Beck Tries To Whitewash His History Of Calling Obama Racist

››› ››› NED RESNIKOFF

Glenn Beck made the laughably false claim that he only made "one comment, one time" accusing President Obama of being racist, adding, "and I made it early in the morning." In fact, Beck has repeatedly accused Obama of racism and of using the presidency to "settle old racial scores."

Beck: "I Made One Comment, One Time" Calling Obama A Racist - "And I Made It Early In The Morning"

From the January 19 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: A year and a half ago I made one comment, one time, about the President of the United States. And I made it early in the morning and I made it at a time when I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Look for the context. I'm not gonna -- I don't need to give it to -- I believe you've probably already done your own homework even if you hate me.

What was the context? I was trying to figure out what was happening. What is causing this guy to react and act the way he does. It was immediately something that I realized I shouldn't have said out loud because I hadn't finished my thinking on it. Said it was wrong to say. I don't even believe it. Didn't take me long to not even believe it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/19/11]

Beck's Accusation Is Not Limited To "One Comment, One Time"

Beck: Obama Is A "Racist" With A "Deep-Seated Hatred For White People." From the July 28, 2009, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is, but you can't sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for twenty years and not hear some of that stuff, and not have it wash over.

[...]

BECK: I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. He has a -- this guy is, I believe, a racist. Look at the things that he has been surrounded by. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]

Beck, One Day Later: "I Stand By" Calling Obama A Racist. From the July 29, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks'The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Next hour I'm going to be addressing the latest rage now in the Glenn Beck tear-him-apart business. And that is that I said yesterday on Fox & Friends, "I think the president is a racist. I think he has race issues. Don't know if he hates white people, but there's something going on with the president." Well, I stand by that. And I -- I deem him a racist based on really his own standard of racism -- the standard of the left. Now I don't know what I'm supposed to -- I'm not sure how I'm supposed to judge people, how I'm supposed to be able say, "Well, wait a minute, I have these things that just don't fit. So what do I do with them?" So I have to use the community standard. I'm gonna lay that case out for you here. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/29/09]

Beck: It Is A "Serious Question" As To Whether Obama Is Racist. In September 2009, Beck was asked by CBS News' Katie Couric whether he was sorry for calling Obama racist. He responded:

I'm sorry the way it was phrased, because I think everybody has to -- living in a soundbite world, really a nasty place to live, and it is a serious question that I think needs serious discussion. [CBSNews.com, @katiecouric, 9/22/09]

Beck Distorted Comments To Accuse Obama Of Engaging In "Racism," "Profiling," And "Stereotyping." In June 2010, Beck distorted comments Obama made during a 1995 interview to claim Obama did not want to meet with BP CEO Tony Hayward because he is a "white CEO." Beck said that those comments were "code language" that "sounds like racism," "stereotyping," and "profiling." However, as Obama's full comments make clear, he was actually discussing personal responsibility on the part of both blacks and whites. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/14/10, via Media Matters]

Beck Has Repeatedly Race-Baited Obama

Beck Suggested Obama's Name Is Un-American. From the February 4, 2010 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: He chose to use his name, Barack, for a reason. To identify, not with America -- you don't take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Really? Searching for something to give him any kind of meaning, just as he was searching later in life for religion. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/4/10]

Beck Said Obama Was Elected Because Of Race, Not Policies. From the June 8, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: You were voting for - you know, not change, but change, I think, in race. You were like, "Hey, let's put this behind us." I think a lot of people were there. They weren't necessarily for his policies because his policies and everything else are -- what are they? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/8/09]

Beck: "The Health Care Bill Is Reparations. It's The Beginning Of Reparations." From the July 22, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: This guy is not who he says he is. None of his bills, none of his proposals are about what he says they're about. The health care bill is reparations. It's the beginning of reparations. He's going to give -- if you want to go into medical school, the medical schools will get more federal dollars if they have proven that they are putting minorities ahead." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/22/09]

Beck: "It Seemed, Maybe To Me, That [Obama] Was Even Promising Reparations" To American Indians. From the November 11, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: When the president was sitting there, or standing there, and he was talking about Native American rights in the middle of a tragedy, at Fort Hood, it didn't feel right. And it seemed, maybe to me, that he was even promising reparations.

[...]

BECK: Now, there's no questions that Native Americans have been mistreated. Treaties were broken, promises not kept -- by a bunch of dead people. But as he made his remarks to them, I couldn't help but think, "I've heard this before." I couldn't help but think, "There's something not right. Where have I heard this? 'Native American rights, broken treaties, what we owe them,' where have I heard this before?"

[...]

BECK: Ah, that's right. Van Jones. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 11/11/09]

Beck: Obama Agenda Driven By "Reparations" And Desire To "Settle Old Racial Scores." From the July 23, 2009 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Everything that is getting pushed through Congress, including this health care bill, are transforming America. And they are all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea: Reparations.

[...]

