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Beck Grasps at Flotilla Straws

June 3, 2010

In the wake of the controversial Gaza flotilla raid, Glenn Beck linked humanitarian aid workers (like Women’s Media Center Board Chair Jodie Evans) to support of Hamas and terrorism and therefore, by degrees of separation, linked terrorism to the White House. Beck is employing one of the oldest tricks in the conservative attack-book: basically, calling people terrorists and taking advantage of the tragedy to further his own personal attack dog agenda, and he needs to get his facts straight. Evans is the president of Code Pink, a women-initiated grassroots peace movement working to stop current and future wars.  In particular, Code Pink has been a vocal critic of the Obama Administration for the 30,000 troop ‘surge of violence’ in Afghanistan in 2010, which brings into question the supposed Evans-Obama “coordination” -- the key to Beck’s untenable theory linking the White House to the flotilla tragedy. Beck is grasping at straws, but debunking the White House connection he is trying to make isn’t enough. We have to recognize that humanitarian aid isn’t tied to governmental policies. The Freedom Flotilla was an effort by a coalition of humanitarian organizations to nonviolently break through Israel's blockade (which the U.N. has called to end) and deliver much-needed humanitarian and developmental aid to Gaza.  Humanitarian activists, who have actually been victims of violence, are being called out for their activism, while incidents of violence associated with Tea Party revelers, like the recent death threats delivered to Congressman Harry Mitchell, run rampant. The media has devoted nonstop coverage of the angry Tea Party protests – a potential hotbed of domestic terrorism – decidedly elevating white, male, conservative voices over all others. To counter this media trend, the Women’s Media Center launched a much-needed She Party, a forum for women to share their insights, stories, thoughts on the Tea Party movement, and whatever else is on their minds. Join us on Wednesdays 3-6 pm EST using the #sheparty hashtag on Twitter. Together we can change the conversation and promote peace, like our chair Jodie Evans (@heartofj), calling for a media that favors facts and truth-telling over drama and name-calling.