FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
After Media Matters' CEO asks her to repudiate Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin says "I stand with you, Glenn"
Washington, DC - Today, after Media Matters founder and CEO David Brock said that he would "call Sarah Palin" and "make a personal plea to her" to stand above partisanship and repudiate Glenn Beck's rhetoric, Palin responded on Beck's radio show, saying: "I stand with you, Glenn."
Brock released the following statement in response:
"On Tuesday, I asked Sarah Palin to use her influential voice to stop attempted incidents of domestic terrorism incited by right-wing extremists like Glenn Beck. By telling Beck, 'I stand with you,' Palin -- Fox News' star contributor -- now associates herself with acts of violence and the insane conspiracy theories and hate speech behind them.
Rather than seize the opportunity to act in the national interest and do her part to prevent a major tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing, Palin called into Beck's show to call me 'pathetic.' While Palin and I don't agree on much, I honestly believed we shared the view that the incitement to violence by a powerful media outlet was a national crisis that transcends the partisan divide. Sadly, I was wrong."
People For the American Way president Michael B. Keegan, who joined Brock in asking Palin to repudiate Beck, said:
"For someone who was so quick to smear Obama for 'palling around with terrorists,' Sarah Palin doesn't seem to take threats of violence too seriously when they're generated by her own pals and allies. Even the last few days have seen disturbing thuggery in states around the country. This shouldn't be a partisan issue. Democrats, Republicans, independents and even tea party members should be able to agree that inciting listeners to violence isn't acceptable. It's profoundly disappointing that someone laying the groundwork to run for president doesn't agree with that."
Journalist John Hamilton recently documented that the gunman who plotted the assassination of leaders at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU said he saw Fox News' Glenn Beck as "a schoolteacher" and that "it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind." Indeed, the gunman, Byron Williams, was driven by belief in conspiracy theories that have been pushed by Beck. As Brock and Keegan wrote in their Huffington Post piece: "For hours every day on radio and television, Beck pits American against American, telling his audience that our country is under attack by a demonic Nazi-like regime seeking to destroy all that is great about America... while insisting it's up to his viewers to resist and revolt."
In response, the Tides Foundation, along with Media Matters and People For the American Way, has called for an advertiser boycott of Fox News.
After Brock's appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, where he said he would "call Sarah Palin" and "make a personal plea to stop this insanity," Beck spoke with Palin on his radio show and asked if she would respond:
BECK: We have Sarah Palin coming on in just a few minutes, just to respond to the gauntlet thrown down by Media Matters on I think a cable access program last night. And it is an amazing thing because this is somebody taking care of you and having to protect you every step of the way.
Of course you can't, you're not smart enough to figure things out on your own. So George Soros, and Media Matters, and the Tides Foundation, and all of them are here to help you. Because you're a danger. You're a danger to the country. Bring Sarah up. Is Sarah on the phone? Hi, Sarah, how are you?
PALIN: Hey, good morning, Glenn. How are you?
BECK: Good, where are you?
PALIN: I am at my kitchen table in Wasilla.
BECK: I don't know how you travel. I mean, it's crazy the amount of travel that you do.
PALIN: How do I travel, yes. Airplanes.
BECK: Okay, I don't think you need-- Okay, really. All of a sudden, Bill Maher, talking down to me. Okay. Sarah, I want you to hear this. This is the head of Media Matters, and I just -- I want to give you the opportunity to distance yourself. Here it is. No, here it is.
[BEGIN AUDIO CLIP]
BROCK: Basically, Beck, Beck's a radical. He either can't or won't control himself, even after he loses a hundred advertisers, so you can't go there. Murdoch was asked at a shareholder's conference a couple weeks ago about Beck, shareholder concerns about Beck, he said he doesn't agree with everything that goes on the Fox News Channel, but he's standing with Beck. Ailes recruited Beck to do this. He's standing with Beck.
So that leaves you with sponsors. So People For [the American Way] has backed up a Tides Foundation call with Media Matters called Drop Fox to ask for advertisers to take responsibility for this rhetoric. I was recently told by a member of the Murdoch family that if you could effect the bottom line, you might get attention by the News Corp. board.
