“We know who this Saudi national is. We know who this man is and, listen to me carefully, we know he is a very bad, bad, bad man.”
- Glenn Beck, via The Blaze, May, 2013
Well, well, there’s a big surprise.
The self-appointed spokesman for libertarian personal responsibility fails to take responsibility for his own thoroughly debunked bullshit and the massive damage he did to another human being.
Then he tries to hide behind the protection of the government he despises.
Ain’t that just typical?
And, no, I did not in point of fact raise a surprised eyebrow at the news.
That’s exactly what I expect.
These people, they complain piteously about the sad state of journalistic integrity while spinning fantastic conspiracy theories solely in order to justify their own bitter insanity and their blatant bigotry and their yellow-eyed hate.
They put responsibility for their own misery and bile on everybody but themselves.
They wave Atlas Shrugged as if it were Holy Writ instead of a poorly written long out-of-date science fiction novel penned by a deluded hack.
They claim the moral high ground and decry “takers” and “the lazy” and the “immoral” and the “irresponsible.”
But – but – when shown beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are wrong, utterly wrong, wrong in every way it is possible to be wrong, they shrug off any responsibility and never admit error.
Then without fail and with 100% predictability they blame others for their own mistakes and their own false statements.
And then they shamelessly move right on to the next conspiracy.
And nobody is a better example of this staggering hypocrisy than Tea Party poster child Glenn Beck.
In the smoldering aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, investigators briefly looked at Saudi national Abdul Rahman al Harbi, who was near the finish line when the bombs went off.
Al Harbi was injured in the attack. His wounds were relatively minor and he was immediately available for questioning. Police spent nine hours interviewing Al Harbi in his hospital bed. He cooperated fully and federal agents quickly dismissed him as a suspect in the terrorist attack.
Every single piece of evidence since that moment bears out Al Harbi's innocence.
Every single piece of evidence.
Every single piece.
There is no question whatsoever that Abdul Rahman al Harbi is innocent of any involvement in the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Like any of a hundred thousand others that day, al Harbi was just another face in the crowd. He was just another bystander come to enjoy the day and who was caught up in the middle of a heinous crime.
But Glenn Beck didn't see it that way.
Glenn Beck, without access to any actual evidence of any kind, looked upon al Harbi’s olive skin and decided that the man must be a terrorist.
Beck declared that al Harbi was not only involved, but that he was the mastermind of the entire thing. A genuine Al Qaida terrorist and the guy who bankrolled the bombing.
Beck spun one conspiracy theory after another, each more sibilant and desperate than the last.
Beck used all the resources of his vast media empire to wage a personal assault against al Harbi.
Beck designated himself a qualified investigator with access to information only he could know. He became judge, jury, and America’s self-appointed executioner. And he sent his legion of mindless haters after al Harbi en masse.
Which is ironic, given Glenn Beck’s relentless and teary-eyed love for the US Constitution – you know, the document which forms the foundation of American law and in which is enshrined the ideal of justice and liberty and innocence until proven guilty. I’m not sure how a lynching fits into Glenn Beck’s interpretation of America, but then I’m not insane.
And then, because in Glenn Beck’s world all roads always and inevitably lead to Obama, Beck declared that the President had conspired to bomb Boston. Beck knitted together bits and pieces, layering fevered conspiracy on top of wild-eyed hysteria like a mental patient weaving random delusions into his nightmare world. Beck became so caught up in his own insanity that he issued an ultimatum to Obama: admit your complicity or I’ll expose you on my show.
Beck gave Obama three days.
Unsurprisingly, in the midst of national crisis, the president didn’t so much as acknowledge Glenn Beck even existed.
Beck then spun out his infamous “212 3B” theory, telling anyone who would listen how the President of the United States was engaged in a massive cover-up. Beck claimed Obama had conspired with the Saudis to blow up Boston because something something Muslims ook okk Bigfoot blert blert New World Order buy gold!
Beck even claimed that Al Harbi had met with President Obama in the Oval Office.
And then came the clincher, Beck claimed he had irrefutable “evidence” Al Harbi was about to be deported under US Code section 212 3B for “terrorist activities.”
