Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dangerous Hateful Lunacy of Glenn Beck

If you glance through the archives of my postings on Fox News' most dangerous demagogue, Glenn Beck, you will find numerous examples of how Beck frequently cites the words, books, and beliefs of known anti-Semites to make his conspiratorial rantings seem based on something other than his imagination. There is his frequent use of "historian" David Barton, whom the Anti-Defamation League has been monitoring since the early 90s for his association with the anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement, his citation of books written by Elizabeth Dilling, who in the 1930s was a well-known Nazi sympathizer and supporter of Adolf Hitler, and his frequent attacks on any Jewish person who does not support Israel in the way in which Mr. Beck feels is appropriate. But his newest set of attacks on Jewish billionaire George Soros takes the cake.

In a recent two-part series on his Fox News show, Beck utilized classic anti-Semitic tactics to try and tear down Mr. Soros. He implied that Soros had "secret control" of governments and currencies, that he is a "puppet master" over President Obama, and that he secretly "infiltrates" Christian churches to cause social unrest. If you read Henry Ford's book, The International Jew, or the most anti-Semitic book of all time, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you would see that Beck is casting Mr. Soros in exactly the same light as all Jews are presented in those books.

Here is how Wikipedia describes The Protocols...: "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forged antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan to achieve global domination. The text was fabricated in the Russian Empire, and was first published in 1903. The text was translated into several languages and widely disseminated in the early part of the twentieth century. Henry Ford published the text in The International Jew, and it was widely distributed in the United States. In 1921, a series of articles printed in The Times revealed that the text was a hoax, and some of the material was plagiarized from earlier works of political satire unrelated to Jews. The Protocols purports to document the minutes of a late nineteenth century meeting attended by world Jewish leaders who are conspiring to take over the world, and describes their plans to subvert the morals of the non-Jewish world, to control the world's economies, to control of the press, and - ultimately - to take over the world. The Protocols is still widely available today on the internet and in print in numerous languages."

Tell me how this is different from the way Beck describes Soros in his hit piece. The Nazis frequently referred to Jews as "wire pullers" implying that they secretly control and manipulate the world. It is eerily similar.

The Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg has an excellent piece called Glenn Beck's Anti-Semitic Attacks where she shows more similarities between the way Beck attacks Soros and the way classic anti-Semites have attacked Jews in general. "If you know this history, you’ll understand why Glenn Beck’s two-part 'exposé' on George Soros, whom Beck calls 'The Puppet Master,' was so shocking, even by Beck’s degraded standards. The program, which aired Tuesday and Wednesday, was a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles. Nothing like it has ever been on American television before. 'There is a crisis collapsing our economy—George Soros,' Beck said on Tuesday’s show. 'When the administration and progressives look for a savior to step in and save the day—George Soros… He’s pulled no punches about the end game. It’s one world government, the end of America's status as the prevailing world power—but why?' Because, Beck suggests, Soros wants to rule us all like a god: 'Soros has admitted in the past he doesn't believe in God, but that's perhaps because he thinks he is.'"

Baseless, ad hominem attacks are Beck's stock and trade, but this particular attack was different. J.J. Goldberg, columnist at The Forward, a prominent Jewish newspaper, called the Soros hit piece, "as close as I’ve heard on mainstream television to fascism.”

Beck frequently mixes his conspiratorial rantings with religion in much the same way that notorious anti-Semitic priest Father Charles Coughlin did in the 1930s. Coughlin frequently used his radio program to attack Jewish bankers and accuse them of manipulating world governments and secretly controlling the world's money supply. He also frequently denied that he was anti-Semitic, and said he wanted the "good Jews" to work with him and against the bad ones.

Glenn Beck's viewers are not rational when they discuss him. They treat him and his show like a sort of religion. They are really worshipers or believers rather than mere viewers or listeners. I am sure that most Beck followers will simply ignore the mounting evidence of Beck's flirtation with Antisemitism, and cite his "support" for Israel as proof that the reports are wrong. But Beck's support for Israel is tied to his end times religious beliefs. Beck is a Mormon, and the Mormon Church does subscribe to a version of the end times philosophy. This says, in a nutshell, that for Jesus to return to Earth and save all Christians, that the Jews must control all of what was considered Israel at the time of the Bible. Once they do, Christians will then flock to Israel to greet the Second Coming of Jesus. Jews who do not accept Jesus as the messiah will be wiped out the same as all others who do not subscribe to Christianity. It is with this concept in mind that many Jews are skeptical of so-called Christian Zionists who they believe want to speed up the beginning of the "end times" which would, of course, end the Jewish religion.

