Saturday, June 20, 2009

How Glenn Beck mainstreams the extreme

On multiple occasions Glenn Beck has characterized efforts to raise awareness about global warming and to mitigate its potentially devastating consequences for human civilization as a Nazi style ploy to install a one world socialist-Marxist-liberal fascist government.

Let's take a look at a few instances, starting here

On his radio program, Glenn Beck stated that Al Gore is using "the same tactic" in his efforts to fight global warming that Adolf Hitler used to vilify Jews in Nazi Germany, but Beck said that Gore's "goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world. That is the goal."

CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck became the latest critic to compare the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, about former Vice President Al Gore's campaign to raise awareness of global warming, to the Nazis. Beck dismissed many of the conclusions drawn from the documentary, stating, "When you take a little bit of truth and then you mix it with untruth, or your theory, that's where you get people to believe. ... It's like Hitler. Hitler said a little bit of truth, and then he mixed in 'and it's the Jews' fault.'"
And here for example.

If you didn't happen to catch Glenn Beck's discussion of global warming this morning, I'll give you the gist of it: global warming is to liberals what the Reichstag fire was to Nazis. He didn't use that analogy, but that was the gist.

Well, what the hell is "You can't have transfats, you can't smoke, you can't do this, you can't do that." That's fascism. That's what it is. It's fascism with a smiley face, and we are much closer to fascism, and you know it in your gut. You know it to be true because look at the debate on global warming. You cannot have a debate on global warming. "Science is solved." Just like eugenics was solved. "The science was solved. The scientists all agree. It's all peer reviewed." And so what happens? They shut down all debate. Well, that's what happens with fascism.

WILLIAMSON: Well, if you go back in and look at, you know, what they're arguing for, it's the same stuff that the left is arguing for, which is transferring wealth and power on to citizen's hands and into the government's hands.

You know, the left always needs an emergency, because they can't get this stuff done through normal democratic means. So in the '30's, it was the Depression, then it was World War II. Then it was the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. And after the Soviet Union fell apart, it became environmental movement.

BECK: Right. Let me — I'm going to go ahead and take you someplace that I like to call "one world government."

One more

GLENN: Let me tell you something. For those of you who think climate change is real and manmade, you should know this, that -- I mean, you don't have to be a socialist, I guess, to believe in global warming. It's just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist. I mean, believes in manmade global warming that now can be fixed and reversed or whatever. And we've got the tools to fix it. Almost everybody who says, "I've got a plan to fix it" is a socialist. And let me just give you this quote. This is from An Inconvenient Book: Kyoto is -- and I'm quoting -- the first component of an authentic global governance, end quote. Jacques Chirac, 2000. It is a global governance idea. I read this weekend about a new green deal that the UN is starting to push, that there needs to be a new deal but it needs to be based on green. And guess who would go ahead and implement that for us. Isn't that great? We could take all of the money that we're spending on the bailouts -- this is really the idea -- take all the money that we're spending on the bailouts and put it into a commission to be able to have a global green society that we could have a revolutionary new government. Scary? Scare you yet? Huh? A revolutionary government, a world body that would concentrate on bringing the world together through clean energy. Wouldn't that be fantastic?
Ok, where to start? First, it's simply staggering to consider that someone who hold views which are so stupid and yet crazy at the same time has been elevated to a position of authority on a pretend news network. It's as if Fox News just picked some random guy that they found on the corner of the street passing out John Birch Society literature while ranting about that coming End of America and said, "hey, you should have a show on our network. Say whatever you like!" The rub is seeing Beck - in what has become pretty much a daily occurrence - standing at a chalkboard/markerboard in front of some scribbled madness, pontificating as if he's some sort of professor lecturing an auditorium of students (as opposed to his audience members who are invited at the start of each episode to "follow me.") I can't help but recall Richard Hofstadter writing, "The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry."

Getting past the initial shock of seeing someone so demented given a tv show on what is believed to be a news network by a significant number of Americans, the next thing that jumps out at you is that Beck and so many other global warming deniers don't seem to realize that they are positing a conspiracy theory so massive and extensive that it makes 9/11 Truth conspiracy seem plausible in comparison. As I noted before when responding to Neal Boortz's belief that global warming is a socialist conspiracy

In Junk Science, Dan Agin explains what goes into the IPCC's report:

Organized under the auspices of the United Nations, the IPCC periodically presents a voluminous report on global climate change to the public. Every five years, approximately one hundred member governments propose the names of their own selected climate scientists, and from the thousands of nominations, the scientist leadership of the IPCC then selcts several hundred scientists for each of three working groups, the selection based on the publication of these scientists in scientific journals. Each scientist is assigned responsibility for the entire scientific literature on a particular aspect of the problem. Other scientists are drafted as reviewers and critics, and by the end of the five-year cycle, at least 1,500 experts, including nearly every important climatologist on the planet, is involved in one way or another in the process of creating the final report.
That means if Boortz is correct, the entire planetary discipline of climatology has been corrupted by socialists who have conspired to fabricate a global warming hoax in order to overthrow capitalism. But like the creationist who refuses to see the absurdity of his own ideological thinking, Boortz accuses scientists of being the ideologues.
And this is indeed what Beck is proposing, as evidenced by his statement that, "everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist" who wants to institute a one world government. It's obvious that Beck has no clue what he is talking about, and is a dishonest anti-intellectual idiot, so I won't dwell on that.

What I think worth noting is that Beck is promoting a secular, non anti-Semitic version of New World Order conspiracy theory. Despite the generic nature of Beck's version of the meme, however, the structure of Beck's variant allows more traditonal, anti-Semitic versions to be superimposed on his (in sort of the same process that I've observed with O'Reilly and his generic conspiracy beliefs.) This helps to normalize and transmit extremist ideas to a larger audience; it creates the space for media transmitters to mainstream hate.

Which gets us to the incident that spurred this post. On at least two previous occasions (here and here) Glenn Beck has promoted global warming denier Lord Monckton as a credible source of information about climate change.

That's the same Lord Monckton who decided to do an interview with Lyndon LaRouche's EIR magazine about what the interviewer considers to be the fascist global warming plot to rule the world. The cover of that particular issue of the magazine has a picture from the Nuremberg trials and reads:

Evidence for a New Nuremberg: Obama's Nazi Health Plan
It's fairly disturbing that on first glance it's difficult to tell a difference between the insane ranting of a Lyndon LaRouche publication (LaRouche is an extremist par excellence, seeming to have mixed some of the worst aspect of various extremist ideologies from across the political spectrum) and the sort of thing you can hear on Fox News from Glenn Beck or Jonah Goldberg on any given day.

1 comment:

Left-wing Wacko said...

"This helps to normalize and transmit extremist ideas to a larger audience; it creates the space for media transmitters to mainstream hate."

In addition to what you say here, Beck's rhetoric just flat out confuses people about the situation. Yeah, elites are screwing common people, as you point out in your recent post about what David Cay Johnston has to say about pensions.
But Beck throws people off the trail onto some bullshit wild goose chase.

Meanwhile, thing that are quite evident and investigatable without conspiracism go ignored by Fox and other corporate media as well.