On his Fox News show today, Glenn Beck complained that "they're selling the Constitution now with a disclaimer." Beck was referring to copies of the Constitution, among other founding documents, being sold by the publishing company Wilder Publications.
Early in today's program, Beck said:
BECK: What I don't understand is - turn of the century, 1900s. They said -- and this is taught in our universities now. I mean, it's crazy what, I just -- do we have the disclaimer for the Constitution? They're selling the Constitution now with a disclaimer, that these are kind of outdated ideas. They're not outdated ideas. They still work, don't they?
Beck actually read the entire disclaimer on the air later in the show:
BECK: This is the copy of the Constitution that I told ya -- I mean, look at this. This is from Wilder Publications:
"This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today." Man, a truer word has never been spoken. "Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written, before allowing them to read this classic work."
In your wildest dreams, anybody here in their wildest dreams -- did you ever think the United States Constitution would be sold with a disclaimer?
Surely Beck realizes that the views the "disclaimer" refers to -- namely those on "race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations" -- have changed dramatically since the Constitution was written since 1787. These changes have been undeniably positive. For example, African-Americans are no longer slaves and can now freely vote and run for office -- just like women can. Homosexuality is far more accepted, and people of different ethnicities are free to marry each other.
The disclaimer Beck complained about simply reminds parents and teachers that children may not know how different our society is today. Making sure children understand how groundbreaking the Constitution was -- even without all the advancements we've made since then -- can only help show them how valuable a document it is.
A tea partier named Nathan Tabor, who was filming a protest against Rep. Mel Watt's office in Greensboro, North Carolina, this week was punched in the face by a man who disagreed with the protest. This afternoon, during an appearance on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Tabor blamed President Obama for the punch he received:
CAVUTO: Very, very weird. I'm glad you're all right. I'm glad your daughter's all right, your wife's all right. Man, oh, man, it is weird. It is very, very weird.
TABOR: You know, Neil, here's the interesting thing. I think he took -- you know, Barack Obama, President Barack Obama said a few weeks ago you know, "go to your neighbors and get in their face." Well, you know, that is a very -- you know, if they're going to have to use violence to step on the constitution -- everybody be aware.
CAVUTO: Well to be fair, I don't think the president was recommending violence but it did -- this is weird. But we're going to watch this very closely. Thank you and be well.
Cavuto, to his credit, did offer at least some pushback on this ridiculous notion. However, Cavuto did not point out that the quote in question from Obama did not happen "a few weeks ago," but instead came nearly two years ago, while he was still a candidate for the presidency.
CBS News reported in September 2008 that Obama advised his supporters on how to tell people the truth about his stance on the 2nd Amendment:
At a campaign event in Elko, Nevada, on Wednesday, Obama did incite his supporters to argue with people who question his commitment to protecting the Second Amendment.
"I need ya to go out and talk to your friends, and talk to your neighbors," Obama said. "I want you to talk to 'em whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you argue with them, and get in their face, and if they tell ya, 'Well, we're not sure where he stands on guns,' I want you to say, 'He believes in the Second Amendment.' "
Needless to say, September 2008 is not "a few weeks ago."
But why would the average tea partier blame such an event on President Obama in the first place? Perhaps Nathan Tabor is not the average tea partier.
For starters, he currently is the chairman of the Republican Party of Forsyth County in North Carolina. Also, as noted by the blog Sadly, No!, Tabor wrote soon after Obama's inauguration in January 2009 that Democrats are racist, among other things:
The idea that our nation's Democratic leaders are anti-black, anti-minority, and anti-homosexual is an inconvenient truth. It is uncomfortable to read because it is uncomfortable to write. But, as an old adage goes, the truth will make you free. Only when Democrats confront their own bigoted demons can true progress begin, can we finally heal as a nation.
Why would a county-level Republican Party official, who has absurdly written that the Democratic leadership in our current government is "anti-black, anti-minority, and anti-homosexual," blame an attack in Greensboro on the president?
Is this kind of intellectual dishonesty and victimhood representative of the Tea Party movement?
On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck claimed that the civil rights movement "has been co-opted by progressives." However, Beck routinely uses both the civil rights movement and its rhetoric for his own political agenda, such as his claim that his August 28 rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial will "reclaim the civil rights movement."
Addressing comments he made on his May 28 radio show attacking President Obama's daughter, Glenn Beck lied about his history of "dragging" Obama's family "into the debate," falsely claiming that he had "never done it until last Friday." In fact, as Media Matters has previously documented, Beck has repeatedly brought up Obama's family in his commentary over the last several months.
This apology is incomplete. Beck involved Obama's children in another attack on the president earlier this week, comments Beck did not address in his apology today.
Further, Beck limited his apology to just "my own rule about leaving kids out of political debates." But he has repeatedly stated that entire families are off-limits -- and he has dragged President Obama's family into "political debates" several times over the past year. In a sexist attack on the president's wife just last week, Beck referred to an image on the Drudge Report of Michelle Obama at a White House state dinner for the Mexican president and his wife, stating:
I don't think I've ever seen the first lady with her -- excuse the expression -- but with her breasts all smooshed up.
Beck has also repeatedly brought up Obama's parents on his Fox News and radio shows -- specifically in the context of discussing Obama's politics -- and more than a year ago, he made fun of President Obama's aunt.
Glenn Beck's apology is incomplete until he apologizes for all the other instances in which he dragged the president's family into his political attacks.
Right-wing media figures -- including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh -- have attacked critics of the Arizona immigration law by invoking the idea of a civil war. For example, Beck suggested President Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and pushing America toward civil war.
Fox's John Stossel has repeatedly called for the repeal of part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, saying that "private businesses ought to get to discriminate" and that free-market forces will resolve racial discrimination.
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "this new cap-and-trade bill" extends unemployment insurance by three years and encourages workers to move overseas. In fact, the energy bill most recently considered in Congress, sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, has no such provisions, and Beck's claims distort provisions from the Waxman-Markey bill that the House passed last year.
Media Matters for America has compiled and debunked myths and falsehoods about Solicitor General Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination.
Yet again, Fox News has demonstrated its lack of concern for the ethical implications of Karl Rove's dual role as a "political analyst" for the network and his involvement in a GOP "campaign apparatus." Tonight, Greta Van Susteren opened her show with a lengthy segment in which Rove spoke extensively about Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her three potential GOP challengers. Following the path laid in Happening Now co-host Jon Scott's interview of Rove yesterday, Van Susteren made absolutely no mention of Rove's role in this GOP political operation, introducing him only as "the author of the new book Courage and Consequence":
One would think that after its Sean Hannity ethical nightmare, Fox News would take these things seriously. Media Matters has already pointed out this particular issue with Rove three times previously. Where does Fox News draw the line? Will it wait until its employees actively fundraise and campaign for GOP candidates?