I write all of this not because I, myself, am a religious person. I am not. I am Jewish, but my personal views lean more towards being agnostic than anything else. But Beck's rhetoric is getting increasingly more dangerous, his attacks on George Soros and other prominent liberals is causing violent actions by Beck's followers. Beck naturally denies that he is anti-Semitic, and maybe he just "pals around with anti-Semites," but is not one himself. I don't know the man. But claiming you support Israel while citing the works of Nazis certainly sends Jews, like myself, a mixed message. Beck's characterization of Soros's time in Nazi occupied Hungary - implying that it fostered a hatred of Jews on his part - is just plain bullshit. Soros was 14, and his entire family was taken away to the gas chambers. Soros, himself, was saved thanks to a Christian man whom Soros's father bribed in order to pretend that George was a relative. He (Soros) was present when Jewish property was confiscated by the Nazis. Many years later when asked if he felt guilty about that, he said he didn't. And why should he? He was 14! His entire family was just taken away to be executed. He had to do what he had to do in order to survive. His mere presence when something happened does not make him responsible for what happened. Does anyone really think that a 14 year old boy should be held responsible for what a man who pretended to be his relative did? Why should he feel guilty. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, was saved from the Nazis by being taken in by a Catholic nanny. "Look, I spit on Jews when I was six years old,” Foxman said. “Does that make me an anti-Semite?”

Soros has criticized Israel. So have I. So have most Israelis and American Jews at one time or another. Sometimes, we in America forget that there are two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The Israelis don't. Public opinion polls there show a much more divided nation on the subject than in America. But one's views on Israel do not define whether or not one is a "good Jew" or a "real Jew" or even a Jew at all. I don't recall anyone arguing that someone who criticizes Italy is anti-Catholic or that criticism of Saudi Arabia is an attack on Islam.

For further analysis and examples of Glenn Beck's ridiculous and hate based attacks on George Soros, check here. There are also other examples of Beck using anti-Semitic books and people to make the case for his attacks on liberalism, the Federal Reserve, and the Democratic Party.

When you listen to Glenn Beck speak, remember that this is the man who said of America's first black president that he had a "deep seated hatred for white people." The man simply projects ideas buried in the darkest caverns of his mind onto his political enemies. The frequency with which he does this is scary. But this is how Beck plays politics, and have no doubt, this is all about his politics.

More and more Jewish organizations are beginning to condemn Beck for his comments about Mr. Soros and his frequent citations of anti-Semities as sources for his rantings. Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs said this about the current hit piece on Soros, "In an effort to demonize a political opponent, Beck and Fox News scurrilously attacked George Soros, a prominent Jewish philanthropist and Holocaust survivor. No one who truly understands 'the sensitivity and sacred nature' of the Holocaust would deliberately and grotesquely mis-characterize the experience of a 13 year old Jew in Nazi-occupied Hungary whose father hid him with a non-Jewish family to keep him alive.” Beck would, and he does.


T. Paine said...

As Soros is a self-avowed atheist, would he even consider himself a Jew, even culturally?

He has been convicted of insider trading in France, has decimated the British Sterling, has been branded by the Malaysian government of economic terrorism and has said in his own words how he enjoys manipulating "oppressive governments" like America's by harming their currencies.

Yes, poor George Soros is simply a good Jewish philanthropist who has no alterior motives for destroying capitalism while investing heavily in gold and emerging nations so as to bring about one world governance.

His contributions in the untold millions (billions?) for the Tides Foundation,, Media Matters and many other progressive organizations to get his word out would terrify you if he were a conservative.

That rant of yours even sounds like a cut and paste from may Soros-funded media outlets, Splash.
Very interesting.

Dave Splash said...

