Yesterday on Fox News, host Glenn Beck went on a rant about President Obama’s comments about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the upcoming meeting Obama will have with Gates, who is African-American, and the arresting officer, Jim Crowley. “This president has exposed himself, I think, as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or white culture,” Beck complained, later adding, “He has a, this guy is, I believe, a racist.”
The NAACP came out with a statement chastising Beck for his comments. “We commend President Obama for having the courage to discuss an issue that all too many Americans consider a third rail,” the statement said. This morning, the crew on MSNBC’s Morning Joe ripped Beck for an entire segment of the show:
WASHINGTON POST’S JONATHAN CAPEHART: How is it possible that this guy can sit on national television and call this guy a racist? The President is half white!
MSNBC HOST MIKE BARNICLE: In reality, Glenn Beck is just show business. …The larger, dumber statement is that the President of the United States has a deep seeded hatred for white people. Hello Glenn!? His mother was white! He was raised by a white woman, his grandmother! Hello!? Glenn? … Come back down to Earth please!
HOST MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Outrageous is one way of putting it. I would say irresponsible, especially now…selfish, self-indulging.
Asked to respond to Beck’s comments, Fox News SVP of Programming Bill Shine didn’t repudiate them. “Glenn Beck expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel. And as with all commentators in the cable news arena, he is given the freedom to express his opinions,” he said.
Gawker summed up Shine’s response: “So in other words, Fox News said this: Glenn Beck is free to use our airwaves to say whatever the hell he wants, no matter how baseless and irresponsible the things he says may be, and will you now please leave us the hell alone.”
Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough, who did not appear on the show this morning, tweets: “ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Did Glenn Beck really say the president has ‘a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture’? Outrageous.”