BECK: These massive programs are Obama-brand reparations -- or in presidential speak, leveling out the playing field. But, just in case the universalness of the program doesn't somehow or another quench his reparation appetite, he is making sure to do his part to pay the debt in other areas." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 7/23/09]

Beck Has A History Of "Racial Hang-Ups" And Ethnic Stereotyping

Beck's "Funny 'Black Guy' Character." From a September 22, 2009 Salon.com profile of Glenn Beck written by Alexander Zaitchik:

Beck's first full-scale zoo show was known as "Captain Beck and the A-Team." For four hours every weekday morning, Beck sat in WRKA's small, dimly lighted studio across from his producer and sidekick Bob Dries. Dries was Beck's Ed McMahon and Artie Lange, who cackled like a hen every time Beck cracked wise. "It was Dries' job to punch buttons to launch sound effects, and laugh like he'd just won the lottery at every single limp Glenn Beck joke," remembers a former WRKA colleague.

With Dries across the console, Beck directed a rotating ensemble cast and wrote or co-wrote daily gags and skits. Among the show's regular characters was Beck's zoo alter ego, Clydie Clyde. But Clyde was just one of Beck's unseen radio ventriloquist dolls. "He was amazing to watch when he was doing his cast of voices," remembers Kathi Lincoln, Beck's former newsreader. "Sometimes he'd prerecord different voices and talk back to the tape, or turn his head side to side while speaking them live on the air. He used to do a funny 'black guy' character, really over-the-top."

"Black guy" impersonations were just one sign of the young Beck's racial hang-ups. Among the few recordings of "Captain Beck and the A-Team" archived online is a show from February 1986 in which Beck discusses that night's prime-time television schedule. When the subject turns to Peter Strauss, an actor known for starring in television's first miniseries, Beck wryly observes, "They say without [Strauss' early work] the miniseries 'Roots' would never have happened." Clydie Clyde then chimes in with an exaggerated and ironic, "Oh, darn." The throwaway dig at "Roots," which chronicled the life of a slave family, wins knowing chuckles from Beck's co-hosts. [Salon.com, "Glenn Beck becomes damaged goods," 9/22/09]

Beck's Top 40 Radio "Racist Tropes." In an August 24, 2010 entry to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Watch blog, Zaitchik wrote:

Throughout his career in Top 40 radio, Beck was known for his imitations of "black guy" characters and racist tropes. According to Beck's former colleagues in the late 90s, this included mocking unarmed blacks shot and killed by white police officers. Such was the case of Malik Jones, the victim of a controversial killing that took place in 1997.

"After the shooting, Beck sometimes did a racist shtick," remembers Paul Bass, a former radio host and Beck colleague at a Clear Channel station cluster in New Haven. "Glenn did routines about Jones' grandmother being on crack. Generally he made fun of his family and the loss of life--as joke routines."

Beck's racially tinged tirades did not disappear after he switched formats in 1999. During his first talk radio stint in Tampa, he often referred to the Rev. Jesse Jackson as "the stinking king of the race lords." [SPLCenter.org, "The Sick Farce of Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' Rally," 8/24/10]

Beck Was Forced To Apologize For "Mocking Asians." From a Hartford Courant article published on October 20, 1995:

Under pressure from activist groups, a New Haven-area radio station agreed Thursday to apologize for broadcasting a sketch that offended Asian Americans and for ridiculing a man who called to complain.

The agreement with New Haven- based WKCI-FM was called an important victory by a coalition of four Asian-American groups, which represent one of Connecticut's smallest but quickly growing ethnic groups.

The negotiations between the station and the groups began as the result of a call to the station in August from Zhihan Tong, a 28-year- old computer network technician.

Tong was driving from his New Haven-area home to his job in Danbury when he tuned in to the station, commonly known as KC101, for a traffic report.

Instead, he heard Alf Papineau, the morning show's executive producer, pretending to speak Chinese to a bewildered Asian-American owner of a Chinese restaurant supposedly for sale. The piece was a canned segment. Neither the restaurant nor the owner was real; they existed only as taped dialogue from a comedy service subscribed to by the station.

When Tong telephoned WKCI- FM to protest the broadcast as a racial slur, disc jockeys Glenn Beck and Pat Grey made fun of him. The two played a gong in the background several times, and Papineau, the executive producer, mocked a Chinese accent.

Incensed, Tong called human rights organizations from Boston to New York, and eventually tapped into a small but increasingly vocal network of Connecticut Asian- American activist groups.

Under pressure from four of the groups, which formed the "Connecticut Asian American Coalition Against KC101 Racism," the radio station agreed Thursday to extensive remedies, including an apology to air in coming weeks and representation of Asians on a newly formed community advisory committee. [Hartford Courant, "Station Apologizes for Mocking Asians," 10/20/95, via Media Matters]

Beck's Book Stuffed With Racial Stereotypes. Beck's book Arguing With Idiots is rife with cartoons depicting serape- and sombrero-clad Mexicans with thick mustaches. The book also uses a cartoon Chinese takeout container to represent Chinese immigrants. [Arguing With Idiots, pgs. 140-141, 295]

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.