Since Obama hadn’t responded, Beck gleefully issued a challenge to the rest of America: Prove me wrong. Go on. You’ll just just embarrass yourselves!
Beck was in his element. His idiot audience was blood maddened and howling for a good witch burning. The guy Beck accused was a nobody, a foreigner with a funny sounding name who couldn’t fight back and his guilt was a foregone conclusion. There were plenty of dead and horribly maimed Americans, all Beck had to do was hate on Obama and Muslims and wave the flag with a tear in his eye and the money poured in. Beck gorged on it, like a feral hog nose deep in rancid slop, oblivious to the lives he was destroying in the process, and utterly oblivious to the terror he himself inflicted on the innocent.
Unfortunately for Glenn Beck, somebody took his challenge.
That somebody was retired Immigration and Naturalization Service Special Agent Bob Trent, who in a few short minutes on Beck’s show completely dismantled Beck’s conspiracy theory. Live on the air, Trent effortlessly demonstrated that Beck’s entire theory was based solely on Beck’s ignorant misunderstanding of the actual law.
Beck was wrong.
Wrong in every way it is possible to be wrong.
Al Harbi was, is, no terrorist. He was not “about to be deported.” He was just a student, studying in America.
And, as I mentioned above, every single piece of evidence gathered in the Boston Marathon Bombing has supported Al Harbi’s innocence.
Glenn Beck’s personal crusade fell apart the night he interviewed Special Agent Trent.
And, true to form, he stopped talking about it.
He never apologized.
He never admitted that he was wrong.
He never admitted he’d been made a fool of.
He just moved on to other conspiracies and other victims and the depth of this man’s hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. Beck claims to own Iva Toguri’s microphone, the one she used as Tokyo Rose during WWII. Beck called Toguri a hero and even wrote a book about her, decrying post WWII media personalities who painted Toguri as a terrorist and as an enemy of America and who would have had her executed if they could have pulled it off. I myself wrote about Beck’s obsession with Toguri in detail, and as I said then, while Toguri was certainly a tragic figure, calling her a “hero” might be stretching the definition of that word to the breaking point. That said, and whatever your opinion of Tokyo Rose, Beck is willing to hoist Iva Toguri up onto the plinth of American heroes while himself waged a personal campaign in the media to crucify an innocent man.
Abdul Rahman al Harbi’s life was destroyed by Glenn Beck.
He was wounded when the bombs went off, but the injuries inflicted on his life by the murderous Tsarnaev brothers are nothing compared to the damage done by Glenn Beck’s lunatic greed.
Al Harbi filed suit against Glenn Beck, The Blaze, Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere Radio Networks for defamation and slander.
Instead of owning up to his mistake, Beck attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed.
True to form, the man who touts “personal responsibility,” who pilloried media personalities for waging a campaign of defamation against Iva Toguri, that man argued even though every word he’d ever said about Al Harbi was a proven falsehood before he said it, Al Harbi was a “public figure” and therefore Beck should be able to say whatever he liked without consequence. Never mind the fact that Beck himself was the one personally responsible for making Al Harbi a public figure in the first place.
The judge didn’t buy it.
Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris ruled the suit brought by Abdul Rahman al Harbi could go forward.
Defamation and slander are damned hard cases to win, but if anybody has a chance it’s Al Harbi.
I wish him the best of luck.
And we know Beck is going to claim a "Vast Left Wing Conspiracy" (funded by George Soros and coordinated by Hillary Clinton) is trying to silence him via this. Then he'll plead poverty if found guilty, and fined for damages...ReplyDelete
Yay!!!!! I wonder how many tears Mr. Beck will shed over this "terrible injustice"?ReplyDelete
As many tears as his jar of Vicks helps him produce.Delete
I hope he wins, of course Beck will say Obama fixed it :) Even if the guy had been a public figure, libel and slander laws still come into play.ReplyDelete
Following you on Facebook, want to be a friend but you are too popular :)
I need to find out if there's a legal fund to help Al Harbi...ReplyDelete
He won't need one - his lawyers will work on contingency - take a third or so of any settlement or awarded penalties.Delete
Given that it's Glenn Beck we're talking about, they'll definitely work on contingency, notoriety plus potential deep pockets. However, given the wholesale dumping of his show by advertisers, one wonders how deep the pockets currently are...Delete
YES! I know it will be difficult but I really hope Beck gets a good comeuppance for all his lies and treachery.ReplyDelete
Justice anywhere would be nice right now.ReplyDelete
Excellent piece (as usual).
