[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Well, Glenn Beck has long had a predilection for promoting the work of far-right extremists like Cleon Skousen, as well as promoting a variety of ideas and theories that originated with the extremist right.
But his latest endorsement is simply beyond the pale. Media Matters has the whole scoop:
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck heralded and promoted the work of Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling, who spoke at rallies hosted by the leading American Nazi group and praised Hitler. Today, Dilling is heralded by White Supremacists and White Aryans who revere her "fearless" work against Jewish people.Simon Maloy has even more horrific details.
As Media Matters' Simon Maloy noted, Beck had kind words for Dilling's 1934 anti-communist book, The Red Network, saying: "This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it." Maloy noted that Dilling has a long history of rabid anti-Semitism, such as calling President Eisenhower "Ike the Kike" and labeling President Kennedy's New Frontier program the "Jew frontier."
Professor Glen Jeansonne and writer David Luhrssen note in the encyclopedia Women and War that Dilling wasn't only anti-Semitic, but a sympathizer and supporter of the Nazis and Hitler:
When World War II began in 1939, Dilling was part of the national network of anti-Semitics, anti-Communists, and Nazi sympathizers such as Father Charles Coughlin, Reverend Gerald L. K. Smith, Reverend Gerald Winrod, and William Dudley Pelley. Material generated by Nazi organizations in Germany to inspire race hated and exploit dissatisfaction in the United States found its way into Dilling's publications. She spoke at rallies hosted by the leading U.S. Nazi organization, the German-American Bund, and had traveled to Germany, pronouncing the country as flourishing under Hitler.So Dilling "spoke at rallies hosted by the leading U.S. Nazi organization, the German-American Bund."
Dilling called for appeasing Germany; she blamed the war on Jews and Communists and accused the Roosevelt administration of being controlled by Jewish Communists. ... After Pearl Harbor, Dilling resisted wartime rationing and denounced the Allies.
Who's the German-American Bund? Let Glenn Beck, Elizabeth Dilling fan, tell you:
BECK: The Bund gathered socially and ran Nazi camps. The camps were advertised as summer retreats where you could escape the city, celebrate German heritage, dance, drink, at places like Camp Nordlund in New Jersey and Camp Siegfried in Long Island. The camps hidden as pro-German/pro- American were attended by adults and families.British Professors Christopher Partridge and Ron Geaves wrote that Dilling was a "pro-Nazi anti-Semite" who disseminated Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The ADL describes Protocols as "a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world."
On the outside, they looked like any other camp. But the children were indoctrinated in the ideals of Nazism, breeding young Americans to become full-fledged Nazis. They marched, performed drills in Nazi uniforms. And they were taught about their racial superiority, their potential as Aryan youth.
As media scrutiny of the Bund increase, so did anti-Nazi protests, including other Americans who hated the Nazi image and Jewish-American veterans. Instead of quieting down, Bund leader Fritz Kuhn decided to hold the largest rally in their history, Madison Square Garden. These American Nazis showed their true colors, beating a Jewish protester who rushed the stage. Kuhn and other speeches were nothing more than anti-Semitic rants wrapped in the American flag protected by the First Amendment. [Glenn Beck, March 11]
Dilling's Nazi sympathies have made her a cult hero among Aryan groups and White Nationalists/Supremacists. For instance, the group Women for Aryan Unity features Dilling in a publication whose purpose is "to honour Aryan Women past and Present."
This isn't just beyond the pale -- it's probably the most significant major-media endorsement of American fascist ideology since the 1930s.
Now, we know that Beck bought whole into Jonah Goldberg's fraudulent Liberal Fascism thesis, and therefore probably believes that these American Nazis were evil "progressives" at heart. So it's likely he had a huge blind spot about the fact that American fascists of the 1930s were far-right ideologues whose favorite pastime was Red-baiting. People like Elizabeth Dilling.
But at least someone on his staff had to be aware of her background. Most likely it was pointed out to Beck and he ignored it.
At the minimum, Beck needs to renounce his endorsement and apologize for making it. If he refuses, Fox must fire him.