On Wednesday, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center released a study showing that guests and topics discussed during "The Rush Limbaugh Show," "The Sean Hannity Show," "The Glenn Beck Program," The Savage Nation" and "The John and Ken Show" overwhelmingly marginalized minority groups.
As the study explains:
The findings reveal that the hosts promoted an insular discourse that focused on, for example, anti-immigration, anti-Islam, and pro-Tea Party positions and that this discourse found repetition and amplification through social media.
These viewpoints have far reaching consequences. NHMC President and CEO Alex Nogales told Fox News Latino that the social network surrounding conservative talk radio and Fox News has spread to social media websites resulting in "an echo-chamber of voices, both online and off, that promotes hatred against ethnic, racial and religious groups and the LGBT community on social media web sites."
Using hateful rhetoric, these hosts have cast immigrants as disease ridden, equated pro-immigrant organizations with neo-Nazis, called Islam an "evil religion," claimed the Obama administration is promoting "race riots" and made fun of the ethnicity of Asian-American politicians.
The anti-Muslim segment of the conservative media has identified yet another Republican as a traitor to America because he is supposedly too close to Muslims. The current target is Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), labeled as the "5th column candidate" by Pamela Geller because of his ties to Muslim leader Aga Khan IV and others.
Much as he did with his Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C. last year, Glenn Beck is hyping his upcoming Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem with his usual mix of hyperbole and self-importance. Beck is promising that the rally will be a "life-changing, life-altering event" that could "change the direction of the world" and open up "the very gates of Heaven."
As part of the lead-up to the rally, Beck addressed a Knesset committee last week. The Jerusalem Post reported that Beck suggested at the close of his speech that "Israel advocacy was more important than his usual work back in the states." The Post quotes Beck as saying, "As a man who also worships the one God, in the times that we live in, it is clear that what is going on is God's work. If we are silent, evil will win. But if we stand up and take charge, God will do the rest."
Both Beck and his rotating cast of religious "experts" have repeatedly suggested that "the times that we live in" are, in fact, the End Times.
In light of the location of the Restoring Courage rally, it's noteworthy the extent to which both Beck and his religious "experts" view Israel not just as an ally in the typical sense of the word, but as central to the impending Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the End Times.
Joel Richardson is the self-proclaimed prophet who thinks that the Islamic Mahdi is the Antichrist and that Islamists in Turkey are working to create a future Islamic caliphate. (Glenn Beck agrees with this theory and has promoted it on Fox News and his radio show.)
Richardson promotes the latter point in his June 3 WorldNetDaily column. He claims that Turkish leaders share Al Qaeda's desire for a caliphate and that through "the use of outreach, they have successfully branded themselves as paragons of religious tolerance." He says that this strategy is "specifically custom-tailored to win the hearty approval of the West" and that "we have fully fallen for their ploy." From Richardson's column:
Several years ago, I began publicly stating that the world will witness the rise of a Neo-Ottoman Caliphate. With the Islamist party in Turkey poised to win yet another sweeping election victory next week, now is another appropriate moment to revisit the subject.
Since 9/11, Ankara has been all too willing to portray themselves as the most natural counterbalance and answer to al-Qaida and radical Islamism globally. For the past decade, the Turks have pursued the methodology of the world's most powerful Islamist group, the Fethullah Gulen Movement, of which Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul are both students. The goal of the Gulen movement is quite simple really. They want to be endorsed. Through the use of outreach, they have successfully branded themselves as paragons of religious tolerance. While radical groups such as al-Qaida have utilized terror to achieve their goal of a caliphate, Turkish Islam has championed the approach of presenting itself in a form specifically custom-tailored to win the hearty approval of the West. But their ultimate goal is the same: the unification of the Islamic world, the revival of the caliphate. And to date, we have fully fallen for their ploy.
Today, Turkey has a thriving economy as well as the largest army in the region. And of course, only Turkey has a proven track record of ruling the Middle East. Now place yourself back in the shoes of the Sunni Muslim. None of these facts are missed by those who have been looking for a viable Islamist strong horse to get behind. And it is precisely for this reason that Erdogan is now the single most popular leader in the region. The starry-eyed Islamists of the Muslim world have solidly fixed their hopes on Turkey.
As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist - the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as "the beast."
Glenn Beck is not not saying it's the end of the world.
As we've documented extensively, Beck has made a habit of dabbling in end-times soothsaying over the years, hosting a rotating cast of hucksters warning about impending doom and often openly suggesting that we are (maybe, probably) living in the end times right now.
Though Beck likes to dance along the line of yelling, "The world is ending!" his chosen experts on the subject are less coy about it.
Take, for example, the upcoming Insider Extreme "documentary" Rumors of War II (which I strongly suggest they subtitle "Judgment Day").
Here's the preview on Beck's website, featuring a variety of talking heads saying things like, "It's coming -- Israel knows it, we know it"; proclamations that "all three major monotheistic religions believe increasingly that the signs of the last days are in motion and that we're getting close to a very cataclysmic moment, or series of moments"; and onscreen text subtly hinting at "UNTHINKABLE EVENTS PREDICTED IN THE BIBLE":
In addition to endorsing author and anti-Muslim activist Joel Richardson's attempts to link Islam to the Antichrist, Glenn Beck also echoed Richardson's views linking Turkey to a purported future Islamic caliphate.
On today's edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck tied Islam to the Antichrist described in the New Testament. He even had a side-by-side comparison of the Antichrist and the "12th Imam" or "Mahdi" (terms Beck uses interchangeably to describe the figure many Muslims believe will guide believers in the end times) on his chalkboard.
And to help Beck discuss this connection, Beck hosted Joel Richardson, an anti-Muslim activist who says that Satan will use Islam "to fulfill the prophesies of the Bible" and has written a column headlined "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common."
Here's Beck's chalkboard:
Although Beck says during the show that only a minority of Muslims have beliefs that should scare you, Richardson makes no such disclaimer. Rather, Richardson suggests that all Muslims (or at least all orthodox Muslims) desire the return of the Antichrist. Here are a couple of things he said:
One more point: During the segment Beck also hosted Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim. Jasser said that "The Quran talks about a few signs of the end of times, but most of the details you gave are from the Hadith," the oral sayings and deeds of Muhammad that are treated as holy by Muslims. Jasser continued: "Reform is I think going to happen in Islam when we start to discard parts of the Hadith that are not legitimate, that have been fabricated. And this is where there is some disagreement. So some of these stories come out of, I think, illegitimate Hadith, but others may be legitimate."
This is where Richardson states: "Most orthodox Muslims would say that this is sacred scripture that you cannot discard. He's essentially saying that it's discardible." So, Richardson is basically telling Jasser (a Muslim) that the more peaceful view of Islam is un-orthodox and that traditional Muslims hope to be united under the rule of the Antichrist who will kill Jews, Christians and nonbelievers. And Beck has given him a platform on national television.
Video from tonight's show below the fold:
Author Joel Richardson has a long history of antagonism toward Islam, having written in his book The Islamic Antichrist that Islam will be the "primary vehicle" "used by Satan to fulfill the prophecies of the Bible." He has also agreed with the Florida pastor who planned to burn Qurans that "Islam is of the devil" and written a column headlined "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common."