Bravo! And the best of luck to Al Harbi!ReplyDelete
Stop it Jim, you're gonna make a grown man cry...oh, wait...he does that himself by rubbing Vicks under his eyes, lol.ReplyDelete
Carry on ;)
I love reading your blog and your posts on Facebook. I follow you because you apparently have enough friends.ReplyDelete
I hate what your neighbor tried to do to your cat. That was just mean.
Don't feel badly, I, too, am among those who can only read, follow and cheer Jim on silently on Facebook.Delete
It's all fine.
(Not about the cat! That is not fine.)Delete
I sincerely hope Abdul Rahman al Harbi wins and gets the maximum possible damages.ReplyDelete
Let's not forget his often stated "they watched them die" account of Benghazi and the folks in the Situation Room. I never heard him apologize for that bunch of rabid, rancid bullshit.ReplyDelete
Have you considered doing such an article about Nancy Grace?ReplyDelete
I'll bring the popcorn!Delete
gods, but I can't stand that wench.Delete
I'll bring the brownies. No nuts.Delete
brownies are not brownies without nuts, I thinkDelete
I want nuts.Delete
Sans nuts is for Jim's sake. If I made them just for me, they'd have walnuts and chocolate chips.Delete
White chocolate chunk/macadamia nut brownies. I'll be in the kitchen if you need me.Delete
In NG's (and Beck's) case, nuts are redundant.Delete
Add my voice to those cheering for al Harbi winning his suit against Beck and I hope the courts award his significant financial damages as well. I also hope Beck is compelled to show the whole fount of information he drew from in slandering and libeling Mr. al Harbi.ReplyDelete
You want Glen Beck to show us his ass? That's where he pulled all his "facts" from. You're welcome to look but I'll pass, thanks. ;-)Delete
Hell, Glenn Beck shows his ass every time he opens his mouth.Delete
The list of precedent for non-public-figure individuals winning libel lawsuits against "news" outlets that blatantly ran in front of the facts is pretty much stacked against Beck. See: Richard Jewell. The only real problem is that it can take ten years or more to actually make it to the end of a trial, because media pundits like Beck hire the sleaziest of the sleaziest to defend them, who use every trick in the book to delay judgement day.ReplyDelete
Seems he may have been going for the "temporary mental illness" defence to escape having to pay al Harbi.ReplyDelete
"The symptoms Beck experienced, which he had never discussed in public before, stretched back over five years to his days at Fox News, he said. He described having vocal cord paralysis, eyesight problems, shaking hands, trouble sleeping and even seizures."
Will Beck's hatred and vile speech end once our brown-skinned President with the funny name retires on Jan 20, 2017?ReplyDelete
The best of luck to Mr. al Harbi. Hoping Mr al Harbi's pockets are as deep as Becks and the media conglomerate behind him.
It's unlikely to stop if the femi-nazi wins the next race.Delete
I'm not sure how deep Beck's pockets actually are these days. His employers will probably dump him if he looks like too much of a liabiity.ReplyDelete
I'm glad someone is finally holding at least one tier of the Right Wing Scream Machine accountable. Alex Jones is another fear mongering putz and between the two dead Las Vegas cops and the LAX shooter, a trail of blood leads back to Jones.ReplyDelete
Urgh! Alex Jones, the only person who could possibly make me sympathise with Piers Morgan...Delete
Right Wing Scream Machine....now THAT'S a band name!Delete
Father Coughlin Nation.ReplyDelete
milegrinder: While the infamous Fr. Coughlin applies in some respects, I would also refer you to the late Westbrook Pegler, whom Beck approaches even more in this case.Delete
(Pegler was the 1940s version of Beck, on radio and in print, a furious right-winger who spread lies far and wide and cost many good men their livelihoods - and who was finally brought to account by a fellow journalist, Quentin Reynolds, whom Pegler had smeared as a Communist after the war. The point that won the case was Reynolds' lawyer reading out - without attribution - Pegler's own writings pre- and during WWII, which Pegler immediately labeled as "Communist.")
