are damaging the reputation of tea partiers with guest-hosting G. Gordon Liddy's radio show, given Liddy's long history of supporting and repeating birther allegations against President Obama.
Rupert Murdoch claimed in a recent speech that "the most virulent strains" of anti-Semitism "come from the left." However, his own Fox News personalities have a history of promoting anti-Semitic sources and mainstreaming people who have associations with anti-Semitic groups.
In an article today, Politico reported that Fox News political analyst Dick Morris is now acting as a "Republican campaign surrogate," appearing at rallies for Republican politicians and using his appearances on Fox to campaign for the GOP. Politico also reported: "While Morris stressed that he provides informal assistance to candidates on a pro bono basis, he has nevertheless found ways to pad his bank account off the midterm elections."
According to Politico, one of the groups with which Morris is associated, Americans for Prosperity, has "declined to say whether the group has been paying Morris," but the president of the group added: "We are happy to pay people, in general, if we are happy with their message."
In addition, Politico reports that "Morris's elevated profile also helps with marketing a recently published book he wrote with McGann titled, 'Take Back America: A Battle Plan,' which he bills as a blueprint for a GOP takeover of Congress."
From the Politico article:
[I]n his latest iteration, Morris has become something of a principal himself, headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates. He's formally endorsed some of the party's top prospects, raised money for a slate of GOP House candidates including David McKinley in West Virginia, and Bob Gibbs and Tom Ganley in Ohio, and even blasted out a message to his e-mail list subscribers heaping praise on David Harmer, a challenger for a northern California-based seat.
While Morris stressed that he provides informal assistance to candidates on a pro bono basis, he has nevertheless found ways to pad his bank account off the midterm elections.
He's been particularly active with Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax group that is running TV ads against Democrats. The organization has sent Morris to headline rallies in Colorado, Virginia and Arkansas, where he has implored audiences to elect conservatives to Congress. He also attended the organization's recent "Defending the Dream Summit" in Washington, where he appeared alongside Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at the kick-off session.
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, declined to say whether the group was paying Morris to appear at its events but added, "We are happy to pay people, in general, if we are happy with their message."
Morris's elevated profile also helps with marketing a recently published book he wrote with McGann titled, "Take Back America: A Battle Plan," which he bills as a blueprint for a GOP takeover of Congress.
As Media Matters has documented, Dick Morris has quite a history of ethically dubious behavior, shilling for financial schemes as well as for Republican candidates and causes. And Fox News is deeply implicated in Morris' schemes.
With the guest lineup of World Net Daily's Taking America Back 2010 national conference, it was no surprise that birtherism and bigotry were prevalent throughout the convention. After all, WND's Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi are perhaps most (in)famous for their repeated birther attacks against President Obama.
Displaying shocking ignorance of his own publication, Farah kicked off WND's first national convention by asking if "anyone at WorldNetDaily ever asserted" that President Obama "is foreign-born." We can. It turns out that one of WND's commentators, Craige McMillan, has referred to President Obama as an "illegal alien" in at least three separate posts on WorldNetDaily's website. Despite Farah's suggestion that WorldNetDaily held itself above the tired questions about President Obama's citizenship, Jerome Corsi was quick to jump on the case.
Questioning the president's citizenship, and thus his eligibility as president, was not the only way speakers at WND's convention attacked Obama. Speaker after speaker attacked Obama's faith as a Christian. Jerome Corsi alternatively claimed that Obama "doesn't believe in God" and that he's a Muslim, Floyd Brown claimed that Obama "hates Christianity" and "is a Muslim," while Aaron Klein said that the president "has a certain affinity toward Islam."
Other attacks against Obama included the zombie lie that Obama supported "infanticide" and an absurd demand by Corsi that Obama "come out and renounce Lucifer." Floyd Brown also stated that the "most important step" for the next session of Congress is to impeach President Obama.
Anti-gay bigotry was also out in force at the Taking America Back convention. WorldNetDaily founder, editor, and CEO Joseph Farah suggested gay marriage would lead to "sexual anarchy" and claimed that opposing gay marriage was akin to opposing "sexual offenses" such as "polygamy, incest, statutory rape, child pornography, molestation, [and] prostitution." Noted anti-gay bigot Robert Knight similarly compared a gay marriage ban to bans on polygamy and incest. However, Jerome Corsi refused to be outdone in this vein, going so far as to link same-sex marriage to pedophilia and bestiality.*
Speakers at the convention were also, to put it mildly, displeased with Imam Rauf's proposal to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan to serve an existing Muslim community as a place for worship and community. After nine months of right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry and incidents of violence against mosque sites nationwide, WND's speakers decided to rachet up the rhetoric against the Islamic community center by declaring that its intention is to promote further attacks by Muslims against America. Aaron Klein flatly stated that "the individuals behind" the Islamic community center in Manhattan don't "have peaceful intentions." As well, WND speaker William Murray said that the purpose of the community center is to host "raiders" to "do even more damage" in America.
Just how does WorldNetDaily plan to top all of this with its next national convention?