MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON…. Glenn Beck has spent quite a bit of time recently considering whether the Obama administration is setting up secret “concentration camps” to lock up conservatives as part of the president’s drive towards totalitarianism. Beck hasn’t said Obama is definitely doing this, but he claims to have researched this, and been unable to “debunk” the “rumors” that he’s helped spread.

Good news: Beck has decided to give up on this specific issue.

On his show Monday, Glenn Beck enlisted the help of Popular Mechanics to debunk an internet rumor that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates concentration camps in the United States. […]

Beck hosted Popular Mechanics editor-in-chief James Meigs, who reported that, based on his magazine’s independent investigation, videos on the internet said to have been of FEMA concentration camps actually included footage of an Amtrak repair facility in Beach Grove, Indiana. The video reportedly comes from a woman tied to Timothy McVeigh’s militia group.

“There is enough out there,” Beck said. “We don’t need to make stuff up.”

Yes, wouldn’t that be a shame, if Glenn Beck felt the need to “make stuff up“?

Here’s a sampling of what Beck’s been drumming into the heads of viewers, a portion of whom likely (and logically) hear his rhetoric as a call to action. That the government is a “heroin pusher using smiley-faced fascism to grow the nanny state.” That it’s indoctrinating our children; that we have “come to a very dangerous point in our country’s long, storied history.” Beck’s concerned that the “Big Brother” government will soon dictate what its citizens can eat, at what temperature their house can be set, and what kind of cars they’re allowed to drive. […]

The country today sometimes reminds Beck of “the early days of Adolf Hitler.” Beck thinks that Obama, who has “surrounded himself by Marxists his whole life,” is now “addicting this country to heroin — the heroin that is government slavery.”

At least he’s going to stop pushing the FEMA conspiracy, though. Baby steps.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.