Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Help Pull the Plug on Glenn Beck

In April 1919 the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the conviction of Charles Schenck for distributing a leaflet critical of the draft and U.S. war effort. Writing for the Court in Schenck v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

Short of having a Justice Holmes today, it is up to "we the people" to lead the charge that will prevent Glenn Beck from further promoting his conspiracy theories, violent rhetoric and hate speech. Denying him his right to free speech is not the issue; denying him a forum for his irresponsible rhetoric is. This is what "we" can do to realize this goal.

Octopus at The Swash Zone writes:

After the shooting rampage in Tucson that left six people dead and thirteen injured, including Congresswoman Giffords, Fox News President Roger Ailes appealed for civility:  “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast.

Weeks after Tucson, nothing has changed.  If anything, Fox News has turned up the volume on partisan hate speech.  Fevered hysteria and conspiratorial fear mongering on national television are not harmless.

How quickly we forget the lessons of history. The bogeymen of 1930s anti-Semitism that morphed into the bogeymen of 1950s McCarthyism has morphed again into the mainstreaming of Glenn Beck Militia Theater. The message is clear: Glenn Beck wants to extort your silence, and anyone who refuses to capitulate will be targeted and stalked:

Glenn Beck, Self-Appointed "Progressive Hunter" The poisoned atmosphere unleashed by Glenn Beck and Fox News means any citizen - Democrat, Centrist, or Republican - can be slandered in public and targeted for persecution.  Beck pitches his messages at unhinged misfits who are most likely to act on impulse, and events have shown that violent rhetoric leads to violent acts. There is no plausible deniability that can remove this blood from Beck’s hands:

Murders, shooting sprees, domestic terrorism, private citizens hiding in fear, infamous intimidations and provocations broadcast on national television - all linked to Glenn Beck - enough is enough!  When toxic television threatens public safety, it concerns everyone.  Even prominent Republicans are becoming alarmed:

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum:

Former Bush speechwriter Peter Wehner: 

National correspondent for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg:

It is time to pull the plug on Glenn Beck and serve notice to Fox News that partisan hate speech has no placein a free society. The strongest message you can send is to vote your pocketbook. Write letters to Fox News advertisers; tell them you will no longer patronize their products and services; and keep boycotting sponsors of Fox News until these outrageous partisan witch-hunts have stopped. Removing Glenn Beck from the airwaves will save lives.
    Visit the Drop Fox Website Here
    Visit the Stop Beck Website Here

    Endorsements: Captain Fogg, Sheria, BJ, Octopus, Squatlo, Sue, Nance, TnLib, TomCat, Truth 101, Maleeper, Green Eagle, Kay.

    OCTO'S UPDATE: To help spread this message, I am placing this article in the public domain, which means anyone may use it freely without credit or attribution. If you want a copy of the complete text (including imbedded links and html code), please send a request via email to Finally, a note of special recognition to The Legendary Spocko who taught us how to take on Big Media by boycotting their sponsors.

    LESLIE'S UPDATE: For a list of advertisers go to distrubtorcap NY.


    1. Bravo! I'll wait a few days and put this up when it needs to reappear.

    2. I agree with the sentiment of "Beck Must Go", but I believe it can't become a reality until he says or does something so crazy and outrageous that mainstream Republicans say ENOUGH!

      Because until that happens, he'll just point fingers at "the left wing, communist, radical fundamentalist Muslim alliance that's conspiring to bring down America".

      Yes, he's engineer of the Crazy Train, but just like Joe McCarthy back in the 1950's a Republican of stature must come forward (as Margaret Chase Smith did in 1950) and just tell it like it is...the guy's a lunatic's lunatic, and he has no business being in the same area code as ANY responsible news organization.

      History repeating itself.....sadly.

    3. I'm opting in. Emailing for the embeds and article, now.

    4. I'm already there. I can't remember how long I've be registered and receiving newsletters from both sites and I've linked them both more than a few times.

      It's a sad commentary on our educational system that so many people are drinking the kool-aid. In fact, I made a comment about the kool-aid on my blog and a right-wing commenter (who's about my age) asked what I meant. Argh!!!!!!!!!!

      I'm truly upset at the blatant stupidity I'm seeing.

