Fox News Personalities Reaching for New Lows
Fox News continues to give the words "fair and balanced" a whole new meaning.
Take Fox commentator Glenn Beck. He has long demonstrated a knack for making remarks offensive to African Americans and Jews. In June, he managed to seriously offend both groups in a span of just three weeks.
Speaking on his June 4 radio show, Beck praised a 1936 book by Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling, who once called President Dwight Eisenhower "Ike the Kike" and is still revered by many white nationalists. In the book that Beck recommended, Dilling wrote that Nazi Germany "has directed its attacks more against conspiring, revolutionary Communist Jews, than against nationalist German Jews who aided Germany during the war." Dilling's book, Beck told his listeners, was "from people who were doing what we're doing now," presumably a reference to his rhetoric against government misconduct.
Beck's twisting of World War II history is hardly new. This is the same man who in August 2009 compared President Obama's plan to expand the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps to "what Hitler did with the SS."
Three weeks after the Dilling comments, Beck declared that the U.S. was moving in the right direction until the Civil War. "The things that have happened in this country, where it really started to go wrong, was in the lead up to the Civil War. And it became politicized, and it was all about slavery. Before then, we were moving on the right track," Beck said.
Earlier in the month, Beck asserted that the U.S. civil rights movement had been "co-opted" by progressives. Along with Sarah Palin, he is one of the featured speakers scheduled for a "Restoring Honor Rally" at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28 — the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech at the same location. Beck said on June 15 that the event was an effort to "pick up Martin Luther King's dream that has been distorted." A day earlier, he said the dream had been "massively perverted." The comments from Beck, who has never shown any interest in civil rights, were immediately decried by civil rights leaders.
Meanwhile, Fox Business News began a televised program in June called "Freedom Watch" that trots out a lineup of conservative all-stars. In its earlier, online-only version, the show has featured Alex Jones, possibly the leading conspiracy-monger in the United States. The show is hosted by Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey state judge who joined Fox in 1998.
"Fox & Friends" got into the act, too, interviewing Allan Wall, a longtime contributor to the racist VDARE.com website, about immigration. Co-host Steve Doocy mentioned near the end of the interview that Wall writes for VDARE, but provided no information about the nature of the website that rails on about the dangers of immigration and an invasion of the Southwest by Latinos.