Thursday, October 15, 2009

Memo to Glenn Beck: As long as you're making corrections ...

-- by Dave

Dear Glenn Beck:

You like to regularly tell your audience -- often during one of those faux-humility schticks -- that you only report the truth, that your credibility is "everything" to you, and that your material is rigorously fact-checked, and by golly that if you get something wrong, folks just have to let you know and you'll correct it right there on that program.

Thing is, you produce such a torrent of falsehoods it's hard to keep up. And you routinely ignore it when it's pointed out to you.

Apparently the only time you'll acknowledge a factual falsehood is when it's pointed out by the White House. Yesterday, responding Anita Dunn's criticisms of Fox -- which included some specifics about your various errors of fact -- you finally admitted to a correction:

Beck: They are more worried about the war on Fox than the actual war in Afghanistan. And boy, there are some zingers. They say that we are completely irresponsible. Like when I said -- this is one they pointed out -- when I said that Major Garrett was never called on. Let me -- let me just correct that huge error right up front. He has been called on. Yeah.

Another one they point out is when I called Van Jones a radical, communist, anarchist czar. The White House would like me to remind you that, uh, he wasn't really a czar. ... I didn't think that was really the problem with that, but maybe I don't understand how this game works anymore.

I am so busted! I'm glad the White House has cleared up that very, very important fact for the future of America.

That's good, Glenn. Now maybe you can issue some corrections on other things -- including, the other things you called Van Jones (since calling him a "radical communist anarchist" is so self-evidently nonsensical, not to mention a McCarthyite smear, it's likely the White House chose not to debunk that because it's not worth dignifying). For starters, how about the time you falsely called Van Jones a "convicted felon"?

BECK: We've spent some time over here. There is so much more to cover, but I want to talk to you about the green movement root. I couldn't figure out why the green movement -- here is Van Jones. This is a convicted felon, a guy who spent, I think, six months in prison after the Rodney King beating.

And while you're at it, here are some other corrections you need to make for your audience:

-- Those "bombs" being set off by nefarious eco-terrorists? There were no bombs -- just a land excavator.

-- Those scary black militants doing a team martial-arts routine? They were actually a dance troupe.

-- That nefarious Diego Rivera painting in the Rockefeller Center? It was removed on Rockefeller's orders. (Heck, just watch Cradle Will Rock sometime; the painting figures prominently in the plot.)

-- Those 1.7 million protesters who showed up for the 9-12 event? Um, dude, it was closer to 60,000. Little bitta difference there.

-- Just like Van Jones, Peter Orszag isn't a "czar." He passed congressional approval.

-- UAW workers do not make $154 an hour.

-- Unions do not, as you've claimed, need only 30 percent approval from employees in order to be established. It's still the usual 51 percent.

-- Those "doors replaced with stimulus funds? They were hangar doors. And they didn't cost "$1.4 million." More like $256,100. Again, bitta difference.

-- Contrary to your claim that "only 3 percent" of the stimulus plan would be spent in its first year, the actual plan calls for closer to 21 percent of the plan spent in the first seven-and-a-half months alone.

-- Just because we can breathe it doesn't disqualify carbon dioxide from consideration as a pollutant -- particularly at high levels. You breathe carbon monoxide in nontoxic quantities all the time, too.

-- Contrary to your sneering claim, Paul Krugman not only didn't miss the housing bubble, he was one of the few to be warning about it long in advance.

Those are just some of the more recent falsehoods you've broadcast, entirely since you've come aboard at Fox.

But somehow -- considering how non-seriously you took your obligations to correct the false facts already pointed out to you -- we really don't expect you to actually correct them. Because it would take a long time and would be really embarrassing, and you don't do embarrassing -- except when it's time to spring a gusher.

No, it's much easier to rant that the White House -- in calling you out for your relentless, paranoid, fact-deprived attacks on the Obama administration as an enclave of scary militant black radicals who want to remake the USA into a communist/anarchist/fascist/whatever state -- is "trying to shut this network down." Surround Fox headquarters on a map with toy tanks. Whatever.

Of course, no one's trying to shut Fox down. That would be absurd and futile. But it would be nice if, eventually, you all would live up to the claim to be a "news" operation instead of the vicious propaganda machine you have become -- especially with the likes of you aboard.

Sincerely, Dave

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

No comments: