BECK FACES BACKLASH — FROM THE RIGHT…. As right-wing media personality Glenn Beck has grown in influence, conservative criticism has been, at best, muted.
In early August, Rep. Bob Inglis (R) of South Carolina, who isn’t exactly a moderate, encouraged his constituents to “turn the TV off” and stop listening to Glenn Beck. The audience booed the conservative congressman relentlessly. A week later, David Frum, a conservative pundit and former Bush speechwriter, suggested Beck’s rhetoric may be, quite literally, dangerous.
But these remarks were largely overlooked, and were not echoed by other conservatives. It seems, however, that we’re starting to see a change.
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough blasted Beck, and argued that the Fox News personality may be fomenting violence. “You cannot preach hatred,” Scarborough said. “You cannot say the president is racist. You cannot say things that have very deadly consequences.” He added, in an apparent reference to the Oklahoma City bombing, “I was in Congress in 1995. I know where this can end.” Scarborough also called on Republican leaders to “call out” Becks’ “hatred.”
Right-wing radio host Mark Levin called Beck “pathetic.” Rush Limbaugh referred to Beck’s role in promoting conservative protests as “cheap and disingenuous.” Peter Wehner said Beck’s “interest in conspiracy theories is disquieting” and his daily attacks are “not good for the country.” Wehner called Beck a “roiling mix of fear, resentment, and anger.” Conservative columnists Kathleen Parker and David Brooks told Chris Matthews that Beck is “baiting” and “empowering” racists.
Today, Levin said of Beck:
“If you’re not going to be politically sensible and have a strategy and have an end-game, you’ll keep winding up on weekly magazines, you’ll keep making a lot of money, but in the end you won’t make a difference.”
It’s interesting to watch Beck’s ideological cohorts (competitors?) trash the self-described “rodeo clown.” In fact, it seems as if Beck may be marginalizing himself in a way that will, if we’re all really lucky, make him permanently toxic to those who take politics seriously.
For that matter, it should send a signal to mainstream outlets: don’t let Beck become your assignment editor. Even conservatives think he’s nuts.