This morning, Don Imus had his first show on the Fox Business Network, where he hosted Glenn Beck. At one point they joked about how their friendship might turn sour, with Beck commenting, “If I’m found dead in the streets, it’s either Van Jones or Don Imus.” Imus then asked Beck about his successes and highlighted some of the underlying tensions in the conservative movement:
IMUS: So you’re on the cover of Time magazine, your book’s number one I’ve noticed this week.
BECK: Yeah. It’s gone well.
IMUS: Sean Hannity, Rush, they both hate you.
Beck: No. No, they don’t.
IMUS: They all hate you.
BECK: No they don’t, no they don’t. Why must you stir up the hate?
IMUS: You’re telling me Rush is happy you’re on the cover of Time?
BECK: Yeah, I actually got a note from Rush.
IMUS: What did Rush say?
BECK: “I hate you.” (LAUGHTER) No, you know what? Rush has been really very gracious. The whole time, he has. He really has.
While Imus was mostly joking, there have been disagreements on the right over how much prominence Beck should have. Last month, Limbaugh said that he found attempts to “rally people” — like Beck and his 9/12 Project do — “cheap and disingenuous“:
“I don’t rally people and haven’t since the first year of my radio show,” he wrote to POLITICO. “At that time, all local talk hosts were attempting to prove their worth by getting people to cut up gasoline credit cards, call Washington, etc. I thought it was cheap and disingenuous. The few times I did, early on, suggest people call Washington, the reaction to it from the media was that the response was not genuine (I shut down the House switchboard) because people only did what they did because ‘Limbaugh told them to.’”
Beck’s recent suggestion that “John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama” created a surge of anger to from conservatives, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and radio host Mark Levin. Former Bush administration officials Peter Wehner and David Frum have also lamented the influence Beck is having on the conservative movement.
The conservative movement may have to deal with a lot longer if some of his fans have their way. At a book signing in Worcester, MA this weekend, 500 people lined up in the rain to see the Fox News personality. When he arrived and greeted the crowd, one man yelled out, “Glenn Beck for president!”