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Beck "Explains" His Meltdown

Reported by Ellen - July 21, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

On last night’s O’Reilly Factor (7/21/09), Bill O’Reilly hosted Fox talk show host Glenn Beck to explain his oh-my-God-I’ve-gone-bonkers-and-I’m-one-broadcast-away-from-a-commitment-hearing tirade on his radio show last week. With video.

Have any of you ever had a meltdown? I mean, most people do at one time or another, and I believe the most common post-meltdown reaction is regret, maybe shame, and maybe a thought or two of, “jeez, what was I thinking?” But not old Glenn Beck – no, sir, he’s a victim every step of the way. He couldn’t figure out a way to blame the liberal media elite, but he did manage to pin the blame for his behavior on the “unhinged” country.

O’Reilly began by saying, “On the ‘At Your Beck and Call’ segment last week, the ‘Glenn guy’ was on the radio when he got a call from a woman who criticized his views on the Obama healthcare plan.”

O’Reilly played a clip of Glenn Beck (hereinafter referred to as the Insane Radio Guy) flipping out on this female caller. You can view Newshound Ellen’s post, including the clip of the call, here. True to Fox News form, O’Reilly failed to play the beginning of the call, in which Beck was patronizing, condescending, and generally snide and taunting in response to the caller’s questions. It was clear, from jump, that Beck had no interest in any sort of reasonable debate. If anyone had a right to scream, it was she.

“I’m asking you a logical question,” the caller pressed.

“I’m giving you a logical answer,” responded Insane Radio Guy.

“You don’t have logic,” the caller argued. “. . . Where’s your logic . . . what would you do to change this healthcare system for the better? After all, every time you people bring up costs you don’t care about the trillions of dollars to bail out the banks and the credit card companies . . . .”

At this, the Insane Radio Guy lost every grip on reality, and screamed in a high-pitched falsetto, “Get off my phone . . . get off my phone, you little pinhead. I don’t care? You people don’t care about the trillions . . . get off my phone!” His voice rose in a shriek that would have done Scooby Doo and Shaggy proud.

O’Reilly introduced Beck with a chuckle, noting that he is “. . . the author of the big best-selling book, “Common Sense,” which he shows there in dramatic form.”

O’Reilly and Beck spent a few moments in a brotherly giggle over Beck’s emotional on-air breakdown, before moving on to the “analysis” of Beck’s hissy fit – an analysis that was notable for O’Reilly’s failure to suggest mental health counseling and anger management classes.

“Analyze that,” O’Reilly commanded.

“I think that was common sense,” Beck replied. “I think there’s only so much you can take before blood shoots out of your eyes . . . every time ‘you people,’ you don’t care about costs . . . that’s all I’ve been talking about since October.” But what about the “common sense” option of the female caller, who endured several minutes of being put down and patronized before being traumatized by a lunatic screaming in her ear? Would Beck have allowed her the “common sense” necessary to scream at him like that? I’m . . . thinking not.

Beck admitted that his tirade wasn’t “just theatre.” Scary, isn’t it?

“I think there are times this country is so unhinged,” Beck explained earnestly, “That common sense, and then pegged right directly to politics, that I think my head’s going to explode.” Okay, a nice, well-rounded, nonsensical Palin-esque explanation -- so far so good for an Insane Radio Guy. And he screamed like Scooby Doo and Shaggy because . . . the country is unhinged? If that were the standard, we’d hear nothing but lunatic shrieking from the talking heads. Why didn’t O’Reilly note that Beck, himself, showed signs of an impending mental breakdown, and that referring to him as “unhinged” would have been a generous assessment?

“You vented on that poor woman who wanted to have a discussion,” commented O’Reilly mildly.

Beck rubbed his eye in a mock crying pose.

“She should call NPR maybe . . . ,” he said dismissively. Yes, and next time, I’m sure she will.

In response to O’Reilly’s question about whether or not he wants dissent on his show, Beck said he does, he just doesn’t want “pinheads.” Ah, so we have an expanded definition of “pinhead” – anyone who doesn’t please O’Reilly on any given day, and anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with Beck’s fear-mongering and doom-and-gloom scenarios and elitist view of a public health insurance option. In his view, America’s private healthcare system is better than public – mm-hmmm, for people like Beck, who can afford it or have a job that provides it, or both.

After a bit of light-hearted fun-and-games and back-and-forth about cookie dough and Beck looking like the doughboy, O’Reilly turned to the business at hand.

“I want to play devil’s advocate here,” O’Reilly posited. “If people are listening to your show, they will say, well, he lost the debate because he threw a little tantrum. What would you say?”

“It sucks to be them listening to me . . . I don’t really care,” Beck replied carelessly. “Look . . . if you want to really have a conversation about healthcare, let’s have a conversation about healthcare . . . .” Uh, yeah, that’s exactly what that caller was attempting to do – when she was blown out of her chair by Beck having the screaming meemies.

O’Reilly mocked Beck with a little shriek of his own, then went on to rationalize his own less-than-mature actions, explaining that he too yells at people on his show, including “liars – that woman wasn’t – and people who are hurting kids, and I yell at people like Barney Frank . . . who have done enormous damage and won’t tell the truth.” Maybe O’Reilly just ran out of time in this segment to list the other people he yells at -- including a cursing tirade against a writer on his former show, “Inside Edition” and, of course, as seen in Outfoxed, Jeremy Glick, whose father was killed on 9/11, who dared to disagree with O'Reilly about the war on terrorism.

“You know and I know they’re our seminar callers . . .,” Beck said defensively. “That woman never listened to me . . . Had you spent two seconds watching or listening to me, all I talk about is . . . how are we spending all of this money?” ‘Seminar callers’ – is that a new term for ‘listeners?’ I suppose now anyone who disagrees with Beck is, first, subject to being deafened for life, and second, thrown into the category of a ‘seminar caller.’

O’Reilly must have gotten bored with playing devil’s advocate, saying, “She sounded like a classic liberal woman who thinks you’re a barbarian, that’s what she sounded like.”

And thank you, Beck, thank you very much – for proving her right.

If you can't view the video below, here's a link.