A day after his "Restoring Honor" rally in the nation's capitol, Glenn Beck said that he regretted calling President Obama a racist. But that new claim looks like another part of Beck's apparent plan to dupe the nation into believing that he is not the divisive figure that he has already proven himself to be.
After repeatedly rationalizing and restating his obviously-false assertion that Mr. Obama "has a deep-seated hatred of white people or white culture" Beck told fellow Fox News host Chris Wallace that he was wrong to use the R-word. Of course, the muck-raking conservative broadcaster didn't apologize – he's too self-righteous, agenda-driven and, I believe, too insincere for that. Beck claimed that he simply chose his words poorly. The exchange between Beck and Wallace on "Fox News Sunday":
WALLACE: "Do you regret having called [Obama] a racist and saying he had a deep seated hatred for white people?"
BECK: "Of course I do. I don't want to retract the, um ... I want to amend that I think it is much more of a theological question, that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor-and-victim. 'Racist,' first of all, it shouldn't have been said. It was poorly said. I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things. That's just not the way people should behave. And it was not accurate. It is liberation theology that has shaped his world view."
That whack excuse doesn't even begin to sound honest. Does Beck actually expect us to believe that he intended to say "liberation theology" but his tongue slipped and accidentally blurted out the words "racist" and "deep-seated hatred for white people?" Please.
Glenn Beck is may be a rabble rouser who manipulates the facts and appeals to people's fears and suspicions but he is neither stupid nor inarticulate. He's also an experienced broadcaster (he got his first radio shows at 13) who always appears well-rehearsed. So, when Beck accused President Obama of hating white people, he meant exactly that. He was being deliberately inflammatory in yet another effort to stir up the wrath of frightened white conservatives.
But Beck's non-retraction of his Obama-hates-white-folks remark ties in with the show he put on during his "Restoring Honor" rally last Saturday. In a rambling, superficial speech that alternately invoked the Founding Fathers and God, Beck dropped his divisive, fear-stoking rhetoric and his angry, condescending persona so that he could play the role of a loving spiritual leader who doesn't care about politics and wants to unite Americans in a spirit of brotherhood. He even told his followers to leave their belligerent, paranoid tea party banners and protest signs at home (although, they apparently got a pass on the "Don't Tread On Me" flags). But no amount of window dressing could conceal the fact that Glenn Beck and his followers are still the same ol' infuriated, fact-twisting, liberal-bashing, Obama-hating, violence-condoning crowd that they've always been. The "Restoring America" title and the claims by Beck, Sarah Palin and other speakers that our nation is at some kind of life-and-death crossroads reflects the cornerstone fear of the tea party movement: that the United States is hurtling out of control toward a cultural, political, economic and national security abyss because of the left-wing policies of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Same garbage, different package.
Glenn Beck referred to Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" several times during his speech at the "Restoring Honor" rally. But as I listened, another famous Lincoln quote kept running through my mind: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
With his image-softening appearances on the Washington D.C. mall and on Chris Wallace's show, Glenn Beck is apparently trying to convince us that he is a reasonable guy without a political agenda. I suspect that very few of the people will be fooled into believing that.
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents.