Glenn Beck Denounces Wilders and Le Pen, Sees Return of Fascism to Europe
An initial report from Loonwatch had it that Glenn Beck had lumped far-right European politicians Geert Wilders and Jean-Marie Le Pen in the same "fascist" basket. Loonwatch emphasized how the right-wing Islamophobic intelligentsia in America then pounced on Beck to recant and apologize for suggesting Wilders was "fascist".
Beck's narrative presented "Left" and "Right" in Europe to be rising. he explained "Left" in Europe means Communism, "Right" means Fascism, and that these forces were now rising. In short, Europe is headed towards totalitarianism once again.
He noted, quite accurately, that in times of economic crisis, people tend to radicalize. As proof today, he cites the rise to prominence of Wilders in Holland and of Le Pen in France. He noted that though French President Nicolas Sarkozy had low approval ratings in the thirties, "this guy, far right, Le Pen, he's at 57%."
Holy shit! France is going to have the Fascist/Far Right/Vichyite Jean-Marie Le Pen as President?!
Did I hear that right?
Beck presented "this guy" with juxtaposed pictures of President Sarkozy and... Dominique de Villepin! Indeed, you can barely hear it, Beck says "vi-le-pen" not "le-pen'".
Dominque de Villepin, of course, is former President Jacques Chirac's protégé and a former Prime Minister, made most famous as Foreign Minister for his stirring antiwar speeches before the U.N. Security Council in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. He indeed has high approvals right now (like Chirac) and is considered a potential right-wing challenger to Sarkozy in 2012.
He is not Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, neofascist party the Front National. Le Pen is reaching retirement age and has about a fifth of France voting consistently for him. He is currently campaigning in what will probably be his last election: to be head of the my home region in the South of France (despite it being his strongest base of support, it is very unlikely he will win outright).
We shouldn't be too hard on Beck. I get it, Villepin/Le Pen, they're both French and sound similar. A small slip-up, like a typo, due near-homophony of a foreign tongue. It is completely understandable, Beck's team can't be expected to know the politics of foreign countries perfectly... nothing but an honest mistake. An honest mistake that happens to once again promote hysteria by presenting an apocalyptic vision of the totalitarian Europe to come: no doubt these Americans will be asked to fight to save Europe again and no doubt the French will be ungrateful again too.
What a difficult and thankless thing it must be, to live in Glenn Beck's America.