Watching Glenn Beck's documentary "Revolutionary Holocaust" really brought home just how shrewd and crass a propagandist Beck is.
The project, billed as an "exposé" of the "unseen history of Marxism, progressivism, and communism," was little more than an hour-long, overly dramatized denunciation of the already well-known, thoroughly examined, and exhaustively studied atrocities committed by the leading communist statesmen of the 20th century. It broke absolutely no new ground, except perhaps in its ridiculous assertion that "history has erased" the genocidal policies of Josef Stalin.
But that was never the point. Beck never intended to "expose" anything or teach anything new. The purpose of Beck's documentary was to link modern progressivism to the abhorrent violence the world saw under communism in the 20th century. Beck's intention is to undercut the current administration and very idea of progressivism -- or at least what he claims is progressivism -- by associating them with the strong emotional rejection people have to the Holocaust and Soviet pogroms, making them radioactive, something to be feared and abhorred. And he's doing it all under the guise of "education."
Take a look at how Beck closed out "Revolutionary Holocaust":
BECK: With 100 million killed, communism exists in a very exclusive club alongside with the planet's worst communicable diseases like smallpox and the bubonic plague. But it's not just communism. It is the truth of any government with too much power. Some government is necessary, too much is suicidal. Every all-powerful government has elements of what Marx called the "revolutionary holocaust," the relentless pursuit of nirvana and the price it's worth paying to get there in human life. It is only [in] understanding history that we can stop this from happening again, and again, and again.
Look at Beck's warning against governments "with too much power" turning to violence and hold it up against the things he's been saying in the past month about the progressive push for health care reform:
BECK: The way you boil this down -- I'm fascinated if I can connect with you here a little bit on. I haven't seen anything in American history like what is being played out right now unless I go back to the early 20th century with Woodrow Wilson and the early progressive movement with Teddy Roosevelt, prohibition, the Fed, income tax and the power grab that happened around 1915. [Glenn Beck, 1/18/10]
BECK: The progressives like FDR, Sunstein, Harkin desperately want you to be dependent on them and not dependent on yourself and God. Well, that's just a secondary thought. If God doesn't exist, if God is somehow another cut-out-of-the-rights process, you get all of your rights from government.
That is in essence what our founders fought against, government bestowing rights. It gives them power. Because what the government giveth, the government can taketh away. And if you disobey, guess who loses their rights? If you eat too many chips, you fatty fat fatso, guess who loses their right to health care? [Glenn Beck, 1/7/10]
Now combine all that with Beck's months-long campaign to link progressives to violence, and the picture becomes clear.
It's insidious in its nature and vile in its character -- he's using the slaughter of tens of millions as a tool to discredit those he disagrees with, and he's spewing this bile while wearing the good-natured face of an educator.
From The Fox Nation, accessed January 22:
Not surprisingly, Glenn Beck's documentary "Revolutionary Holocaust" was a giant, ahistorical waste of time. After arguing that Hitler was really a leftist because he and Karl Marx both had an affinity for genocide, Beck then "exposed" the already well-known atrocities committed by the world's communist dictators.
Promising to teach us about "the genocide you've never heard of" that "for some reason history has erased," Beck embarked on a lengthy denunciation of Soviet mass murder under Stalin, focusing on the state-imposed famine in the Ukraine.
Seriously? Stalin's pogroms and political terrorism and genocidal policies have been forgotten? They've been "erased" from the history books?
Are you kidding me?
I can't speak for all the history books, but they certainly haven't been erased from the History Channel.
The justification for this "revelation" was offered by Beck's featured scholar, Liberal Fascism author and National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, who said that people nowadays talk about Soviet communism as a "well-intentioned social experiment."
I'm not sure who these people are, but I am sure they don't represent the consensus of historical thought.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his January 22 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Over the past couple of weeks, Glenn Beck has repeatedly hosted fellow radio talk show host Jay Severin. This booking seemed to make sense, as Beck was frequently chatting with him about the Massachusetts special election, and, after all, Severin broadcasts from Boston.
However, a quick search of Media Matters' archives turns up a few Severin phrases that would not be out of place on your garden variety edition of Beck's show, like saying of then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that "[w]ith Hillary Clinton you've got Hugo Chavez in a dress," and calling her "the devil." How about Severin channeling Beck's response to torture allegations, stating that the abuse of detainees by at Abu Ghraib was equivalent to "treat[ing] them essentially to a week in Las Vegas," adding, "I have to pay good money to have that done to me." Indeed, Media Matters has documented a long history of Jay Severin's offensive comments.
Like Beck, whose history of racially-charged remarks includes the statement that Obama is a "racist", Severin himself has a checkered history discussing minorities. In fact his comments that Mexican immigrants are "criminaliens," "primitives," and "leeches" -- in addition to calling Mexico an exporter of "women with mustaches and VD" -- was enough to get him suspended from his station for a month.
Yes, Severin and Beck even share the bond of losing advertisers after their racially-charged comments.
Thus, it only seemed fitting when, on January 20, Beck introduced Severin onto his show by calling him "a friend of mine from Boston."
From The Fox Nation, accessed on January 22:
Fox Nation links readers to www.virtualmarchforlife.com.
It was from the Toronto Star and was for an article about the upcoming Winter Olympics:
Warm, wet weather causes shutdown of Cypress Mountain: Officials are hoping to preserve snowboarding and freestyle courses
Yep, there's no way Drudge would ever highlight a news article about how unseasonably warm it is in Canada because that would run counter to the conservative, anti-reason argument that becomes it sometimes gets cold in the winter, that means climate change doesn't exist.
FYI, from the Star [emphasis added]:
Olympic officials who have been dreaming of a white Winter Games are instead being met with a brown, muddy nightmare as unseasonably warm weather, heavy rain, and lack of snow forced them to close the mountain where next month's snowboarding and freestyle skiing events will be held.
David Gregory, to President Bush, April 13, 2004: "One of the biggest criticisms of you is that ... you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism?"
David Gregory, asked what mistakes he has made during his first year as host of Meet the Press: "I don't think we've made mistakes."
Here's a few mistakes Gregory might want to reflect upon for the next time he gets that question:
Since they never tire of playing the victim, concocting anti-government conspiracy theories, or projecting their Nixon-era guilt, this conservative media trend actually makes sense: If you cross the White House, you will be audited!
But that doesn't stop National Review Online from raising the dark specter of an unfolding/imaginary, anti-business intimidation campaign. Writing about yesterday's SCOTUS ruling to allow corporations to more directly finance campaign advertising, Steve Hoersting wrote:
For now, there is little doubt that the Citizens United ruling will free up many more resources for politics in coming election cycles. We can expect existing unions to turn on the spigots even more openly, and for new entities to crop up to accept corporate money.
The only real question is whether corporations brave enough to take advantage of the opinion, and go against the Democrats, will risk audits or the nationalization of their businesses.
So based on nothing more that than a fervent, conspiracy-minded imagination, NRO warns businesses that they'll be audited --that the Obama administration will illegally use the IRS --if corporations spend money to criticize Democrats.
And of course, if there's a hollow anti-Obama conspiracy to push, count Glenn Beck in:
From Westwood One radio host Fred Thompson's Twitter account: