12.10.09 DefendGlenn Retraction Release - FINAL.doc

For Immediate Release

December 10, 2009 

Contact: Brandon Hatler -- DumpGlennBeck@gmail.com  

DefendGlenn.com Issues Public Apology for False Statements Made About ColorOfChange.org During Group's Beck Campaign

Glenn Beck Support Website Admits 'Erroneous' Accusations, Apologizes; DefendGlenn.com to Post Full Retraction of Claims on Homepage for Seven Weeks  

OAKLAND, Calif. -- DefendGlenn.com, the website created and dedicated to supporting controversial Fox News personality Glenn Beck, today issued a public retraction of several erroneous statements it made regarding civil rights organization ColorOfChange.org. The site has posted the retraction on its home page -- www.DefendGlenn.com -- and, per an agreement, must keep it there for seven full weeks.  <

"We understood that by taking a stand against someone as divisive as Glenn Beck, we were going to encounter some very public opposition," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "It's not surprising that Beck's chief defenders are as reckless with the truth as he is.  Since our campaign began, Beck has avoided mentioning our organization publicly, but DefendGlenn.com has repeatedly attacked us with false accusations designed to tarnish our reputation.  We are heartened that DefendGlenn.com and its creators have finally apologized for their actions and taken responsibility for the false information they published as fact.  We hope that this is the last time they will have to issue such a retraction." 

DefendGlenn.com was created in the wake of ColorOfChange.org's campaign earlier this year to urge advertisers to pull their ads from the Glenn Beck show on Fox News Channel. That campaign was incredibly successful, with over 80 advertisers -- including all of the show's mainstream brands -- dropping their support for the show. The DefendGlenn.com website was used as a tool by Beck supporters to fire back at ColorOfChange.org and advertisers who deserted the show.  

Unfortunately, DefendGlenn.com resorted to making false claims and fear mongering. Once ColorOfChange.org confronted the site's backers regarding the legal ramifications of these claims, DefendGlenn.com agreed to publicly apologize for them, admit they were false and issue a clarification. 

DefendGlenn.com is a project of the United States Justice Foundation, which is run by Gary Kreep. Kreep currently serves as general counsel to the anti-immigration group The Minutemen, has represented members of radical groups such as Operation Rescue, and has been affiliated with the "birther" movement. 

The full retraction, which will remain on the homepage of DefendGlenn.com for seven weeks, is below:

DefendGlenn.com on several occasions inaccurately reported that Color of Change called President Bush a "racist". We have confirmed that Color of Change did not, in fact, call George Bush a "racist" on its website and although we picked up that allegation from another website (NewsMax.com), that allegation is false and we apologize to Color of Change for this error. 

We also accused Color of Change of lying regarding it's [sic] claims that certain advertisers agreed to stop advertising on Glenn Beck. While our previous comments were partially correct on the matter concerning the claims of Color of Change regarding the initial 20 advertisers, upon review, it appears that the accusation of lying was inaccurate. In at least one instance, DefendGlenn.com and Color of Change were given diametrically opposing statements by the same advertiser, and, in other instances, the statements given by the advertisers were consistent, but open to interpretation.  It is now our understanding that Color of Change accurately reported on it's [sic] web site and in its press releases precisely what each of the advertisers told it. DefendGlenn.com also accurately reported on its website precisely what each advertiser told it. We apologize to Color of Change for erroneously accusing them of lying and have removed all such allegations from our website.   

We have also alleged that Kayne West claimed that George Bush 'gave troops permission to go down (to New Orleans) and shoot us (black people) after Hurricane Katrina' and that Color of Change endorsed that hateful statement by selling T shirts that said "Kanye Was Right". We have since learned that Mr. West was apparently referring to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's authorization for troops to fire on the people of New Orleans during Katrina and not [sic] President Bush never gave such an order. A representative of Color of Change has informed us that the t shirts they are selling refer instead to Kanye West's much more widely publicized comment that George Bush "doesn't care about black people." We accept their representation in this regard and apologize for any misunderstanding that this has caused.   

ColorOfChange.org launched its campaign against Beck in late July after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance on Fox & Friends. The group called on its members to sign a petition urging companies who advertise on Glenn Beck to cut off their advertising support of his work. To date, over 285,000 people have signed the petition and over 80 companies have stopped their ads from appearing during Glenn Beck's show.   

With more than 600,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.