In his January 28 Washington Post column, Dana Milbank wrote that "[t]he latest omen of Beck's end times came on Thursday -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- when 400 rabbis representing all four branches of American Judaism took out an ad demanding that Beck be sanctioned for 'monstrous' and 'beyond repugnant' use of 'anti-Semitic imagery' in going after Holocaust survivor George Soros."
From Milbank's column:
A Fox News spokesman brushed off the complaint in the usual fashion, attributing it to a "Soros-backed left-wing political organization." But that's not going to fly: The statement's signatories included the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and his predecessor, the dean of the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical school, and a number of orthodox rabbis.
Beck has outlasted past complaints over his race baiting, his violent words, and his conspiracy theories. He's not new to questionable talk about Jews (years ago he called Barbra Streisand a "big-nosed cross-eyed freak"), and for the past couple of years his Nazi accusations against opponents have come by the hundreds.
But in June, he promoted on air the work of a Nazi sympathizer, Elizabeth Dilling, who had referred, in writings Beck didn't mention, to Eisenhower as "Ike the kike" and Kennedy's New Frontier as the "Jew Frontier." A few days later, Beck referred to Soros's Jewish ancestry, accused him of currency manipulation and said "he's got disturbing hair in his nose."
He called Soros "a collaborator" with Nazis who "saw people into the gas chambers," and "a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps." In fact, Soros's father had hidden the boy from the Nazis by placing him with a Hungarian man assigned to record belongings of Jewish families that had fled.
"It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps," the 400 rabbis wrote in their ad on Thursday.
Seventy-five years ago, Father Charles Coughlin, the celebrated "radio priest" of the Great Depression, lost his mass-media platform as he moved from veiled references to "driving the money changers from the temple" to overt anti-Semitism. Now, Beck clings to Fox News's support as evidence that he has not crossed this line.
"Could I put on three hours of television with nothing but lies and smear and keep my job against the most powerful man [Soros] and the most powerful groups in the world?" he asked one night.
It's a question Rupert Murdoch has to confront.