Beck: "If I get out of control and start leveling baseless charges ... guess what happens? I'm fired"
Beck absurdly claims his job would be in jeopardy if he made baseless charges. On his Fox News show, Beck stated: "If I get out of control and start leveling baseless charges that can't be backed up, guess what happens? I'm fired. I lose my job." He continued: "If Congress does the same thing, you lose your freedom. Maybe that's what the press should focus on."
Eighteen "baseless charges" on Fox News that did not get Glenn Beck "fired"
Beck called Obama a "racist." After a week of race-baiting and race-based fearmongering on his television show and radio program, Beck claimed that President Obama "is, I believe, a racist," with a "deep seated hatred for white people," a statement he subsequently claimed to stand by. [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]
Beck claimed intricate conspiracy to "destroy" him, his family, God, and the founders. In appearances on his radio show, Fox News and Fox Business Network, Beck detailed an intricate web of conspiracies involving SEIU, AFL-CIO, Van Jones, Jim Wallis, the White House, Rep. Anthony Weiner, and Media Matters. Beck has warned that these Alinskyite plots seek to "destroy" him, his family, Fox News, Christianity, and the Founding Fathers.
Beck lied about his history of "dragging" Obama's family "into the debate." Addressing comments he made on his May 28 radio show attacking President Obama's daughter, Beck lied about his history of "dragging" Obama's family "into the debate," falsely claiming that he had "never done it until last Friday." In fact, Beck has repeatedly brought up Obama's family in his commentary over the last several months. [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 6/1/10]
Beck falsely claimed Kagan supports restriction of conservative speech. Beck falsely claimed that Elena Kagan wants to censor right-wing speech. In fact, in the article Beck cited, Kagan specifically stated that the government "may not restrict" speech "because it disagrees with ... the ideas espoused by the speaker." [Glenn Beck, 5/13/10]
Beck falsely claimed there's been "zero warming for over a decade." Beck falsely claimed that there has been "zero warming for over a decade" and that climate change is a "scam" and has been "totally discredited". In fact, longer-term data establishes a warming trend, and the scientific consensus behind human-driven climate change remains intact. [Glenn Beck, 4/23/10]
Beck falsely claimed proposed capital gains tax increase "affects every single" investor. Beck falsely claimed that President Obama's proposed increase to the capital gains tax "affects every single American who invests." In fact, Obama's proposal would only impact married taxpayers with income greater than $250,000 and single taxpayers with income greater than $200,000. [Glenn Beck, 4/7/10]
Beck falsely claimed survey found that 46 percent of doctors would leave medicine if health care reform passed. Beck falsely claimed that The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said that 46 percent of primary care physicians would consider leaving their profession if the Democrats' health care reform bill passed. In fact, as Fox News' Megyn Kelly had noted three hours earlier, the NEJM did not conduct the "survey" -- which was "not a scientific poll." [Glenn Beck, 3/17/10]
Beck echoed absurd claim that Obama wants to ban fishing. Beck stated on his Fox News program that Obama was attempting to prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing on some of the nation's oceans, coastal areas, and great lakes "by executive order." In fact, there is no evidence of any such order, but rather a task force that seeks to "better manage" -- not ban -- recreational fishing alongside other uses of oceans, coasts, and lakes. [Glenn Beck, 3/10/10]
Beck advanced myth that stimulus bill is not working. Beck advanced the myth that no jobs have been created under the stimulus and baselessly claimed that its "intent to restore the economy ... [is] not working either." In fact, independent analyses of the stimulus, including those conducted by Moody's Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, have estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased employment by as many as 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2009 and added to real GDP growth in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009. [Glenn Beck, 2/17/10]
Beck falsely attributed entire 2009 debt to Obama. Beck attributed the entire deficit for Fiscal Year 2009 to President Obama, stating that the federal debt was "$10.6 trillion in 2008," and that since Obama "comes in," "we've gone in the one year, we've gone to ... $12.3 trillion on the debt." In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama's policies; in January, before Obama took office or signed any legislation, the Congressional Budget Office projected that, based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion. [Glenn Beck, 1/21/10]
Beck falsely claimed FDR, Sunstein were "pushing" to amend Constitution with "second Bill of Rights." Beck falsely claimed that President Franklin Roosevelt, in support of a "second Bill of Rights," "was pushing for a change to the Constitution." Beck added that "progressives" such as Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Director Cass Sunstein have "been pushing for the second Bill of Rights since FDR," and cited this as evidence that such progressives "know" that health care reform is "unconstitutional." However, in the interview Beck cited, Sunstein made clear that he shared Roosevelt's view that he "didn't want to change the text of the Constitution." [Glenn Beck, 1/11/10]
Beck baselessly attacked Democratic senators for purported alcohol abuse. On both his Fox News show and his radio show, Beck has repeatedly attacked Democratic senators for their purported alcohol abuse, citing little or no evidence. Specifically, Beck echoed the right wing's discredited, baseless claim that Max Baucus had been "hammered" on the Senate floor, and claimed that Chris Dodd had decided not to run for re-election because "there are a few bars [he hasn't] hit in Connecticut."
