Beck mischaracterized Media Matters item quoting his interview with controversial evangelist Hagee

››› ››› KIRSTIN ELLISON

CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck suggested that, in a recent item, Media Matters for America claimed that Beck did not "directly ask [evangelist John Hagee] about the Catholic Church and anything like that." In fact, what Media Matters noted in the March 5 item was that Beck did not challenge Hagee on his specific comments about the Catholic Church or any other of a long list of controversial statements he has made.

On the March 10 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck mischaracterized a March 5 Media Matters for America item, in which Media Matters noted that, during the March 4 edition of Glenn Beck, he did not ask evangelist John Hagee, founder and pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, who recently endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, about any of the multiple controversial statements Hagee has made about the Catholic Church, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Citing only the headline of the item, which read: "Beck failed to ask Hagee about controversial statements, instead asked him if Obama might be the Antichrist," Beck pronounced it "spin" and falsely suggested that Media Matters claimed that Beck did not "directly ask [Hagee] about the Catholic Church and anything like that." He added: "This is an accusation that is not only asinine, but it is also completely false." In fact, Media Matters did not assert that Beck failed to ask Hagee "about the Catholic Church"; Beck did ask Hagee generally about criticism he has received from Catholics and about his attitudes toward the Catholic Church. What Media Matters noted was that Beck did not challenge Hagee on his specific comments about the Catholic Church or any other of a long list of controversial statements he has made.

As "evidence" to support his claim that Media Matters' "accusation" was "asinine" and "completely false," Beck aired a video clip from the March 4 program, in which he said to Hagee: "You've had some problem with the Catholics this week, and now it looks like John McCain, who you've endorsed, may be distancing himself. Can you explain what happened this week, and what your stance is with Catholicism?" But contrary to Beck's suggestion that Media Matters did not note Beck's comments to Hagee about Catholics and his "stance ... with Catholicism," those comments were noted in the third sentence of the March 5 item, as well as Hagee's response; the comments were also included in the complete segment transcript. Additionally, the excerpt of the March 4 video clip Beck aired during his March 10 program was a part of the video Media Matters provided of the entire interview with Hagee.

What Beck did not do on March 4 -- which Media Matters noted -- was challenge Hagee on specific statements he has made on such topics as the Catholic Church, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Hagee has written that "[m]ost readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews," which Beck did not note. Nor did he ask Hagee about controversial statements he has made about Islam, women, and homosexuality, including his comments that "those who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews"; that "the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS" is that "[y]ou can negotiate with a terrorist"; and that "Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans" because it "had a level of sin that was offensive to God," as evidenced by plans for "a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came." Beck still has not addressed these comments on his CNN Headline News program.

From the March 10 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Step two: The story is then leaked by the liberal blogger to a liberal website and it's picked up by a bigger liberal website, and this one only took about one day for the blog Media Matters to put their own spin on the story. Here it is:

Quote, "Beck failed to ask Hagee about controversial statements, instead asked him if Obama might be the Antichrist."

So, now, not only did I not, you know, directly ask them about the Catholic Church and anything like that, I just asked Obama if -- you know, about Obama to see if he was the Antichrist. This is an accusation that is not only asinine, but it is also completely false.

May I present the evidence, your honor? Thy very first question to Hagee.

BECK [video clip]: Let me just get this right on the table, pastor. You've had some problem with the Catholics this week, and now it looks like John McCain, who you've endorsed, may be distancing himself. Can you explain what happened this week, and what your stance is with Catholicism?

BECK: Wow. Well, I guess I didn't use the, you know, exact comments that Hagee posted earlier, you know, in asking the question like I guess the blogs wanted me to. But then I know that the blogs instead would have said, "Beck repeats Hagee's outrageous claims about the Catholic Church." And I only know that because that's exactly what they've done to me in the past.

Network/Outlet
CNN, CNN Headline News
Person
Glenn Beck
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Media Matters, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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