Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glenn Beck Suffers From Soros Derangement Syndrome

Exactly What Glenn Beck Lied About When Vilifying Soros

Glenn Beck demanded an apology from Forbes magazine for claiming that he has been "falsely vilifying" George Soros and said, "I'd like to know exactly what I lied about." Beck's attacks on Soros are, of course, demonstrably false.

Beck Demands "Proof" That He "Falsely Vilified" George Soros

Beck: "I'd Like To Know Exactly What I Lied About" When Vilifying Soros. Glenn Beck discussed a Forbes blog post that said that Beck has been "falsely vilifying Soros publicly":

And the most egregious statement from Forbes magazine is one that I would either like proof of or an apology from Forbes. In fact, I think I may demand one. Yes, I'm going to. That I "falsely vilified" Soros.

Forbes magazine: Show it or apologize. I'd like to know exactly what I lied about. "Falsely vilified"? Really? What did I lie about here? Because I have no idea, because there's not one piece of evidence presented to back up your claim.

Forbes, really? Are you down to this now? Times getting tough? I used to think you had credibility.

See, when you write a story, like us -- we do a story, we back it up. But we back it up, you know, with his own audio, which is weird. It'd be nice if somebody at Forbes actually backed up their claim.

If I was making stuff up on the air, if I was falsely lying about the most powerful man in the world -- gee, you'd think somebody might have found an attorney, don't you? Or at least I would have been fired by now. That's weird.

You know what? I should get -- Tiffany, I want a yellow phone. Uh-oh. Now the White House can't call. I want a yellow phone, please. Because we have this phone. Yes, this phone. The president has the number to this phone. He can call anytime. Verify. I got something wrong? Call me up. Come on.

I want a yellow phone. Maybe a green phone. What color should George Soros' phone be? We could have a whole set of phones. Call me, spooky dude. You're welcome on this set anytime. Anytime.

Forbes, apologize, or back it up. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 12/08/10]

Here Is Exactly What Beck Lied About

BECK CLAIM: In 2004, Soros Called The Election "Not A Normal Election," And Said That "In Periods Of Regime Change, Normal Rules Do Not Apply." Accusing Soros of setting up a "shadow party" to interfere in the 2004 elections, Beck cited David Horowitz and Richard Poe's The Shadow Party and said:

BECK: A shadow party is not a political party, it is a -- at least not in a tangible sense. It works outside the normal electoral system. In 2000, Soros funded one-third of the shadow conventions. Do you even remember these? They were run by Arianna Huffington, the president's favorite source of news. And one of the lead organizers next to her was Jim Wallis, one of the guys who is campaigning against this program, surprise, surprise.

The idea was to parallel the Democratic and Republican conventions -- the shadow convention. Huffington said at the time, the message of the shadow conventions was, quote, "Not left or right, and the answers to these issues are not going to be found in the old ideas of the past. Clearly, the Great Society solution of top-down programs has failed." Top-down programs. "Instead, the answers could be found in the raw power," quoting, "of government appropriations." Wow.

But it was the next election cycle that truly launched the shadow party. In 2004, when Soros didn't mince words, he stated, quote, "This is not a normal election. These are not normal times." And, quote, "I do not accept the rules imposed by others. If I did, I would not be alive today. And in periods of regime change, normal rules do not apply. One needs to adjust one's behavior to the changing circumstances."

By the 2004 election cycle, Soros' shadow party had shaped the Democratic message. Under Soros, the guidance of the shadow-party infrastructure had assumed the coherent shape by early 2004. They were seven extensively independent nonprofit groups, which included that would help the Democrats. Really? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/09/10]

REALITY: Beck Used Comments From 1995 To Show That Soros "Didn't Mince Words" In 2004. Those comments are actually from the 1995 book Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve:

KRISZTINA KOENEN (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung): You have been accused of playing by your own rules and changing the rules when it suits you.

SOROS: I plead guilty. I do not accept the rules imposed by others. If I did, I would not be alive today. I am a law-abiding citizen, but I recognize that there are regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted. And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don't apply. One needs to adjust one's behavior to the changing circumstances.

Look at the tremendous changes I have gone through on a personal level. Consider my career as a philanthropist. In the beginning, I avoided any personal involvement. I sought to remain anonymous and shunned publicity. Later, when the revolution gathered momentum, I accepted the fact I was deeply involved. After 1989, I actively sought to gain a hearing for my views. That alone was a major change. At the same time, I continued to abstain from doing business in Eastern Europe. Now, I have given that up to. The reversal from my starting point, when I dissociated myself from my philanthropy, is complete. I accept everything that I do, whether as an investor or as a benefactor as an integral part of my existence. And I am very happy about it because in a sense my whole life has been one long effort to integrate various facets of my existence.

There is a remarkable parallel in the evolution of my attitude toward philanthropy and my attitude toward making money. At first, I didn't want to identify myself with my business career. I felt there was more to me than making money. I kept my private life strictly separate from my business. Then I went through a a rough patch in 1962, when I was practically wiped out, and it affected me deeply. I had some psychosomatic symptoms, like vertigo. It made me realize that making money is an essential part of existence. Now I am completing the process by doing away with the artificial separation between my activities as investor and as philanthropist.

