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Reader Supported News: Glenn Beck's brutal, hateful routine
Editor's Note: This column contains offensive language.
January 30, 2011- After MSNBC let Keith Olbermann go, Glenn Beck couldn't resist celebrating. “Keith Olbermann is the biggest pain in the ass in the world,” he judged.
But Olbermann's departure really should give Beck pause: At a time when political speech is coming under new scrutiny, how much longer can Beck's brutal routine continue at Fox News?
The latest omen of Beck's end times came on Thursday — Holocaust Remembrance Day — when 400 rabbis representing all four branches of American Judaism took out an ad demanding that Beck be sanctioned for what quotations in the ad called his “monstrous” and “beyond repugnant” use of anti-Semitic imagery in going after Holocaust survivor George Soros.
A Fox spokesman brushed off the complaint in the usual fashion, attributing it to a “Soros-backed left-wing political organization.” But that's not going to fly: The statement's signatories included the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and his predecessor, the dean of the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical school, and a number of orthodox rabbis.
Beck has survived past complaints over his race-baiting, his violent words and his conspiracy theories. He's not new to questionable talk about Jews (years ago he called Barbra Streisand a “big-nosed cross-eyed freak”), and for the past couple of years his Nazi accusations against opponents have come by the hundreds.
But in June, he promoted on air the work of a Nazi sympathizer, Elizabeth Dilling, who had, in writings Beck didn't mention, referred to Dwight D. Eisenhower with a particularly vile anti-Semitic slur, and John F. Kennedy's New Frontier as the “Jew Frontier.” A few days later, Beck referred to Soros' Jewish ancestry, accused him of currency manipulation and said “he's got disturbing hair in his nose.”
On July 13, Beck told his Fox viewers: “Jesus conquered death. He wasn't victimized. ... If he was a victim, and this theology was true, then Jesus would have come back from the dead and made the Jews pay for what they did.” (After complaints, Beck clarified that “the Romans, not the Jews, put Jesus to death.”)
Then came Nov. 9, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a precursor of the Holocaust. Beck — by sheer coincidence, no doubt — marked the anniversary with a three-night series on Fox attacking Soros as “the puppet master.”