Earlier, I looked at the rhetoric of the increasingly wayward Glenn Beck, “star” of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). The bad news is that Beck’s ranting in the intervening period has descended into suggesting that liberal philanthropist George Soros had helped send Jews to “death camps”. It’s totally untrue, and has brought condemnation from a variety of sources.
Beck has already asserted that Soros is “notorious for collapsing economies ... around the world”, and that the USA is his “next target”. But this week, as Beck has targeted Soros as a “puppet master” at the centre of some kind of conspiracy whose goal is a “one world Government”, the rhetoric has got nastier. The Anti Defamation League has found adversely on Beck.
Michelle Goldberg, writing for the Daily Beast, described Beck’s attack on Soros as “a new low on American television”. But Fox is standing by their host, with senior VP Joel Cheatwood speaking up on his behalf. Will the matter end there? I doubt it – because Beck cannot, by nature, let it. He will keep on at Soros.
There is one way that this tirade can be stopped, and that is for Soros to take Beck to the cleaners. That he has not yet done so suggests that Soros does not consider Beck’s rantings to warrant serious attention. Given that Beck has now suggested that Soros is himself anti-Semitic, as well as all the conspiracy and Holocaust junk, the time may have come to force Fox’s finest to stand up his story in court.
Until that happens, the Beck rhetoric will get more severe and hysterical, the hate speech and wild allegations will worsen, and the demonising will sharpen. For the sake of his own reputation – and, yes, maybe his own safety, given the case of Tides and Byron Williams – Soros cannot continue to stand aside.