Sorry about the angry tone of my comment. I am just pretty upset about this one. Knowing what kids went through in Nazi occupied countries, I just cannot fathom anyone attacking one of them - no matter what the reason - by saying they led Jews to the gas chambers. That was just too far. Politics does not have to be like that.

T. Paine said...

Dave, yesterday on Beck's radio program I heard him specifically say that he did NOT blame Soros for his actions as a 14 year old boy and totally understood that he was powerless against the Nazi regime. He said that Soros did what he had to in order to survive that nightmare and did not hold him in blame accordingly.

Frankly, whether Soros is Jewish is completely irrelevant to the main issue at hand in my opinion. He has become incredibly wealthy by collpasing foreign currencies and has had "fun" doing so he has said in his OWN WORDS!

He has inarguably harmed the British Sterling and been convicted of insider trading in France. Further, all of the anti-Semetic balderdash that Malaysia's Prime Minister attributed to Soros for his justification of having done so does not discount the fact that Soros, in the end, is still guilty regardless of his reasonings.

Soros is exceptionally powerful and again, not in Beck's words, but in his own words has said how he wants to bring about a one world governance and this requires the destruction of American capitalism in order to bring this about.

I am sorry, as I am not trying to offend your sensibilities and I absolutely denounce anti-Semitism from whatever corner it emanates.

That said, Soros is not America's friend and like I said, if it were a Rupert Murdoch type with Soro's money doing this manipulation, you would rightfully be horrified and denouncing him for his actions, sir.

T. Paine said...

Dave, please not the letter to Beck from the ADL:

Snave said...

Sorry to be snippy here, but I don't feel like letting this go.

T., so if Soros is "not America's friend", you imply that he is America's enemy. Don't let me put words in your mouth, but that is what you are implying.

You disagree with his political views, so he is "not America's friend". I disagree with many of your political views. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but does that also make me "not America's friend", or maybe even America's enemy?

Maybe you should be careful with what you say and with how often you say it, because if a significant number of people believe such a line, the ramifications of such a mentality can bring about untold amounts of grief and suffering. It happened in Europe in the 1930's, and maybe we ought to be able to learn something from history. Even if it isn't anything that happened here... yes, we are Americans, but we are part of the human race. So are the Germans.

Soros has been a naturalized American citizen since 1961. That's almost 50 years now, and more than half of his 80 years. That's 25 years longer than Rupert Murdoch, for what that's worth. And I have been an American citizen all my life.

I used to view hardcore right-wingers as the enemy, but I don't look at them that way any more. That is why I got all the political stuff off my weblog. I want people to get along, and it seems to me I had been doing my part to see that they didn't. Enough of that bullshit. I am as misguided in their minds as they are in mine, but the twain never shall meet as long as people like Beck are out there fanning the flames.

If I am your enemy too, then so be it, I don't have much else to say to you other than that you might not want to believe all that comes out of Glenn Beck's mouth. Beck is not America's enemy, but I believe much of what he is doing and saying does our country a grave disservice.

We all need to think twice before automatically nodding in agreement with our favorite talking heads. After all, their job is not to inform us, it is to steer our thinking. And lately, too many people are allowing themselves to be steered.

T. Paine said...

No Snave, I hardly consider you, Splash and others on the left as my enemies or enemies of America. Frankly, I think we probably have more in common than what you may even suspect.

The difference lies in that Soros has intentionally done things to harm America's well-being while leveraging his own profits in his course of action. He has manipulated world currencies, been convicted of insider trading, and been accused by more than one government of destroying their monetary system... all the while Soros gets richer.

You might want to consider what his ultimate motives are besides wealth, sir.

I absolutely support and indeed encourage you in your right to free speech, Snave. I sure as hell don't have all the answers. I am imperfect and am hardly infallible. I think opposing ideas and disparate political ideologies are not only healthy, but are vital to our public discourse and the strength of our representative republic.

Now that doesn't mean that we are always going to agree, but a monolithic view on governance absolutely will only ensure its corruption and down-fall, regardless of whether that view is left or right of center.

The difference is that I don't think Soros is doing what he is doing as a counter-vailing view in political discourse. Rather, he is trying to collapse economies (as he has said in his OWN words) in order that he can bring about some utopian globablized governance to the world.

THAT is being an enemy of America and the vital difference you are missing, my friend!