Right-wing radio host Glenn Beck is set to host a one-hour talk show as part of CNN Headline News' prime-time programming, beginning May 8. Media Matters for America has previously questioned CNN's decision to hire Beck and now offers a compilation of Beck's latest outrageous statements.
Since reports in January that CNN had hired right-wing radio host Glenn Beck for a one-hour talk show as part of CNN Headline News' prime-time programming, Beck has continued providing CNN with new reasons to reconsider its decision. At the time Beck was hired, Media Matters for America documented a number of statements Beck made that CNN was either not aware of or did not consider disqualifying. Since then, he has said Mexico "is run by nothing but criminals," called Cindy Sheehan a "prostitute," and suggested to a 7-year-old African-American girl, reportedly the author of a controversial poem, that she should "go to Africa." Despite these and other recent comments, CNN Worldwide executive vice president Ken Jautz, in an April 10 CNN Headline News press release, touted Beck's "incredibly engaging" on-air style and "his no-nonsense approach" as reasons his show will be "the perfect next step in the evolution of the Headline Prime line-up[.]"
In anticipation of Beck's scheduled May 8 debut, Media Matters has compiled these and other Beck comments (which, although recent, for the most part precede Jautz's laudatory press release):
- On antiwar protestor Cindy Sheehan: "That's a pretty big prostitute."
- Also on Cindy Sheehan: She is "pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death for her own agenda."
- On former President Jimmy Carter: "Is there a bigger waste of skin than Jimmy Carter?"
- On a Nigerian public information campaign to fight bird flu: "They've actually resorted to radio jingles. ... Are we as dumb as Nigeria?"
- To the 7-year old African-American author of a controversial poem: "You want to go to Africa? I will personally purchase your airfare."
- On immigration protests: Mexico "is a country that has been overtaken by lawbreakers from the bottom to the top. And now, what you're protesting for is to have lawbreakers come here."
- Responding to criticism of his remarks on immigration protests: "[I] pretty much stand by" the assertion that "Mexico is run by nothing but criminals."
- On American Indians in South Dakota considering skirting a state ban on abortion: They "will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics."
- Suggesting "politically correct" names for bunker-buster nuclear weapons: "[B]utterfly bomb," "climate-control device," "[b]omb de tropical. ... We could use that one in Venezuela."
- On immigrants entering illegally from Mexico: Either "they're terrorists," "they're escaping the law," or "[t]hey can't make a living in their own dirtbag country."
Additionally, during a discussion of George Clooney's remarks at the March 5 Academy Awards ceremony, in which Clooney argued that Hollywood had been advocating action on civil-rights issues and AIDS before it was popular to do so, Beck responded to Clooney by imitating the voice of a "blackface" actor.
From Beck's March 6 show (sections in bold were spoken in the "blackface" voice):
BECK: And in 1939 -- I mean, let me tell you something -- you were so right that Hollywood was standing up for the black folk of America. In fact, let me say this in the way Hollywood would understand: "You were so right, massa! Back in 1939 when I was sittin' there on the silver screen with my watermelon, eatin' it up and dancing with little Shirley Temple with my tap shoes on, you were so right. Mammy, you were right."
Yeah, you know, let me ask you a question. How come I know that voice? Why do I have the Mammy blackface image? "Because I seen 'em in Hollywoods from 1939 movies. Yes, boss!"
You're right. You were so on the cutting edge. You had nothing to do with racism. "None whatsoever, boss."
You know, you've been a little out of touch, Georgie. A little out of touch on a couple of other things. You know, especially on a couple of things that are, you know, I know are, near and dear to your heart, one of them, and it's a small, little thing called communism. You might remember communism from such films as Good Night, and Good Luck, directed by -- oh, surprisingly enough -- you.
Was Joseph McCartney [sic] -- Joseph McCartney -- Joseph McCarthy generally right? Not in the approach but what he was going after? Yeah. He was. There were communist spies at the time in America. There were people with a communist agenda in Hollywood. "Whoa! You're not sayin' that they were red, and I be black?" No, no, George. Not at all. They were making movies designed to influence America in that way.
And the other claim -- AIDS. "You know, we were there talking about AIDS before anybody else." Yes, yes, you were. Gosh darn it, you are such good people. You know? Especially since you were leading the fight to make people aware of AIDS, and then you were also on the cutting edge of promoting the sexual promiscuity that spreads it. It was, I mean that non-monogamous, have sex with everything from your sister to a farm animal, and just, multiple partners. Boogie Nights comes to mind. You are leaders in that area and -- "Well, I, for one, is a donkey, George. Thank you so much!"
Beck's website (subscription required) also includes the following "comedy" segments, apparently broadcast on Beck's nationally syndicated radio program:
- A mock radio jingle for the species of grouper formerly known as the "jewfish," containing the line: "Close your eyes and try to picture a great big friendly jewfish -- that is unless you're Jewish. Oh yeah, and that reminds us: Jewfish get real stinky if you leave them in the car."
- Several short segments listing "rejected NCAA team names," including: "the Los Angeles Limp-Wrists," "the New Jersey Jumpin' Jews," and "the Atlanta Murdering Rampage of Savage Rapin' Injuns."
- A satirical song about the reformed "New KKK": The song details the fictitious organization's practice of "close-to-painful murdering of the dark people."
- A musical mock-tribute to illegal border crossers: The singer refers to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) as a "wasted" "leprechaun." An announcer says Mexico's "main contribution to American society is the deflowering of our teenage daughters on spring break."
- A segment titled "Real Iranian A-holes": The narrator alleges that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "had relations with a goat."
- Several segments featuring the misadventures of "Middle Eastern superheroes" named "Kandahar" and "Jalalabad": The two blow themselves up at the end of many episodes.
- A mock preview of High Beams, a "five-minute movie" featuring "still pictures" of Jennifer Aniston's "jugs."
- A song titled, "I Like Chinese": The singer brands the Chinese "small" and "cuddly," stating that "they only come up to your knees" and "they all have names like Wang and Chung and Sun-Ji."
Additionally, a page on Beck's site featuring desktop backgrounds for subscribers includes an image of Beck wearing a keffiyeh -- a traditional Arab headdress -- set against a backdrop of oil. The image is titled "Talk Radio's Most Wanted."
Also, an online store page offering "Michael Moore is Fat" T-shirts states: "What can be said about Michael Moore? His communist views and anti-Bush rhetoric are so laughable, it isn't even worth debating him. So why not boil it down to what's really important: Michael Moore is Fat."
At the time of Beck's hiring, Media Matters also noted these remarks by Beck:
- On families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: "[T]his is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year."
- On Hurricane Katrina survivors who remained in New Orleans: "And that's all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones that we're seeing on television are the scumbags -- and again, it's not all the people in New Orleans. Most of the people in New Orleans got out! It's just a small percentage of those who were left in New Orleans, or who decided to stay in New Orleans, and they're getting all the attention."
- Discussing disclosures from a caller who claimed to have tortured prisoners in U.S. custody: "I've got to tell you, I appreciate your service. ... Good for you. Good for -- I mean, good for you. Is it because you did it for the country? ... I have to tell you, when all is said and done, I'm glad people like you are on our side."
- On filmmaker Michael Moore: "Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong?"
- On the father of Nick Berg, American civilian beheaded in Iraq: "The want to be a better person today than I was yesterday says he's a dad, he's grieving, but I don't buy that. I'm sorry, I don't buy it. I think he is grieving, but I think he's a scumbag as well. I don't like this guy at all."