Glenn Beck And The Jeffrey Immelt Hysteria

This morning Barack Obama introduced the members of a newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board (ERAB). It is a fairly diverse group ideologically, and most people will have both praise and criticism for the Board’s makeup. One of the members, however, has already set off a nerve in what passes for Glenn Beck’s brain.

Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, is a long-time target of Bill O’Reilly’s wrath. O’Reilly has called him a “despicable human being” and has threatened to “get” him. Now that Beck has joined O’Reilly at Fox News, he is standing in line to get in some lumps of his own.

On his program today, Beck started out ranting that the Obama administration has merged with GE, simply because Immelt is a member of the ERAB. He is not even the chair of the Board (that would be Paul Volcker) which has 15 other members. And the Board is only an advisory group, so they have no policy making responsibility. Nevertheless, this is a merger that spells doom for America because Immelt is just such an evil individual in the demented mind of Beck.

Then, like O’Reilly, Beck demonstrates his brazen dishonesty by railing about how Immelt is a failure as the head of GE. Beck’s proof is that GE’s stock has declined precipitously in the past year (what stock hasn’t?). What Beck does not say, though he surely must know, is that Beck’s employer, News Corp, has fallen an almost identical 65% in the past year. So if Immelt is incompetent, then so is Rupert Murdoch.

Now, here is where Beck’s hysteria goes into overdrive. His in-studio guest was Thomas Borelli, a professional mercenary in the hire of rightist corporate pillagers. He is a principle of the Free Enterprise Action Fund – an investment vehicle described on its web site as…

“….a shareholder activist mutual fund (Ticker: FEAOX) that seeks long-term capital appreciation while aggressively challenging CEOs who use shareholder assets to advance the liberal political agenda which threatens long-term shareholder value, the free enterprise system and individual liberty.”

The acknowledged mission of this phony fund is to harass executives at shareholder meetings. The vast majority of the press releases on their web site are missives directed at companies that dare to oppose global warming. Borelli’s partner is Steven Milloy, a climate change denier and a Fox News contributor whose beat is Junk Science. The two of them used to work for Phillip Morris where they fabricated propaganda that dismissed the health hazards of smoking. Now they co-manage this socially irresponsible (and fiscally failing) mutual fund, one of whose top holdings is GE.

Beck and Borelli blathered on about the bankruptcy of Obama’s budget stimulus plan, and Immelt’s suspicious participation, as if either of these economic prodigies had anything useful to add. For the most part, this was an outstanding demonstration of how Fox News casts its programming with ringers who have no real expertise in the issues, but are adept at the art of disinformation. The most interesting part of the discussion was simply the fact that Beck found someone as ignorant and intellectually corrupt as himself to play with.

Update, 7/31/2010: The Free Enterprise Action Fund appears to have been transformed into the Congressional Effect Fund (CEFFX). The mission of this fund may be even nuttier than it’s predecessor:

The fund’s principal investment strategy is designed to invest in the S&P 500 on days when Congress is out of session (not meeting) and to invest in interest-bearing domestic securities or to otherwise be out of the stock market when Congress is in session (meeting). The Advisor believes that the investment methodology minimizes investment exposure and risk when Congress is in session, while fully investing in the S&P 500 when Congress is out of session.

What monumental ignoramus would invest in this? Other than a Glenn Beck viewer who is tired of being scammed by gold dealers, that is.

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8 thoughts on “Glenn Beck And The Jeffrey Immelt Hysteria

  1. True story: After hearing a lot of people rant about Beck I decided to check out his show when it was still on CNN. That particular night it happened to have Ben Stein as a guest and the two were talking about evolution. After two segments with Stein I came to the conclusion that Beck was the least-informed, most ignorant person I have seen on a news channel that wasn’t Fox News. I also knew that black holes tend to swallow all matter near them. Glenn Beck being at FOX is simple astro-physics.

  2. O’Reilly is simply wrong. Immelt isn’t a “despicable human being,” he isn’t a human being at all. Immelt was selling weapon technology to Iran while Iranians were killing soldiers in Iraq. As far as I’m concerned, he should be tried for treason and rot the rest of his disgusting life away in federal prison. Let’s ponder ponder GE and the Obama administration teaming up. What is it called when private companies and government merge into one? Fascism.

    • First of all, GE’s contract with Iran covered civilian projects and were approved (and promoted) by the Bush administration. It was during Immelt’s tenure that GE declined to renew any contracts with Iran. O’Reilly is a liar.

