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Orrin Hatch Really a Tea Party Kind of Guy
Saved 1/27/10 to Liberal Sugar

Glenn Beck's Gestapo Tactics -- Assailing Obama and Progressives with Holocaust Imagery

When Glenn Beck aired an hour-long documentary titled "Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free or Die" last Friday, it marked a major turning point in the annals of television.

The film, narrated by Beck himself, purported to reveal "really disturbing and shocking stuff," specifically the "dirty little secret" that progressive political beliefs led inexorably to "some of the most horrifying outcomes in history." With help from interview subjects like Jonah Goldberg, author of the book Liberal Fascism, Beck linked the progressive political movement to such nightmares as China’s Cultural Revolution and Hitler's gas chambers. Beck alternated images of the emaciated, tortured bodies of the victims he blamed on progressivism with archival footage of Goebbels, Stalin and Mao.

Behold, America, the future of conservative media.

There was a time when such stunningly irresponsible and historically dubious assertions were the province of isolated individuals holding homemade signs at rallies -- but no longer. "The Revolutionary Holocaust" was watched by nearly four million Americans. And it was broadcast by one of the world's largest media conglomerates, News Corporation, which made no effort to disassociate itself from the program's content.

Partisan media -- even rabidly partisan media -- has existed in America for as long as our nation has. Vicious attacks against perceived political opponents aren't anything new, either, and in that way, Glenn Beck is merely the latest polemicist willing to assault his enemies -- as well as basic logic -- in order to make a buck. (And he makes plenty.)

But never before has such commentary been hitched to the star of a multinational media conglomerate, one capable of beaming the resulting invective into hundreds of millions of homes in real time. Never before has a company as influential as News Corp. been willing to back a host like Beck in the face of mounting pressure from advertisers.

Even after 80 different sponsors announced they would no longer advertise on Beck's show, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was still willing to personally defend the host, offering his own nonsensical defense of Beck's infamous accusation that our nation’s first African American president harbored "a deep seated hatred for white people."

"Even if you think I'm wildly irresponsible," Beck said a few weeks ago, "you have to know that News Corp. is not stupid. It's a company worth billions of dollars. Do you really think this corporation would risk everything on an irresponsible crazy guy?"

The answer, apparently, is yes.

And no wonder: Beck is the rising star of Fox News, a conservative entrepreneur of immense capabilities who is developing and capitalizing on new right-wing markets with unmatched skill. Despite the fact that he only joined Fox at the beginning of 2009 and was given the network's undesirable 5pm time slot, Beck is routinely the second-most-watched prime-time host on TV. He's also a self-styled political activist, having created the "9/12 Project" and then guided it through its first major protest last September, an event alternately known as the Tea Party march on Washington, DC. And Beck has promised to double down in 2010 -- again, with Fox's blessing and support. He'll soon publish a book called The Plan, and he aims to organize educational seminars around the country at which he'll preach his own brand of revisionist history.

Beck's inability to accurately evaluate the past doesn't mean that he lacks vision. His documentary last Friday was merely the latest salvo in his war against all facets of progressive political thought, the kind of war on ideas that Ronald Reagan waged so effectively, helping to reframe the electorate's understanding of crucial issues. In picking this fight, Beck is ahead of the curve, finding new ways to encapsulate the principles and values held by conservatives.

In much the same way, Beck is drawing the battle lines for what has become a media-driven conservative movement unapologetically dedicated to the destruction of the Obama administration. Selectively working off of a new generation of Matt Drudge-inspired "journalists" like Andrew Breitbart, Beck is picking and choosing which lines of attack the right will take. For example, he was among the first to popularize the trumped-up ACORN "scandals," the fictitious claims of a propaganda operation involving the National Educational Association, and the alleged radicalism of Obama appointees Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, John Holdren and Anita Dunn, among others. At a time of immense challenges, the White House was forced to respond to each of these pseudo-stories in turn.

As Fox News continues down the road toward becoming the country's first-ever 24/7 political campaign run by an independent media operation, progressives must understand the degree to which Beck has increasingly taken the wheel. They must understand his uncanny ability to reach out to new groups of disaffected voters, and must counter and isolate the lies and misinformation he spreads on a daily basis. And they must ensure the "Beck-o chamber" he seeks to create fails to gain any more influence than it already has.


