Monday, October 5, 2009

Glenn Beck, International Law, and Hypocrisy

The last time I discussed Glenn Beck on this blog, we discussed Beck's general ignorance and contempt regarding basic legal history. Most astounding of Beck's claims was the claim that the notion that laws change over time was an idea that arose in the 1920s as a response to "Darwinian evolution."

After remarks like that one might think that Beck isn't a bad person but just incredibly ignorant. However, Ed Brayton has drawn attention to Beck's latest interaction with international law demonstrates his true hypocrisy.

Beck frequently use the "I'm just asking questions" gambit to insinuate hurtful and borderline libelous claims. In response, One enterprising individual started a satirical website "Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990?"Frankly, this seems to me to be over the line of reasonable civil discourse (even if it is amusing).

How has Beck responded to this website? Beck has petitioned World Intellectual Property Organization to remove control of the domain from the satirist. Beck's argument is that the domain creates confusion with his brand name and therefore is a violation of international conventions on trademarks. That claim is so profoundly stupid that I'm not going to bother addressing it.

The lawyers for the website responded by explaining in detail what was wrong with Beck's claim and noting that his appeal to WIPO seemed to be an attempted run-around of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. What makes Beck's behavior noteworthy is that, as one of the commentators to Brayton's blog observed, Beck has a history not just of complaining about transnationalism but of any intervention of international law into U.S. affairs. Indeed, Beck wrote in a March 30, 2009 column:

"Once we sign our rights over to international law, the Constitution is officially dead. When you say things like, 'We are not going to put the Constitution behind international law,' you say that in the international court, if you say that on the floor of the United Nations, you are a freak show."
In the same column Beck also wrote this gem:

"Let me tell you something. When you can't win with the people, you bump it up to the courts. When you can't win with the courts, you bump it up to the international level."
I'll let those comments speak for themselves.


Shimmy said...

Don't you think it's a little strange that Glenn Beck NEVER talks anymore about all those dogs (Pit Bulls) he tortured and killed?

Lautreamont said...

Beck is such a motherfucker

Joshua said...

I think you mean "Is Glenn Beck a motherfucker? I don't know. I'm just asking questions. The question is, do we have any evidence that Glenn Beck is not a motherfucker?"

CW said...

Leaving aside whether or not Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, it is clear that he is bound and determined to rape and murder the first amendment in 2009.

John said...

The website's lawyer has offered a stipulation asking whichever person is assigned the case to apply the US constitution (specifically the 1st amendment).

( stipulation

Metro said...

Beck's audience seems to have been declining, so he's been ramping up teh crazy.

There's the crying on cue (video here:, the appeal to New World Order conspiracy freaks, and the shameless nativist, racist drivel he usually spews.

Fortunately for his job, on FOX it's impossible to tell him from their regular lineup.

I notice, though, that in the WIPO suit, he has refused to answer the questions surrounding the 1990 murder. Is refusal to provide proof that he in fact did not rape and murder a young girl an admission of guilt, well no. But why has he not taken the chance to clear his name of the charge of murder?

I'm just sayin', is all.

Stacy S. said...

My husband and I were watching The Daily Show last night and the "moment of zen" was a snippet of the Katie Couric/Glenn Beck interview.

My husband looked at me and asked " Who's Glenn Beck?"

Isn't that wonderful? :-)

Joshua said...

Stacy, yes if only we all could have that attitude. I haven't seen the Daily Show episode. Was the Daily Show clip the part of the interview where Beck tries to defend his claim that Obama hates "white culture"?

Anonymous said...

Seeing that every comment thus far has been anti Beck, I thought I'd post a comment in his favor.

By way of introduction: I'm agnostic, and I think that Glenn Beck, along with other religionists (and dogmatic believers in many political ideologies, and followers of many political leaders, too) is less than deeply honest about what he can responsibly know and not know on such matters.

But while he does, as I see it, sometimes get overly suspicious and give his political opponents too much credit--in seeing grand and sweeping malevolent intent--there's no denying that, to the minds and sensibilities of many mainstream Americans, he has appropriately highlighted and protested some worrisome developments, policies, and appointments of the Obama era.

And, of course, Beck is far from the only suspicious one: Have we not heard the term "vast right-wing conspiracy" from the Clintons more than once? And have liberal bloggers considered such excess cause for excoriation?

Moreover, Beck simply was right about certain non-political predictions, too. The stock market collapse and the rise of gold prices, to name two instances.

In short, yes he gets overly dramatic at times, and he's surely not correct in everything he passionately argues for or predicts or warns about, but my goodness, one would think that intelligent people could see him in terms more complex and fair than a one-dimensional bogey man.


Shalmo said...

"Most astounding of Beck's claims was the claim that the notion that laws change over time was an idea that arose in the 1920s as a response to "Darwinian evolution.""


Never trust a mormon tv host!

Stacy S. said...

Here is the "moment of zen" that I was referring to ...

Stacy S. said...

Here is the question about "white culture" ...

Joshua said...

Stacy, thank you.

Anonymous, that there may be hypocrisy on the left does not in any way make Beck's actions more excusable. (Moreover, the use of a single pretty silly phrase is quite distinct from the repeated remarks that Beck has made that border on racial incitement)

As for gold and the stock market, considering that Beck seems to think his job consists in fear mongering every which way, the fact that he got two specific predictions correct says about as much positively as one can say that some of Jeane Dixon's predictions turned out correct.

Shalmo, I fail to see what Beck's Mormonism has to do with anything and see no inherent reason why one should trust a Mormon as opposed to someone of any other religious viewpoint.

Lautreamont said...


I suggest you acquaint yourself with the way in which both right and left wing politicians, business leaders, and even the most mildly intelligent pundits view Beck, which is not as a "Bogey Man" but as a lunatic whose fringe ravings not only endanger any constructive thinking on the subjects he elucidates but endangers the legitimacy and safety of the current American regime. A regime, might I add, that is vastly better than any we have seen since the 90s. Even Beck himself said you would have to be "crazy" to take what he says seriously. Apparently, even Beck thinks you are wrong.

Indeed, Anonymous, the more intelligent a person is the more they see Beck not as a Boogey man but as an immoral, racist, anti-american, vitriolic, factually incorrect,and frightening unbalanced piece of shit.
Thinking any of Beck's comments are valuable is virtually a litmus test to see how stupid a person is.

If I were saying things not only as moronic but utterly off-base as you I would also make my blogger name anonymous.

Lautreamont said...


I agree with you implicitly and you are right about Shalmo's comment on Beck's Mormonism. However, to Shalmo's credit Mormonism is, by far, the most insane, illegitimate, and utterly fantastic of the major world religions. The fact that anyone could believe all native Americans are cursed jews and that Jesus ate corn in the midwest while herding spiritual offspring from another planet is frankly beyond me. Yet, in the end, Josh was right--Beck's lunacy is not a product of his religion. In fact, next to Beck, Mormonism seems pretty logical.