Shortly after Glenn Beck said that President Obama is a racist who has “a deep seated hatred for white people,” the activist group Color of Change launched a campaign aimed at Beck’s advertisers. The campaign has enjoyed unparalleled success, persuading over forty companies to withhold their advertising dollars from Beck’s program.
In response to the action by Color of Change, a conservative activist created a web site to counter the growing opposition to Beck. DefendGlenn was created to instigate complaints directed at the companies who pulled their ads from Beck, and to thank his remaining advertisers. Instead, the site has become a repository of lies and disinformation, as well as a sycophantic center of blind adulation for Beck.
It is impossible to gauge whether the site has any measurable influence, except to note that none of the companies boycotting Beck have reversed their positions, nor cited DefendBeck as motivation for their actions. However, the press has taken notice and is beginning to treat the site as the legitimate counterbalance to Color of Change. Consequently, whenever there is a mention of Color of Change, the media, in its misguided pursuit of balance, will mention DefendGlenn as well. This is another example of media laziness. Balance is not achieved by juxtaposing truth with lies. Color of Change documents its impact with letters from the companies they have solicited, and their leaders and staff are identified on their web site. But DefendGlenn provides no such documentation, and their leadership is a mystery to anyone who visits their site.
So who is DefendGlenn? The only identifying information on the site is a disclaimer at the bottom of its donations page:
DISCLAIMER: DEFENDGLENN.com is a FAN SITE, and is not affiliated with Glenn Beck, the Glenn Beck Program, Fox New Channel, NewsCorp Inc., or Premiere Radio Networks. DEFENDGLENN.com is a project of United States Justice Foundation. The United States Justice Foundation (USJF) a non-profit organization, whose tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3) has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Your contributions are tax deductible. Corporate contributions may be accepted.
The United States Justice Foundation describes itself as “a nonprofit public interest, legal action organization dedicated to instruct, inform and educate the public on, and to litigate, significant legal issues confronting America.” The issues they regard as significant span the conservative spectrum from reverse discrimination to taxation to term limits. They litigated on behalf of lobbyists who opposed the Clinton Health Care Task Force in 1994.
The executive director of the USJF is Gary Kreep. His biography reveals that he is the general counsel to the racist, anti-immigration group, The Minutemen. He has been affiliated with the radical and violent anti-choice group, Operation Rescue. He was a California delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1976 and 1980.
Most recently Kreep has been a leader of the “birther” movement that seeks to nullify last November’s election on the grounds that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. He has been one of the most vocal proponents of the birther myths going back to at least November 2008, when he tried to prevent California delegates to the Electoral College from casting their votes. He originally worked with birther queen, Orly Taitz, representing several clients, including Alan Keyes. He has since replaced Taitz as counsel to birther litigant “Rev.” Wiley Drake. Drake is notable for publicly praying for the death of Obama. When a man like Drake selects you to represent him, over Orly Taitz, that is quite an endorsement.
Obviously Kreep is a far-right extremist and an enabler of some of the most dangerous and radical people and organizations in the country. But none of this portion of his resume is disclosed by the press when they help to promote his activities. That oversight needs to be corrected immediately. The urgency for this rests on more than just the potential for mischief from the DefendGlenn project. As noted above, any funds collected from the donation page on DefendGlenn is actually going directly to the USJF. So on the pretense of supporting Glenn Beck, money is being diverted to causes like the Minutemen, Operation Rescue, and efforts to advance the birther myths and to defeat health care reform. Infact, it might actually be Kreep’s sole intention to exploit the popularity of Beck, and the loyalty of his disciples, to further his other political objectives. Beck certainly has a broader fan base than the birthers or the USJF, and consequently, greater revenue potential.
It is important, therefore to apprise the media of the truth with regard to DefendGlenn the USJF, and Gary Kreep. Whenever we see a press citation of DefendGlenn as the opposite side of the Beck boycott debate, we must take the initiative to inform them of the facts. We cannot allow this front group for wacko rightists to successfully deceive the media and public.