I remember when Glenn Beck first played out his doomsday scenario for the Year 2014 back in 2009, highlighted by his special "War Room" episode, and thinking even then: "It's going to be fun to go back in 2014 and see how well his predictions turned out."
Well, those predictions -- though of course Beck, in his usual weasel fashion, demurred that these were "not predictions" but just him thinking out possible scenarios ... even though he brought in a panel of experts to play them out -- were built around Beck's certainty that there would be a "financial meltdown":
-- All the U.S. banks have been nationalized.My favorite part happens when he brings on Gerald Celente, who predicts "tax revolts" that will turn bloody:
-- Unemployment is "between 12 and 20 percent".
-- The Dow is trading at 2800.
-- The commercial real-estate market has collapsed.
-- The government and unions control most businesses.
-- America's credit rating has been downgraded.
Celente: Oh no, no. This is going to be violent. People can't afford it anymore. Look, the cities are going to look like Dog City. They're going to be uncontrollable. You're going to have gangs in control, motorcycle marauders. You're not going to have enough police and federales, just like Mexico, to control the situation.
Well, as Ben Collins at Esquire notes, not only have not one of these predictions panned out, they were in fact spectacularly wrong, and the country has largely gone the other direction. Moreover, though Beck has since departed Fox, he remains an influential voice in that segment of the population for whom Fox News is too liberal.
Of course, I also recall how Stephen Colbert had some fun with all this fearmongering even then ...
And it's worth noting that one of Beck's expert panelists, Michael Scheuer, has more recently distinguished himself by advocating the assassination of President Obama.
In other words, the right-wing extremism that was being fomented five years ago on Beck's Fox Show hasn't gone away. It's just gotten crazier -- especially as their fearmongering proves to be wrong, wrong, wrong, just as it always does.