On September 22, conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough announced an "honor roll" for conservatives who are willing to denounce Glenn Beck's "hatred," making specific reference to Beck's statement that President Obama is "a racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Several media conservatives in addition to Scarborough have denounced Beck's rhetoric as "harmful" and "race-baiting."
Scarborough announces "honor roll" for conservatives who "call out" Beck's "hatred"
From the September 22 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
SCARBOROUGH: You cannot say that the president of the United States, Mike Barnicle, hates all white people. You cannot call the president of the United States a racist. You cannot wallow in conspiracy theories as he did for about a month, suggesting that FEMA might be setting up concentration camps and going on Fox & Friends and saying, "I can't disprove it," and then wait a month. You can't stir up that type of hatred -- calling the president a racist.
SCARBOROUGH: And then say, "I'm just a rodeo clown." Can I -- can I -- I've got an honor roll. We're gonna have a conservatives honor roll on this show.
BARNICLE: All right.
SCARBOROUGH: And trust me, you want to be on this honor roll. I know how these stories end. I always know how they end -- and I'm talking to you Mitt Romney, and I'm talking to anybody who wants to be president in 2012. You need to call out this type of hatred, because it always blows up in your face.
But yesterday, Pete Wehner, Karl Rove's political guy inside the White House -- brilliant guy, writes for Commentary. And we disagree on a lot, Pete and I do, but Pete came out yesterday and said Glenn Beck is bad for the conservative movement. We need more people doing that. You cannot preach hatred. You cannot say the president's a racist. You cannot stir up things that could have very deadly consequences. I was in Congress in 1995. I know where this can end. You can't do it, and then say, "I'm a rodeo clown."
Scarborough not the only conservative to denounce Beck's actions
Former Bush speechwriter Peter Wehner: "[T]he role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality." In a post for Commentary magazine's Contentions blog, Peter Wehner, a regular contributor to the blog, stated, "Only recently have I watched portions of [Beck's] television program, as well as interviews with him, and heard parts of his radio program. And what I've seen should worry the conservative movement." He later added, "Some of Beck's statements -- for example, that President Obama has a 'deep-seated hatred for white people' -- are quite unfair and not good for the country." Wehner also stated, "And certainly some of the things Beck has done on his program are fine and appropriate. But the role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality." [commentarymagazine.com, 9/21/09]
Mark Levin: Beck "mindless," "incoherent," "pandering," and "pathetic." On September 21, conservative radio host Mark Levin attacked Beck for saying in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric that "John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama." According to Levin, "To say [McCain] would be worse is mindless, incoherent, as a matter of fact." Levin later added: "I think there's enormous confusion and positioning and pandering. It may be entertaining, but from my perspective, it's not. It's pathetic." [Think Progress, 9/22/09]
David Frum: "GOP Surrenders to Beck's Mob Rule." In a September 11 blog post titled "GOP Surrenders to Beck's Mob Rule," former Bush speechwriter David Frum stated: "When Glenn Beck made his Fox debut, some shrewd conservatives responded with a wink. Maybe the show was paranoid and hysterical. Maybe Beck was none too scrupulous about facts and truth. But why be squeamish? The other side did as bad, or nearly. And see how usefully he mobilized the base! Those shrewd conservatives assumed Beck was working for them. Big mistake. Beck is working for himself -- and he chooses his targets according to his own scheme of priorities." In the blog post, Frum discussed Beck's smears against Obama administration official Cass Sunstein and stated: "Glenn Beck is not the first to make a pleasant living for himself by reckless defamation. We have seen his kind before in American journalism and American politics, and the good news is that their careers never last long. But the bad news is that while their careers do last, such people do terrible damage."
Parker: Beck and Rush Limbaugh are "empower[ing] racists." On the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, after host Chris Matthews played clips of Beck calling Obama a racist and Rush Limbaugh claiming that "in Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering," Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker stated: "What Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh did in those two clips is to empower racists and to legitimize them. And so that's -- that's the shame and horror of what they're doing." [9/20/09]
Brooks: Beck and Limbaugh are "race-baiting." Also on The Chris Matthews Show, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks said, "What Rush and Glenn Beck are doing, that's just race-baiting -- 100 percent, that's race-baiting." [9/20/09]
Hasselbeck slams Beck: "[D]anger in what he said," and he is not "able to back it up." On ABC's The View, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck said of Beck's "racist" comment: "There's danger in what he said, too. ... That was a bit sensationalist to go and say something like this. And I think whenever you throw that word out at somebody, you better be able to back it up. And he's not able to." [7/30/09]
Little Green Footballs' Johnson: "Wehner agrees with me: Glenn Beck: Harmful to the Conservative Movement." Conservative blogger Charles Johnson said on his blog, Little Green Footballs, "TIME Magazine's David Von Drehle asks: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America? I don't know why anyone would think a far right populist demagogue who rants and weeps in front of millions of people and spreads conspiracy theories straight out of the canon of the John Birch Society would be a bad thing." In a subsequent post, Johnson said of Wehner's "Glenn Beck harms the conservative movement" blog post: "Commentary's Peter Wehner agrees with me."
In addition to media conservatives, GOP Rep. Inglis told town hall attendees to turn off Beck's show. At an August town hall event, Republican Rep. Bob Inglis (SC) said to attendees who watch Glenn Beck: "Turn that television off."