This is how Fox and most all the right wing press works. Pound on a false story that fits your world view until it just looks silly to continue, then move along without apology or acknowledgement of any sort. The false story will live on long after you quit mentioning it.ReplyDelete
I've long hoped one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims' parents would sue Alex Jones or Ben Swann or FAU professor James Tracy or one of the other truthers. Murder victims' parents never deserve the kind of treatment they get, having their grief mocked, being accused of being "crisis actors," etc.ReplyDelete
Beck can always claim the insanity defence. And he would certainly 'win'.ReplyDelete
psst, Jim...en masse. Italics optional, as yet another phrase has been engulfed by the linguistic amoeba that is English. Splendid post! May Mr. Alharbi win!ReplyDelete
It brings to mind Hitlers methods. The bigger the lie. Sad thing about it, it works. There are so many out there, with power, that have that same mentality. I do not need to name names, we all know who they are. Jim, you are a flicker of hope. Keep it up.ReplyDelete
When there is no news to report or the news there is to report is not to your liking, well then make crap up. Lie big and often, do not vet anything just get info out there 1st (who cares if it is entirely the wrong info?) and when it is shown to be completely wrong then make up some new crap. That is "News" outlets in the 21st century.ReplyDelete
Hoping part of the deal is buckets of Beck's money to be donated to building a mosque next door to Beck - and a year's worth of TV, radio & print ads where Beck has to admit he lied and did so with malice.ReplyDelete
As for the current screaming by the crazies -- what burns me so badly -- that even Jon Stewart hasn't addressed (much less the rest of the gerbils on network news) - why are the so-called commentators allowed to suggest the victims were criminals and therefore deserved killing. Stewart started on that path but didn't follow through. Neither men were convicted of a crime - perhaps there was a reason to question them in the NY case but later heard that Michael Brown didn't steal anything -- but Fox continually labels them as criminals. When did police get to be judge and jury over anything much less potential low-level, non-impact crimes - we aren't talking murder or even assault - am I missing something here? I've heard calls for the arrest of Brown's step-father because he lashed out at the police and hurt their feelings...I thought these nazi-wanna-be's believed in free speech? Marlene
Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed...ReplyDelete
Beck's symptoms were supposed to be the result of 'adrenal fatigue', a maladyReplyDelete
unknown to medical science. An alternative holistic wellness practitioner helped
him get better, & his fans rejoiced. However, 'adrenal fatigue' is not grounds to
have the suits against him dismissed.
"while spinning fantastic conspiracy theories solely in order to justify their own bitter insanity and their blatant bigotry and their yellow-eyed hate. "ReplyDelete
I think we should be fair about this. Because that's just not true. All the evidence suggests that the true reason guys like Beck spin their conspiracy theories is solely in order to make money.
Yes, but they do that by taking advantage of the insanity, bigotry, and hate of their listeners.Delete
Jim, I wish I could be surprised. I'm not. Beck and his bestial ilk hide behind their microphones, immune to all. They say whatever they want, attacking the innocent and those not able to fight back. They’re not even bullies who have to physically confront their victims. No, Beck and Hannity, Savage and Coulter, and the rest are pure cowards, embarrassments to America. They take advantage of our cherished rights, while shitting on them at the same time.ReplyDelete
I take small comfort in remembering how Sean Hannity fled Ron Paul supporters during the 2008 election. The abject fear on his face will stay with me forever (he probably shit his pants). I just wish the crowd had caught him. Pussy.
Chris in South Jersey
The FCC is to these shock jocks and conspiracy mongers like the FDA is to Big Pharma, or the BLM is to Cliven Bundy and the Utah canyonland 4-wheelers. Toothless.Delete
Things that are hard...ReplyDelete
Glenn Beck having to prove something he said was true in a court of law.
Playing !st base...
Polecat: You forgot "comedy".Delete
Oh no, wait, you didn't. It's right there, third on the list.
