Beck apologized for airing portion of Bill Clinton speech "out of context"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

Glenn Beck apologized for playing a cropped portion of a speech former President Bill Clinton made in January and "taking it out of context." After replaying the portion of the speech in which Clinton said, "We just have to slow down our economy" in order to combat global warming, Beck stated: "That's what we played yesterday. However, if you look at the text of the entire speech, that is taken out of context. What it is, and actually it's horrible, and I apologize for it ever getting on the air in this context."

On the May 22 broadcast (subscription required) of his nationally syndicated radio show, CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck apologized for playing a cropped portion of a speech former President Bill Clinton made in January and "taking it out of context" during the previous day's broadcast. On his May 22 show, Beck replayed the portion of the speech in which Clinton said, "We just have to slow down our economy" in order to combat global warming. After playing the clip, Beck stated: "That's what we played yesterday. However, if you look at the text of the entire speech, that is taken out of context. What it is, and actually it's horrible, and I apologize for it ever getting on the air in this context." Indeed, as Clinton's quote in its full context makes clear, he did not say that we "have to slow down our economy," as a strategy to combat global warming. Rather, he said that "rich" countries could take that approach; but then he stated why he thought it wouldn't work, asserting that the "only way" to fight global warming is to prove that doing so "is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy":

CLINTON: And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada -- the rich counties [sic] -- would say, "OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we've got to save the planet for our grandchildren." We could do that.

But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world's fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.

As Media Matters for America noted, on his May 21 broadcast, Beck played the cropped comment from Clinton's speech so that the only audio that aired was: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions, 'cause we've got to save the planet for our grandchildren." After playing the edited clip, Beck said, "There it is. 'We've got to slow down our economy to save the planet for our grandchildren.' If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know, nothing will." Beck's statement echoed a January blog post by ABC News senior national correspondent Jake Tapper.

From the May 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Yesterday, I had Congressman Steve King [R] on from -- where's he from? Iowa? Yeah, Iowa. And I played a piece of audio, and we got a piece of mail in yesterday, and somebody emailed after we got off the air and said, "Hey Glenn, you know, the audio that you played, it was taken out of context." And I didn't think it was. But I went back, and we looked at the context of it, and you know what? I am not, I am not, no matter what someone might think of me, might think that I will take anything I have to use and take it and twist it out of context, that's one of the things that I hate the most from the media. And then they'll bury the correction. This is the most listened-to time in this program. I don't want to bury the correction.

Do we have the audio that we played yesterday? This is from a speech where Bill Clinton was talking about global warming, et cetera, et cetera. And I was talking to the congressman, and he said that the real problem is is that these environmentalists just want to stop the economy. And I said to Dan, I said, "Don't we have a piece of audio like that from Bill Clinton? Because I remember him saying that." And we played the audio. You have it yet, Dan? Here it is:

CLINTON [audio clip]: We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions, 'cause we've got to save the planet for our grandchildren.

BECK: OK. Stop. That's what we played yesterday. However, if you look at the text of the entire speech, that is taken out of context. What it is, and actually it's horrible, and I apologize for it ever getting on the air in this context. He was talking about "some people will say that; however, that's not the answer." So I sincerely apologize for taking it out of context and do not want to ever be one of those guys that a) twists somebody's words and takes it out of context; b) if I ever do, I don't ever want to be one of those guys that when it's pointed out to me, that I don't bring it to your attention and tell you that I am -- I'm sorry that I gave you that information. It was wrong information. Didn't do it intentionally. Make mistakes. 'Nough said.

Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
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