Beck’s limitless idiocy

BECK’S LIMITLESS IDIOCY…. One of the problems with Glenn Beck’s propensity for madness is the sheer volume. The unhinged Fox News personality is so far gone, and spouts so much nonsense on a daily basis, it’s difficult to separate the routine absurdities from the uniquely offensive idiocy.

Yesterday, Beck shared some thoughts that probably fall into the latter category. Appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Beck weighed in again on the Gates/Crowley incident, and this week’s social gathering at the White House. He told his national television audience that President Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Reminded of the many white people on the president’s team, Beck added, “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.”

Don’t even try to consider the logic of the argument. Beck believes Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people,” but Beck isn’t arguing that Obama “doesn’t like white people.”

A TPM reader, a media professional, suggested this was a game-changing exchange for Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda outlet. “This is not Kanye West saying Bush doesn’t care about white people, or Michael Moore saying something provocative while a guest on CNN (though I challenge anyone to find Moore saying anything this ugly on anyone’s program),” the reader noted. “This is Rupert’s prized employee appearing on his channel, and doing the equivalent of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded movie house. This is the sort of comment that I might expect to read about in some SPLC missive concerning neo-Nazi websites, or the like. But as uttered by the paid employee of Fox News, on one of the network’s shows?”

Of course, the Republican network doesn’t see it that way. Bill Shine, Fox News’ Senior Vice President of Programming, said Beck’s anti-Obama tirade “represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel.” Beck, Shine said, “is given the freedom to express his opinions.”

Karl Frisch translated the response: “Beck doesn’t speak for Fox News, but we’ll keep paying him to say anything he wants.”

The network’s response needs some work, because by the logic of Bill Shine, any Fox News personality could say literally anything on the air, and so long as it doesn’t run afoul of FCC regulations, the network brass is unconcerned.

So, here’s the follow-up for Shine or anyone at the propaganda machine: is there a line that can’t be crossed? And if so, how much further do the network’s paid hosts have to go to get there?