But the truth is, we can't wait for that, so Sarah Palin, right now, in our view, needs to step up. She needs to step up because she's a leader of the Republican Party, of the conservative movement, she's a Tea Party favorite. She is the one person in this country, right now, today, who in the national interest, just in the moment, to put partisanship aside, could pull this country back from the precipice of another Oklahoma City. And that's what a real leader does, that's what we're asking.
[END AUDIO CLIP]
BECK: Sarah? As the leader now, of the GOP, as a Tea Party favorite, as somebody that they don't always agree with, but they respect, as a real leader: It's time. It's time to make choice.
PALIN: Well these silly and ironic men. This is ironic, that they're the same folks that are insisting that, you know, that I should be ignored because I am the irrelevant hockey mom--
BECK: No, no, no, no, no, you are, as an American citizen, for the national interest, you are the only one that can do this.
GRAY: That can stop him.
BECK: That can stop me.
GRAY: You've got to stop him, Sarah.
PALIN: Okay, okay, so Glenn. From my kitchen table in Wasilla, here's the deal.
PALIN: Now, we know, Glenn, you're up against one of the richest and self-suggested most powerful men in the world--
BECK: Spooky dude.
PALIN: George Soros, right?
BECK: Spooky dude.
PALIN: Yeah. The extreme left-wing king is, with many, many minions, that's what he is.
PALIN: So, you know, when I speak of your love of our Founding Fathers, and how you are helping to educate Americans about respecting our nation's history so that we don't lose what makes America exceptional, and the far, far left mouthpieces, they're twisting and perverting that message. No, what I do, I go back to what Abraham Lincoln said about standing with anybody who stands right. You stand with him when he stands right, you part with him when he goes wrong. I stand with you Glenn.
BECK: No, no, you've got to stop. You're the only one. You're like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sarah Palin, you're our only hope.
BECK: Did you ever think you'd see the day, Sarah, when Media Matters would be calling you the only hope for America? I mean, that's incredible. It's sad. We were deciding-- We were trying to decide if it was laughable or kind of sad, pathetic, kind of like that smelly kid in third grade that everyone looked around and looked at and went, "That's kind of sad."
PALIN: Yeah, it's a little bit of both, I think. I see more humor it in though, and it shows, though, how pathetic their argument is that they would be that desperate as to reach out to me to say, you know, that you need to stop Glenn Beck, you know, you need to stop what they perceive as incitement to violence. Glenn, you know I abhor violence. I know you do. Hating war, hating civil war, and praying for peace, and wanting peace and freedom for our kids in a civil society. That is the mission here, is explaining to Americans what the threats are to our peace and to our opportunities and to our freedoms in America.
PALIN: That is what I see you doing, and that is why I support what you are doing.
BECK: Sarah, I can't tell you how disappointed I am in you. I really - I thought you were going to take this moment to lead. I really did. But now, now Sarah -- and I want you to understand this -- now Media Matters is going to come out against you and they're not going to like you anymore. They like you so much, but now they're going to have to isolate you too. Oh boy.
PALIN: Yeah because here's the [inaudible] They were on my side.
BECK: They've been on your side. It's like the -- it's like that abortion doctor said on TV the other day. Women only have abortions because they care about motherhood. They're only destroying you or trying to destroy you because they love you so much.
PALIN: There we go with the Orwellian -- up is down, twisted around
BECK: Two plus two equals six.
PALIN: There you go and I'm the idiot. Yeah.
GRAY: Sarah, if you change your mind, we have David Brock's number over at Media Matters. He's waiting for phone call -
BECK: He doesn't have a lot to do.
From Brock's October 26 appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell:
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Violence is an unfortunate theme in the history of our politics. And now, "Media Matters" is reporting that there`s a link between a man arrested for firing on police in California in July, who`s admitted to plotting the assassination of leaders at the American Civil Liberties Union and the rhetoric of Glenn Beck.
