Most of you have probably seen Glenn Beck quoting his favorite thinker, W. Cleon Skousen, a far right nut who never saw a bizarre conspiracy he didn’t like. Did you know that Skousen was one of Mitt Romney’s professors at BYU? And that he helped support a ragtag little college founded to teach Skousen’s lunacy? Mother Jones has the details and a video.
Skousen was, like Beck and Romney, a Mormon. Among other crazy things, he believed that the founding fathers of the United States were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. But Romney is glad to help promote a college founded by Skousen’s followers, and to slobber all over Beck too:
On May 30, 2009, George Wythe University (named after the first law professor in America, who was a teacher of Thomas Jefferson), held a fundraising gala at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Beck, who was then riding high as a Fox News host, was the special guest, tapped to receive the school’s annual “Statesman Award.” Romney introduced him.
In a video message—obtained by Mother Jones—that was recorded for the event, Romney praised Beck and this school, which the US Department of Justice has called a “diploma mill.” He hailed George Wythe University and its supporters for “building statesmen” and “moving forward the cause of liberty and building men and women of virtue and wisdom, diplomacy, and courage.” He introduced Beck as a “man who is really making an impact in our entire country today.” Romney noted that Beck’s “approach is refreshing” and that he “tries to focus his message on action…on learning the principles of freedom and liberty, on standing up and making your voice heard, on reading and applying the wisdom of our nation’s founders to the challenges of today.” Beck, he asserted, was “a statesman in his own right.”