Less than a week after revelations that conspiracy theories pushed by Glenn Beck and the right-wing media drove a California man to plot the assassination of Tides Foundation employees, Beck devoted an hour-long show to demonizing Tides. Beck's latest attacks come just hours after Tides released a letter calling on advertisers to stop financing the extremist rhetoric and conspiracy theories broadcast on Fox News.
Tides calls for advertisers to boycott Fox over Beck's dangerous discourse
Progressive Hunter: CA cop shooter said Beck "exposed" things that "blew my mind." Alleged California highway shooter Byron Williams reportedly told investigators that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU." Beck, like Williams, has repeatedly obsessed over George Soros and the Tides Foundation.
As John Hamilton reported, Williams described Beck as "a schoolteacher" and said that "it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind." Williams repeatedly cited specific Beck broadcasts when discussing a conspiracy theory involving Soros, President Obama, and a Brazilian oil company -- a theory that Williams said informed his alleged plot. Williams said that "Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence. He'll never do anything ... of this nature. But he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need."
Just hours before Beck's show, Tides CEO and founder called for Fox News ad boycott. Earlier on October 15, Tides CEO and founder Drummond Pike released a letter in which he noted that Williams relied heavily on conspiracy theories advanced on Beck's show and called on advertisers to stop supporting Fox News. Pike noted that "businesses that pay to broadcast commercials on Fox News are subsidizing Glenn Beck's television show by continuing to pump money into the network," adding, "It has become clear that the only way to stop supporting Beck is to stop supporting Fox News."
Beck repeatedly attacks Tides and Soros on October 15
"Let There Be ... Stuff?" curriculum guides teens to "explore the relationship between their consumption, their health, and the faith of the planet." Beck dedicated the October 15 edition of his Fox News program to attacking a project sponsored by the Tides Foundation and GreenFaith. The "Let There Be ... Stuff?" curriculum has been available since April for churches and other houses of worship to download at no cost and is designed to lead teenagers to "explore the relationship between their consumption, their faith, and the health of the planet." Beck previewed the October 15 episode on October 14 by stating:
BECK: Tomorrow night, oh, we're going to expose manipulation of the word of God by radical green movement and "Let There Be Stuff" and provide ways for you and your kids to respond to this propaganda.
Do not miss tomorrow, a full episode you must have on DVD. Tomorrow night.
Tomorrow, a very special episode. Boy, that's usually when I bring in the little neighbor kid. A very special episode -- indoctrination for your kids. Don't miss it. This time the indoctrination is happening in your churches and synagogues.
During his October 15 broadcast, Beck acknowledged the Tides curriculum contains "some truth," but continued to attack it with outrageous rhetoric.
Beck: Tides curriculum smells like "sulfur." Beck said of the Tides-sponsored curriculum: "They are going right into our churches and our synagogues. It's for the planet, you know. They want you to join a group. That's the best thing our teens can do is join a group." Beck then linked Tides to the devil by holding up the curriculum and stating, "Is that sulfur I smell? Yes, I think so."
Beck: Tides is "coming for your church and your faith." During the show, Beck stated that the Tides Foundation is now "coming for your church and your faith":
BECK: This is the latest from the Tides Foundation, and this is for kids in synagogues and this will now be found in your churches. Warning -- I warned you about a year ago they are coming for your church and your faith. They are doing it now, "Let there be Stuff."
Beck compared Soros to emperor villain from Star Wars. Throughout the show, Beck equated George Soros and the Tides Foundation, when in fact, the conspiracy theory that Soros controls Tides is false. During the show, Beck said: "This is the latest from George Soros -- spooky dude George Soros. I swear to you -- you've got to watch I think it's episode six of the Star Wars movies where the emperor is like -- remember he's sitting in that big spooky chair and he turns around -- It's George Soros." According to starwars.com, Emperor Palpatine "was the supreme ruler of the most powerful tyrannical regime the galaxy had ever witnessed."
Beck told viewers to "run for your life" if their church uses the Tides curriculum. Beck said of the Tides curriculum: "If you see anything like this going to your kids, run for your life. You are in the wrong church. I mean, unless you're an environmentalist that worships Gaia or whoever it is now."
Beck asked: "Any doubt in your mind that the progressive left is coming for the kill on religion?" While discussing the Tides curriculum, Beck asked his guests, "Any doubt in your mind that the progressive left is coming for the kill on religion?" Guest Calvin Beisner replied, "Absolutely. And part of the reason is because traditional Christian faith, Biblical faith in America has been the most resistant to the whole progressive agenda."
Beck: Soros "is the head of the snake." During the show, Beck said that Soros "is the head of the snake":
BECK: Jim Wallis today -- he's an amazing individual.
BEISNER: Who also takes money from George Soros.
BECK: No. It's almost like George Soros -- he is the head of the snake. Anyway, I want to go back to now some things that you have seen in the paper.
Beck asserted that the curriculum contains "evil stuff." Beck said, "This is the Story of Stuff, GreenFaith project and it's going into your churches, and your synagogues. Watch for it carefully. Some of it sounds great. Some of it -- you know, it's truth mixed with evil stuff, to be real frank with you."
Beck accused Tides of bringing "paganism" and "American native" thinking into churches. During the show, Beck responded to the statement in the curriculum that "When we drink, we owe a debt to the earth's great waters," by stating, "That's American native -- I guess you could go there. It's paganism." Beisner later stated that the curriculum was presenting "not Judeo-Christian thought," but "new age pantheistic," "Hindu" and "Buddhist" ideas.