Now, the founder of "Media Matters," David Brock, along with Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, are calling on Sarah Palin, who`s been a huge supporter of Glenn Beck, to refudiate the FOX News host, to use one of Palin`s invented words.
Joining me now is David Brock, the founder of "Media Matters for America."
David, can you explain this connection between a contemplated assassination plot and Glenn Beck`s rhetoric?
DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER & CEO, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Sure, yes. I mean, the concerns that we raised in the op-ed that you cited today, one, Glenn Beck incited an attempted assassination plot against innocent employees of the Tides Foundation in San Francisco.
But that`s not all. There`s a history here as Ilyse said -- he has attempted to poison in effigy Nancy Pelosi on his set. That led to a death threat by a guy in San Francisco who threatened to burn her house down. That guy`s mother said he gets all his ideas from FOX News.
And let me give you a personal one. Dick Morris is on the air every night on FOX News raising money for his political activities. One of his consultants after "Media Matters" fact-checked one of their ads and found it false tweeted that our staff should be curb-stomped. OK?
So, there`s a whole pattern here what`s going on. And I think the question is what to do about it.
So, I think there -- this is how we get to Sarah Palin. Basically Beck, Beck`s erratic, he either won`t or can`t control himself even after he loses a hundred advertisers, so you can`t go there.
Murdoch was asked at a shareholder`s conference a couple of weeks ago about Beck, shareholder concerns about Beck -- he said he doesn`t agree with everything that goes on on the FOX News Channel, but he`s standing with Beck.
Ailes recruited Beck to do this. So, he`s standing with Beck.
That leaves you with sponsors. So, PFAW has backed up a Tides Foundation call with "Media Matters" called Drop FOX to ask for advertisers to take responsibility for this rhetoric.
I was recently told by a member of the Murdoch family that if you could affect the bottom line, you might get attention by the News Corp board. But the truth is, we can`t wait for that.
So, Sarah Palin, right now, in our view, needs to step up. She needs to step up because she`s a leader of the Republican Party, of the conservative movement. She`s a Tea Party favorite. She is the one person in this country right now, today, who in the national interest, just in the moment to put partisanship aside, could pull this country back from the precipice of another Oklahoma City. And that`s what a real leader does, that`s what we`re asking.
As you know, you know, Bill Buckley, back in the `60s, divorced the conservative movement from the John Birch Society, and called it idiocy and paranoia. So, there`s precedent for this.
And Sarah Palin is a leader. We`re now going to find out what kind of leader, what she`s made of, and whether she`s going to do it. And I`m telling you, we`re going to find out.
We published this piece this morning. We heard nothing today. I hope she`s watching the show tonight.
If we hear nothing in the morning, I am personally going to call Sarah Palin. I`m going to ask Michael Keegan of PFAW to join me on that call and we`re going to make a personal plea to her to stop this insanity. It has got to stop, as Ilyse just said.
O'DONNELL: David, what you just laid out sounds to me like an absolutely brilliant political strategy, political posture for Sarah Palin to adopt at this moment in this kind of atmosphere. She would get so much credit for a move like that without, I think, costing her anything from her right wing base.
BROCK: I think that`s right. Now, you know, she`s a FOX News contributor star. She`s perfectly positioned. She`s joined at the hip with Glenn Beck.
We know she`s done a few tweets, right, about resisting and reloading and all of that. But, you know -- now, words have consequences, as Peter King, a Republican, had the guts to say last week. So, she`s on notice. And she needs to do the right thing.
O'DONNELL: David Brock, I think you`ve offered her a brilliant strategy. It`s almost -- it`s something of a political intelligence test and we`ll find out in a couple of days --
BROCK: We`re going to find out.
O'DONNELL: -- just how far she is going forward if she`s going to be a candidate.
David Brock of "Media Matters" -- thank you very much for joining us tonight.
BROCK: Thanks very much for having me.
Media Matters for America is a progressive research and information center dedicated to monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the media. For more information, visit www.mediamatters.org.