In the past week, Glenn Beck has repeatedly attacked Democratic senators for their purported alcohol abuse, citing little or no evidence. Specifically, Beck echoed the right wing's discredited, baseless claim that Max Baucus had been "hammered" on the Senate floor, and claimed that Chris Dodd had decided not to run for re-election because "there are a few bars [he hasn't] hit in Connecticut."
Beck claims Baucus was "drunk," "hammered" on Senate floor
"As a recovering alcoholic," Beck declares that Baucus was "hammered" on the Senate floor. On the January 4 edition of his radio show, said that he "saw" a YouTube video of Baucus speaking on the Senate floor that had been promoted by Internet gossip Matt Drudge and commented, "Do they have any explanation of him? Because as a recovering alcoholic, that man was drunk." Beck contributing editor Pat Gray replied, "It was late and he was tired, I think, was the best explanation I heard," then added, "he was clearly drunk, in my opinion." Beck later added, "I'm an expert in these things, and I think the guy was hammered.
Washington Independent's Weigel: "Baucus talks like this all the time." In a December 28, 2009, blog post, The Washington Independent's David Weigel stated of "the completely baseless, Drudge-driven 'Max Baucus was drunk' smear": "Baucus talks like this all the time. ... Baucus mumbles occasionally. OK, a lot. Accusing him of being drunk on the job, without evidence, is shameful, and I'm flabbergasted at the number of journalists who are doing it."
Baucus' office flatly denied "unfounded, untrue" allegation. In a statement issued to Politico, a Baucus spokesman stated: "When his friend of 30 years Ted Kennedy, with whom he had fought so hard to provide health care to children, was being used as a cheap foil to oppose health care reform, Senator Baucus gave a passionate defense. Unfortunately, those who want to kill any meaningful reform, turned it into an unfounded, untrue personal smear internet rumor. This is beyond the pale and this type of gutter politics has no place in the public sphere. It is this type of slander that makes Montanans, and Americans, disgusted with the politics as usual in Washington. And what is even more sad is that such a personal attack would be given any validity at all, let alone being elevated to the status of 'news'."
Beck: Dodd is retiring because "there are a few bars [he hasn't] hit in Connecticut."
On the January 6 edition of his Fox News show, Beck aired a clip of Dodd stating that he will not be running for re-election because "this is my moment to step aside" and commented:
BECK: Christopher Dodd. He's going to step aside after only three decades in the U.S. Senate. He's decided after a lot of thought to step down after his term and not seek re-election. Yeah. Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what is happening. Yeah, Chris is there at home: "You know, it's been a good run. And after all, I think there are a few bars I haven't hit in Connecticut. You know, I haven't visited all of 'em yet. I'm gonna step aside and let somebody else have a shot. Ooh, a shot. I'll have a double." Surely, Christopher Dodd is not going bar-hopping anymore, and neither am I. But come on, really, Chris? It's time just to step aside and let somebody else have a shot?