Back in June, during one of his routine "I'm always right" proclamations, Glenn Beck announced that if he "get[s] out of control and start[s] leveling baseless charges that can't be backed up," then he would be "fired." As we pointed out, Beck hurls "baseless charges" for a living and regularly refuses to engage in substantive discussion of criticism of his work.
While this could be written after pretty much every episode of Beck's Fox News program, it bears repeating: By his own standards, Glenn Beck deserves to be fired after last night's program.
Last night, Beck endeavored to profile "puppet master" George Soros, the philanthropist who Beck claims controls the media, the global economy, and the political process. However, working backward from that absurd thesis caused Beck and his research staff predictable trouble. Namely, Beck's show relied on blatant falsehoods, mangled quotes, and distorted history.
While there are far too many "baseless charges" from last night's program to recap here, it's worth focusing on how Beck's attempts to buttress his assertion that Soros is some kind of creepy "puppet master" defy logic (and often the laws of space and time).
- Beck argued that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation was a result of a 1994 speech by George Soros. This is an impressive display of Soros' powers, considering that Feingold had repeatedly expressed support for finance reform prior to the Soros speech and campaigned on reform during his 1992 Senate run.
- Beck then chased his own tail down the rabbit hole, claiming that campaign finance legislation "led to the explosion of 501(c)(3) groups, which can advertise at will." This came as news to us, because we were under the impression that 501(c)(3) organizations like our own are prohibited from political advertising -- which the IRS states explicitly.
- Beck claimed that Soros "set the agenda" when he called for a large stimulus bill in November of 2008. As with Beck's accusation about Soros' supposed influence over Feingold's push for campaign finance reform, this assertion defies reality, because President Obama, Congress, and numerous economists had already called for a major stimulus bill prior to Soros' speech.
Keep in mind that last night was the result of weeks of work by Beck and his staff. He's been hyping it endlessly on both his radio and TV shows, yet it still contained enough laughably egregious falsehoods that it would have received a failing grade in a high school class.
Near the end of the show, Beck said that "as long as I have breath, I will use that breath to speak about what I truly believe is the truth." For the sake of argument, let's ignore the vast evidence that Beck is an inveterate liar and huckster and take him at his word that he "truly believes" the things he is saying.
When you have a platform to reach millions of people, and both you and your research staff are too incompetent to know that 501(c)(3) groups cannot "advertise at will," the fact that you say you "truly believe" the things you are saying is irrelevant.
By your own standards, you deserve to be fired.
True to form, Beck is boasting on his radio show how he "could not stay on the air" if he lied about Soros.