    5. Thanks TC: I think Octo is planning some follow-ups.

      Hugh: I think some of us feel Beck has already crossed the line on more than one occasion with his anti-government rhetoric, his racism, his fear mongering, etc. I agree with you that we need a highly respected Republican who has the courage to speak out to do just that. But times are different these days. Republicans simply are not allowed to think or speak independently. Even John McCain, of all people, was recently chastised publicly by a colleague for defending Obama's speech in Tucson! And yes, it's history repeating itself, only worse I'm afraid. But that's exactly why it's crucial that "we the people" get off our butts and get organized.

      jj: Thanks a bunch.

    6. Kay: We cross-commented here. I totally agree with you about our educational system and the kool-aid. ; ) The scary thing is that it's these very same nuts who want to dummy it down even further.

    7. It is no wonder that republicans attack our educational system. An educated electorate votes Democratic.

    8. As strange as it may seem, Frodo does have friends who disagree with him. Their differences, it seems, are generally over money, as it is with those among us who happen to be married. All of these FOF (Friends of Frodo) have said "This guy Beck is dangerous. He is a threat to us all."

      Mubarak, apparently, takes on many forms, and threatens liberty, everywhere.

    9. I've put this up at my blog as well, and I've seen it on facebook too.

      Keep the pressure on.

    10. Here I am, Beck. Come and get me. I say, bring it on.

      Beck and Limbaugh position this crap as an educational, learning experience. This doesn't bring paranoia into the mainstream as much as the other way around: It encourages the delusion of rationality in their listeners.

    11. I'm torn on this one. Although I appreciate what the Reichsführer is doing to further my agenda, I also realize that real people are facing real danger because of him. He really does need to be shut up.

    12. Tnlib,
      A million thanks for your help in spreading this message. These petition drives are more work than one anticipates from the onset. It seems different folks have different versions of Blogger, the newer ones being more adept at handling HTML code than older versions. Here is one tip: When you copy/paste, make sure you click the EDIT IN HTML tab first. After you paste the article, click the COMPOSE tab to see how it looks and make minor adjustments as necessary.

      Nevertheless, the gratifying part is that dozens of bloggers have joined the cause.

      Next letters: Roger Ailes and all Fox News advertisers. These will have a slightly different slant ... one that holds them accountable when people are hurt due to these broadcasts. The legal concepts are "malice," and "reckless and willful disregard." In other words, Fox News and sponsors may face contingent liabilities (in addition to a consumer boycott) unless they clean up their act.

    13. If a picture is worth a thousand words the one you chose to head this post tells it all. I love it.

      It galls me that he has been made obscenely wealthy by spreading his filth. (That goes for the rest of the Faux news crowd plus Rush).

      I do think he is on the wane as his ratings are down. Lets hope he sinks into the mire he has created.

    14. i used to think - let people see what fools they are (like beck) - but i dont anymore - Beck is a very dangerous man -

      great work

    15. Wow. I'm thrilled to see all the support. Let's keep it going - and going some more.

    16. Beck, like Limbaugh, abuses the concept of free speech. BOTH must no longer be allowed to pollut the airwaves with lies, distortion, and made up nonsense!

    17. I don't particularly like the idea that Beck " longer be allowed to ...". Free speech is about allowing, not disallowing speech. If he violates the law, prosecute him. If you don't like what he says, don't listen to him and let his advertisers know that you will not buy their products.

      The way to shut him up is to make supporting and listening to him no longer profitable.

      Speech may be free but air time cost big bucks.

    18. I too believe free speech is about "allowing," and I think I indicated this when I said, "Denying him his right to free speech is not the issue; denying him a forum for his irresponsible rhetoric is." And this, obviously is achieved by writing letters to Fox and to the advertisers - a hell of a lot of them. I believe Octo is going to follow up with more on this. Stay tuned.

    19. I finally signed the petition.

      I am more concerned with elected officials who continue to pass legislation, that is hurting America. Namely, Republican legislation that is bankrupting America.

      Becks commentary is also hurting America. Nut jobs listen, believe, and act on his irresponsible words.

      But some (like Pam at Oracular Opinion don't belive words motivate bad actions, and deleated my stating it on her comment section.

      It's hard to expose, or fight ignorance when those you are trying to explain it to, are ignorant.

    20. Tom: Thanks for signing. You're absolutely right about nut jobs turning violent rhetoric, even if only by insuation, into violent action.