Beck ignored long-term trend to claim Arctic sea ice is increasing. Purporting to correct comments made by Al Gore about the impact of global warming on the North polar ice cap, Beck falsely claimed that Arctic ice "has returned." In fact, 2008 and 2009 were the second- and third-lowest years on record for summertime Arctic sea ice, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has stated that the data from the past two years are consistent with the long-term negative trend that will result in ice-free summers for the Arctic Ocean. [Glenn Beck, 12/15/09]
Beck falsely claimed that under the Senate health care bill, "You don't get a single benefit until 2014." Beck falsely claimed that under the Senate health care bill, "All of the benefits of this bill don't kick in until when? You don't get a single benefit until 2014." He later added: "[G]uess what, you're not going to get jack for five whole years" after the bill is passed. In fact, Numerous benefits from the health care reform bill would "be available in the first year after enactment" of the bill. [Glenn Beck, 11/19/09]
Beck falsely claimed Holdren supported "force[d] abortions." Beck falsely claimed that White House science and technology adviser John Holdren proposed "steriliz[ing] the drinking water to stop overpopulation" and "forc[ing] abortions so we don't have too many kids." The fact-checking website PolitiFact.com gave Beck's claims "pants on fire" status, writing that Holdren and his co-authors "make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control." [Glenn Beck, 11/18/09]
Beck falsely claimed that "there will be jail time" for not buying health insurance. Discussing Democratic health care reform, Beck falsely claimed that "if you don't play ball with them now, if you don't get into their government health care, there will be jail time." [Glenn Beck, 11/12/09]
Beck smeared net neutrality as a Marxist plot to take over the Internet. Beck argued that the Obama administration's support for net neutrality amounted to a Marxist takeover of the Internet that would stifle innovation, when in fact net neutrality -- which was the law of the land from the creation of the Internet until 2005, and which ensured that Internet Service Providers were not able to control content -- has been cited by numerous Internet pioneers as the guiding principle in Internet development and innovation. [Glenn Beck, 10/20/09]
Beck falsely claimed Anita Dunn "worships" "her hero" Mao Zedong. Throughout most of his October 15 Fox News program, Beck falsely claimed that White House communications director Anita Dunn "worships" and "idolizes" "her hero" Mao Zedong. In fact, in the video that Beck aired as evidence to support his claims, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao's ideology or atrocities -- rather, she commented that Mao and Mother Teresa were two of her "favorite political philosophers," and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that "you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths" or "let external definition define how good you are internally." [Glenn Beck, 10/15/09]
False and baseless assertions are common on Beck's radio show too
Beck falsely claimed Obama would not "honor our troops" on Memorial Day. Beck falsely claimed that President Obama "has decided not to honor our troops on Memorial Day." In fact, Obama was scheduled to speak at a Memorial Day service at a dedicated Veterans Affairs cemetery in Illinois; Obama is not the first president to commemorate the holiday somewhere other than Arlington National Cemetery. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 5/26/10]
Beck falsely claimed Kagan supports holding suspected terrorists "without due process." Beck falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan supports detaining suspected terrorists indefinitely without due process. In fact, Kagan testified that, when detaining terrorist suspects indefinitely as enemy combatants during a time of war, a transparent legal procedure that included "substantial due process" has to be used. [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/20/10]
Beck pushed false claims about Sunstein, OIRA. Beck falsely accused Sunstein of "saying that every website needs to include links to an opposing view" and falsely asserted that Sunstein wants to "tax speech, stop speech" and "[d]iscredit speech, even speech that ends up being true." Beck also falsely suggested that Sunstein's position in OIRA represents a "new role" created by President Obama. In fact, Sunstein called such a policy a "bad idea" and made clear he wasn't advocating banning or taxing speech. Moreover, OIRA was created in 1980 and has operated under every president since then, including presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/17/10]
Beck falsely claimed Obama health care proposal would put "everything you do ... into a computer database for the federal government." Beck claimed on his radio show that President Obama's health care reform proposal "order[s] a comprehensive database on health claims, so everything that you do is going into a computer database for the federal government." In fact, nothing in the proposal supported the outlandish claim that it would result in the tracking of "everything you do"; the "database" it described -- originally included in a Republican proposal -- would contain records related to sanctions on Medicare and Medicaid providers. [The Glenn Beck Program, 2/22/10]
Beck offered numerous baseless conspiracy theories following State of the Union Following President Obama's January 27 State of the Union speech, Beck claimed that Obama detailed his "enemies' list" during the speech -- a list he compared to similar lists from "radicals" including Lenin and Stalin -- and warned his audience that we may be witnessing "the beginning" of a "dictorial [sic] kind of state" and that Obama will "pick us off to send you a message." [The Glenn Beck Program, 1/28/10]
Beck ran with dubious rumor that White House was threatening Nelson with closure of Air Force base. Beck seized on a conservative blog post that reported the claims of an unnamed "Senate aide" who allegedly said that the White House is "threatening to close" Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base "to extort" Sen. Ben Nelson's vote on health care reform. The rumor was denied by both Nelson's office and the White House. [The Glenn Beck Program, 12/16/09]
Beck claimed Obama suggested it's OK to "put a spike in the baby's head." Beck falsely claimed that President Obama "suggested that [it] was OK" to "go into those pregnant women and pull the babies out of them and put a spike in the baby's head," echoing the oft-repeated right-wing falsehood that Obama did not support protecting babies who survived botched abortions. In fact, while serving in the Illinois state Senate, Obama opposed legislation to amend the Illinois Abortion Law because the amendment threatened abortion rights and was unnecessary since existing law already required doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. [The Glenn Beck Program, 11/25/09]
Beck used climate treaty negotiations to invoke fear about world government, communism. Beck seized on comments by British lord Christopher Monckton to invoke fear that if the United States agreed to a treaty dealing with climate change, it would be signing its sovereignty away to a "world government." Beck and others previously fearmongered about the possibility of world government and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. [The Glenn Beck Program, 10/19/09]