Beck, Mowbray tag-teamed to bash Pelosi; Beck compared Santorum to Churchill

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

Glenn Beck and conservative columnist Joel Mowbray agreed that the media's purportedly positive treatment of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is the result of a "quintessential media bias." At one point during their discussion, Mowbray claimed that Pelosi's face would make "the best mask" for Halloween because of "years and years of plastic surgery."

On the October 30 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Beck and conservative columnist Joel Mowbray -- who was labeled simply as a "syndicated columnist" despite his columns' appearing in the conservative Townhall.com -- agreed that the media's purportedly positive treatment of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) is the result of a "quintessential media bias." Beck and Mowbray then proceeded to smear Pelosi, with Mowbray at one point claiming that Pelosi's face would make "the best mask" for Halloween because of "years and years of plastic surgery" and Beck baselessly claiming that the media have not presented Pelosi in a manner comparable to their presentation of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) in 1994. Beck, who claimed he is "not a Republican" days after saying he "mostly vote[s] Republican," also focused the first part of a weeklong series called "Vote American" on Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), whom Beck compared to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Beck teased the segment on Pelosi by saying, "God help me, she could be the next speaker of the House" and then claimed that Pelosi has "already been appointed the role" of speaker because "the media has such a political agenda when it comes to the elections, they're just not able to hide it at this point." Beck claimed that the media's depiction of Pelosi differed profoundly from how the media portrayed Gingrich in 1994 and that "you'd think that the media would describe her like they did Newt Gingrich, as ruthless, authoritarian, casually reckless." In fact, in 1994, Gingrich was treated in a manner similar to the way Pelosi is treated now, as Media Matters for America documented after the October 23 edition of ABC News' political newsletter The Note similarly predicted that in the two weeks leading up to the November midterm elections, the "(liberal) Old Media" will "[g]lowingly profile" Pelosi, but "fail to describe her as 'ultra liberal' or 'an extreme liberal,' which would mirror the way Gingrich was painted twelve years ago."

During the segment, Mowbray claimed that despite descriptions "that her staff gives of her, as a grandmother who loves to bake," Pelosi is actually a "ruthless tactician who will punish anyone and cut off certain parts of their body if they don't do as she says." Beck added that in the "regular corporate world," Pelosi would be "ripped to shreds" and would be called the "b-word." Mowbray agreed and claimed that "she actually is" called the "b-word" "inside the Democratic caucus on the Hill." At the end of the segment, Mowbray claimed: "Well, I think it's kind of appropriate we're discussing this on the eve of Halloween. I think, actually, the best mask to have out there would be a Nancy Pelosi mask. And you wouldn't have to do anything that is like a character with it. You would just do a lifelike re-creation of her face. It's very scary! She always looks surprised. I think that's actually the result of years and years of plastic surgery."

The segment on Pelosi came after Beck devoted two segments to interviewing Santorum. During the interview, Beck claimed Santorum "may just be the Winston Churchill of our day, a guy who is willing to stand up for what he believes" and predicted that "tomorrow ... I'm going to be ripped apart for calling you Churchill." As Media Matters noted (here, here, and here) Beck has frequently attempted to cast himself as nonpartisan, while forwarding Republican talking points.

From the October 30 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: OK. First of all, I've got to tell you, Mark.

MARK HALPERIN (ABC News political director): I know, you're not a Republican.

BECK: I'm not. I'm a conservative.

HALPERIN: You're a conservative.

BECK: But you say that like you're dismissing me. There's a huge difference.

[...]

BECK: Coming up, we kick off our weeklong election series called "Vote American." Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania joins me, and I've got to tell you, he makes an awful lot of sense to me.

Also, "The Real Story" on Nancy Pelosi. God help me, she could be the next speaker of the House. So why is her radical record being glossed over?

[...]

BECK: Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably couldn't help but notice that Nancy Pelosi is finally the new speaker of the House. Yeah, what? What? She's not the speaker yet? Oh, that's a technicality. We need the elections first. Honestly, isn't that the way it feels?

Somehow or another, she's already been appointed to the role, but have you asked yourself, "Why does it feel that way?" Well, it's because the real story is the media has such a political agenda when it comes to the elections, they're just not able to hide it at this point. Nancy Pelosi has publicly said that President Bush is not a leader, has no judgment, is incompetent, that the Republicans are immoral and corrupt, and they are, quote, "running a criminal enterprise."

She's someone who's supposed to unite us? Of course not. She doesn't care about unity, and she fully admits that she is 100 percent partisan. And she forces members to vote with the party if they want to stay in her good graces. And you know what? It's worked.

She has gotten Democrats to vote together 88 percent of the time. That is the most since Eisenhower was president. But given all of that, you'd think that the media would describe her like they did Newt Gingrich, as ruthless, authoritarian, casually reckless. No, no, no. According to the media, Nancy Pelosi is simply tough-minded tactician who has brought order to the Democrats.

[...]

BECK: Joel Mowbray, he is a nationally syndicated columnist who has been covering many of the House races. Joel, the way the media is treating Nancy Pelosi, quintessential media bias?

MOWBRAY: Yeah, I'd say so. Look, they want to have a female speaker of the House. They love the description that her staff gives of her, as a grandmother who loves to bake, not the ruthless tactician who will punish anyone and cut off certain parts of their body if they don't do as she says.

BECK: You know, I was reading this weekend an op-ed piece in the New York Post, and it had the quotes that -- what they used to say about Newt Gingrich, nothing anywhere close to Nancy Pelosi. And what's interesting is, if she were in just a regular corporate world, she'd be ripped to shreds. Because she's a woman, every woman who's in business will tell you, if you're tough, you're immediately the b-word. Not her. She's a grandma! How's that possible, without bias?

MOWBRAY: Well, she actually she is, I think, inside the Democratic caucus on the Hill -- I mean, I used to work on the Hill. I remember that word was tossed around to describe her from time to time.

BECK: Oh, this is not necessary.

MOWBRAY: Well, no, no, I'm just saying, but that's what you hear from other Democrats. And I actually just mean that as a serious comment.

And the Democrats don't particularly like her, but they do respect her. She is a very skillful leader, and she's done a heck of a job in holding the Democrats together. I'd actually compare her not to Newt Gingrich but rather to Tom DeLay, the Hammer. This kind of ruthless efficiency, you haven't seen in a long -- you know, since he left the Hill.

I think that she is someone who's done a great job. And, you know, look, she's held the Democrats together. But she's also a very scary face.

[...]

BECK: So let me take you to the future. If she becomes the speaker, doesn't this actually work to the advantage -- if the Republicans could actually cash in on this, doesn't she become -- isn't she the face that everybody really is frightened of, on the conservative side?

MOWBRAY: Well, I think it's kind of appropriate we're discussing this on the eve of Halloween. I think, actually, the best mask to have out there would be a Nancy Pelosi mask. And you wouldn't have to do anything that is like a character with it. You would just do a lifelike re-creation of her face. It's very scary. She always looks surprised. I think that's actually the result of years and years of plastic surgery.

[...]

BECK: Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania may just be the Winston Churchill of our day, a guy who is willing to stand up for what he believes, because he knows it's just too darn important to ignore. The only question is whether voters will stand up with him.

[...]

BECK: Back with Senator Rick Santorum. Senator, tomorrow you're going to be ripped apart for being on this program. I'm going to be ripped apart for calling you Churchill. But --

SANTORUM: It'll be a pleasure.

Network/Outlet
CNN Headline News
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck show
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine, 2006 Elections
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