The audio: A former labor union leader has been caught on tape, apparently plotting to "destabilize the country" in an anti-capitalist coup. The voice reportedly belongs to Stephen Lerner, a former Service Employees International Union official, and can be heard on the tape detailing plans to "bring down the stock market" so that the financial sector would give power back to the working middle class. (Listen to the audio below.) This "socialist fantasy" would be carried out by persuading students, home owners, and local governments to quit repaying loans, thereby bankrupting the banks. The video was obtained by The Blaze, a political website owned by Glenn Beck, who titled Lerner's plan a leftist "economic terrorism playbook." Lerner was ejected from his role as equity director of the SEIU last year, after attempting to persuade the union to spend "millions of dollars" on this same plan.
The reaction: Even though Lerner was sacked over this plan, many of his labor union cronies share his antipathy to the public sector, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. The irony is, unions would "stand to lose just as much if not more than most if the system collapses," due to their pension fund investments. That's the real reason Lerner's "Fight Club fantasies" got nixed by the SEIU. If only Beck hadn't undermined his site's scoop by responding to Lerner's "supposedly dangerous rhetoric with full-throated apocalyptic panic," says Ned Resnikoff at Media Matters. On his radio show, the conservative host warned that Lerner's plan was a precursor to the imminent collapse of the U.S., predicting "millions will die." Is it really responsible to respond to this tape by telling your listeners to "grab on to your gun"? Listen to Lerner's tape — and Beck's reaction — here: