Beck's Crash Course: Controlling the Message

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," September 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DAN PFEIFFER, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Fox is not a — is not a traditional news organization.

Our relationship with Fox is that we won't — we don't feel an obligation to treat them like we would treat a CNN or an ABC.

ANITA DUNN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control. We controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Part of what I want to do is to expand the diversity of voices in media.

MARK LLOYD, FCC DIVERSITY 'CZAR': What we're really saying is that the Fairness Doctrine is not enough — put some hard structural rules in place that are going to result in fairness.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Is it a stretch to say that freedom of speech is under attack in the United States of America?



JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: Hello, America, and welcome to "The Glenn Beck Program." I'm Judge Andrew Napolitano. Day four of our crash course of Glenn Beck 101: It's a back to school kind of week here.

Glenn has covered a vast amount of material on this program this past year and we're going to try to help you get caught up on it if you don't get the chance to watch the program every night.

Tonight's crash course is about controlling the message — the progressive agenda to control the media, control opposition and abolish free speech. This government hates and fears free speech and wants to shut it down.

One memorable example, of course, was the administration's war on Fox News last year. You certainly could never forget this, right?


DAVID AXELROD, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: It's really not news. Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way.

RAHM EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The president looks at it and we look at it is: it's not a news organization.

DUNN: FOX News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have watched many stories on that network that I found not to be true.

OBAMA: I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration.


NAPOLITANO: You might also remember the boldness of this president, on only his third day as the leader of this country, personally going on the offensive against media personality Rush Limbaugh.

On January 23rd of last year, President Obama warned Republicans in Congress to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if they wanted to get anything done. Information is something this administration is very afraid of. Take a look:


OBAMA: You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter.

BECK: Oh, no. Let's ban that.

OBAMA: With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations —

BECK: PlayStations?

OBAMA: — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction —

BECK: Wow.

OBAMA: — a diversion.

All of this is not only putting pressure on you, it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy. So many voices clamoring for attention on blogs and on cable and on talk radio, it can be difficult at times to sift through it all, to know what to believe, to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not.

Let's face it: Even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience in that regard.

BECK: Yes, with this show, but I don't make those claims, I just play the video that we get online. It's weird, isn't it?

I've never heard that the president ever say anything like that. I mean, first of all, what kind of information do you get from your iPod or PlayStation? It's almost like a red herring there.

And I've also never heard the president of the United States ever — at any time — say information is a distraction. That you don't know what to believe anymore. Whoa!

Information is power. And if it's not, then, well, we should fire everybody at the CIA. We should stop doing any kind of focus groups for speeches.

Information can be distracting. Hmm. Pesky problem — pesky problem.

Now, who's to blame for spreading all the rumors? Well, of course, 24/7 cable news. Well, I mean, some cable news channels, you know, they don't rank high on the truth meter. Could that be something like him declaring war on Fox again? It's so — it worked out so poorly for him last time.


NAPOLITANO: This administration is not the first to attempt to control the message. Its strategy to change public perception come right out of the playbook of another White House:


BECK: Wilson also saw an opportunity in war, never waste an emergency. He campaigned against war and then he was sworn in for a second term, a month later, we were at war. But he had to reverse the idea of the American people. They didn't want war.

So he created — on April 13th, 1917, Woodrow Wilson — evil, evil man
— created the Committee on Public Information. By and large, the journalists that were out there complied with the official CPI guidelines in order to stay inside the information loop because the journalists had a decision to make: Do we — do we do what the Public Information Office is telling us or do we get cut off?

Think of all of these and see if there's any relationship at all to what's happening today, because we are repeating the Wilson administration. The news agencies that didn't respect the CPI's request were moved out of the information loop. Gee, who did that? I think President Obama did by saying, "Oh, no, FOX isn't even a real news organization," tried to cut us out of the pool feed.

