-- by Dave
Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League made it official:
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.
While I, too, may disagree with many of Soros' views and analysis on the issues, to bring in this kind of innuendo about his past is unacceptable. To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant.
The Holocaust was a horrific time, and many people had to make excruciating choices to ensure their survival. George Soros has been forthright about his childhood experiences and his family's history, and there the matter should rest.
So how did Beck respond? Well, first he went on the air and not only repeated the smear of Soros by the flaming anti-Semite Mohammad Mahatir, he actually ran a truncated quote of Soros' in order to lie about him even more egregiously.
Here's what Beck shows you:
QUESTIONER: The question is what whether we need and whether Mr. Soros and his foundations can help to bring more foreign influence in the United States instead of relying on what is essentially a balance between Democrats and conservative Republicans.
SOROS: I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order, and that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet, it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup.
To which Beck observes:
BECK: It's a problem for him that people in China or France don't get to vote, find out who sits in Congress. Is it for you? You need to make a choice. Mr. Soros has made his choice. I have made mine. Tonight you decide.
Well, here's the full quote, from a 2006 press conference:
Q: The question is whether we need and whether Mr. Soros and his foundations can help to bring more foreign influence into the United States instead of relying on what is essentially a balance between Democrats and conservative Republicans, which hasn't worked and is not about to start working.
SOROS: Look, I think -- I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order, and that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet, it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup. I don't think you can correct it by giving the Chinese government a vote in Congress. But it is a flaw, and I think this is where American leadership is needed, to take into account and respect the interests of others as well, in order to retain the dominant position we currently enjoy.
Soros actually said something that directly contradicted Beck's characterization of his views -- so of course, Beck omitted it.
This sort of journalistic fraud happens all the time at Fox, and plenty of it on Beck's show (we all recall how he pulled the same stunt with Anita Dunn.) It's one of the major reasons you can point to Fox's practices and clearly judge that this is not a news operation but a propaganda mill.
Well, that report naming Beck our nation's "Fearmonger in Chief" didn't exactly endear the ADL to Beck in the first place.
And sure enough, he spent all day on his radio show attacking the ADL and smearing them and asking his audience to help him look into whether Soros helped fund any ADL work.
Fox is standing behind Beck for now:
Fox stood by Mr. Beck. Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president at Fox News, said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the "information regarding Mr. Soros's experiences growing up were taken directly from his writings and from interviews given by him to the media, and no negative opinion was offered as to his actions as a child."
I wonder how long that will last. Already Beck admitted on his radio show that Fox executives have expressed their discomfort to Beck -- which he, of course, airily dismissed ("It's just not worth it, guys").
[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]