On his Fox News program, Glenn Beck reported as true the idea floated on Forbes.com that a program the Obama administration is reportedly considering should be called the "Bad Asset Repository Fund." Without noting that the reported program has not in fact been named, Beck then ridiculed the creators of the nonexistent name for failing to recognize that the acronym is "BARF."
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During the January 30 broadcast of his Fox News program, Glenn Beck falsely suggested that the Obama administration has named a program it is reportedly planning to establish to purchase toxic assets from private banks the "Bad Asset Repository Fund -- BARF." Beck later stated: "When you got a group of people that can't figure out the acronym bill would be BARF, I think maybe we should change the name. Don't you think that, really, we should stop listening to these people?" Beck offered no source for his statement, but on-screen text accompanying that segment read: "FORBES: 'BAD BANK' = BARF; BAD ASSET REPOSITORY FUND." But the January 29 Forbes.com article that referenced the acronym BARF did not attribute it to the Obama administration, as Beck suggested. In fact, in the article -- titled "Here Comes the BARF" -- reporter Liz Moyer specifically noted that "[t]hey haven't named it yet" before going on to write that it "would be truth in advertising" to call "a federal 'bad bank' to soak up toxic assets the Bad Asset Repository Fund."
Beck repeated the false suggestion later that evening on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, informing host Bill O'Reilly that "the acronym -- I'm not kidding you -- the acronym is BARF that they're working on, OK?"
From the Forbes.com article:
First there was TARP. Get ready for BARF.
They haven't named it that yet, but calling a federal "bad bank" to soak up toxic assets the Bad Asset Repository Fund would be truth in advertising at least. Despite Washington's renewed enthusiasm for the idea, there is a strong case to be made against it.
As Media Matters for America previously noted, on January 28, Beck mocked the economic recovery package for including "$2.4 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects," adding, "I don't even know what the hell that is." In fact, that provision funds the development of technology that he has previously criticized "liberals in Congress" for "block[ing]."
From the January 30 broadcast of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Is there anyone in Washington that gets it? I mean --
CAVUTO: Kind of thought -- kind of thought that acronym --
BECK: Is there anybody in Washington --
CAVUTO: -- through, yes.
BECK: When you got a group of people that can't figure out the acronym bill would be BARF, I think maybe we should change the name. Don't you think that, really, we should stop listening to these people?
CAVUTO: Well, you know, that's the next push, Glenn. They're looking at a way to solve the financial problem by finding a home for all the bank problems, and a place to house all their so-called "toxic assets" and --
CAVUTO: -- hope that maybe a financial island of misfit toys will fare as well --
CAVUTO: -- as that Christmas cartoon.
BECK: I talk to -- nobody wants a Charlie-in-the-Box. OK.
CAVUTO: No one is going to want any of these in a box.
BECK: OK, but -- but here is the key. If we actually put them in a box -- an Al Gore lock box -- if we put them in a box, OK, and then we hired some really, really smart guy that was trustworthy, unlike [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner, and we had him oversee them, all right? But then you put like a double prison fence around it. The first fence is to stop all of the banks from putting anything else toxic in it. "You're on your own. We took your toxic stuff. You make any more bad loans, sucks to be you, doesn't it?"
The other fence is to keep people like [Rep.] Barney Frank [D-MA] and [Sen.] Christopher Dodd [D-CT] from saying, "Oh, no, wait a minute, now you can't do that with those toxics, or you need to take some of these loans, et cetera, et cetera." But neither one of those things are going to happen. So this toxic bad bank, BARF, continues to make us barf.
CAVUTO: Well, that's what would likely happen.
From the January 30 broadcast of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
BECK: Look, you know and I know -- what is it -- they're trying to bail out these banks now. They're going to set up this little, what is it -- the banking --
BILL O'REILLY (host): Bad bank.
BECK: Right, the bad bank thing.
O'REILLY: The bad -- to buy the bad paper.
BECK: And the acronym -- I'm not kidding you -- the acronym is BARF that they're working on, OK? So, they're going to have these bad banks. What are they going to do? I would buy into the bad bank thing if they would seal that bank off and say, "Citibank, Bank of America, no more bad loans from you. This is all we're taking. There's a fence, and you're never to cross it."
O'REILLY: All right, so --
BECK: Wait, wait, wait --
O'REILLY: That's OK.
BECK: But then, put another wall, almost like a prison, a double fence, and say, "And politicians, you stay away." This bank has to try to get this bad loan and fix it.
O'REILLY: I don't -- I don't object to that.
BECK: But they'll never do it.