Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 24, 2010

FROM CHAIN-EMAILS TO BECK TO CONGRESS.... About a year ago, a right-wing chain-email started making the rounds, about an alleged nefarious scheme. As the story went, President Obama loaned $2 billion to a Brazilian oil company to drill for oil in Brazilian waters, to benefit China. Worse, the tale continued, George Soros was involved in some way, as an investor in the project.

The whole thing was debunked last year by, among others, FactCheck.org. In reality, it seems the Brazilian oil company, PetroBras, received a loan from the independent Export-Import Bank, approved by appointees of the Bush/Cheney administration. Soros is part of the project, but his investment came in 2008 -- months before the Export-Import Bank agreed to make the loan.

The Export-Import Bank agreed to the loan, by the way, in large part because PetroBras will use U.S.-made oilfield equipment and services on the project.

With this reality in mind, here was Glenn Beck's message to his misguided audience on Monday:

"Then Obama suspends the deepwater drilling at 1,500 meters. He says, 'He-ey, that's dangerous. 1,500 meters, that's crazy!' PetroBras is drilling at 2,777 meters. Obama knows it and loans $2 billion to? PetroBras. Last stop? PetroBras shareholders get rich. Oh my gosh, we're back at the beginning! Shareholder, PetroBras, getting rich. You getting screwed."

Beck added that the loan came "just days" after Soros strengthened his investment. None of this is true. The deranged media personality is just recycling nonsense from an old chain-email.

And yet, here's Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) the day after Beck's program:

"The thing that really is funny about this is we just sent $2 billion to Brazil so they could do offshore drilling.... We've got the energy here in the United States to solve these problems. We don't need to be sending Mr. Soros money in Brazil so he can make more money by doing offshore drilling with our taxpayers' money."

The problem here is not just that a House Republican is confused -- that's a daily occurrence -- but that GOP lawmakers believe they're getting actual, reliable information from Glenn Beck's program.

It's one thing to tolerate madness for entertainment's sake. It's even understandable for Republicans to cheer Beck on to keep the party base riled up. But actual members of Congress should know better than to rely on the self-described rodeo clown as a source of legitimate news, worthy of officials' interest.

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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Comments

Well, I agree. But nonsense about oil drilling conspiracies joins nonsense about economics, nonsense about political theory (libruls are fascists!), nonsense about religion, nonsense about science, nonsense about the Middle East, nonsense about Obama...

Posted by: MattF on June 24, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Congress proposes, but Beck disposes

With apologies to Thomas a Kepis's Of the Imitation of Christ:

For the resolutions of the just depend rather on the grace of Beck than on their own wisdom; and in Him they always put their trust, whatever they take in hand.
For Congress proposes, but Beck disposes; neither is the way of man in his own hands.

Posted by: koreyel on June 24, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

and where is the congress critter standing up and calling burton a liar? maybe if we had more of that kind of confrontation some of this crap would go away.

Posted by: just bill on June 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Koreyel, send that to Beck in an email. He will take it as divine validation and probably use it on the air.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on June 24, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Burton better watch his ass, or the Tri-Lateral Commission will have him disappeared. They can do that to an insignificant Congressman from some backwater district in Indiana.
They don't DARE touch Beck because he's on TV and his absence would be noticed.

Seriously, what's in the water in DC?
I mean, listening to Rush is bad enough, but Beck's like a bad acid trip compared to the Round Mound of Retardation's meth-fueled high.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on June 24, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

George Soros, the Emmanuel Goldstein of the wingnuts.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 24, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

These astonishing chain emails, recycled for YEARS, seem to have become the basis of GOP talking points.

Posted by: Moe on June 24, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh my gosh, we're back at the beginning! Shareholder, PetroBras, getting rich. You getting screwed."

Glenn then went on about how the US dollar is in the tank, and that people should start buying as much gold from Goldline as possible. Looking out for his viewers, you know.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats need their own counterinsurgency strategy for dealing with these right-wing nuts. The Democrats' current strategy of plugging their ears and yelling, "Thank you, sir, may I have another?" isn't working particularly well. The right wingers are poised for a major victory in November, despite being certifiably insane. Well done, Democrat strategists (oxymoron).

Posted by: ameshall on June 24, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

The whole thing was debunked last year by...

...everyone with two or more brain cells.

Posted by: doubtful on June 24, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

It is just not newsworthy when Congressmen misinform the public to get votes. Someday it might be. But it would be so uncollegial for TV liberals to point that out. And uncollegial for one Congressman to challenge another for something they said on the floor.

Sometimes I think too many liberals went to college, which is why there is still difficulty getting the high hair part of the party to stand up and not be mocked openly. What exactly did they learn in college - that being nice is the same as being fair?

Posted by: anomimouse on June 24, 2010 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Something is missing here:

FROM CHAIN-EMAILS TO BECK TO CONGRESS.... About a year ago, a right-wing chain-email started making the rounds, about an alleged nefarious scheme. As the story went, President Obama loaned $2 billion to a Brazilian oil company to drill for oil in Brazilian waters, to benefit China. Worse, the tale continued, George Soros was involved in some way, as an investor in the project.

