Musings —05.25.2012 09:06 AM—
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.