Yesterday on NPR, right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck criticized fellow conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for his strident rhetoric, saying it will be “the death of our industry, and the death of our country.” Listen here:
Beck may be right about Limbaugh, but his own rhetoric is equally divisive and destructive. Some lowlights:
The anti-gay slur “faggot” is nothing more than “a naughty name.” [1/23/07]
“What happened to the Duke lacrosse team was practically a lynching without the rope. And for the first time in my life, Mr. Oreo Cookie without the chocolate on the outside can understand why people celebrated when O.J. Simpson was acquitted.” [1/15/07, using a racial slur for African-Americans that refers to “being black on the outside and white on the inside]
“[W]hat I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’” [11/14/06, on what he would like to say to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first elected Muslim member of Congress]
“I wonder if I’m alone in this — you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9–11 victims’ families? Took me about a year.” [9/9/05]
“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.” [9/9/05]
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has criticized Beck for his anti-gay comments and is now calling on CNN “to address Beck’s crudeness and require that he adhere to basic standards of respect.” (For more information on how to contact CNN, go here.)
UPDATE: The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Arab-American Institute (AAI) have all “sent a joint letter to ABC expressing their dismay, urging ABC to reconsider this hiring decision, and requesting a meeting with executives at ABC.”
HOST: Recently, Limbaugh joked that new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — the first woman Speaker in U.S. history — might well breastfeed a child sitting on her lap during official ceremonies. Limbaugh said he’s just using humor to make a point. But a rival conservative talk show host, Glenn Beck, said such severe rhetoric only drives people apart.
BECK: I truly believe it’s going to be the death of us. It’s going to be the death of our industry, and the death of our country, if we don’t stop dividing ourselves like this. It’s not right.
HOST: Beck has tv gigs on CNN and ABC. Despite that criticism, he’s unabashed about his own beliefs, and he’s taken flack for them.
BECK: There’s nothing wrong with pointing out differences. There’s nothing wrong with having a heated debate. There’s nothing wrong with doing all of those things in an entertaining way. But they cannot define you.