Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Glenn Beck’s Frog Boiling Stunt Proves He’s A Fraud

Reported by Ellen - September 28, 2009 -

With all the media attention over Glenn Beck’s “boiling frog” stunt last week, I’m surprised that we're the only ones who seem to have taken notice of Beck's cavalier admission that he deliberately deceived his audience into thinking he had thrown a frog into boiling water. One day after the stunt, Beck revealed how he had edited pre-recorded video to make it appear that he had picked up a live frog before pretending to throw it into boiling water. He seemed to have no compunction about this flimflam on a news show nor about having lied to his audience when he swore that he thought the frog would jump out. Beck had told his viewers that the frog was a fake soon after the stunt but it wasn’t until the next day, in reaction to several bloggers accusing him of having actually killed the frog, that he detailed the particulars of his deceit. Had nobody questioned whether or not a frog had really been killed, we would likely never have known the lengths to which he had gone to fool his audience. With video.

As I previously posted, on Wednesday (9/23/09), Beck purported to drop a frog into boiling water as a stunt designed to defend himself against attacks for having told Katie Couric the country might be better off with Barack Obama than with John McCain as president. John McCain was supposed to represent that old adage about a frog being slowly boiled to death, whereas under Obama, the tea partying 9/12ers are jumping out of the boiling water. Never mind that the stunt was designed to fail. I guess you have to be a Beck fan to get the logic.

Beck told the audience the frog had been a fake shortly after he threw it into the pot of boiling water the day before. But before he revealed the truth, he had said in his most sincere voice, “I swear I thought they’d jump right out but they don’t.” After throwing the "frog" in the water, Beck could have said something along the lines of, “Hmm, it didn’t jump,” or just moved on to his “forget the Republicans, forget the Democrats, forget the frog, they’re all fake” speech. Instead, he chose to deliberately lie to his audience for dramatic effect - on what purports to be a news show. It turned out there was more duplicity yet to be known.

The next day (9/24/09), Beck began his further explanation of the stunt by sitting on his desk and griping that he had planned to do a “smart segment” on Ahmadinejad (not that we couldn’t guess what was going to be said without even seeing it), “But no, no, no. Instead, I have to address the frog-gate.”

“Some bloggers in their basements think I actually killed a frog,” Beck said contemptuously. I know he wasn’t talking about us because we correctly pegged the hoaxtwice.

In the original segment, Beck went to considerable lengths to make his viewers think he was going to throw a real frog into the boiling water. “Let me explain this to you, using this boiling water, here, (there was a real pot of boiling water) and these little frogs.” His voice gave a little hiccup over the “little frogs,” to further the deception. “Let me get the frogs,” Beck said, and we saw his hand reaching into a box of live frogs. “OK, alright,” Beck said, as he supposedly grabbed one. “So you have the little frog,” he continued, before explaining how throwing it into the pot of boiling water was similar to the public’s reaction to Barack Obama.

It turned out that the whole frog grab had been pre-taped during rehearsal and then spliced into the live show as Beck followed his movements on a monitor so he could convincingly fake the movement to look like he was approaching and leaving the box of frogs.

Beck gave a shoutout to his director, saying, “I think she’s the Steven Spielberg of network news… She’s the one that made everybody think that I killed a frog last night. She’s the evil one.”

Classy of Beck to pin the blame on his director, perhaps in jest, but the fact of the matter is that Beck took many steps on his own to make his audience think that he had, in fact, killed a frog, including swearing that he thought it would jump out of the pot.

But after taking such pains to dupe his audience, Beck decided that the real victim was himself. He mocked the bloggers who, he “knew,” would “just go crazy to discredit me, to make me into now some evil frog killer. Look how eager people are to smear.” Never mind the irony of Beck complaining about other people's smearing. What was most astounding was that Beck presented himself as the victim because some in his audience fell for the scam he had pulled on them.

Then, as a final irony, Beck looked into the camera and, in the same sincere voice he had used when he swore he thought the frog would jump out of the boiling water, said, “While we’re at this, let me just say one thing else to stop the nonsense. I either believe what I say, or I’m a fraud. It’s one of the two.”

What Beck didn’t seem to get was that he had just made it crystal clear to his audience which one he is.