The internal barriers have crumbled and I am all of one piece. It gives me a great sense of fulfillment. I realize that I cut a larger-than-life figure and I feel ambivalent about that. On one hand, I find it gratifying, but on the other, the sheer magnitude of my activities, both in business and in philanthropy, makes me uneasy. I must admit that I wanted it that way and I probably could not feel all of a piece if I weren't larger than life. It makes me somewhat abnormal and that is the source of malaise. Still, it is better to have abnormal accomplishments than to harbor abnormal ambitions. For the first 50 years of my life, I felt as if I had a guilty secret now it is out in the open and I am proud of what I have accomplished. [Soros on Soros, pages 145-146, emphasis added]

BECK CLAIM: Soros Advocated For "Globalization" By Saying, "The Main Obstacle Of A Stable And Just World Order Is The United States." Citing Soros' book, The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror, Beck said:

BECK: I believe you take a man at his word, and George Soros has publicly dedicated his life to this. [points to chalkboard] He has even said he's willing to die for what he believes in. Here he is.

SOROS [video clip]: In the things that I am engaged in, I am actually willing to put my life at risk, and I think it makes me feel much more complete.

BECK: Wow. You complete me, George. I'm willing to put my life at stake, and so are many people in America. It is what you believe in. But what is it that he believes in? He has tens of billions of dollars, all flowing in, pulling strings. His tentacles are everywhere. What is he going through all of this trouble for to achieve? Well, globalization. George Soros believes, quote, "The main obstacle of a stable and just world order is the United States."

Let that sink in for a minute. "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States." We will pick it up, next, there. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/9/10]

REALITY: Soros Was Criticizing The Policies Of The Bush Administration And Said His Top Priority Was "[C]hanging The Attitude And Policies Of" The U.S. From The Age of Fallibility:

Writing the book has helped me to establish future priorities. Some of them are quite far removed from our previous activities. I have identified two problems that endanger our survival: the global energy crisis and nuclear proliferation. As regards the former, we are already at the cutting edge of dealing with the resource curse and we are getting engaged in global warming. The Russian policy of using gas contracts both to suborn neighboring countries and to divert what ought to be public revenues for private benefit will be a particular field of interest. Nuclear proliferation, by contrast, has been entirely outside the purview of my foundations. I do not know what we can do about it but we cannot disregard it.

The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. This is a harsh -- indeed, for me, painful -- thing to say, but unfortunately I am convinced it is true. The United States continues to set the agenda for the world in spite of its loss of influence since 9/11, and the Bush administration is setting the wrong agenda. The Bush agenda is nationalistic: it emphasizes the use of force and ignores global problems whose solution requires international cooperation. The rest of the world dances to the tune the United States is playing, and if that continues too long we are in danger of destroying our civilization. Changing that attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority.

The task has become more complicated since the 2004 elections, and that was the source of my confusion when I sat down to write this book. It is no longer a question of removing President Bush from the White House; a more profound rethinking of America's role in the world is needed. It is not enough to revert to the policies of the previous administration; America must undergo a change of heart. The process must begin with recognizing the war on terror as a false metaphor. It is now accepted that the invasion of Iraq was a grievous error but the war on terror remains the generally accepted policy.

The change of heart cannot be accomplished merely by helping the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections because Democrats show no sign of engaging in a profound rethinking. On the contrary, Democrats have been so spooked by the Republican charge that they are soft on defense, that they are determined to outdo the Republicans in the war on terror. Nevertheless, I think it is important that the Democratic Party gain control of the House of Representatives in 2006. A Democratic-controlled House could reveal the misdeeds of the Bush administration which are currently kept under wraps. [Pages xvi-xvii]

BECK CLAIM: Soros Has "Waged A War Against Capitalism" Because He Said "It Poses Some Serious Threats."

BECK: He's waged a war against capitalism.

SOROS [video clip]: Capitalism is not directly opposed to open society. Nevertheless, it poses some serious threats. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/9/10]

REALITY: Soros Was Explaining That Regulations Are Needed To Shield Individuals From Financial Bubbles. From a lecture given by Soros at Central European University on October 29, 2009, "Capitalism Versus Open Society":

Capitalism is not directly opposed to open society the way Soviet communism was. Nevertheless, it poses some serious threats. I have already discussed one of them; financial markets are not equilibrium-bound but bubble-prone. The dismantling of the regulatory mechanism has given rise to a super- bubble whose bursting will negatively influence the American economy for several years to come. This discussion has revealed another threat to open society: the agency problem and the influence of money in politics, which contaminate the political process.

In an open society, the political process is supposed to serve the common interest; in contemporary America, the political process has been captured by special interests. Our elected representatives are beholden to those who finance their election, not to the electorate at large. What is happening to President Obama's healthcare and energy bills provides a vivid illustration. The electorate has been brainwashed to such an extent that a responsible discussion of the public good has become well-nigh impossible. A national health service and a carbon tax are nonstarters. Our choices are confined to solutions that can be gamed by special interests.

Lobbying is at the core of the agency problem. How can it be brought under control?

This is an ethical issue and not a matter of modifying economic incentives. Lobbying is lucrative and it is liable to remain so even if the rules are tightened. In the absence of moral values, regulations can always be circumvented; what is worse, the regulations themselves will be designed to serve special interests, not the common interest. That is the danger facing the United States today when a wounded financial sector is seeking to regain its former pre-eminence.
If Beck has a sudden attack of intellectual honesty he could also attack Reagan's former budget director who said of George W. Bush,
“I’ll never forgive the Bush administration and Paulson for basically destroying the last vestige of fiscal responsibility that we had in the Republican Party. After that, I don’t know how we ever make the tough choices.”
Why can a Republican say that Bush's policies were destructive to the U.S. and a citizen such as Soros or anyone else is not allowed to say the same thing. In Beck's twisted mind if Soros says it, the words are part of a powerful conspiracy. When a Republican says it, beck remains silent. Free speech for right-wing nuts but not for everyone else. Beck' kindred spirit can be found in Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.