Tuesday, October 19, 2010
What's He Telling Them?
In light of recent events, I just thought I'd revisit some polling and focus groups that were done over the past few months:
Glenn Beck is the most highly regarded individual among Tea Party supporters of the people we tested. He scores an extraordinarily high 75 percent warm rating, 57 percent very warm.
This affinity for Beck came through very clearly in the focus groups. The only news source that participants said they could trust was Fox. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity were cited as people who “are not afraid to tell it like it is” and support their arguments with solid facts. Beck was undoubtedly the hero in these groups. Participants consider him an “educator” (in contrast to the popular Rush Limbaugh who is an “entertainer”) who teaches people history and puts himself at risk because he exposes the truth. In the words of a woman in Ft. Lauderdale, “I would trust my life in his hands.”
Other comments are just as laudatory:
I like the way he’s trying to get back to the basics of the Constitution of the United States because I think that’s where our government is losing focus. They’re trying to change the Constitution or somehow twist it…
He brings out facts… And he actually shows the people saying the things. It’s not like just sound bites. It’s not chopped and really edited. And he is scary because every time I watch the show, which is pretty much every day, my heart feels…and I feel like I want to do something.
I’m frightened for him… Because of the things that he says. I think that he is stepping on some big toes.
He really does his research and he really lays it out to you well; a good professor.
Beck supplants Dan Rather as the fourth most admired name in news, according to Pew's newest polling. He was ranked as the most admired by 3 percent of respondents; no one collected more than 5 percent.(The first three were Diana Sawyer, Katie Couric and Bill O'Reilly.)
And this, from Tea party icon, Pam Stout:
Stout said Beck had “made me think and re-think” her positions on various issues.
Ok, so it's clear that Beck is very well liked by the Tea Partiers and can legitimately be called one of their leaders and perhaps their intellectual guide.
So, what do we think about this little compendium of quotes that Media Matters gathered together? (This is just a sampling. There's more at the link.)
Beck: Obama advisers show "the kind of thinking that ... eventually led to the Holocaust." On his October 5 radio show, Beck said that statements by Obama advisers John Holdren, Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein indicate "the kind of thinking that led to ... the extermination program that eventually led to the Holocaust."
Beck likened reporting about him to "what Goebbels did." Complaining on the August 27 edition of his radio show that ABC reported a statement by Beck that blacks don't own Martin Luther King without also noting that he also said whites don't own Abraham Lincoln, Beck said: "You know what? I'm gonna get a lot of heat for this, but stand in line. That's what [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels did. That's what Goebbels did. The truth didn't matter."
Beck equates children singing about Obama with "Hitler Youth." On the June 17 edition of his radio show, Beck said that children singing about Obama was "the playbook of the progressives from ... the former regime in Germany, the Third Reich." Beck added, "This is Hitler Youth."
Beck: Putting "the common good" first "exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany." Attacking criticism of him by Jewish Funds for Justice's Simon Greer, Beck asserted on his May 28 radio show that Greer's comments about putting "human kind and the common good" first "is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany," adding, "[a] Jew, of all people, should know that."
Beck: "frightening similarities" between Sunstein, Goebbels. On the May 27 edition of his radio show, Beck claimed there were "frightening similarities" between Cass Sunstein and Goebbels.
Beck: "You can't just change the law" to raise BP's liability cap; "Is that what we fought the Nazis for?" On his May 4 radio show, discussing a reported proposal to retroactively increase liability limits to cover the costs of the Gulf oil spill, Beck responded: "Did we go and fight Germany for this? Is that what we fought the Nazis for? Is that why those millions of people died?"
Beck: Progressives use "democratic elections" to push dictators -- "Hitler, 'democratically elected.' " On the April 28 edition of his Fox News show, Beck stated that progressives use "democratic elections" to push dictators, then stated, "You'll hear this when they talk about the 'democratically elected' leader of Iran; the democratic leader Chavez, 'democratically elected,' you know; Castro, 'democratically elected'; Hitler - 'democratically elected.' "
Beck: "Progressives build the structure that a communist, a Marxist, a Nazi would love to have." On the April 22 edition of his radio show, Beck stated that "[p]rogressives build the structure that a communist, a Marxist, a Nazi would love to have."
Beck invoked "first they came for the Jews" poem to respond to ad boycotts. On the April 8 edition of his Fox News show, Beck portrayed ad boycotts of his show as being orchestrated by the Obama White House in order to "destroy" his "career" and "silence" him, adding: "Is there absolutely no chance whatsoever that you might be a target at some point in the future? What's that poem? First they came for the Jews, and I stayed silent?"
Beck invokes Nazis to attack worker ID cards: "It was only one of the first things that Hitler did." On the March 9 edition of his radio show, Beck discussed a proposal by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) to implement national ID cards for workers and said, "It was only one of the first things that Hitler did."
Beck: Obama campaign videos were Goebbels-like "propaganda." On the February 16 edition of his radio show, Beck said that videos produced by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe were "propaganda" out of the Nazi "playbook": "Remember, Goebbels, king of propaganda. ... This is yet another playbook -- page taken right out of the playbook."
Beck documentary linked progressives to Hitler. Beck's documentary Revolutionary Holocaust purported to link progressivism to the atrocities of Hitler, among other brutal dictators. Numerous historians denounced the inferences Beck drew in the film.
Beck on NEA conference call: "You should look up the name Goebbels." On the November 3, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, discussing an NEA conference call in which artists reportedly discussed how "to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda," Beck said that "advocating through art is known as propaganda. Hmm. You should look up the name Goebbels."
Beck compared Fox News to Jews during Holocaust, other news organizations to silent bystanders. On the October 13, 2009, broadcast of his radio show, Beck compared Fox News to the Jews during the Holocaust, telling other media outlets, "When they're done with Fox, and you decide to speak out on something. The old, 'first they came for the Jews, and I wasn't Jewish.' " He went on to say, "When they're done with Fox and talk radio, do you really think they're going to leave you alone if you want to ask a tough question? ... If you believe that, you should open up a history book, because you've missed the point of many brutal dictators."
Beck told Newsmax: "I fear a Reichstag moment." On September 29, 2009, conservative news website Newsmax.com reported of its interview with Beck:
But his real worry is that many Washington elitists really don't like our form of government and want to see it abolished.
"I fear a Reichstag moment," he said, referring to the 1933 burning of Germany's parliament building in Berlin that the Nazis blamed on communists and Hitler used as an excuse to suspend constitutional liberties and consolidate power.
"God forbid, another 9/11. Something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced."
This is the person the Tea Partiers say makes them "think and rethink" everything they know. So is it really such a big surprise that they see nothing wrong with hiring private thugs to push Democrats and "the liberal media" out of their campaign events? They think Democrats and liberals are literally Nazis.
(Limbaugh, the second most admired man among the teapartiers, has been doing this for years as well, just without the pseudo-historical background. The field has been well tilled.)
digby 10/19/2010 05:00:00 PM