Beck on Broden

BECK ON BRODEN…. Even by the standards of GOP House candidates this year, Stephen Broden is rather shocking. The Republican nominee in Texas’ 30th congressional district was asked this week to explain comments he made regarding launching a “revolution” against the United States government. Broden responded that the violent overthrow of America’s elected leadership “is on the table.”

On his radio show yesterday, Fox News’ Glenn Beck said the media accounts don’t seem credible to him.

“Stephen Broden is — I wouldn’t say he was a friend of mine — I have met Pastor Stephen Broden maybe four times. He seems like a guy who gets it. He’s a friend of Alveda King’s. It is in the press today that he has said that violence is not off the table — that a violent revolution is not off the table.

“If Pastor Stephen Broden actually said those words, I denounce those words and I denounce him. But I don’t believe the press has those words right. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it for a second.”

In fairness to Beck, he went on to re-emphasize that if Broden really did say what he’d been quoted saying, Beck would “denounce him and I would come out and campaign against it.” It’s just that Beck assumes, confidently, that the press is wrong.

This struck me as interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that news accounts aren’t just entirely correct, there’s even a video of Broden making the remarks. Indeed, Broden isn’t even trying to deny the accuracy of the reports. Beck can choose not to believe his lying eyes, but reality is stubborn.

But the other angle to this is that I suspect Beck’s response is probably pretty widespread on the right, representing some sort of conservative defense mechanism to counter news they don’t care for. Broden is open to violence against the United States? “I don’t believe it.” Candidate So-and-so has an awful voting record? “I don’t believe it for a second.” There’s overwhelming evidence pointing to global climate change? “I don’t believe the press has that science right.”

It’s a knee-jerk denial that makes everything seem better.