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stephley stephley 6 years 15 weeks
I can find you sources proofing Beck was wrong Stoltze, but I'm at work right now. I know a number of hjstorians were taking issue with Jonah Goldberg's work on the history network the other day. Even a basic knowledge of history should raise questions in anyone's minds about Goldberg's links.
Roarman Roarman 6 years 15 weeks
Why are you concerned with our sources in Liberal? Please don't come here to pick a fight, you do enough of that on 4.0.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years 15 weeks
where is the proof that he was wrong in his documentary? I didnt watch it, I am just curious as to where the article got its information. Seems you accept unsourced information when it says what you agree with.
Roarman Roarman 6 years 17 weeks
I just think people are lazy, and its easier to listen to Beck and take him at his word, than it is to actually do your homework so to speak. Also, as Steph has pointed out recently, there is a lack of critical thinking on the part of many. It just seems, whether people are willing to admit it or not, that Beck and the others like him, are becoming the voice of the Republican party.
stephley stephley 6 years 17 weeks
I think there's a danger of not terribly bright fence-sitters being taken in because Beck is so popular with some people - he's a good carnival act. That's enough to keep things polarized and block any productive work. Look at Limbaugh - people make careers out of tracking his mistakes, but he's got like 13-million listeners and the GOP is terrified of crossing him.
Tulipe Tulipe 6 years 17 weeks
Yes, Roar, but those who believe what Beck says would have never voted for Obama in the first place, so I don't think Beck has that great a power of influence on the national scale. It's not like Beck converts Democrats supporters, right ?! He just comforts those who already think Obama is a Kenyan fascist. In other words, he just preaches to the choir.
Roarman Roarman 6 years 17 weeks
It is comforting to know that Mr. Beck and Co. don't have world wide appeal, but what concerns me is that he has followers who can vote in elections. Followers who believe every word he says.
Tulipe Tulipe 6 years 17 weeks
Yes, there is a world where people don't know Oprah Winfrey. Where people don't even care that she exists. You should tell that to the person who tells you that the world revolves around the US of A... :-p
stephley stephley 6 years 17 weeks
Tulipe Tulipe 6 years 17 weeks
@Roarman: I think these guys are unimportant when you zoom out and take a look from a different perspective. They may have a few millions of followers in the States but I don't think it would make a difference at the national level. Let's look at the results of 2008. Rounding up, Obama/Biden get around 70M votes and McCain/Palin get 60M. We can already and safely assume that these millions of people who watched this documentary didn't vote for Obama in the first place. So in fact, with Glenn Beck, you have this group of people who nurture their fear and hatred towards this administration but who won't weigh more in a general election. Specially since the rest of the population (you guys ! yay!) is well aware of his craziness. So unless his audience grows by 40 million people in the next 3 years, I think we're safe. And they're unimportant, because, believe it or not, nobody has heard of Glenn Beck outside of the US. Not in Europe at least. Unless you're a crazy person like me who actually thinks that learning everything about the States is a great way to spend her day. But you should ask my mother and you'd be reassured. She's never heard of the guy. BUt then again, she's never heard of Oprah Winfrey... Could you imagine that !! :-p
stephley stephley 6 years 18 weeks
It's all about how you feel.
Roarman Roarman 6 years 18 weeks
It must be so easy to be a part of fox news, you don't ever have to worry about fact checking or sourcing correctly. You just blurt out whatever you want and the network will put out an oops! statement and then its back to business as usual. I think my daughter works harder on citing the answers to her reading homework.
stephley stephley 6 years 18 weeks
A very cool history professor is talking about Goldberg on twitter now - I love eavesdropping on her conversations! (she & Tia watch a lot of the same t.v.!)
stephley stephley 6 years 18 weeks
I've been thinking about that all morning Roar - this would be dismissed because no one they know pays attention to Beck but they're quick to point out Fox's ratings. If I was ashamed to acknowledge where I was getting my information, eventually, I'd start going somewhere else. Beck sent out a newsletter with an article by Goldberg last week - it read like something a homeless guy in the park would say.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years 18 weeks
So true, both of you! And I know this is a side note, but I hate when people use the term "fascism" to refer to liberals. Fascism is an extreme RIGHT WING idea. It shouldn't be connected with either of the major political parties in our country, but if anything it's closer to Republicans than Democrats
Roarman Roarman 6 years 18 weeks
What gets me is how people dismiss these guys as unimportant, completely ignoring the fact that they have millions of followers who I will safely assume don't bother themselves with real facts and take what these guys say as truth.
stephley stephley 6 years 18 weeks
I may be crazy but you have to believe Newscorps because they're rich. :oy: Beck's picking up from a long line of lying b@stards, making Limbaugh & O'Reilly up their games. O'Reilly said this weekend, as a joke of course, that Pelosi should be waterboarded. To me the most important part of all this is that, as someone said about comparing the poor to stray animals, it is people who most loudly insist that they are Christians who go out and follow the most un-Christian (or ethical) men out there.