Stewart: Beck ‘lives in a cloistered world of paranoid delusion’

By David Edwards
Friday, June 4, 2010 11:27 EDT
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Analysis: How World Zionist Organization helped Israel win PR battle

Glenn Beck prides himself that there are secrets only he knows or has the raw guts to share with his audience.

“Turn on any media outlet other than this one,” Beck proudly announced on Wednesday. “They’re not going to show you this.”

The video Beck was presenting so defiantly was a brief clip of Israeli commandos dropping onto the deck of a ship that was attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza and and being attacked by crew members with improvised clubs.

As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald notes, the heavily-edited video released by the Israelis “was shown over and over on American television without question or challenge. Israeli officials and Israel-devoted commentators appeared all over television … to spout the Israeli version without opposition.”

Beck, however, wasn’t about to let the facts get in the way of an opportunity for self-promotion. “You’re hard-pressed to see it here in America from media outlets besides Fox,” he declared breathlessly. Adding a well-practiced note of perplexity to his voice, he went on insinuatingly, “Nobody seems willing to show that. Leaving the question, why?”

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart was more than ready to answer Beck’s question in Beck’s own terms. “The only reason they wouldn’t show it is bias by the lamestream media!!” he proclaimed. “It’s not even the lamestream media any more, it’s the shamestream media! … Only Glenn Beck and Fox had the balls to be fair to Israel on American television!”

Stewart then undermined his own mocking endorsement of Beck’s claim by showing the identical clip being run on MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, Headline News, CNBC, and even Univision.

“The only place you didn’t see it was Sesame Street,” Stewart remarked. “That all aired in the 24 hours before Glenn Beck called out the media for not airing the footage.”

“This could mean only one of two things,” concluded Stewart. “Mr. Beck lives in a cloistered world of paranoid delusion that is impervious to a priori evidence that contradicts his worldview. Or — and I believe this to be more likely — Glenn Beck has become so powerful that his wise words can now be acted upon retroactively.”

(More after video)

This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast June 2, 2010.

Guardian reveals how ‘Israeli PR machine won Gaza flotilla media battle’

The negative world reaction to what was immediately perceived an attack by armed Israeli commandos on a flotilla of peaceful activists bringing a shipload of humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza provided a grave threat to Israel’s public image. But according to the Guardian, it was a threat that the well-tooled Israeli propaganda machine had prepared in advance to deflect.

“Soon after the commandos landed on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship carrying more than 600 of the activists, the live satellite broadcasts from the vessel were cut,” the paper reports. “From that point on, the Israeli authorities seized almost complete control of how evidence of what was taking place could be made public. … What the world has been watching since then is either edited video shot by the Israelis or other video shot by activists, confiscated by the Israelis and subsequently edited and made available through Israeli sources.”

The Guardian cites a leaked set of talking points, issued by the World Zionist Organization and titled “Responding to the Consequences of the Episode,” which argues for the legality of Israel’s actions and places blame for any violence on the activists.

“Of course, the media were not responsible for the Israeli clampdown,” the Guardian acknowledges, “but there could certainly have been more attention drawn to the imbalance in the sources from which the media were obtaining their information. … And given the fact that virtually all the visual evidence is now in Israeli hands, it’s almost inconceivable that we will ever know precisely what happened. At this stage, it seems fanciful to believe that any Israeli-based investigation will make available all the raw footage Israel has in its possession.”

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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