Beck claimed Tides curriculum "manipulates" the Bible and is the "indoctrination of youth." The following on-screen text aired during the show:
Beck hosted David Barton, Calvin Beisner to discuss Tides curriculum, science and religion
Beisner has previously called AIDS "a disease that is almost 100 percent self-inflicted by people intent on immoral and irrational behavior?" As reported by DeSmog Blog, in 1990, Beisner wrote an article arguing against the "militant homosexuals" that were calling for an increase in federal spending on AIDS research, treatment and education. Beisner asked if it was "rational" to increase funding to "fight a disease that is almost 100 percent self-inflicted by people intent on immoral and irrational behavior? Not when there are more pressing matters that ought to take priority."
Beisner wrote in 2005 that public schools are "the enemy" to Christians after court rejected teaching Intelligent Design in biology class. DeSmog Blog also noted that Beisner wrote a 2005 article criticizing a U.S. district court ruling that prohibited a school district in Pennsylvania from teaching "intelligent design" in science classes. According to NewScientist, supporters of intelligent design "believe that some things in nature are simply too complex to have evolved by natural selection, and therefore must be the work of an intelligent designer." Beisner wrote:
The aggressive, extreme secularism that would reject all reference in biology studies to intelligent design of irreducibly complex structures is more patently unscientific and more obviously religious than what most people have encountered in discussing evolution and creation. Perhaps a few more will waken now to the fact that the public schools are the enemy, not the friend, and not even a neutral party, to Christians, and therefore (a) remove their kids from them and (b) stop working in them.
Barton cited 18th century views on homosexuality to argue that we should continue banning gays from the military. Barton wrote on the WallBuilders site that George Washington "was the first not only to forbid, but even to punish, homosexuals in the military"; that Thomas Jefferson "authored a bill penalizing sodomy by castration"; and that the idea of allowing gays to serve in the military "would have brought disbelief, disdain, and condemnation from those who established our Armed Forces." Barton concluded, "In view of the arguments listed by historical and legal sources, there is substantial merit for maintaining the ban on homosexuals in the military. The Founders instituted this ban with a clear understanding of the damaging effects of this behavior on the military."
Barton delivered speeches to anti-Semitic groups. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Beck historian and frequent Glenn Beck guest David Barton has spoken at events hosted by the Christian Identity movement, which "asserts that Jews are 'the synagogue of Satan'; that Blacks and other people of color are subhuman; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the 'chosen people' of scriptural prophesy." From the Anti-Defamation League's 1994 book The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America:
On at least two occasions, Barton has delivered his revisionist presentation in the meeting halls of the racist and anti-Semitic extreme right. In July 1991, Barton addressed the Colorado summer retreat of Scriptures for America, the Identity Church group headed by firebrand Pete Peters. He was advertised as "a new and special speaker" who would "bring the following messages: America's Godly Heritage -- Was it the plan of our forefathers that America be the melting pot home of various religions and philosophies? ..." Barton's fellow-speakers at the retreat included the virulently anti-Semitic Virginia stockbroker-polemicist Richard Kelly Hoskins; "Bo" Gritz, the 1992 presidential nominee of the far-right Populist Party and a self-described "white separatist"; and Canadian Holocaust-denier Malcolm Ross.
On November 24, 1991, Barton appeared at another Identity gathering, presenting the second annual Thanksgiving message to Identity preacher Mike Watson's Kingdom Covenant College in Grants Pass, Oregon. In a subsequent edition of The Centinel [sic], Watson's publication, Barton was described as a "nationally acclaimed speaker" who "has introduced many Americans to their godly Christian heritage." [Pages 55-56]
Barton later said he was not aware that the events were hosted by groups with a racist ideology and said "that with as many as 400 speaking engagements a year, he cannot do background checks on each of the invitations he receives," according to an April 10, 1996, Seattle Times article (retrieved via Nexis).
Beck and guest attack climate change science
Beisner falsely claimed "Climate-gate" has "thoroughly trashed" the "unproven hypothesis" of climate change. During the show, Beisner, who founded a Christian coalition of climate skeptics, said that climate change "is an unproven hypothesis. In fact, if anything, in the last year it has been just thoroughly trashed by Climate-gate and other things of that sort. But they're bringing this forward, giving it to kids as if it were proven and that it should scare kids to death." In fact, climate experts and fact-checkers reject the notion that the "Climate-gate" emails undermine the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to global warming, and an independent British inquiry found "no evidence of dishonesty or corruption," as reported by the Associated Press in July. An earlier investigation by the House of Commons also found "no evidence" to support the claim that the scientists "had tampered with data."
Beck falsely suggested that past climate change shows humans are not driving current warming. While discussing climate change, Beck said: "The only thing constant in life is change. Where were the dinosaur and the wooly mammoth's giant SUVs that they were driving. How is it that we've had -- we've had ice ages and yet there were no SUVs. This is ridiculous." In fact, as climate scientists have repeatedly explained, "The fact that natural factors caused climate changes in the past does not mean that the current climate change is natural. By analogy, the fact that forest fires have long been caused naturally by lightning strikes does not mean that fires cannot also be caused by a careless camper. " The U.S. Climate Change Resource Center states that climate models "have successfully simulated the Earth's climate over the past 1,000 years. However, they cannot capture the rapid increase in global temperature of the past half century without including greenhouse gas forcing."