In an interview released today by Mediaite, Glenn Beck said that he’s “taken inventory” of his “words over the last five, eight years” and that if he “could do things over again” he “would be more temperate on everything” that he said. Arguably, one of the most intemperate things that Beck has said was when he declared last year that President Obama is a “racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people, or white culture.” Though Beck has said he is “sorry” for the way he “phrased” the claim, he and his employers have defended the accusation.
Proving that his “inventory” has not resulted in rhetorical moderation, Beck accused President Obama of being a racist again yesterday. On both his radio show and his Fox News show, Beck used an abbreviated clip of an interview Obama gave in 1995 to suggest that the reason the president had not yet spoken directly to BP CEO Tony Hayward was because he’s a “white CEO.” On his Fox Show last night:
BECK: What is it that Barack Obama knows that he won’t even bother to meet with the guy to hear him out? Well, until, you know, he changed his mind a couple of days later.
What is it that the dictator of Iran, the crazy guy in Iran has in the credibility department that the CEO of BP doesn’t have? What is it? Tell me. I’d like to know.
Does the fact that BP CEO is a capitalist, is that — is that what does it? You know, when I meet with the capitalists — he’s a white CEO. Maybe that’s it! He’s a white CEO.
White CEOs — I don’t know if you know this — but white CEOs, they don’t like — they don’t want to pay their tax dollars and have the tax dollars go to inner city kids.
To support this assertion, Beck than played this clip of Obama:
OBAMA: And I really want to team size the word “responsibility.” I think that whether you are a white executive living out in the suburbs who doesn’t want to pay taxes to inner city children for them to go to school…
Beck added that Obama’s comment “sounds awful lot like profiling.” “May I just go out on a limb here and say, it’s almost like the president has made up his mind on this guy — and anyone like him,” said Beck. To drive his argument home, Beck then played Obama’s comments that “the Cambridge police acted stupidly” when they arrested black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his own home, the very incident that prompted Beck to first accuse Obama of harboring “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Watch it:
In the midst of his accusation that Obama is a racist, Beck “raised another comparison — bashing people without any of the facts.” “See, that’s what we get in trouble for, we get accused of. But we have all the facts. I just used their words,” said Beck. But Beck didn’t provide his audience with “all the facts.” In fact, as both Mediaite and Media Matters note, Beck clipped Obama’s 1995 comments, cutting out crucial context:
I think that whether you are a white executive living out in the suburbs, who doesn’t want to pay taxes to inner-city children for them to go to school, or you’re an inner-city child who doesn’t want to take responsibility for keeping your street safe and clean, both of those groups have to take some responsibility if we’re going to get beyond the kinds of divisions that we face right now.
Beck said he was going “out on a limb” to say Obama stereotypes “white CEOs.” As Mediaite writes, “Suffice to say, it’s a long, long, long, long, tenuous limb. One might even suspect it’s an Overton Window.”
On his radio show, Beck directly called Obama’s 1995 comments racist: “A white executive that doesn’t want their tax dollars to go to inner city children. Sounds like code language. It sounds like racism. It sounds like stereotyping. It sounds like profiling which I didn’t think we were supposed to do.”