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Friday, July 30, 2010

'Glenn Beck, Come Back to Planet Earth,' Says Tides Foundation Head Drummond Pike

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 5:59 AM

Glenn Beck enjoys roasting the Tides Foundation even more than he likes boiling frogs
  • Glenn Beck enjoys roasting the Tides Foundation even more than he likes boiling frogs
When Byron Williams -- the body armor-clad man charged with turning I-580 into a shooting gallery earlier this month -- listed his purported targets, it wasn't very surprising he named the ACLU. But the Tides Foundation? Who's heard of the Tides Foundation, let alone harbors a grudge against it?

Answer: Glenn Beck. It turns out the San Francisco-based progressive grantmaker is a favorite subject of ranting and conspiracy theory-mongering by the cherubic FOX news superstar. The nonprofit Media Matters has documented 31 separate instances since January of 2009 in which Beck accused Tides of undermining capitalism, brainwashing children, and, essentially attempting to infiltrate American business and government. Two of Beck's diatribes occurred the very week before Williams' abortive shooting rampage.

Williams' mother earlier told the media that her son watched the news on TV and was "upset at how Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items." SF Weekly's calls to Janice Williams were not returned, so it's not clear if Byron Williams was specifically watching Glenn Beck's program. But, really, it's hard to imagine where else Tides would be mentioned on TV.

Byron Williams, who was angered by what he heard on the television news
  • Byron Williams, who was angered by what he heard on the television news
Tides founder Drummond Pike has long been aware of his spot in Beck's cross-hairs. He has a message for the TV demagogue: "It'd be nice if he came back to earth with regard to the truth."

For starters, while Beck frequently refers to Tides as "the George Soros Tides Foundation," Pike notes that his organization and Soros are not connected -- despite what Beck's conspiracy theory spider charts may claim. Soros did not help Pike found Tides in 1976, Pike says ("Oh Lord, no"); the two never met until 2005. The extent of Tides' connection is this, claims Pike: Soros' Open Society Institute -- which isn't just Soros, but has a board of directors, a letterhead, everything -- has donated money to some of the same projects Tides showered money on. "I think our affiliation lives mostly in Glenn Beck's fantasies," says Pike.

Tides is not interested in undermining the United States, fomenting Communism, or infiltrating major corporations, Pike continues. If you want to see what they're up to, you can view the thousands of organizations they donated hundreds of millions of dollars to right here.

Pike says he hasn't yet talked to a lawyer regarding Beck's obsession with his organization. "There really isn't much you can do when people make these kinds of statements about you."

But it isn't likely he'll do much to rattle Beck. "I don't want to inflame Mr. Beck any more than he is already inflamed. I'm very concerned about the safety of my employees," says Pike. "I've hired security personnel, had security reviews of our building, and alerted the U.S. Park Police. I have no interest of accusing him of anything. I just invite him to learn more about what we really do."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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