Why isn't any proof offered by, or required of the purveyors of these fairy tales.
Stop debunking, demand proof instead.

We gotta stop scraping right wing shoe-shit all day and instead somehow start throwing some shit of our own.

Posted by: cwolf on June 24, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

George Soros, the Emmanuel Goldstein of the winguts.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 24, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I assume you mean Republicans when referring to wingnuts.

Also, you would think Republicans would advocate George Soros's American Entrepreneurship. Not this Hippie Communist stuff that Beck is whining about because someone got rich off the free market by capitalizing on opportunity. Why does Beck hate America and her dream (of one man being obscenely rich)? Why do Republicans hate private enterprise so? I can't believe conservatives want to spread George Soro's wealth.

Posted by: Mick on June 24, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Burton is every bit as batty as Beck, and has been for years. Remember his backyard investigation of Vince Foster's death.

Posted by: JMG on June 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The entire fox universe of "facts" is made up of the same nonsense. Watch Hannity, Beck, to some degree, less Billo, it is a wholly fabricated universe, complete wtih pictures of Bill and Hillary killing Vince Foster, etc. Literally, none of it has any relation to reality. It really is astounding.

Posted by: Scott F. on June 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

When Beck is allowed to pose as a journalist he besmirches the entire profession-including you Steve. Journalism is a discredited profession but there is still very little pushback from journalists at how their profession has been demeaned.
I'm also getting tired of reading about nothing but the other side as idiots-if they're so dumb how come they're winning?-in the sense that Republicans are projected to pick up seats in the House and Senate in the next election cycle. If you like gridlock now, expect more of the same when more Republicans are elected.

Posted by: max on June 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Is it not illegal for Beck to tell lies like that.
Liable or sedition or something. There should be some kind of consequence for this stuff.

Posted by: csullivan on June 24, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Then Obama suspends the deepwater drilling at 1,500 meters. He says, 'He-ey, that's dangerous. 1,500 meters, that's crazy!' PetroBras is drilling at 2,777 meters. Obama knows it and loans $2 billion to? PetroBras. Last stop? PetroBras shareholders get rich. Oh my gosh, we're back at the beginning! Shareholder, PetroBras, getting rich. You getting screwed." -Beck

The lemmings eat this stuff up.

Posted by: Oh my on June 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

These astonishing chain emails, recycled for YEARS, seem to have become the basis of GOP talking points.

Yes. It sound to me that this one is making the rounds again.

Posted by: smiley on June 24, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

@ Posted by: smiley on June 24, 2010 at 1:56 PM

These astonishing chain emails, recycled for YEARS, seem to have become the basis of GOP talking points.
Yes. It sound to me that this one is making the rounds again.

I wonder how these nutzos would react to a recycled Nigerian email scam but,
with the addition of a logo featuring a cross dripping with blood ??

Posted by: cwolf on June 24, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I 100% guarantee that this will be the subject of a lengthy investigation next year if the Repubs take back the House--and will subsequently form the basis of articles of impeachment.
Patently absurd? Yes, but no more so than investigating the "murder" of Vince Foster by firing a gun at a watermelon.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on June 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

"...assume you mean Republicans when referring to wingnuts."

Is there a difference?

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 24, 2010 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

'Debunked' - is this even a word? What crap. We all know 'facts' have an anti-Republican/anti-Christian bias, just like the libural media does. Saint Limbaugh and Princess Palin both said so on the magic talking box.

Posted by: AC on June 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

But actual members of Congress should know better than to rely on the self-described rodeo clown as a source of legitimate news, worthy of officials' interest.

You would think so, but then again, look who we're talking about here: Dan Burton is a world-class moron and one of the most easily manipulated fools in Congress, and that is saying quite a lot. Still, the larger point is spot-on: that a sitting Congressman is actually getting his "facts" from a thoroughly ridiculous, low-rent, rightwing entertainer is appalling.

'Debunked' - is this even a word?
Posted by: AC on June 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Providing this comment isn't snark, "debunked" is indeed a word AC. It's in this big, thick book called a "dictionary."

Posted by: electrolite on June 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

"...Dan Burton is a world-class fool and one of the most easily manipulated fools in Congress..." electrolite @ 5:35 PM.

And the rest of the world's supply of easily manipulated fools are right here in Burton's district - they're the ones who vote for him every other November...

Posted by: Doug on June 24, 2010 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Your last lines betray your confusion. There are no actual republican members of congress.

Posted by: rbe on June 25, 2010 at 4:18 AM | PERMALINK

Is it not illegal for Beck to tell lies like that.

No. It isn't/


Liable or sedition or something. There should be some kind of consequence for this stuff.

Jesus Christ. Listen to yourself! WTF is your problem? It's bad enough that we have idiot conservatives running around screaming "sedition" everytime someone tells a "lie" they don't like, we don't need to add more people to the mix.

Posted by: libarbarian on June 25, 2010 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Providing this comment isn't snark . . . .
Posted by: electrolite on June 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM

What could have possibly made you suspect it was anything **other** than snark?

Seriously, you should never play poker for money. Never. :)

Posted by: AC on June 25, 2010 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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