Stu Blog: Politifail. Factchecking Politifact’s claims about the Muslim Brotherhood and Glenn Beck

Politifact, the fact-checking arm of the St. Petersburg Times, stamped a big fat FALSE on a claim Glenn made about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood last week.  But were they correct?  We here at the Stu Blog rate their claim an UTTERFAIL.

Here is the claim the Politifact decided to (poorly) fact-check:

"We told you this week how if (President Hosni) Mubarak does step down, however, the Muslim Brotherhood would be the most likely group to seize power. They've openly stated they want to declare war on Israel and they would end the peace agreement with Israel and they would work towards instituting something we told you about, a caliphate."

That’s a lot to unpack. We decided to check Beck’s claim that the Brotherhood has "openly stated they want to declare war on Israel," because so much of the debate in the United States revolves around the Muslim Brotherhood's’ intentions toward the main U.S. ally in the region.

Fair enough.  They do a little homework and come up with this:

Sure enough, three days earlier he informed viewers that "a top official in the Muslim Brotherhood has just said that … ‘The people should be prepared for war against Israel.’"

Who was that top official? Beck’s website pointed to a Feb. 1, 2011, item in the Jerusalem Post that had a "leading member" of the Brotherhood, Muhammad Ghannem, declaring that "the people should be prepared for war against Israel."

Since they’re not saying the quote was inaccurate, or that it came from a source outside the Muslim Brotherhood, you might assume that they would rate it as “true.”  But, Glenn Beck doesn’t get that benefit of the doubt.

Also, notice that they’re not actually fact-checking Glenn.  They aren’t saying that he misquoted the source of the story, the Jerusalem Post.  If anything, this should theoretically be a fact-check of the Jerusalem Post.  If somehow the Jerusalem Post was wrong, it’s hard to blame Glenn for reporting their error.*

So, what mental gymnastics are they using to get to a FALSE rating?  They go, without irony, to quite possibly the least trustworthy source imaginable when dealing with Glenn Beck: The Woodrow Wilson Center.  I’m not kidding.

"I have never heard of [Muhammad Ghannem]," said Dr. Jason Brownlee, a scholar with the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. "It’s a big organization, and there may be people who say things like that, but that doesn’t mean it’s policy. It doesn’t jibe with my experience visiting Egypt and doing research on the Muslim Brotherhood for over a decade."

So, the FALSE rating comes from Glenn accurately quoting a newspaper, accurately quoting a Muslim Brotherhood member, who apparently doesn’t rise high enough on the Muslim Brotherhood popularity list for the Woodrow Wilson Center.  What a devastating case.

Perhaps if this was the whole story, and you decided that you trusted good ol’ Woodrow over the Jerusalem Post, you could give Glenn a MOSTLY TRUE, but it should never get worse than that.  However, unfortunately for Politifact, that’s not the whole story.

For example, lets look at “The Voice of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood” Youssef al-Qaradawi.  He is described by that notably non-right wing magazine Der Spiegel as “the father figure of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's best-organized opposition group” with an audience of 60 million Sunni Muslims.  He is also ranked the 9th most influential Muslim on the planet.

What does the father figure of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have to say about Glenn’s “FALSE” claim that they “openly stated they want to declare war on Israel.”

As Der Spiegel writes:

“He hates Israel and would love to take up arms himself. In one of his sermons, he asked God "to kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them.”

You see, leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood most certainly do want war with Israel.  Glenn’s statement is clearly true.  And Politifact is standing deep in a puddle of UTTERFAIL with their false rating.

But Youssef al-Qaradawi doesn’t just validate the narrow part of the statement that Politifact focused on.Glenn also said the Muslim Brotherhood “would work towards instituting something we told you about, a caliphate."

From Der Spiegel:

"Qaradawi advocates establishing a "United Muslim Nations" as a contemporary form of the caliphate and the only alternative to the hegemony of the West. “

And Glenn said the Brotherhood “would end the peace agreement with Israel.”

This part actually isn’t controversial at all, which is likely why Politifact ignored it.  The favorability of Israel in Egypt is literally 3%.  Even the guy America hopes takes over the presidency has already said the peace accord is dead.  But if you really are questioning whether the Brotherhood would end the peace accord—I give you this gem from the “The Voice of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood”:

"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler."

Look,  Politifact is too far left for my taste, but I think they do some good work.  However, this attack on Glenn is a mistake and it should be corrected.

*NOTE: For example, for several weeks, Media Matters has been breathlessly printing the completely false claim that we charged for the viewing of our TV show in Wilmington, OH in December.  We’ve just sort of been laughing at them from afar—watching them make asses of themselves.  But to be fair, they got that fact from a local Wilmington paper that just made a mistake.  You can’t really blame Media Matters for that.  I suppose they could have done some leg work to check it out, like maybe calling one person in the town to verify it before accusing Glenn of pocketing the money.   But hey, it’s increasingly irrelevant Media Matters we’re talking about.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.