Glenn Beck discussed the dangers of “fake news” on his radio program yesterday, pointing specifically to a young Muslim woman who was found to have fabricated a claim that she was harassed and attacked by Donald Trump supporters in a New York subway earlier this month, and was later charged with filing a false police report. Beck bizarrely decided to use the whole story to push his own false claims, including falsely alleging that the Southern Poverty Law Center had called Religious Right psuedo-historian David Barton, who happens to be one of Beck’s closest friends, a “terrorist.”
Beck falsely claimed that the SPLC and the Council on American-Islamic Relations were the source of the false story, when, in reality, it was the young woman herself who reported the fabricated incident to the police; CAIR and the SPLC were simply quoted in a news report about the alleged attack.
The fact that CAIR and the SPLC were the sources for this claim, Beck said, should have been a dead giveaway that it was fake since, he said, CAIR “was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist trial,” while the SPLC “recently named David Barton a terrorist!”
The “unindicted co-conspirator” charge against CAIR is a bogus smear that anti-Muslim activists have been baselessly leveling for years, while the claim that the SPLC designated Barton a “terrorist” is entirely false and originated with Barton himself.
It is more than a little ironic that Beck decried the spread of “fake news” by unreliable sources by repeating false claims that are routinely spread by unreliable sources.