A Case Against Glenn Beck

October 4, 2010

I’ve received some complaints lately about my treatment of Glenn Beck in several of my blog posts.  Look, I get it, a lot of people out there like the guy, I just cannot be counted in that number.  Let me tell you why:

He is a liar!

He takes information that he knows (or would know if he checked) is false and uses it to mislead the public.  Some out there may think liar too strong a word.  It is just as easy to use others like fraud, fake, and hypocrite.  While I do not know the motives behind his actions, it is easy to assume it is either financial gain or megalomania.

OK, I’m being pretty harsh to say the least, but sometimes harsh is required.  Here are a few examples of lies Beck put out on his radio show and, as far as I know, has not corrected the record:

  • November 12, 2009 – Beck said, “Do you know in the health care bill, we’re now offering insurance for dogs?  Do I need to say any more?”  Then later on he continued with, “If you are somebody who is like, ‘Well, I just, I’m struggling and we’re barely making ends meet,’ I’m not paying for your dog cardiologist!”  Beck then said, “Not gonna do it.  I’m sorry, the dog goes nighty night.”

Of course, there is nothing in the various healthcare proposals that remotely suggested coverage for pets.  The only animal related issue I could find in any proposal deals with veterinarians working in response to some national outbreak of an animal-borne disease that is capable of infecting humans.  Mad Cow comes to mind.

  • June 28, 2010 – Beck said, “The government is trying to now close the Lincoln Memorial for any kind of large gatherings,” Later, talking about his own gathering, “This may be the last large gathering ever to assemble at the Lincoln Memorial.  Historic, historic.”

While I do not know where he gathered his facts, a simple check with the National Park Service would have cleared the matter up.  Margie Ortiz, a National Park Service spokeswoman emailed a response to Los Angeles Times reporter Kathleen Hennessey saying “There is absolutely no attempt by the government to restrict gatherings at the Lincoln Memorial or at any of our sites.  There is zero basis for his claim.”The real answer might be found in the latter part of his quote.  He might have been trying to scare people into thinking his rally was the last one and the need to attend for that reason, if no other.  At any rate, his comment is not true.

    His TV show is not immune from misinformation either.  For example:

    • July 22nd, 2009 – Beck made the following statement: “I mean, we’ve got czars now.  “Czars like John Holdren, who has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population.”

    First off, Dr. Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, was one of three authors of a textbook titled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment.  In it, the section on “Involuntary Fertility Control” does talk about the issues Beck points out but in the idea of discussion of what is possible and not as something to promote or endorse. It is the same as calling someone a Nazi simply because he or she defines Nazism for discussion.Secondly, the book is over 1000 pages. It covers the entire subject of Ecoscience as a field of study.  As with any legitimate textbook, it covers all sides of an issue to promote understanding.  That inclusion does not imply the author’s endorsement of a particular practice.  Surgical extractions, taken out of context, are easily plucked to support nefarious ends.  In other words, Glenn Beck changes the context of the subject to imply Dr. Holdren supports something he does not.Glenn might be simply mistaken in his conclusion, but I do not think so.  I think he mislead his audience intentionally.  One would be stupid to misunderstand the context.  While I do not like Glenn Beck, I do not think he is stupid.

    The list goes on and on.  Everything from false claims about automatic citizenship to using some sort of “new math” when calculating numbers.  There are many more examples of this type of behavior.  With the internet, fact checking is pretty easy; one simply has to look.  Hell, I am pretty sure they have phones and email accounts too, one would think, being part of the “fair and balanced” team, they could at least make a phone call.  With all that is truly wrong with government, is it too much to ask that Glenn Beck not lie to us?

    In the end, Glenn Beck constructs issues to suit his own purpose.  He will rewrite history, impose God, wrap fascist ideals in the flag, and stir up hysteria with the skill of Elmer Gantry.  He is willing to mislead and outright lie in the process.  S.J. Perelman referred to people like Glenn Beck as “damp people.”  I have to agree with Mr. Perelman on that.

    Whether or not he is in it for financial gain, there is no denying Beck’s organization benefits financially by his zealous behavior.  The other explanation – it’s a case of megalomania; he is certainly obsessed with the grandiose.  Either way, Glenn Beck is not the Walter Cronkite of talk radio some think.  He is neither fair nor balanced in his approach.  He is not someone I give any credence.



    1. A Case Against Glenn Beck…

      I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    2. I agree with you. Beck appears to have a number of psychological problems. According to an article in the NYT Magazine (10-3-10), he observed serious family violence in his childhood which studies indicate is a risk factor for the kinds of problems he evidences. Maybe a better profession for him (in terms of the country) might be the stage.

      • In a way, he is now. If only people would look at it that way. The real problem is people accept what he says at truth with challenge. That is a problem regardless of where information comes from.

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