On the March 23 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck discussed the March 22 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, in which host Keith Olbermann named Beck the runner-up in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment. Olbermann gave Beck the title for calling Rosie O'Donnell "a fat witch" and mocking her weight during the March 22 broadcast of his radio show, as documented by Media Matters for America. In response, Beck said: "I wasn't calling her -- I believe I was stating a fact." Steve Burguiere, the show's executive producer and head writer known on-air as "Stu," replied, "Yeah, and I believe that's a scientific consensus."
After playing the audio clip in which he called O'Donnell a "fat witch," Beck -- who hosts CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck and was recently hired by ABC News as a "regular commentator" for Good Morning America -- said: "I have to tell you, I'm a little ashamed of myself for saying that," adding, "technically, she's not a witch." He went on to say, "I don't like calling the names," but quickly said of O'Donnell: "But she's so fat. She's so fat."
As Media Matters noted, on the same March 22 radio broadcast, Beck also said O'Donnell "can take the sides with, what's his name, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a guy who was the mastermind behind 9-11." As Media Matters also noted, Beck claimed on his March 16 radio broadcast that O'Donnell "has more contempt for the United States of America than the guy who is the number-two guy of Al Qaeda."
Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates Beck's radio show, says the program is heard on more than 230 radio stations nationwide. According to Talkers Magazine, the program reaches more than 3 million listeners each week.
From the March 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Apparently, Keith Olbermann -- I was the "Worst Person in the World" last night on Keith Olbermann again.
BURGUIERE: No, no, you were only second place --
BECK: Oh, I was only second place?
BURGUIERE: Yeah, a little disappointing.
BECK: Oh. Who was the worst person? And what did I get in -- what was I second-place "Worst Person in the World" for?
BURGUIERE: For calling Rosie fat.
BURGUIERE: That's Rosie O'Donnell.
BECK: I wasn't calling her -- I believe I was stating a fact.
BURGUIERE: Yeah, and I believe that's a scientific consensus --
BECK: I believe that is.
BURGUIERE: We can look that up.
BECK: I mean we could do the body mass index, but I don't think we have to. I mean, why waste the time? Do we have the audio?
BURGUIERE: Yeah, this is the clip that basically he was very offended by --
BURGUIERE: From our radio program yesterday.
BECK [audio clip]: But there's a conservative on the set who's shut down. You can't just say your opinion. What the hell is this show all about, you fat witch? What is this show about?
BECK: Stop. I have to tell you, I'm a little ashamed of myself for saying that. I am. I mean it's technically true, she's a witch. Well, no, technically, she's not a witch.
BURGUIERE: Why are you ashamed of -- I mean --
BECK: No, I don't like calling the names, and --
BURGUIERE: That was very hateful.
BECK: But she's so fat. She's so fat.
BURGUIERE: Well, I mean, that's -- that part of it is accurate. You're right, though.
BECK: You're right.
BURGUIERE: As far as we know, there's no Wiccan tendencies.
BECK: There's no Wiccan tendencies there, and --
BURGUIERE: You should have left that out. That's -- that was --
BECK: I probably agree with Wiccans more than I agree with Rosie O'Donnell. So I apologize to all Wiccans on that.
BURGUIERE: But there's much more to the clip, Glenn.
BECK: All right. Go ahead.
[begin audio clip]
BECK: Try to find an intelligent whale joke.
BECK: I'm just -- I'm saying, because the whale jokes and the blubber that she has just pouring out of her eyes --
BURGUIERE: There's no reason to go to her weight. I mean, she's the type of idiot that watches documentaries online about 9-11 and conspiracies that a fourth-grader made on their PowerPoint and believes them. So there's much more to go to on that direction than just her rolls and rolls of hideous fat.
BECK: Do you know how many oil lamps we could keep burning just on Rosie O'Donnell's fat?
BURGUIERE: See, that -- that's --
BURGUIERE: You're back to the facile whale jokes, and there's no --
BECK: Think about how much perfume we could make out of Rosie O'Donnell.
[end audio clip]
BECK: OK, stop, stop, stop. All right. So, you get the point.
BURGUIERE: And that's why you were the second "Worst Person in the World" from yesterday.