Jim, you always file a motion to dismiss early in a lawsuit. Always. And you always move to dismiss at the end of the other side's presentation of the evidence, and (if you're still around) at the end of the presentation of all the evidence, and if that doesn't work and you haven't already settled and the jury finds against you, you always move to overturn the verdict. And then when that doesn't work (because that almost never works), you appeal the hell out of it.ReplyDelete
Has nothing at all to do with anything, it's just strategy, tactics, the way the game is played. You may have no basis whatsoever for seriously arguing with a straight face that the plaintiff's case has no merit, but you toss the motion up there anyway because (1) hey, who knows, sometimes it works (much to your surprise) and (2) because it's professional malpractice if you don't.
The way the media covers the courts, all this stuff ends up being way overblown. Civil procedure can be tough going even for law students. (I still get a chuckle from a time, and this was almost twenty years ago, a fellow student was asked by Professor Broun to summarize a complicated point of Civ Pro in a case we'd read, and the best he could manage was, "And then stuff happened." Guess you had to be there.) It's as if a newspaper covering a chess match--pretend with me that newspapers cover chess matches--ran a 20-point bold type above-the-fold headline, "KASPAROV ADVANCES PAWN ON FIRST MOVE!" and below that in slightly-smaller type, "KARPOV RESPONDS WITH OWN PAWN ADVANCE! REFEREE ALLOWS GAME TO CONTINUE TO THIRD MOVE!" See what I'm saying there? It's like, I dunno, getting all excited about the coin flip in a football game.
Glenn Beck is a douchetard, don't get me wrong. And it sounds like the judge was right to set the case for trial and that Beck has a good chance of losing on the merits. But if his lawyer didn't file a motion to dismiss at this stage in the proceedings, I'd assume his attorney was on crack or something.
Don't try to confuse the issue with your smooth lawyer talk, Eric. I'm on a roll here.Delete
I notice a ton of shouting for "prosecution" of late when people of color say something while under severe emotional duress (like the parents of that boy killed in Ferguson, Mo.). They claim that evil will be done on the release of such violent language. But nobody ever seems to open their yaps to scream about Glenn Beck and his ilk shooting off their mouths with no more relation to truth than the average pile of dog shit has to peanut butter.ReplyDelete
It is, as too often, apparently OK if you are a Republican.
"But – but – when shown beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are wrong, utterly wrong, wrong in every way it is possible to be wrong, they shrug off any responsibility and never admit error." I'm glad you're never like that.ReplyDelete
I love a good conspiracy theory myself sometimes (like the one involving weird pregnancy dates in 2007 in the Palin family...whodunit?).ReplyDelete
So, do you think that Glenn Beck is talking up the Eric Garner case in order to distract sane folks from zeroing in on his lying unrepentant hypocrisy in the al Harbi case?
It's enough to curl your lip in a cynical sneer to see all the conservative hate-mongers climb on the bandwagon, pretending they want justice for Eric Garner. There've been too many other deaths of innocent men and children gone unnoticed by these hypocrites.
Reads sorta like a novel.Delete
A teacher explained to her class that the four basic elements of successful fiction were religion, royalty, sex and mystery. Then she assigned her class to write their first novel. After about five minutes little Tommy walked up to the teacher's desk and said, "I'm done."
"In five minutes?" asked the teacher. "Are you sure you included the four basic elements, religion, royalty, sex, and mystery?"
"Yes, I did," said the boy.
"Well then, read it to the class."
Tommy complied. "Holy Moses!" said the princess. "Pregnant again! I wonder who done it."
Perhaps Beck was too busy with the construction of his libertarian utopia to do due diligence to the research required for the Boston Marathon story:Delete
The guy's a fraud in every sense of the word.
I wrote about Glenn's Gulch myself here on Stonekettle Station.Delete
Our military ruined the lives of entire countries full of muslims. Hundreds of thousands dead. Millions displaced. No water, electricity, security or education. Where is their apology? Where is their justice? What makes this one special. Beck is the least of Muslim's worries.ReplyDelete
Please oh please can we just this once have justice rain down and wash us clean of this horrible man. Beck getting his cumuppance would be a thing of beauty....and a joy forever.ReplyDelete