They issued 6,000 press releases. They also had 75,000 four minute men. What are four minute men? These guys delivered 7.5 million speeches, spoke in front of 300 million people all controlled by these guys, OK? Four minutes because that was the time it took to change the news reel.

Periodicals were also sent to more than 600,000 teachers for their use in their classrooms. It's almost like the EPA now coming in, teaching social and ecological justice.

The Boy Scouts were used to deliver Wilson's addresses door-to-door. Wow, that's almost like community-organizing.

Almost 1,500 unique poster designs, many of them created to depict German people as blood-thirsty monsters. OK. These are some of the posters — and gosh, this is almost what we're doing for the National Endowment for the Arts, isn't it? Creating the posters. Oh, they also make movies like "Pershing's Crusaders" which — I mean, they already have Hollywood, so you've got that — all under the direction.

There was an official newspaper delivered daily to 100,000. Is that MSNBC? Is that the Huffington Post? Who is that?

Then they kicked it up a notch.

First, they did the Espionage Act of 1917. June, 1917, Wilson asked Congress to pass this Espionage Act, making it a crime for anyone to interfere with the war effort through acts such as denouncing the draft. That's espionage? Well, he had to kick that out.

A year later, he escalates the fight against free speech by signing into law the Sedition Act, which imposed fines and imprisonment for anyone convicted of criticizing the Constitution, the government, the military or the flag. You've got to put the flag in there because that makes Americans proud. It's widely regarded as one of the most repressive legislations in regards to free speech. We'd never done anything like it before.

Approximately 2,000 people were convicted under this Sedition Act under Woodrow Wilson. Many served prison time, many for the rest of the Wilson administration, until America came to their senses.


NAPOLITANO: Speaking of Americans being accused of sedition, Glenn found himself on the line of fire not too long ago:


BECK: It has gotten to the point where Obama's media attack dogs have gone so far to accuse me of sedition.

Watch this:

JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: I did a little bit of research just before the show — it's on this little napkin here — and I looked at the definition of "sedition," which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against authority of the state. And a lot of these statements — especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent, Sarah Palin — rub right next — right up close to being seditious.

BECK: Anti-government, anti-government speech. Anti-government speech defined, by the way, as defined by Cass Sunstein is a conspiracy theory. OK? Anti-government.

Rush Limbaugh was also attacked on the very same show:

JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: And, you know, and Joe's right, and I'll name another person, you know, name Rush Limbaugh, you know, who uses this phrase constantly, talks about the Obama administration as a "regime."

BECK: OK. This is all a set-up. And I want you to know, the real target is not me, it's not Rush. It's you.

President Bush didn't send out his minions to attack MSNBC or try to drive Keith Olbermann out of business. He didn't send out to attack Hollywood.

Cindy Sheehan camped outside his home in Texas nearly every single weekend. He didn't address it, except to say that she had the right to be there.

Now, the cries of sedition, traitor, anti-American, anti-government, just for speaking out. They even send their goons to the tea parties to shut down legal, peaceful protest in the street.


NAPOLITANO: You heard Glenn mention the name of Cass Sunstein moments ago. It's a name that's come up quite frequently on this program.

So, who is Cass Sunstein? Glenn calls him the most dangerous man in America. He's one of the president's top guns. He's the White House information czar, heading the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Listen to the title of one of his books. He wrote a book called, "Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech." The "problem" of free speech? In the book, Sunstein says there is a need to reformulate First Amendment law. Wow.

Here's Glenn with more on his mantra:


BECK: This is the man that controls everything through nudges. He'll just nudge you. He'll never tell you what to do, he nudges.

Do you remember the "Truman Show"? Do you remember the guy, the director up in the control room? Watch this. Remember? Where is he? That guy! That guy.

Truman still had his freedoms. He was just — he was just nudging him in the right direction.

Cass Sunstein actually calls this — what he does — "choice architecture" — architecture to help you with choices. He is the guy who controls the storms that keep — you know, keep Truman from leaving. He's the guy who controls the traffic lights to make you late. He is the guy doing this.

