By Jeffrey Goldberg

It’s become clear to me that the Fox commentator Glenn Beck has something of a Jewish problem. Actually, he has something of a modernity problem, and people with modernity problems tend to have problems with Jews, who more or less invented modernity (Einstein, Marx, Freud, Franz Boas, etc.)

This is not, by the way, a post about Beck’s singular obsession with George Soros (read Michelle Goldberg — not a relative, except in an all-Jews-are-conspiring-against-Glenn-Beck sort of way — on this subject).

This is a post about Beck’s recent naming of nine people — eight of them Jews — as enemies of America and humanity.

He calls these people prime contributors to the — wait for it — “era of the big lie.”

The eight Jews are Sigmund Freud; Edward Bernays, the founder of public relations, and a nephew of Freud’s (which Beck discloses as if this had previously been a secret); Soros, of course; Cass Sunstein, now of the White House; the former labor leader Andy Stern; Walter Lippman, who is no longer here to defend himself; Frances Fox Piven, who Beck believes is “sowing the seeds” of revolution; and, of all people, Edward Rendell.

It is fair to ask if Beck knows that these people are Jewish (It is not widely-known that Rendell is Jewish, I think).

But Beck is a smart person(?!?!)and has researchers at hand with access to Wikipedia. Further, most of these people on Beck’s “big lie” list are already the targets of straightforward attacks in the dark, anti-Semitic corners of the Web, so an extended Google search, in some cases, would show that much of the opposition to some of these people is motivated by anti-Semitism.

That said, Beck has not crossed a certain line, by identifying his targets openly as Jewish.

Nevertheless, this, to me, is a classic case of anti-Semitic dog-whistling.

Beck is speaking to a certain constituency & the thought has now crossed my mind that this constituency understands the clear implications of what Beck is saying.

My modest suggestion to those Jews who fear the building of mosques in American cities is that they look elsewhere for threats that seem to be gathering against them.

Jeffrey Goldberg – Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic.

Prisoners: A Story of Friendship & Terror, he has reported from the Middle East and Africa.

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, he was Middle East correspondent, and Washington correspondent, for the New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, and New York Magazine. He has also written for the Forward, and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

His book Prisoners has been hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington PostSlate Magazine, the ProgressiveWashingtonian Magazine, and Playboy.

Goldberg is the recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism.

He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

He is also the recipient of 2005’s Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation and was appointed in 2002 to be a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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3 responses »

  1. kissmytuchus says:

    I am not sure how I feel about this. Now, I am not a Beck fan, by any means, but I have seen many of his spiels on Israel, and it looks to me as if he is a staunch supporter of Israel. I do not think these peoples Jewishness has anything at all to do with Becks dislike of them. I think it has everything to do with, what you called, a “modernity problem.” Beck is actually organizing a rally called “Restoring Courage Rally” that is taking place in Israel. Now, a man who has a “Jewish problem” probably would not have a rally in Israel, the Jewish homeland, in support of Israel AS the Jewish home land. Here is a transcript of a show I watched ( in which the main subject was Becks support of Israel, and Obamas betrayal of Israel. We should not be so quick to say that someone has a problem with Jews, or that someone is anti-Semitic …when we jump to these conclusions we do a HUGE disservice to actual cases of hate and intolerance towards Jews, and people with REAL anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish attitudes and sentiment, which is an all too real problem that still exists in a huge way around the world. When we focus on unsubstantiated things like this, we take time away from bringing attention to actual accounts of hate, intolerance, and anger towards Jews….if we are going to take a stand against this kind of hate..we have to stop dilly dallying on things likes this. There is a great saying “there are bigger fish to fry…” but in this case, I dont even think this is a fish. So, lets just say..”there are ACTUAL fish to fry.”

  2. kissmytuchus says:

    I want to correct the link above for the transcript I mentioned. For some reason, the last parenthesis was mistakenly added as a part of the url. Here is the correct URL:

  3. Dieter Doneit says:

    Thank you for the correction! It’s much appreciated!

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