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Glenn Beck has been crowned big media’s King of Hate.
In a new report that warns of the potential for anti-government violence since President Obama’s election, the Anti-Defamation League singles out Fox News TV pundit and radio host Beck for “making a habit” of promoting anti-government conspiracy theories from his mainstream media perch.
“Beck has acted as a ‘fearmonger-in-chief,’ raising anxiety about and distrust towards the government,” the study’s authors write, reports the New York Daily News.
The ADL study cites instances where Beck has called President Obama “dangerous” and compared him to Hitler to argue the case that Beck may be putting his viewers on a path to becoming extremists.The ADL also faults the popular and polarizing host for providing a platform to guests who tout paranoid fears like: Obama and his administration are trying to create a “civilian national security force” of political loyalists; or, that FEMA is building concentration camps to contain “dissidents.”
The report acknowledges that Beck has distanced himself from the FEMA claim. But the study’s authors conclude the “episode” was still a good example of how Beck uses “constant laments such as ‘I fear for my country’ to create a sense of anxiety about and hostility towards the government in his audience.”
The ADL, which was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all,” says Beck is far more likely to lead his audience toward "extreme notions" than are his right-wing peers.
“While other conservative media hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, routinely attack Obama and his administration, typically on partisan grounds, they have usually dismissed or refused to give a platform to the conspiracy theorists and anti-government extremists,” the study's authors write.
Ultimately, a rising tide of anti-government anger could lead to more extremists and violence, the ADL warns.
Beck’s spokesman declined comment to the News.