People For the American Way

The Violent Consequences of Glenn Beck’s Dangerous Rhetoric


Contact: Drew Courtney or Miranda Blue at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

TV personality Glenn Beck’s explosive rhetoric has not only lent legitimacy to outlandish conspiracy theories, but has inspired real violence by those who subscribe to those theories, says a new report by People For the American Way and Media Matters for America. The report details Beck’s most dangerous rhetoric, recounts the violent actions of some of those he has inspired, and makes a new call to hold Beck and his enablers accountable for their words.


The new report, Glenn Beck: Irresponsible and Indifferent to the Violent Consequences of His Rhetoric, details some of Beck’s most dangerous strategies, including:

  • Repeatedly stating that the Obama administration poses a threat of “great and powerful evil”—communism, fascism, or both
  • Asserting that Obama and his allies are seeking the destruction of the Constitution and the United States itself
  • Promoting classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory
  • Warning that the left is planning violence against those they disagree with
  • Predicting his own martyrdom
  • Threatening violence by his own hands

The report also catalogs some of the violence and threats of violence committed by those who have admitted to being inspired by Beck:

  • Byron Williams’ plot against the Tides Foundation and the ACLU
  • Richard Poplawski’s shooting of three Pittsburgh police officers
  • Death threats against Sen. Patty Murray
  • Threats against members of the Illinois League of Women Voters

“Glenn Beck has the right to speak, but there is also a responsibility that comes with his powerful media megaphone,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Beck has shown no sign of recognizing that responsibility. Faced with the clear facts of the violence he has inspired, Beck has simply ramped up his violent rhetoric and lashed out at those who criticize him for it. It’s time for Fox News, its advertisers, and all those who enable Beck to hold him accountable for his irresponsible speech and its deadly consequences.”


“Despite hundreds of sponsors refusing to advertise on Glenn Beck’s program, Fox continues to provide him a platform for unhinged rhetoric and blatant lies that have real, and potentially deadly, consequences,” said David Brock, Founder and CEO of Media Matters. “That’s why targeting Glenn Beck’s advertisers is no longer enough — we need to hold the entire network accountable.”

Brock added: “Advertisers need to be aware that they are funding a network that promotes a climate of fear and suspicion that could lead to another Oklahoma City.”

The full report is available online at: