Newsmax's beef? "Media Matters quoted, but de-emphasized, much of the fuller context of Beck's remarks"

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Quoting from an October 23 Media Matters for America press release on radio host Glenn Beck's statement that "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in [the Southern California] forest fire today," an October 25 Newsmax.com article claimed that Media Matters "implie[d]" that Beck "somehow approved of the burning of certain Southern California residents' homes." The article went on to claim that "a plain reading of his words in context reflects no such approval," and claimed that Media Matters "quoted, but de-emphasized, much of the fuller context" of Beck's remarks. In fact, Media Matters never "implie[d]" that Beck "approved of the burning of certain Southern California residents' homes," and Newsmax offered no explanation as to how Media Matters "de-emphasized" the "fuller context" of Beck's remarks -- indeed, it acknowledged that Media Matters quoted "the fuller context."

From the October 25 Newsmax.com article:

Critics, including MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, focused on two sentences in a segment about California politics in which Beck said: "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."

For his remarks, Olbermann awarded Beck third place in his daily Worst Person in the World contest. Meanwhile, self-described "progressive" media watchdog group Media Matters for America on Tuesday issued a statement saying "CNN should distance itself" from Beck's "inappropriate remarks."

Such criticism implies that Beck had somehow approved of the burning of certain Southern California residents' homes.

But a plain reading of his words in context reflects no such approval.

Beck's original remark was made while explaining his differences with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to the show's transcript, Beck said: "We need to come together and we need to get back to the center...We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function, what we should do, big government, small government. It doesn't mean you hate America. I think there's a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."

"There are a few people that hate America," Beck continued. "But I don't think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that. But you don't come to the [political] center."

In response to the flurry of criticism, Beck referred Newsmax to the statements he made Tuesday, in which he said: "I clearly do not want anyone's house to be burned down. Now, some people may want to interpret what they think I mean, but that's what I mean."

Beck, who grew up in the forested Pacific Northwest, added that "wildfires are deeply personal to me" and explained to listeners the fear he feels at the red glow of an approaching forest fire over a hill.

Both Olbermann and Media Matters quoted, but de-emphasized, much of the fuller context of Beck's remarks. Oh well, who care [sic] about the facts?

Both the October 23 press release -- headlined "CNN's Glenn Beck: Some Victims of Calif. Wildfires 'Hate America' " -- and Media Matters' original item documenting Beck's comments provided the full context of his remarks.

Network/Outlet
NewsMax.com
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Media Matters, Propaganda/Noise Machine
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.