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During the June 20 edition of his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck hosted Michael Graham, a conservative radio talk show host, who said that, while watching a spoof of a scene from the series finale of HBO's The Sopranos filmed by former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), he wanted to see someone "whack" the Clintons. Beck, while smiling, said he "did not want to see that." Graham's comments were not edited out of subsequent airings of the program. Instead, CNN aired the same version of the show -- including Graham's remark about wanting to see "somebody come in ... and just whack" the Clintons -- at 7 and 9 p.m. ET on June 20 and at midnight on June 21.
The Think Progress weblog noted Graham's comments on June 21.
This is not the first time Graham has used violent rhetoric while discussing the Clintons. On the May 7, 2003, edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Graham said: "Anyone listening to Hillary Rodham in her speech last week about patriotism, that screaming, screeching fingernail, I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron."
During the May 17, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, Beck himself fantasized about killing filmmaker Michael Moore:
BECK: 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?
I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, "Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore," and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, "Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death," and you know -- well, I'm not sure.
From the June 20 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: First of all, I don't know if I would have, you know, cast Bill as Tony Soprano, a guy who's a serial cheater. The second part is, I'm worried that we have been -- we've made politics now just about entertainment. I mean, why don't we just elect [country music singer] Kenny Chesney and get it all over with?
GRAHAM: I'm thinking about Hillary Clinton sitting there as the Carmela, you know, with this thing - you know --
BECK: Oh, and it's so true.
GRAHAM: -- with her large, overweight, powerful husband, and she's using his power to get what she wants. At some point, I -- but, seriously, Glenn, didn't you at some point want to see, like, Paulie Walnuts [fictional character on The Sopranos], somebody come in here and just whack them both right there? Wouldn't that have been great?
BECK: No, I did not want to see that.
GRAHAM: Come on! Where's "Big Pussy" [Sopranos fictional character]? Come on! Let's make it happen.
BECK: No, I did not want to see that.
GRAHAM: I wanted that.
BECK: When it comes to the Obama girl -- you know, the video that came out for the Obama girl --
GRAHAM: Yes, she's a cutie.
BECK: Well, there are parts of her -- she looked like -- I didn't mean it that way. I meant there's parts of the video that made me think of Monica Lewinsky. There was that one scene where she just kind of looked like that and, again, I didn't want to bring that image again. What do you think? Do you think [Sen. John] McCain [R-AZ] could use something like this? He seems so old. I mean unless it's done by [actress] Bea Arthur -- an angry, pissed off Bea Arthur.
GRAHAM: Exactly. The only thing McCain's going to do is to get, you know, Grandpa Simpson [The Simpsons fictional character] to endorse him -- "I say vote for John; he's not a kook!" You know, but that -- no, that is a very good point about the perception that people have.
GRAHAM: Who wants to be part of a tired, old campaign?
GRAHAM: And it's not fair to Senator McCain at all to look at him and judge him, but that's what people do.
BECK: Oh, and meanwhile --
GRAHAM: Hillary Clinton's -- I must say, Hillary Clinton's number one problem, by the way, believe it or not, is not her policies -- which, you know, terrify me -- her number one problem is she has the most -- the highest negative ratings I've ever seen for a candidate for president.
BECK: She's just -- I mean, take --
GRAHAM: Almost half of America's already said they don't want to vote for her under any circumstances. How do you get people to like you?
BECK: You don't.
GRAHAM: You can't do it by debating health care.
GRAHAM: You do it by doing something cool about The Sopranos.