05.25.2012 09:06 AM

My response to Lilley: Glenn Beck is still an anti-Semite

Folks at the Sun News Network have been asked not to go after each other off-air, and we generally observe that. It looks bad.  So I was a bit surprised to read this post by Brian Lilley on his blog, stating that I “spew insults,” that I have engaged in slander, and that I was wrong to opine that Glenn Beck indulges in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.  I haven’t seen anyone else take me task, yet, with the exception of a notorious white supremacist, and the Jewish Defence League, which has itself made alliances with white supremacy and homophobia.

I won’t take shots at Brian personally, because I think it’s super boring when media people talk about other media people.  But I will respond to his main criticisms, which seem to be:

  • I linked to “left-wing websites” to prove my point; and
  • two rabbis Brian had lunch with, but whom he does not name, think Glenn Beck is swell.

I provided links in the post that offended Brian, and they were to an Irish columnist, The Daily Beast, a CNN host, The Jewish Journal, Media Matters, and The Washington Post.  I wasn’t aware all of those were “left-wing web sites,” so I came up with the ones below, which make the same criticism as me.

  • “But critics say Beck’s track record of controversial statements makes him an inappropriate ally. Last month, he likened Norwegian youths gunned down at a political camp by an anti-Islamic extremist to “Hitler Youth.” Twice in the last year, Beck has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for “bigoted” and “horrific” comments on his show, one likening Reform Judaism to “radicalized Islam” and another in which he said Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros betrayed fellow Jews to Nazis.” – Buffalo News, Aug. 23, 2011
  • “Announcing his event on the radio last month, Beck invoked “the words of Ezekiel” – a prophet associated with end times theology. He offered the apocalyptic prediction that “the force of darkness” would “attack the center of our faith.” He further predicted that, at his rally in Jerusalem, “the very gates of hell are going to open up against us.” Later, he said that Israel may be destroyed “by Labor Day weekend” and that his gathering “may be the last time you get to see the holy sights.” – Sacramento Bee, June 19, 2011
  • “Beck, says Zaitchik, had to keep creating new, more intricate theories. Last November, in a two part special that indirectly invoked, he accused liberal Jewish financier George Soros of orchestrating the fall of foreign governments for financial gain. During the Egyptian revolution, Beck sided with Hosni Mubarak, alleging that his fall was “controlled by the socialist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood.” Beck is now warning viewers not to use Google, accusing the search-engine giant of “being deep in bed with the government.” In recent months, it seems, Beck’s theories became so outlandish that even conservatives – both viewers and media personalities – were having a hard time stomaching them. Now, each new idea appears to be costing Beck both eyeballs and credibility. “At some point,” says Boehlert, “it doesn’t add up any more.” – National Post, March 9, 2011
  • “The comments that got Beck in trouble Tuesday came in the context of a wider discussion about a recent open letter, signed almost exclusively by non-Orthodox rabbis, criticizing him for repeatedly comparing his ideological foes to Nazis. “There are the Orthodox rabbis and there are the Reform rabbis,” Beck said on Tuesday. “Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like radicalized Islam in a way where it is just—radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics.” – Jewish Journal, February 25, 2011
  • “Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.  For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say – inaccurately – that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific.” – Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, Jewish Journal, November 11, 2010
  • “I don’t know how well Glenn Beck knows the organized Jewish community, but he definitely has a Jewish problem. This week he gratuitously slandered a prominent Jewish philanthropist in probably the worst way that you can slander a Holocaust survivor, and many Jewish leaders are justifiably outraged. The ADL and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants have denounced Beck’s comments, which are presented in a negative light in every Jewish news source that has run the story.” – Mark Paredes, Jewish Journal, November 11, 2010

I am hopeful that The Jewish Journal, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, The National Post, The Sacramento Bee, and The Buffalo News and so on are not also considered by Brian to be “left-wing web sites.”  But I could be wrong on that, who knows.  The National Post will possibly be interested to learn that they, too, may be a “left-wing web site.”  We’ll see what Brian’s response is, I guess.

Anyway. As to the two unnamed rabbis, I would like to speak to them, to get their views about Glenn Beck, which I will faithfully reproduce here.  I will then also reproduce the views of hundreds of Reform, Orthodox, Conservative and Reconstructionist rabbis who hold the same view as me about Glenn Beck’s fantasies.

In the meantime, however, I hope Brian will forgive me for persisting in my view that Glenn Beck is piece of garbage, and that he is a pedlar of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and that anyone in the Jewish community who promotes him should be ashamed of themselves.


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    JamesHalifax says:

    I actually agree with everything you said this time, Warren. Anyone who’s seen Beck with his marker and whiteboard know the guy’s a certifiable loon. It’s actually stomach-turning to try and follow his convoluted thought process.

