Reason Magazine editor Matt Welch begins a critique of Beck’s “The Puppet Master” series from last week with a sentence that captures the general approach of many other critics of the series: “I didn’t watch Glenn Beck’s three-part series on […] George Soros, but…” He goes on to clarify that he had read at least parts of the transcript, but that’s never a promising way to begin an evaluation of anything. The rest of his piece confirms that no, he definitely did not watch it and generally doesn’t know what he is talking about in evaluating it.
Welch doesn’t bother to address the main points of Beck’s argument, but he is confident he has caught Beck making embarrassing mistakes he can use to ruin Beck’s credibility. He whiffs by countering Beck’s evaluation of the intentions Soros has regarding American sovereignty and independence from international governance with a non-sequitur about the original meaning of Karl Popper’s term “open society” – as though that proves Soros’ Open Society Institute couldn’t possibly be used for anything else. But more amusing is Welch’s mocking this quote from Beck:
Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes with his Open Society fund. He helped to fund the Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, he also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us, America.
“Uh, what coup in Slovakia would that be? And no, cutting and pasting from the heavy breathers at DiscoverTheNetworks.org does not qualify as scientific here,” Welch scoffs, referring to the website belonging to David Horowitz. The source for this assertion regarding Soros’ efforts at regime change in Slovakia is almost certainly a quote from Soros himself, documented in The Shadow Party by David Horowitz and Richard Poe as:
“My foundations contributed to democratic regime change in Slovakia in 1998, Croatia in 1999, and Yugoslavia in 2000, mobilizing civil society to get rid of Vladimir Meciar, Franjo, Tudjman, and Slobodan Milosevic, respectively,” Soros boasts.
If Matt Welch prefers another source for this quote – one that isn’t a “heavy breather” like David Horowitz and his crew – he could get it from Matt Welch:
“My foundations contributed to democratic regime change in Slovakia in 1998, Croatia in 1999, and Yugoslavia in 2000, mobilizing civil society to get rid of Vladimir Meciar, Franko Tudjman, and Slobodan Milosevic, respectively,” he brags. Just before the book’s publication, he could have added Georgia and Eduard Shevardnadze to that list.
Either Welch forgot his own article “Temporary Doves” from the May 2004 issue of Reason Magazine, or he is throwing a puerile, semantic tantrum over Beck’s word usage. If his objection were the use of “coup” for non-violent regime change even though it was clear from the context, he wouldn’t have limited his objection to Slovakia, so it’s pretty clearly the former.
So you didn’t watch it, missed the point of it, and unwittingly mocked the veracity of your own facts. Nice work, Matt.