Glenn Beck and other right-wing conservatives have made a habit of hiding behind the 1st Amendment to make all sorts of ridiculous and damaging claims towards both public officials, and private citizens.
The most recent example of this is Donald Trump making his remarks about “2nd Amendment people” taking action against Hillary Clinton if she is elected and appoints judges who believe in gun regulations. Trump claimed that he wasn’t insinuating gun fanatics assassinate Hillary Clinton or members of the judicial branch, and Paul Ryan backed him up, claiming that it was just a joke gone wrong.
Glenn Beck has floated all sorts of crazy conspiracies on his media channel TheBlaze after he was let go from Fox News for being too radical. Yes, you know it has to be bad when Fox News will overlook decades of sexual harassment, but Glenn Beck is too much.
Anyhow, aside from claiming that vaccines are part of a government martial law plot or possibly linked to autism, Glenn Beck has also repeatedly stoked the fears of Islamophobic bigots across the country.
His greatest mistake was trying to link a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing to the plot itself, and then repeatedly doubled down on the claim even after Homeland Security said that Abdulrahman Alharbi had nothing to do with the tragedy.
Abdulrahman Alharbi rightly had a case against Glenn Beck and TheBlaze, and now the courts have upheld the defamation suit filed against Beck’s media company.
Via The Guardian:
“In her decision on Tuesday, Chief Judge Patti Saris of the US district court in Boston also rejected Beck’s latest effort to dismiss Abdulrahman Alharbi’s defamation case against him and TheBlaze radio network, which broadcasts Beck’s radio show.
Beck repeatedly linked Alharbi to the 15 April 2013 bombing on his radio show and continued doing so after the homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano cleared the student in congressional testimony.
Saris said Alharbi, 23, of Revere, Massachusetts, may learn the names of two Department of Homeland Security officials who allegedly provided information to officials at TheBlaze, to help rebut Beck’s claims and show his reporting was inadequate.” (Source)
It is highly unlikely that Glenn Beck had any sources at the Department of Homeland Security, although it is very troubling if he did.
The probability is that Glenn Beck made this story up, and then doubled down on the lie when he was called out for it. It didn’t matter to him that the facts were wrong and he was destroying the life of an innocent person, so long as he was collecting web traffic and revenue from his assertions that Abdulrahman Alharbi was responsible for the terrorist attack.
Personally, I hope that Abdulrahman Alharbi bankrupts Glenn Beck and TheBlaze. It would be a reminder to the media that with their power comes great responsibility to report the facts, instead of spreading baseless rumors that harm private citizens.