49. “Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”


“Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”

Carlin is notoriously known for criticizing political correctness, so I can see how somebody might assume this to be an authentic quotation. However there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that he ever said this. This quote doesn’t appear in any of Carlin’s albums, HBO specials, or books.

Glenn Beck has been quoted as saying “Political Correctness doesn’t change us; it just shuts us up. Political Correctness is Fascism.” Though the book I found this line is in called “Apocalypse Survival: Preparing for the Unthinkable. An Evangelical Perspective on Existential Threats and Long-Term Survival” by T. Gordon Larsen. Which sounds…yeah, kind a tinfoil-hatty. Though the more credible WikiQuote has “Political Correctness doesn’t change us; it shuts us up.” credited to Beck and sourced as being from a November 13, 2006 episode (episode #2) of his “Insider Radio” podcast. Some further digging revealed the quote not attributed to anybody in an image found on EbaumsWorld.com, dated June 8th, 2012.

In April 2022, Dave Itzkoff, a reporter for the New York Times, contacted me. He was researching some Carlin quotes for an article, and Kelly Carlin had suggested this site (thanks, Kelly!). He had also found an article from 2000 where Charlton Heston is quoted as saying “Political correctness is just tyranny with manners”. Thanks to Mr. Itzkoff for sending me the image:


I suppose there’s a chance that Carlin said this on an interview or some bootleg recording, but given the above observations, this seems like a typical case of somebody falsely attributing somebody else’s line to George Carlin, thinking it simply sounded like something Carlin might have said.