No wonder Glenn Beck likes David Barton so much.
At recent Ted Cruz rallies, Glenn Beck told audiences he owns the copy of Don Quixote originally owned by George Washington and which was picked up by Washington the day he signed the Constitution. As it turns out, Beck’s copy of Don Quixote was given as a gift by Washington to Tobias Lear. That is not what he told audiences, and to HuffPo, Beck admitted the error. However, on his website, he chides Calderone and HuffPo as if they made the error. Let me unpack this.
First, in a January 30 HuffPo article, Calderone reported that Beck told a Cruz rally he owned the copy of Don Quixote purchased by George Washington the day he signed the Constitution.
Beck also described how Washington picked up a copy of Don Quixote on the day he signed the Constitution, before holding up what he claimed was Washington’s own copy. Beck joked that today, the action would be as extraordinary as signing the Constitution before taking a trip to Barnes & Noble.
About the copy of Don Quizote brandished by Beck, Calderone yesterday quoted Beck as saying:
He wrote two lines [in his diary] on the day of the signing of the Constitution,” Beck said of Washington during a Jan. 30 stop in Ames, Iowa.”First line: ‘Signed the Constitution today.’ Second line: ‘I pick up my copy of Don Quixote.’ This is his copy of Don Quixote that he picked up that day.
Watch Beck tell the same story at Morningstar Church in South Carolina (see below for another time when Beck related the same story):
Contradicting Beck, Calderone yesterday published a report demonstrating that the copy of Don Quixote Beck displayed was not the copy he said it was. The copy of Don Quixote secured by Washington the day he signed the Constitution is owned by Mount Vernon’s Washington library. The library also owns a Spanish language copy of Don Quixote.
In his speeches, Beck clearly identified his book as Washington’s copy which he picked up the day he signed the constitution. In a statement to HuffPo today, Beck acknowledged his false statement:
“The lesson that I take from Washington’s diary where he says ‘Signed the constitution. Bought Don Quixote’ is that we are never done in our service to God and Country,” Beck said. “I have incorrectly stated that my copy is the copy that Washington purchased the day he signed the Constitution. That version is one of the copies owned and housed in Mount Vernon. I take full responsibility for connecting my book (which is dated 1796) to the book Washington purchased that fateful day of September 17th, 1787. But make no mistake the copy in my possession is from the private library of George Washington.”
I don’t think Beck and I view taking “full responsibility” in the same manner. On Beck’s website, here is what his readers see:
Unlike Glenn, the Huffington Post is evidently not a student of history — nor fond of research, for that matter.
Rather than publish with journalistic integrity, HuffPo decided to throw caution to the wind and publish an unsubstantiated hit piece questioning the authenticity of a book Glenn owns and has taken along on the campaign trail. The book in question is George Washington’s volume of Don Quixote. The hit piece, titled “Mount Vernon Says It Owns George Washington’s Copy Of Don Quixote, Not Glenn Beck,” was published yesterday.
Beck’s article doesn’t provide the statement given to HuffPo. Beck tries to change the subject. Calderone questioned exactly what Beck claimed. Beck told audiences repeatedly that he had a book he didn’t have. Either Beck intentionally deceived the audiences or he is not the history buff he claims to be.
On his website and on his show, he doesn’t admit what he did to HuffPo and doesn’t take any responsibility for connecting his copy to the book picked up by Washington on the day he signed the Constitution.
When Ted Cruz’s former campaign communications director Rick Tyler falsely reported a story about Marco Rubio’s statements about the Bible, Tyler was fired by Cruz. Will Cruz now demote Beck or remove him from the rallies?
More Instances Where Beck Connected His Copy to the Copy Held by Mount Vernon
It appears that Beck told Richard Dreyfuss the same or a similar story. Watch at the beginning of this clip.
In the description of the video with Dreyfuss, the story appears:
Published on Jan 31, 2016
Glenn Beck ran into actor Richard Dreyfuss by surprise backstage at a Ted Cruz rally over the weekend and had a chance to show the actor two of George Washington’s personal artifacts he was carrying with him in a briefcase. (Video: Josiah Ryan http://bit.ly/1Kj0iWo)
One was George Washington’s compass, which he received at age fourteen and carried with him for his entire life. The other was the first president’s copy of Don Quixote,
“A compass is used for exactness,” said Beck, later from the stage. “I’m here to support Ted Cruz because he is exact in everything he does. His word is his bond. He believes, as George Washington did that deeds not words.”
Beck said Washington went and purchased the copy of Don Quixote just hours after signing Constitution signaling that the responsibility of keeping the Constitution was now in the hands of the voters.
He joked it was the modern day equivalent of running to Barnes & Nobles.
“The response is always the same, especially for his compass — reverence and awe,” Beck said later on his Facebook, referring to his encounter with Dreyfuss.
Beck said yesterday that he sometimes said the copy of Don Quixote was the one Washington picked up the day he signed the Constitution and other times he didn’t say that.
GLENN: Jeez. If I need to drag around the documentation for everything — so when I was on the road and said, “This is George Washington’s.” And we went back and checked the tape. There were times that I said, this is the one that he got on that day, and that wasn’t the one he got on that day. He had three copies. So that wasn’t the one that he got on that day. But usually I said, “This was George Washington’s copy of Don Quixote.” And they’re questioning that this was George washington’s copy. And the only reason why they said that it wasn’t was because they went on record because people were calling Mount Vernon saying, “Glenn Beck is lying, isn’t he?” And they said, “No, we have George Washington’s copy of Don Quixote.” Yes, you have two of two them. He had three of them. I have the other one. But nobody cares to listen to that. And so it’s just sloppy journalism, at best.
If Beck has a video of a speech at a Cruz rally where he didn’t claim to have Washington’s Constitution Day copy of Don Quixote, he should post it.
In Aitken, South Carolina on February 15, Beck told the same story. Watch:
Here’s the same story at Ames, IA (at 7:00), a rally in SC (at 16:07) and then again in Nevada (start at 3:39)
As recently as February 21, Beck told a Nevada crowd that he had Washington’s Constitution signing day copy. Watch: