On Monday, during a falsehood-laden defense of his Misinformer of the Year Award, Glenn Beck made a big show of the amount of research both he and his staff does while assembling his program. I'm not sure if we were supposed to be impressed by the stacks of paper, but regardless of the quantity of research his staff does, the quality certainly seems to be lacking (side note: his staff could save a good bit of time and paper if they didn't print every article.)
For example, last night, leading into a typically reasonable discussion of how the progressive movement is more akin to early Italian Fascism than the Founding Fathers, Glenn Beck rehashed a smear of Sen. Al Franken that was thoroughly debunked back in December.
As Senior Editor Brian Frederick pointed out while demolishing the phony talking point, this story doesn't hold water for several reasons. First, Sen. John McCain's supposed anger at the exchange is undermined by his blatant hypocrisy. In 2002, McCain objected to then-Sen. Mark Dayton's request for more time during the Iraq War debate. Second, Franken was acting on a request from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to adhere strictly to time constraints. Third, the same exact thing happened earlier the same day when Sen. Mark Begich objected to Sen. John Cornyn's request for more time.
In fairness to "some of the biggest minds in America," it was tough for me to dig up these facts. If you google "Franken Lieberman exchange," two of our items and Brian Frederick's blog post are buried...as the first search result.
I'm honestly curious how something like this ends up on the air. Did his research staff just not bother to research the exchange before airing it? Did they find the numerous articles debunking the bogus story and decide to run the smear anyway? Were they too busy printing articles to read them?
These are not rhetorical questions. If Beck wants to answer any of them, he knows how to reach us.
Beck misrepresented the same exchange on his radio show on Wednesday to label progressivism "evil." Perhaps it was unfair of me to place all of the blame on his television research team. Apparently Beck and his radio crew can't be bothered with facts, either. (H/T Z.P.)