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Leftists at Bloomberg News Needs a History Lesson on Fascism and Socialism

Posted on September 6 2010 10:00 am

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In an untrammeled display of what one does when one is simultaneously devoid of knowledge and full of time, Albert Hunt, the executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News, has written an opinion piece comparing Glenn Beck to Depression-era agitator Father Charles Coughlin.

Glenn Beck, at his successful “Restoring America” rally in Washington, wrapped himself in the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. He fits much better with another religious-political figure, the late Charles E. Coughlin, the Catholic priest who led a populist-right crusade against President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.”

I will get to the accuracy of this claim in a moment. For now, let’s read this original (ahem) criticism of Beck from Hunt:

“Race is an omnipresent subject for Beck. He called Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the court, “a racist” who’s “not that bright.” Earlier this year, he said Obama hated white people.”

It’s funny hearing a leftist lament the omnipresence of race; it’s also disingenuous. And did you catch the whiny tone of that last sentence of the quote? “Mommy, Glenn Beck called the president a racist!”

I have no insight into President Obama’s racial views. But perhaps this man does.

Hunt closes his piece with the following:

“Beck has brilliantly parlayed his pitch to fame and fortune. More than the other right-wing talk show provocateurs, Beck’s devotees see him as a teacher. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican congressman from Utah, calls him a “great educator.” He’s likely to energize some of his following to help Republicans in the November congressional elections.

Yet the Coughlin parallel remains instructive. The priest was brought down when it became apparent his gospel was based less on faith and hope than on fear and prejudice. This also is why the Glenn Beck gospel won’t appeal to most Americans or endure politically.”

I’m sure it doesn’t appeal to Americans at all, since it’s not as though Beck’s show is actually popular.

Now I’d like to comment on the actual merit of the Beck-Coughlin comparison. I am confused as to why Mr. Hunt would draw this parallel, inasmuch as it effectively does two things, neither of which reflects well on the writer: First, it draws attention to the powerful vacuum that is Hunt’s historical knowledge, and, second, it shows the lengths to which one will go to feel important amid the absence of real ideas.

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