Liberal billionaire financier George Soros referenced the book "1984" while predicting Tuesday night that America's “open society" could "be on the verge of some dictatorial democracy," all before turning his sights on Glenn Beck and calling him a throwback to wild and crazy radical elements.
The comments were made to CNN newsman Fareed Zakaria at an International Crisis Center dinner honoring Soros.
According to an account of the dinner by Forbes writer Robet Lenzner, Soros used the popular anti-communist book "1984" to chide Americans for fantasizing unrealistically about their political system. Lenzner, however, didn't expound on the issue, writing only that Soros mentioned the book "as a possible precedent for the kind of fantasies being promulgated in our culture today."
Lenzner does explain, however, that Soros took time to bash Fox News and Glenn Beck.
"Soros was especially bitter and harshly critical of the rolke [sic] played in our political discourse by the Fox News Channel," he writes. Soros reportedly described Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. "as a very dangerous precedent for the 'open society' that has prevailed in the U.S. for 200 years."
He then set his sights on Beck. In a paraphrase of Soros's comments, Lenzner writes that Soros called Beck "a throwback to the wild and crazy radical elements that never before were given such a public pedestal to foment their hate." Unafraid to show his stance, Lenzner calls Beck's recent characterization of Soros as a puppet master trying to bring about the collapse of the U.S. financial and political system as "falsely vilifying Soros publicly."
"Beck has been trying to stir up public hatred of Soros," Lenzner concludes.
The dinner was attended by a who's who of upper society. Former President Bill Clinton, Lord Christopher Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, and hedge fund multibillionaire Paul Tudor Jones spoke highly of Soros at the event. Other attendees, according to Lenzner, included "many financiers, mutual fund managers, and former diplomats like Thomas Pickering and John Whitehead."