Glenn Beck Fires Back at Liberal Critics

Thursday, 25 Oct 2007 11:42 PM

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It’s a sign of success when you are a TV or radio star and become a target of the liberal bloggers. Think Imus, O’Reilly, Limbaugh.

Who is the latest target?

Apparently, the wildly popular CNN talk host and nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck.

This week, Beck was firing back at these liberal bloggers and pundits, saying his comments about California fire victims were twisted by critics looking to vilify him.

“Some people want me to have said that I’m seriously happy about people losing their homes, or that I somehow or another believe that they deserve to have their house burned down,” Beck told his listeners Tuesday. “What kind of KKK-Nazi combination do you have to be to actually believe that?”

The left has lambasted Beck for comments he made on his nationally syndicated radio program Monday.

Critics, including MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, focused on two sentences in a segment about California politics in which Beck said: “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.”

For his remarks, Olbermann awarded Beck third place in his daily Worst Person in the World contest. Meanwhile, self-described “progressive” media watchdog group Media Matters for America on Tuesday issued a statement saying “CNN should distance itself” from Beck’s “inappropriate remarks.”

Such criticism implies that Beck had somehow approved of the burning of certain Southern California residents’ homes.

But a plain reading of his words in context reflects no such approval.

Beck’s original remark was made while explaining his differences with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to the show’s transcript, Beck said: “We need to come together and we need to get back to the center…We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function, what we should do, big government, small government. It doesn’t mean you hate America. I think there’s a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.”

“There are a few people that hate America,” Beck continued. “But I don’t think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that. But you don’t come to the [political] center.”

In response to the flurry of criticism, Beck referred Newsmax to the statements he made Tuesday, in which he said: “I clearly do not want anyone’s house to be burned down. Now, some people may want to interpret what they think I mean, but that’s what I mean.”

Beck, who grew up in the forested Pacific Northwest, added that “wildfires are deeply personal to me” and explained to listeners the fear he feels at the red glow of an approaching forest fire over a hill.

Both Olbermann and Media Matters quoted, but de-emphasized, much of the fuller context of Beck’s remarks. Oh well, who care about the facts?

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