Glenn Beck's affinity for chalkboard diagrams charting out the frequently illusory "connections" in the growing liberal conspiracy to undermine America is well-documented. In that spirit, Media Matters for America has explored Beck's links to the extremist, unhinged, and sometimes paranoid people and groups that inhabit the world of right-wing political activism and laid them out in a Beck-style chart, but with two key differences: these connections actually exist, and they were spell-checked.
1. GLENN BECK W. CLEON SKOUSEN: As documented by Salon's Alexander Zaitchik, W. Cleon Skousen, a right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist, is "Beck's favorite writer and the author of the bible of the 9/12 movement, 'The 5,000 Year Leap.' A once-famous anti-communist 'historian,' Skousen was too extreme even for the conservative activists of the Goldwater era, but Glenn Beck has now rescued him from the remainder pile of history, and introduced him to a receptive new audience." Beck frequently touts Skousen's work on his television and radio programs and wrote a foreword for the 30th anniversary edition of The 5000 Year Leap, which he promotes on his website.
2. GLENN BECK THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY: Beck interviewed Sam Antonio, a national spokesman for the John Birch Society, on the July 25, 2007, edition of his now-defunct CNN Headline News program. Leading off the interview, Beck said to Antonio: "I have to tell you, when I was growing up, the John Birch Society, I thought they were a bunch of nuts, however, you guys are starting to make more and more sense to me." Beck was discussing with Antonio the Security and Prosperity Partnership, an economic and security initiative of the United States, Canada, and Mexico that the John Birch Society believes is a vehicle "to stealthily merge the three North American nations."
3. GLENN BECK ABC NEWS: In January 2007, ABC News hired Beck to appear as a "regular commentator" on Good Morning America. The announcement was made not long after Beck's interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, during which Beck said, "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck appeared on Good Morning America several times as a "commentator."
4. GLENN BECK SIMON & SCHUSTER: Every one of Beck's books has been published by Simon & Schuster or one of its imprints. Beck's latest offering, Arguing with Idiots, was published by Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster's conservative imprint.
5. GLENN BECK NEWS CORP.: In October 2008, Fox News announced that Beck would be joining the network in 2009. The first episode of Glenn Beck aired on Fox News in January 2009.
6. GLENN BECK HANNAH GILES: Beck was the first to air excerpts from James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles' undercover videos, in which the two dressed as a pimp and prostitute and attempted to solicit advice from ACORN employees on how to operate their proposed brothel. Giles appeared on the September 10 edition of Beck's Fox News show to discuss the videos.
7. GLENN BECK ANDREW BREITBART: Beck has relied heavily upon Matt Drudge prote'ge' Breitbart for the content of his radio and television programs and has praised Breitbart highly, calling him a "great journalist" and his work "instrumental."
9. GLENN BECK MICHELE BACHMANN: On the October 14 edition of his radio program, Beck interviewed Rep. Bachmann and offered to "have a fundraiser" for her after Bachmann claimed that "Speaker Pelosi has made me her number-one congresswoman to defeat next year." Bachmann herself has called for an investigation to root out the "anti-America" members of Congress.
10. JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY W. CLEON SKOUSEN: Though he claims to never have been a member, Skousen was a staunch defender of the John Birch Society. He authored a 1963 pamphlet titled "The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society," in which he alleged that people who criticized the group "usually did so without realizing they were promoting the official Communist Party line." Salon's Zaitchick wrote that Skousen "aligned himself" with John Birch Society founder Robert Welch's accusation that Dwight Eisenhower was a "dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."
11. W. CLEON SKOUSEN 9-12 PROJECT: On the March 13 edition of his Fox News program, which was the official launch of the 9-12 Project, Beck provided his studio audience with a selection of books, one of which was Skousen's The 5000 Year Leap. Beck lauded the "fantastic" book," telling the audience that "it is the 29 principles that our founders put together, and how they put this genius country together."
12. SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY MATALIN: Matalin, a Republican political consultant and former Bush White House aide, is the chief editor of Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster's conservative imprint.
13. SIMON & SCHUSTER CBS: Simon & Schuster is a division of CBS Corp.
14. ANDREW BREITBART JAMES O'KEEFE: Breitbart worked closely with O'Keefe in promoting and distributing O'Keefe's undercover ACORN videos, which were first posted on Breitbart's BigGovernment.com. Breitbart is also one of many media conservatives who have offered to raise money for O'Keefe and Giles' legal defense fund after the two were sued by ACORN.