Put it up on the sign, Cass Sunstein, will you? He's off the island. Uh-oh, forest fire — don't go that way. Nudge!

If that's not enough, oh, what are we going to do? We get — oh, light the road on fire. Nudge!

You drive through again. What happens in the end?

Cass Sunstein has wanted the job in the control room his whole life — his whole life. In 2008, on campaign trail, he went on a date with his soon-to-be wife Samantha Power. She asked him, "Cass, what is your dream job?" He said and I quote her, "I expected him to say he dreamt of playing for the Red Sox. His eyes got real big and he said, 'Ooh! OIRA!'"


Most people will say, well, what's the big deal? So, he wanted a geek job? Well, only geeks know what this job really is. Any geek who knows history knows why you say "Ooh!" It's one of the most powerful jobs in the world. You're looking at more power than the Fed.

Glenn Greenwald from uncovered a paper Sunstein wrote way back in 2008, proposing, you know, hypothetically speaking, how to handle opposition groups.

Now, keep in mind Cass calls anything anti-government a conspiracy theory. He proposed that: One, the government ban conspiracy theories. Ban them. Make them illegal. I mean, that sounds like a conspiracy theory in itself.

Number two: the government might impose some sort of tax on those who engage in conspiracy theories.

Number three — love this one — government might itself engage in counter-speech. OK? Marshalling arguments to, quote, "discredit conspiracy theories and theorists."

Four: Hire private parties. They might formally hire private parties to engage in counter-speech.

Number five: The government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. So, in other words, this — wait a minute, you know, that kind of sounds like a conspiracy.

Quote, "Our main policy claim here is that the government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories," end quote.

Of course, there's no evidence that Sunstein is behind any of the recent attempts to discredit and infiltrate the tea parties, which is weird because those are the same words that he used, but there's no evidence of that at all. That would be a conspiracy theory.

Sunstein will claim that he's acting with the best intentions, trying to dispel falsehoods and spread the truth. You're just spreading, you know, lies, right? I think he's spreading truth using lies.

This is nothing short of propaganda.


NAPOLITANO: So, that's Cass Sunstein for you.

Another Obama "czar" who wants to take away your free speech is a main named Mark Lloyd. If you watch this program regularly, you've certainly heard his name brought up a few times:


BECK: Just a reminder who Mark Lloyd is — this is what he said about the Chavez revolution:

MARK LLOYD, FCC DIVERSITY CZAR: In Venezuela with Chavez, really an incredible revolution — a democratic revolution — to begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

BECK: He goes on to say that there were some corporations and many people here from Washington and the United States, that made it difficult for that revolution to take place — oh those darn pesky broadcasters.

"Oh, Glenn he was just talking about, you know, Chavez. It never happened here in America." Really?


LLOYD: What we're really saying is the Fairness Doctrine is not enough and that having a — having a sort of over-arching rule that says the broadcasters ought to be fair, ought to provide the issues important to communities and that they ought to do it in a fair and balanced way, is simply enough, unless you put some teeth into that and put some hard structural rules in place that are going to result in fairness.


BECK: OK. Result in fairness. He defines that, by the way — I mean, I hate to put words in his mouth, but gosh, I've seen a lot of his words. He defines that as the government having complete control of the air waves.

OK. By the way, that was from way, way, way back in 2007. Oh, I know, we're just cherry-picking the quotes. You know, it's not like he wanted to regulate who's allowed to have any kind of power, right?


LLOYD: We have really, truly good, white people in important positions and the fact of the matter is, that there are a limited number of those positions and unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to — you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have people.


BECK: Wow, thank you, United States government. I don't find that in that pesky Constitution anywhere — but thank you. Who is going to step down so someone else can have power?

Well, this is Obama's handpicked diversity czar. He says that the revolution in Venezuela was important, the Fairness Doctrine doesn't go far enough, and that we need to look at who's going to step down so someone else can have power.

Well, how are you possibly going to ever convince the American people that this is right?


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