Jul
26
2011

For Beck, Norway Shooter Wasn't Right-Wing–Though His Victims Were 'Hitler Youth'

Glenn Beck (7/25/11, via Mediaite, 7/25/11) explains on his radio show why the right-wing Norway terror suspect is what we call left-wing here in America:

This was one of the episodes where I showed the railroad tracks that were different than America. In America, the left railroad track is gigantic government–it could be Communist or Fascist, it doesn't matter, it's giant government. The other side of the track is anarchy or very, very small government. So that's the left and right here in America. The Left and Right in Europe, because, once they got rid of the kings, they didn't get "We the People," they had to replace it with another strong government. And that's where Fascism and Communism came from. That's your left and right. Fascism on the right; Nazis. And Communism on the left. And there are variations on both of those theories, Fascism and Communism, left and right. This guy, the shooter, is from the right-wing, different than our right-wing. It is still big government.

Just to give an example of how Anders Behring Breivik's politics are not completely different from right-wing politics in the United States, in the same radio broadcast, Beck shared his feelings about the victims of the Norwegian shooting spree:

As the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. Who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing.

So the kids who were massacred in Norway were kind of like Hitler Youth. Which is to say they were kind of going to grow up, take over the world, impose a totalitarian dictatorship and commit genocide. What's the rational thing to do with people like that, if no one else is going to stop them?

This is a fairly standard argument for Beck, with the steps one should take to stop the Nazi-like menace usually left unspecified. For example, he repeatedly portrayed the Tides Foundation, a fairly obscure funding group, as the secret organization "behind it all…involved in the nasty of the nastiest" (9/29/09). On his July 13, 2010 show, he presented Tides as being behind a plot to "kill white babies"–suggesting that it might soon be too late to stop it.

And a few days later, on July 17, Glenn Beck fan Byron Williams set out with his arsenal to try to wipe out the Tides Foundation staff, much as Breivik went to exterminate the "Hitler Youth" summer campers. Unlike Breivik, Williams didn't make it to his target; he was arrested after a shoot-out with police instead.

No doubt Williams, in Beck's mind, isn't a real right-winger either.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.