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My Thanksgiving offer to Glenn Beck

I like Glenn Beck and I agree with him almost all the time, especially on the economy and on Obama’s czars. BUT…the fake quotes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others have to go. A fake quote was cited again on yesterday’s “Black Friday” show.

MY THANKSGIVING OFFER TO GLENN BECK: I am a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary and a conributor to The Yale Book of Quotations. I will research quotations FREE of charge. Heck, I’ll PAY YOU to research quotations free of charge. I have written to your personal website (me@glennbeck.com) and your Fox News website (glennbeck@foxnews.com) many times.

Yesterday’s “Black Friday” show repeated an October 13th clip with Charles Payne. A quote was attributed to “Alexander Tyler,” allegedly from 1787. A simple check on Wikiquote and/or Google shows that the quote–misattributed to Alexander Tytler–actually first appears in 1943.

Others are noticing.

From Charles Murray’s November 19th entry on The Enterprise Blog, “The unbearable Paradox on Glenn Beck“:

About six weeks ago, I engaged in an exchange about Glenn Beck, arguing that he makes it harder to convert the unsaved to the cause of limited government, and got an earful in return, mostly in the form of thoughtful but forceful emails saying I hadn’t given him a chance. So I set up my Tivo to record his show and have spent many cocktail hours since then watching. Last night’s opening shot encapsulates everything that has driven me nuts about the experience.

Beck was, as usual, standing in front of his blackboard. Chalked on it was:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Thomas Jefferson

It is a sentiment with which I completely agree. I’ve written whole books with that sentiment as the subtext. The problem: The quote is a fake. Thomas Jefferson never said it. Jefferson would have been sympathetic to the idea, as other writings clearly imply. But he didn’t actually say it. In front of a national television audience, Glenn Beck put up a quote that his researchers would have discovered is a fake if they had done the slightest bit of Googling.

I had noticed that, also.

On November 11th, I had written about this fake George Washington quote and this fake George Washington quote–two on one show!

I write to him, but there’s never any response.

Glenn Beck’s show is changing for 2010 as he gets even more political. It’s a fight for the very future of the republic. I agree that both Democrats and Republicans got us into the insolvent position we now find ourselves.

These minor things take away from the message. They don’t have to. I’ll work for free! I’ll PAY YOU to work for free! Whatever money you want to charge me–I just want to get things right.

You can’t beat that!

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