The war of words between Fox host Glenn Beck and blogger Arianna Huffington escalated sharply Tuesday, with each side accusing the other of distorting the truth.
Huffington maintains that Beck told viewers in November that the Obama administration was going to "slaughter" people. Beck has termed her remarks "completely ridiculous."
Huffington's initial charge that Beck was "inciting" violence came on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who was also a guest on the show, rebutted the claim, saying, "I think he speaks English. . . I don't misinterpret any of his words."
Huffington was undeterred, however. She reiterated her claim during an appearance on an MSNBC program on Monday evening.
That set the stage for Beck to "slaughter" Huffington on Tuesday afternoon during his television program.
Beck set up his remarks by showing a chart of MSNBC's 5 p.m. ratings, compared with his. He said his Fox audience is "13 times" the size of MSNBC's viewership.
"She was so offended by this that she went on television to talk about it again … on the same network that had the flatline ratings," Beck said of Huffington. "So nobody watched it [due to their low ratings], so we're giving them a public service announcement right here," he quipped.
He added that MSNBC "had a guy compare the Republicans to the genocidal government of Cambodia, just the day before she went on."
Beck then reviewed the original statement from a Nov. 3 broadcast that left Huffington in such a huff.
On that program, Beck stated: "And when you see the effects of what they're doing to the economy, remember these words: We will survive. No — we'll do better than survive — we will thrive. As long as these people are not in control. They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered!"
Beck then parsed his unabridged remarks that led up to that statement sentence by sentence, to support of his contention that he was speaking metaphorically, in reference to unsustainable economic circumstances, and by no means suggesting the president was plotting to commit genocide, as Huffington suggested.
Beck's analysis: "With 30-plus years of broadcasts to pick from, Arianna Huffington makes this her main point. She is claiming that this is a reference to literal slaughter being carried out by our president."
In essence, Beck said Huffington had distorted his remarks by lifting them out of context.
"So what she's saying in a nutshell is that we made this point: I first talked about the economy, then the economy, then the economy, then the economy, and then I seamlessly moved into genocide without any kind of warning — genocide by our president — without any kind of transition or notice."
"Now, if I were that talented a TV host," Beck continued, "I think I'd be winning by 20 times, instead of the measly 13 times we're currently winning by," Beck said.
He concluded his show by adding: "The left is so desperate because … you're winning. They're annoyed because they can't shut you or me up … all of this is a very, very good sign."
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