Does Glenn Beck think apologies cause lies?
Consider Beck's attempt to explain the role of truth in his Fox News show:
BECK: When I first came here I had this pie in the sky belief that if I told you the truth, if I verified all of my facts and double-checked, and we could make that compelling case with facts to back it up, the journalists in other places would get curious, and they'd use their resources and they'd investigate and they'd prove it right and they'd show it, too! Yeah.
Well, we have done our part of the bargain. I have only had to retract one major mistake on this program in two years, and that's when I said that Van Jones is a convicted felon. He's not. We corrected it -- he's not. He just spent time in jail, or he was arrested.
Now, to be clear, accusing your political opponent of being a convicted felon isn't your garden variety white lie. It's a pretty big deal.
But set that aside for a moment and consider Glenn Beck's underlying logic. When people say things that aren't true (lies), they correct the record (apologize). Beck has only corrected the record one time for saying things that weren't true. Therefore, Beck has told the truth all the other times.
Under that reasoning, the time that Beck lied -- er, was wrong -- about taxpayers funding an art exhibit that was actually paid for by private donors doesn't count, because Beck never issued a retraction.
The same holds for the time Glenn Beck fudged the facts about President Obama's response to the Gulf Coast oil spill: since Beck didn't issue a correction, it must be true.
Ditto Beck's completely made up cost of Obama's trip to India - which Beck pegged at an astonishingly unbelievable $2 billion. No apology; no lie.
Beck's logic completely exonerates him from accusations that he lobbed provably false smears at White House advisers Cass Sunstein and John Holdren.
But look more closely at Beck's explanation:
BECK: [I]f I verified all of my facts and double-checked, and we could make that compelling case with facts to back it up, the journalists in other places would get curious and they'd use their resources and they'd investigate and they'd prove it right and they'd show it, too.
Last November, Beck came under fire from prominent Jewish groups for peddling the false smear that financier and philanthropist George Soros was complicit in "taking the property from the Jews" during the Holocaust and that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps."
Amid the uproar, Forbes magazine looked into Beck's facts and wrote that Beck had "falsely vilified" Soros.
Instead of issuing a retraction, Beck demanded proof, only to completely ignore it when it showed that his attack was steeped in falsehoods. See, Beck's not the least bit interested in investigations that prove he's wrong.
Beck's truth deficit is astronomical. And despite his frequent claims to the contrary, Fox News has shown no indication it cares to rein him in.
After all, in Glenn Beck's world, if he doesn't take it back, it must be true.