Commentary magazine, which describes itself as "the flagship of neoconservatism," decried Glenn Beck for suggesting that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator in his childhood.
Commentary also criticized Beck for taking comments Soros made completely out of context to make it appear as if Soros was talking about funding "some leftist conspiracy," when Soros was actually discussing his support for anti-communism movements in the Cold War.
Commentary's article comes in the wake of criticism of Beck from the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman and other Jewish leaders.
From a November 12 article titled "Soros Is No Good Guy, but Beck's Holocaust Remarks Are Dead Wrong" by Jonathan S. Tobin:
[Beck] spoke of Soros's activities during the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944 and described him as participating in the rounding up of Jews. "Here's a Jewish boy sending Jews to the death camps," said Beck. While Beck added that Soros's age and the circumstances should be taken into account and said that even he didn't know what he would do had he been there, the clear implication was that Soros was a collaborator who should feel remorse.
But whatever actually happened, as even Beck stated, Soros was just "surviving" an impossible situation, and it is simply inadmissible for anyone to speak in a judgmental fashion about his conduct or to demand "remorse." Beck is no position to pontificate about the conduct of Holocaust survivors and should refrain from even commenting about this subject. In fact, Soros has himself discussed his experiences openly, and most of what we know about this comes directly from him. Throwing these events in his face is, as Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman stated, "completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top." Such topics really must be off-limits, even in the take-no-prisoners world of contemporary punditry.
Similarly, when Beck played a recording of Soros speaking of his efforts to undermine various governments, his listeners had to assume that it was part of some leftist conspiracy that he was funding. Beck left out the fact that what Soros was talking about was his Cold War-era funding of movements that sought to support anti-Communist dissidents in countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union. In other words, while Soros's current politics is abhorrent, he was one of the good guys when it came to the fight against Soviet Communism.
Political commentary that reduces every person and every thing to pure black and white may be entertaining, but it is often misleading. There is much to criticize about George Soros's career, and his current political activities are troubling. But Beck's denunciation of him is marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo. Instead of providing sharp insight into a shady character, all Beck has done is further muddy the waters and undermine his own credibility as a commentator.