By Alta Price, M.D.
Glenn Beck attacks “progressives” by lying about us and our vision for the country. And he does it by emotionally spouting paranoid conspiracy theories that incite those so consumed by anger and fear, or so out of touch with reality they believe his calumny, to commit acts of domestic terrorism against progressive individuals or groups.
These are not theoretical concerns. There have been specific acts of domestic terrorism directly linked to Glenn Beck. One example is the attempted murder of staff at the ACLU and Tides Foundation, foiled when the gunman was stopped for a traffic violation. A volunteer Illinois League of Women Voters moderator received death threats after Beck claimed she would not allow recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a legislative forum.
Other specific progressive individuals or groups Beck is endangering include George Soros, Credo Mobile, Richard Trumka, Frances Fox Piven (a woman in her late 70’s), and Van Jones.
Does YOUR organization have the word “progressive” in its title or mission statement?
I believe those of us who proudly claim the progressive label should stand up and defend ourselves against the likes of Glenn Beck. Anyone who uses violent eliminationist rhetoric does not deserve access to the public airwaves in Iowa, no matter who they are attacking.
This is the letter I sent to our local right-wing talk radio station in reaction to the shootings in Tucson, Arizona:
3535 E. Kimberly Road
Davenport, IA 52807
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
I called you last week to discuss your decision to air Glenn Beck rather than Stephanie Miller. I heard that Stephanie Miller received more votes to replace Dr. Laura than any other host.
Last week I wanted to make the point that half of the people in your listening area come from the other side of the political spectrum. Stephanie Miller has a great show, and one that does very well in many media markets. I discovered her show during the brief period we had progressive radio in the Quad Cities. But then Clear Channel decided what we really needed was another Christian station, and we lost Stephanie and other talk show hosts that I enjoyed. I bought an iPod specifically to get the Stephanie Miller show. I love talk radio, but I don’t listen to any local stations anymore, because they don’t have any shows that interest me. I listen to the Stephanie Miller podcast every time I’m in my car (unless my 20 year old daughter makes me listen to her music).
But in light of what happened in Tucson on Saturday, I am more concerned about the unintended consequences that could happen even here if the airwaves are filled with the hateful, violence-inciting rhetoric of someone like Glenn Beck.
Since I don’t watch Fox News, normally I would not be that familiar with Beck. But my book club (mostly Republican women … and me) read his book Common Sense last year. (I must admit, I read the whole thing at Borders so I wouldn’t contribute to his cause.) That was where I discovered his disturbing anti-Progressive views.
Since I was instrumental in founding Progressive Action for the Common Good in 2005, I know something about progressives. Believe me, we are nothing like what Glenn Beck rails against. But it disturbed me that he would lie about progressives to his readers, many of whom no doubt believe everything he says.
The enclosed article gives you some idea about the kinds of things he tells his viewers and listeners about progressives like me:
He says progressives are
“slowly but surely robbing Americans of individual choices and liberties and quite honestly, robbing the bank as well.”
“The enemy to our Constitution is the progressive movement.”
“Progressives have been patient for decades, creeping their way into the system in the cover of darkness. And this is their opportunity. They’re going to deal a final death blow to the Constitution if they can.”
Beck claims progressives are responsible for the income tax, Federal Reserve, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and eugenics (leading to the Holocaust).
“Progressives realized victory required changing history. To defeat them, we have to correct that. Progressives know how powerful history is. When these truths get told and the lies get corrected, the game is going to be on. It’s pulling the mask off the monster.”
“…what does a fight mean to the uber left progressive? All bets are off. They will cheat. They will lie. They will steal. And they have, in the past, blown things up if it helps them win.”
As I am sure you are aware, we have unstable people in the Quad Cities. I read some of what the Tucson shooter wrote on YouTube. Parts of it sounded like things Glenn Beck would say (Beck sometimes sounds semi-deranged himself).
Some paranoid, anti-government person in the Quad Cities listening to Glenn Beck might just decide to do something about the evil Progressives destroying our country. Ironically, it has just become a whole lot easier for such a person living in Iowa to get and carry a gun.
As it happens, right now I am President of the Board of Progressive Action for the Common Good. We have public events all the time, sometimes about controversial issues like health care reform. I could be readily identified as a Progressive leader at such an event.
Will the next bullet go through my head?
Please do not put this man on the radio.
Alta L Price, MD
Price is a physician practicing Pathology in Davenport, Iowa. One of
the original Deaniacs, she stays involved with Democracy for America,
Iowa, and the Quad Cities. She advocates for quality, affordable health
care for all, primarily as a volunteer with Progressive Action for the
Common Good (Health Care Reform Issue Forum). E-Mail Alta Price
These are the six Glenn Beck carrying stations in Iowa. Call the one in your town and ask them to explain themselves.
Burlington KCPS 1150 (319) 754-6698
Sioux City KSCJ 1360 (712) 239-2100
Waterloo KXEL 1540 (319) 234-2200
Spencer KICD 1240 (712) 262-1240
Des Moines 98.3 WOW-fm (515) 331-9200