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As Predicted, Beck Offered A Non-Apology Apology For Scott Brown "Joke"

Reported by Guest Blogger - January 25, 2010 -

Guest blogged by Aunty Em

Glenn Beck is so predictable; News Hounds takes no bonus points for having said just last week:

More predictions: Beckster will apologize [to Senator-elect Scott Brown for his comments about daughters, chastity belts, and dead interns], with a non-apology apology, and say he was joking. The right wing, who have forgiven him for everything else so far, will accept the apology, and life will go on. But how many more times will he get away with this kind of schtick?

With video.

Conservatives were already saying Glenn Beck had “jumped the shark” and compared his smears of Progressives to McCarthyism.

Consequently the notorious thin-skinned Becketeer felt he had to say something. He appeared on “Imus in the Morning” (on the sister network, Fox Business Network) to re-burnish his image. If anybody knows anything about making a comeback after saying something stupid, it’s Don Imus. And, what a laughfest it was. Beck began by talking about Imus’ cowboy hat, and taking a few jocular shots at the host. Then Imus said, seemingly out of nowhere, “Next thing you’ll have me with a dead intern in my life.”

And, of course, Beck was ready with his contrition. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. But, c’mon, you know I’m right.”

Laughs all around as his second sentence totally contradicted his first.

But Imus kept up the pressure, “So, I’m saying, when Scott Brown was elected… I was talking to Cavuto that night—and I say, and see if you agree—if a guy will take one naked picture—“

Beck finished his sentence, “—There’s more”

“Absolutely.”

In for a penny, in for a pound, Beckinmouth continued, “And the thing is —It turned into this nightmare, what I said afterwards. I mean it as a joke, kind of. I mean, I’m questioning his judgment here just because if you’ve lived with a woman for very long at all you don’t say stuff like that. You just don’t say stuff like that. Because you just get the snot beat out of you when you get home by your wife. At least I would. My wife would have body parts in her drawer if I got home, said something like – and my daughters would never speak to me again. So he says this on the air and I think, ‘We need an ankle bracelet.'”

Imus asked the most natural question, “That’s fine. The ankle bracelet is fine. But how did we get from there to dead interns?”

Beck the Comedian had his punchline handy, “It never usually ends well in Washington, does it?”

Sounds like a full-throated apology, doesn’t it? This interview went on for another 14 minutes, or so. All of it is interesting if you’re a Beck follower, but none of the rest is really on point.

Link: Beck on Imus in the Morning

Later in the day Glenn used his Radio Mystery Theatre to lament we can no longer make jokes.

“So, here’s the thing, here’s the thing. This has taken on a total life of its own here. It’s amazing. I’m probably going to be on Jay Severin this afternoon, in Boston, on his radio show because the Boston radio stations are on fire. I know that Phildelphia was on fire with this. New York was on fire with this—on this comment that I made. It was a joke!!! Now, with that being said, I think it was stupid, and I’ll bet you Scott Brown thinks it’s stupid as well. If he didn’t regret that and go, “Boy, that was a stupid comment.” Then he’s got different women in his life than I think every other—I mean, my wife, when we watched it that night, I want you to know, she hit me for making the comments I made about Scott Brown.”

Still no apology. And still no recognition that his comments about chastity belts and dead interns was incredibly offensive, no matter who it was said about. Mrs. Beck seemed to get it but even her hitting Beck didn’t make him see the obvious. In fact, he kept trying to narrow the discussion to what he said about Brown and his daughters.

He continued a bit later, “I have to tell ya, when we can’t joke about someone who is a politician—Let me ask you this America, let me ask you this Conservatives, let me ask you this Republicans: Who do you sound more like? The people who have been saying, ‘Saturday Night Live doesn’t even make fun of Barack Obama. They can’t find anything funny about him.’ Do you sound more like those people, which by the way are you, or do you sound more like the people at Saturday Night Live [who say], ‘No, no, no. C’mon. This guy’s really doing some great stuff, let’s not hurt him, let’s not throw—’ Excuse me?!?! When you can’t joke—If this audience is the audience, and I don’t think you are—If this audience is the audience that can’t handle a joke about somebody that is a politician, just because he on your side, then, umm, this audience will disappear on me and I’ll be fine with that. I’ll go home and do something else.”

If only.

Still it was not much of an apology, but Beck was not quite done with his mea culpa tour. As promised, he appeared later in the day with Right Wing Boston radio-talker Jay Severin sounding a bit more contrite.

[NB: I cannot find the full interview. Original source says, “Just to point out, this isn’t the entire clip. I simply pieced together the important parts for your listening pleasure.”]

JS: I spoke with Senator-elect Brown a little while ago and the thing to which—which he takes amiss [sic] and objects to are the chastity belt and dead intern comments. I on the other hand—

GB: Which was—

JS: I on the other hand—

GB: [Patient parental voice] Jay???—

JS: I on the other hand, listening to you, I must say, I laugh at everything.

GB: This guy—Let me tell you something. That was said as comedy. Do you really—Does he really think that I believe there is going to be a dead intern? No, it was said as a joke. If the man would like to listen to it, I’d be happy to play it. I’m not going to apologize for jokes and if this man doesn’t have a sense of humor and wants to say, “Hey! I—yannow—You don’t joke about things like this. You don’t ever joke about me.” Well we’ve already got Barack Obama. We’ve already got a guy in office that we can’t joke about. No one is above joking about. I’m joked about.

And, on and on it went for another 3 minutes.

At some point Beck, after wrapping himself up in his Constitutional Right to make offensive jokes, finally allowed that maybe the timing wasn’t the best and it may have caused some hurt to Scott Brown. “I’m sorry I caused you problems on your first day.” […] “I hope that he would accept my apology for being probably bad at timing and misunderstanding of my intent here. I certainly didn’t mean to cause him any problems.”

It’s hard not to misunderstand Beck’s intent: Say the most offensive things imaginable and then, when people start to push back against your stupidity, not even have the intestinal fortitude to say, And, yannow what? I meant every word of it.” No, Glenda, hid behind the most offensive skirt of all, the words of every racist who gets called on their jokes, “Whassamatah? Doncha got no sense of humour? Cancha take a joke?”

And, with that, the short-lived Glenn Beck Apology Tour was over.

With all my love,

Aunty Em