On March 19 at the Left Forum in New York City, a reporter for Glenn Beck's website The Blaze secretly recorded SEIU's Stephen Lerner giving a presentation on economic justice. Lerner's speech called for Americans to band together to stop paying exploitative mortgage fees to the big banks that caused our financial crisis. The banks, Lerner says, should pay for taking bailout money and funneling it into bonuses for executives instead of lines of credit for consumers or homeowners, a point Lerner made in his Nation article, "Back at You, Glenn Beck ."
On The Last Word on Tuesday night, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell says that Beck's paranoia has reached a new extreme. According to Beck, Lerner is a "mastermind worse than Osama bin Laden." Such a statement, O'Donnell says, is insulting to the families of those who died on September 11, 2001. O'Donnell says that if Beck thinks something worse than 9/11 is in the works, "I beg him to go to his nearest New York City fire station and tell the firefighters there, all of whom lost someone dear to them on 9/11, that something worse is coming. Tell those firefighters all about former union leader Stephen Lerner."