Politico reports that "Glenn Beck's 'poison' joke gets harsh rebuke"
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From an August 9 Politico article:
Fox News host Glenn Beck joked on the air Thursday about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing a sharp rebuke from a liberal media watchdog group.
Riffing off a POLITICO report on Pelosi's upcoming Napa Valley event for big-dollar donors and other supporters, Beck did a sketch Thursday in which he pretended to be at the event, drinking wine with the speaker.
As a staffer wearing a Pelosi mask lifted a glass to her lips, Beck said:
"I really just really wanted to thank you having me over here to Wine Country, you know. To be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor, or a long-time friend of yours, which I'm not. By the way, I put poison in your - no. . . . "
At that point, Beck cut himself off and told the Pelosi doppelganger: "I look forward to all the policy discussions we're supposed to have - you know, on health care, energy reform and the economy. Hey, is that Sean Penn over there? I know it cost me more than $30,000 to get in here, but - Hey! Hey! I think I see Ed Markey, the author of cap and trade, over there."
A video of Beck's sketch was circulated Thursday evening by the watchdog group Media Matters for America.
In a statement, Media Matters President Eric Burns called Beck a "one-man hate machine" and said that "poisoning the House speaker in effigy is just the latest in a long line of actions, statements, and stunts that have no place on a credible news network."
Conservative organizations have encouraged opponents of Democratic health care proposals to go to lawmakers' public events and express their opposition, but these protests have taken on an increasingly nasty edge in recent days.
Rep. Brad Miller's (D-N.C.) office reportedly received a death threat against the congressman, and members of an overflow crowd at a Florida town hall banged on the doors and windows of a conference room when they were shut out of the event due to concerns about overcrowding. There were also reports in local newspapers of pushing and shoving at the event, which was held by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.)