Beck-handed apology: Saying Ahmadinejad sounds "like Michael Moore" was "probably wrong"

Video ››› ››› ROB MORLINO

On his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck acknowledged that his May 9 assertion that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "sounded ... a lot like Michael Moore" in a letter to President Bush was "unfortunate" and "probably wrong."

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Responding to viewer mail during the May 11 edition of his CNN Headline News show, nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck acknowledged that his May 9 assertion, noted by Media Matters for America, that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a letter to President Bush, "sounded ... a lot like Michael Moore," was "unfortunate" and "probably wrong." Nevertheless, after playing audio clips of both, Beck maintained that, while Ahmadinejad "sounds much thinner" than Moore, "they do have similar beards, and I think there might be something to that."

During his May 9 "Quality of Life" segment, Beck noted that Ahmadinejad -- whom Beck referred to as "President Tom" out of a stated inability to pronounce "Ahmadinejad" -- sent a letter to President Bush, in which, among other things, he wondered whether the September 11, 2001, attacks could have been "planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services -- or their extensive infiltration," and expressed skepticism about whether the Holocaust occurred, stating that the victors in World War II "claimed that six million Jews had been killed" and said "let us assume these events to be true." Beck then asserted that Ahmadinejad "sounded to me a lot like Michael Moore in the letter, touching on everything from the failure of democracy to the supposed lies about Iraq to the global hatred of the American government." On May 11, Beck read a message from a viewer who asked "How can you possibly say that?" Beck responded:

BECK: You know, that was unfortunate. My point was to say that it seems like our enemies use quotes and rationale of some of the people with a political motive to fuel their own cause. But I guess saying that they sounded alike was probably wrong.

Then, Beck asked a producer to play audio clips of Ahmadinejad and Moore speaking, and afterward said, "President Tom sounds much thinner. Michael Moore doesn't have that cool, little accent, but they do have similar beards, and I think there might be something to that."

As Media Matters also noted, Beck reported during his May 9 radio show that his reference to "Saudi Arabian dirtbags" during the taping of the previous night's broadcast of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 had been edited out of that show's broadcast. According to Beck, after the taping, one of his CNN producers chided him for "throwing around that 'dirtbag' word" (his previous use of which Media Matters had also documented). Beck replied that the characterization was "honest," and, on his radio show, added, "That's exactly what they are. The government in Saudi Arabia, they're dirtbags."

From the May 11 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Greg from Minnesota says, "Glenn, the other night, you said President" -- Ahmajobajob, or whatever his name is, from Iran; I like to call him President Tom -- "sounded in his letter like Michael Moore. How can you possibly say that?" You know, that was unfortunate. My point was to say that it seems like our enemies use quotes and rationale of some of the people with a political motive to fuel their own cause. But I guess saying that they sounded alike was probably wrong. Would you let me hear them, please, Ellie?

[Audio clip of Ahmadinejad]

BECK: All right, now give me Michael -- let me hear Michael Moore. Let me hear Michael Moore.

MOORE [audio clip]: All of you have to, at some point in your life, have 10,000 people --

BECK: See -- see, I got to tell you, Greg, you're actually right on the money. You are right. President Tom sounds much thinner. Uh, Michael Moore doesn't have that cool, little accent, but they do have similar beards, and I think there might be something to that. Got it. That's it. We'll see you tomorrow, you sick, twisted freaks. Thanks for watching.

Network/Outlet
CNN Headline News
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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