From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
Conservative Fox News television host, author, and radio host Glenn Beck has started a university.
According to an announcement on Beck’s Web site, “Beck University is a unique academic experience bringing together experts in the fields of religion, American history and economics.” In July, August and September, interested parties can participate in “captivating lectures and interactive online discussions” in which “experts will explore the concepts of Faith, Hope and Charity and show you how they influence America’s past, her present and most importantly her future.”
Original DVD cover
(Click on image and then on that image for a larger version)
[T]he actual insignia [it’s on the car’s grill, but you can see it more clearly at the Hotsheet link above] of Beck University. (Note the buffalo, feather and Latin words.) To be clear, calling it a university is more than a stretch: It is actually simply an opportunity to watch online classes taught by three men, among them the controversial David Barton.
Barton is described on Beck’s site as “the founder and president of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.” He is an evangelical minister and GOP political activist who has pushed hard against the separation of church and state and been embraced by conservative Republican politicians.
He has been criticized repeatedly for bad scholarship. According to People for the American Way, then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter wrote in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy in 1995 that Barton’s arguments “range from the technical to the absurd” and “proceed from flawed and highly selective readings of both text and history.”
From Will Bunch at ATTYTOOD at philly.com :
I guess you could call this “the Harvard of right-wing radio universities,” in the sense that, well, to my knowledge there aren’t any other right-wing radio universities. Unlike Harvard or Yale, where Beck was a half-term (sound familiar?) student in one theology course after his ex-friend Joe Lieberman pulled some strings, Beck U. is strictly a profit deal. Only by paying Glenn Beck Inc. to become an extreme insider ($9.95 a month, or $74.95) can you enroll on Beck’s pseudo-cyber-campus. How else do you think Beck expects to sell that $4.25 million manse and move into bigger digs?
Students at Beck U. can […] learn economics from a Beck pal, David Buckner, with a mediocre pedigree (he has been an adjunct associate professor not of economics but of psychology and education at Columbia) and also from an actual professor who somehow sneaked in there, LSU’s James Stoner.
But frankly, the curriculum is less interesting than…that shield! Remarkable! The Latin phrase at the top — “Tyrannis Sedito Obsequium Deo” — could be loosely translated, with an emphasis on the “loosely,” as “To tyrants, uprising — obedience to God.” Below that is a bust of George Washington (based on this one, as you can see) and a buffalo, which in some culture (including perhaps the “white culture” that Beck has spoken so eloquently of) is a symbol of knowledge.
Of course, when there’s a buffalo, you always have to clean up behind it. And that messy task, my friends. is what the rest of us will have to do after Beck’s bogus Christianist and gold-coin-crazed fictional rewrite of American history becomes ingrained in his legion of followers.