      And why do folks like you only now speak out about government collusion with business, when it was going on throughout the Bush years (and Reagaon and Nixon too)? It is why we are in the economic mess we’re in today. You can hardly accuse Obama of engaging in that since he’s only been president 3 weeks.

      But it is downright stupid to suggest there is a government/business merger simply because a businessman is appointed to an advisory board.

  3. Immlet’s general electric is the receipant of more tax funded stimulus (in remaking the economy) then any other Corporation!
    This is pure corporate collusion, and Corporate-Socialism “in other words or terms “Fascism!”"

    Democrats = exploit the poor for decades, to work against the middle and small business in a sea of tax-hell…. to only fund their Corporate Elite Oligarthy society, while feeding the poor crumbs!

    Trickle UP exonomics = reverse of trickle down, tax the middle and upper middle class to fund the corporate lobbys and remake “your green ecomomy yo enslave us more”

    the Federal Gov. in 2007 taxed “Exxon Mobile” I know not a popular corp round here but still they taxes shareholders 58%
    of all earning in 2007…………where did that money go???
    did it go to any productive use???

    The money that the Fed took from “Exxon Mobile” could’ve built every road in China, Europe,Asia and Africa combined!!!!!!!! and fed every child worldwide and ended poverty!!!!

    Why didnt it???

    PLEASE ANY OF YOU, SO CALLED “DEMOCRAT-SOCIAL-LIB’s” … ANSWER ME THIS——>

    WHATS TO LIKE ABOUT INFLATION, HIGHER GROCERY COSTS, EVERY STATE THAT RECIEVED STIMULUS HAS RAISED STATE SALES, INCOME AND PROPERTY TAXES…NOT TO MENTION CITY TOLLS, BRIDGES AND TUNNELS …..ALSO …MASSIVE BEER AND CIG TAX, ….MORE FCC TAX ON UR CABLE, PHONE & CELLIE……….. AND SOON AN ENVIOREMENT TAX

    …………

    WELCOME TO THE Socialist-Fascisto States of Amerika and the NWO and new State Religion of Global Warming.
    ALL BOW!
    to the tune of 856 Billion of your money to create “The SuperState Corporation”
    ……where as NO other Corporation except those getting tax payers money aloted by “Big Brother” will be able to compete.
    All others shall pay to create it
    “for OUR OWN benefit” ……..because they know better than us what’s good for us!!!

    By the Way what exactly is a “Green Job” ? does anyone know anyone whom has one?

    And is China, India ..And are the Russians exactly worried about CO2~?

    Because Al Gore sure isn’t with his 3 private jets and all-terrain gas guzlers and house the size of three city blocks that uses more energy then three New York City Blocks!!!

    • Wow! There is so much wrong with that rant that I simply don’t have the time to correct it. Everything asserted as fact is simply false. And the assertions of ideology are inane (it is impossible to be both Socialist and Fascist). And if you don’t know what a green job is, that’s your problem. It seems you get all of your pseudo-information from Glenn Beck.

      I considered deleting this comment because it does not address the topic of this article. It is just a stream of consciousness assault on a general theme. But I decided to leave it because it’s such a great example of the blind vitriol circulating out there. All I can say is Wow!

      • looks like you are just another liberal idiot who learned your history from some other liberal idiot government teacher… the nazi party in germany was known as the national socialist party… hence it is indeed possible to be both a socialist and a fascist… in fact there is little difference between the two… centralized power that places the state before the individual and crushes liberty, freedom and free markets (and nobody owns firearms but the govt)… open your eyes… when ge gets tarp money from chairman maobama will you still refuse to understand whats happening in this country? it is facism, plain and simple… the merger of govt with corporations… remember halliburton? wheres the outrage now?

        • It is you who is demonstrating a lack of education. Apparently you have no idea how the Nazi Party got its name.

          It was not a Socialist Party, in fact it corrupted Socialist ideas and fought against the Democratic Socialists who actually represented the Socialist movement. The intent of the Nazi name was to deceive the German working class who were sympathetic to Socialist goals at a time when the nation was still struggling to recover from its loss in WWI.

          Nazis were proud Fascists – an ideology wherein government promoted industry and commerce above the rights of the individual. Socialism worked the other way around with government controlling industry to force it to serve the needs of the workers.

          And like it or not, Capitalism is a combination of the two. It aspires to free markets to a degree, but supports regulations that inhibit exploitation and anti-competitive practices.

          By the way, liberals were the political group that Nazis hated most. So I’m proud to be a liberal. Are you proud to be an idiot?

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