ABC’s Boston Legal Takes Swipe At Glenn Beck, Ignores His Affiliation With ABC

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"ABC’s Boston Legal Takes Swipe At Glenn Beck, Ignores His Affiliation With ABC"

Yesterday on ABC’s sitcom Boston Legal, attorney Shirley Schmidt, played by Candice Bergen, was tasked with defending a “shock jock” who was fired for saying on air, “Old people should die.” The comment was allegedly part of his political argument that the United States “could be heading for a day when the bulk of our federal budget goes to subsidizing retirees.”

While the plot of the show is fictional, Bergen’s character took a real-life approach in her arguments defending the fired radio host. She blasted the media for censoring political content while ignoring “racist or hateful remarks”:

Glenn Beck. He’s on CNN, the “most trusted name in news.” He’s referred to the Katrina survivors as a vulgarity I’m not allowed to repeat here. He also said he didn’t think it possible to hate any victims faster than the 9/11 victims.

These so-called journalists are everywhere, and frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing them gone. But it’s one thing to curtail racist or hateful remarks, it’s quite another to censor political content.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/12/blegalbeck.320.240.flv]

Here’s the Sept. 9 quote on The Glenn Beck Show that Bergen referenced:

But the second thought I had when I saw these people and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims. These guys — you know it’s really sad. We’re not hearing anything about Mississippi. We’re not hearing anything about Alabama. … And that’s all we’re hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.

Bergen identified that Beck has a show on CNN. But she should also have mentioned that he’s a contributor to Boston Legal’s network, ABC; Beck is a regular commentator on Good Morning America. When he was hired, GMA’s senior executive producer called Beck a “leading cultural commentator with a distinct voice.”

Too bad ABC executives don’t take the advice of their own shows more seriously.

Digg It!

Transcript:

LAWYER: Why can’t a radio station fire an employee for spewing out despicable, immoral, crap? Maybe that’s what Americans are really calling for here. About time.

BERGEN: Was what my client said really so bad? It’s interesting. She mentions Howard Stern. My client was asked by his station to be more like Howard. Howard Stern asked on the air, “So if you’re half Arab and half Jewish, do you negotiate with the sheep before having sexual relations with them?

She also mentions Don Imus. Viacom seems to have no problem with Imus referring to Arabs as “ragheads.” In 2004, he referred to Simon & Schuster, the book publishers, as “Jews who steal.” Then he apologized for the remark as being “redundant.”

Glenn Beck. He’s on CNN, the “most trusted name in news.” He’s referred to the Katrina survivors as a vulgarity I’m not allowed to repeat here. He also said he didn’t think it possible to hate any victims faster than the 9/11 victims.

These so-called journalists are everywhere, and frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing them gone. But it’s one thing to curtail racist or hateful remarks, it’s quite another to censor political content.

What Bob Binder said may have been offensive, but it was also legitimate public debate. Ironically, one the public and the presidential candidates refuse to engage in. If the older demographic has more economic power to affect the outcome of the presidential elections, and the government is spending more money on the older demographic — gee, shouldn’t somebody be discussing this?

A press — a free press — has always been vital to a free democracy, not just when they serve the bottom line, but perhaps especially when it doesn’t. Your Honor, reporters actually lost their job for criticizing the war. Thirty-five percent of today’s journalists say newsworthy stories are actually shunned if they’ll hurt the financial interests of their organization. In America? The free press?

This man got fired from a news talk show for expressing a political idea. Are we really ok with that? Really?

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