    As for Beck being an anti-semite………I’m not sure if that is how he personally feels or if he actally believes it, or if it is just him catering to what he thinks his audience wants to hear. That in itself is disturbing enough. One thing is sure however, whatever he is doing is finding resonance with someone, and obviously his twisted and meandering thought process is making him a ton of $.

    Truly disgusting.

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    Philippe says:

    This is a guy who called President Obama a racist & riles up his low-IQ fan-base by regularly comparing Liberals to Hitler. I refuse to believe that any one who cares about the betterment of society could defend that excrement.

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      Ted B says:

      C’mon. Be fair and balanced and honest. Take your biased blindfolds off.

      Beck compares Liberals and Obama to Stalin just as much, if not more, than Hitler.

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    Mooj says:

    Come on Warren, nobody thinks your personal shots at anyone (media member or not) would be boring.

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      Warren says:

      Sure. And I’ve done it (cf. my ongoing characterization of Paul Wells as a pompous ass, for example). But it’s the media talking about the media. It’s boring, to me.

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    JamesHalifax says:

    Warren……you said that name again.


    (ok, I’ll stop now)

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    Ted H says:

    A Semite is a member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians. So while antisemitism is generally used to refer to someone hostile to Jews, it actually means someone who hate Jews and Arabs equally. A pretty good definition of Glenn Beck.

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      Brad Brzezinski says:

      Antisemitism means Jew hatred. It is usually written “Anti-Semitism” but I write it the way you do because of the very specious argument that you have advanced.

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    Ted B says:

    You are using the wrong dictionary if you think that is what “left-wing web sites” means or if you think it has to do with ideology.

    In Lilley-land, like most of looney-conservative land (as opposed to the ordinary conservative who are, basically, sane), “left-wing web sites” is defined more rudimentarily as “a website or commentator that does not cherish what I say as the holy gospel”.

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    S. Kapoor says:

    I agree with Beck’s denunciation of Soros. Soros’ dirty mony is behind Gail Davidson, pro-Khadr lawyer ((Lawyers Rights Watch Canada) as well as other far left groups (OWS, J Street).

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      Juan trippe says:

      Well the Koch brothers and their ilk is behind everything right wing so lets call it a tie

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        John Goerzen says:

        hardly !!

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    Soccermom says:

    I have listened/watched Glenn Beck for YEARS and have never once heard an anti-semitic/anti-Jewish thing come out of his mouth. This claim is beyond ridiculous, and frankly, I thought you were a bit smarter than that, Warren. He is a huge supporter of Jews and of the Jewish State. He hosted a large event last summer in Jerusalem showing love of the Jewish people/state.

    It is laughable to assert otherwise. Listen to him even one day and I promise you you’ll have to take this crazy claim back. It is so false. Truly.

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      Philip says:

      Semitic peoples are spread from the Sinai to Iraq (east-west) and from Syria to Yemen (north-south). The root language is Northeast Afroasiatic which has sub-groups of Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic. Are you seriously telling us that Beck has never used degrogatory language about Arabs? Seriously? Could you be more ignorant about the world around you?

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    Meir Weinstein says:

    Lets have a public debate.

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    Xo says:

    You Mr. Kinsella are clueless with respect to Glenn Beck. Beck is an honourable man. You can call him many things, but an anti-semite? That is the most assinine statement you’ve ever uttered.

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      Juan trippe says:

      Can I huff some glue with you?

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    deb says:

    Glenn Beck uses puppets…how in the world can anyone take him seriously…esp since he contradicts himself regularly! I dont even think Glenn Beck takes himself seriously. Im certain he is smirking at the impressionable masses.
    Look up Jon Stewarts “Glenn Beck” impersonations…they are classic Beck, he didnt even have to exaggerate…it was straight from the albinos mouth:)

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    Richard says:

    As silly and even offensive as likening ideological foes to Nazis may be, I wasn’t aware it was anti-Semitic, although I think you could be right.

    I’m pretty sure all those left wing morons on rabble.ca who compare the Conservatives and Harper to Nazis and fascists are Jew haters.

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    Lisa says:

    So I emailed the Rabbi at Uptown Chabad and pointed out this concern.
    Here is the really polite response – no hello, no thank you etc.
    Moshe Steiner [rabbi@uptownchabad.com]

    Your allegations are outlandish. Attached is a letter from the same ADL organization from which you copied and pasted criticism. In this letter, the national director of ADL states clearly that Glenn is a friend of Israel and the Jewish People. You do not do the Jewish People any service by hurling the accusation of anti semite at someone because you disagree with his political views.

    And he attaches a letter from 2010 from the ADL that apologizes for accidently calling him an antisemite…no matter that all the quotes I referenced were from after that!

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    Robin says:

    I notice Michael Coren has decided to take you to task on this.

    He himself has recently been accused of anti-semitism. I also found this very odd video of him apparently finding the subject of the Holocaust amusing and then referring it as a “get out of jail free” card. Very odd. See 2.35 here: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/search/preview/prime-time-preview-may-23/1653109153001

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