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Glenn Beck Apology Goes Down Like Pork Sandwich With Jews

Reported by Aunty Em - February 26, 2011 -

The latest kerfuffle with Fox “News” Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief Glenn Beck, reminds me of a recent story out of Britain, when easyJet apologized (unreservedly) for serving nothing but ham melts and bacon baguettes on a recent four and a half hour flight from Tel Aviv to London. Beck, who has exclaimed there is no better friend to the Jews than he, is not exactly serving up pork sandwiches to Jews. Yet, what comes out of his big yap virtually every time he has mentioned Jews, is equally as unpalatable as non-kosher food. With his latest comments he managed to anger Jews across the planet (once again) with his total ignorance and barely-concealed anti-Semitism. TO BE FAIR: Once people started to criticize him, Glenn Beck apologized. TO BE FAIR: Like a Glenn Beck history lesson the apology was woefully inadequate. No wonder radio stations in NYC, Philadelphia and, now Madison, Wisconsin (how ironic) have dropped his Radio Drama Theater. He’s a one man insult machine.

This week on his Radio Drama Theater, where The Beckian often refines the material he will use on that day’s tee vee Conspiracy Cavalcade, he tried to dismiss the 400 rabbis who signed an open letter to Rupert Murdoch, published in the WSJ, demanding Beck be fired:

(video and transcript courtesy of Media Matters)

STU BURGUIERE (executive producer): And now remember, this is all fueled by an organization that Soros funds, that has a bunch of progressive rabbis that came out against Glenn and said --

BECK: OK, you have to -- hang on just a second. When you talk about rabbis, understand that most -- most people who are not Jewish don't understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis, and then there are the Reformed [sic] rabbis. Reformed [sic] rabbis are generally political in nature. It's almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just -- radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the Reform Judaism, it is more about politics. I'm not saying that they're the same on --

BURGUIERE: No, obviously not.

BECK: -- and they're going to take it at that, but -- stand in line.

BURGUIERE: "Glenn Beck says --"

But the fact is Glenn Beck did say something. Two somethings, actually. First he claimed that only “Reformed” [sic] rabbis signed the letter. Then he compared them to radical Islamists. It not only managed to piss off a whole lot of people, it also restarted a story that had become moribund. Alan Colmes notes that even Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, who “has not always been critical of Beck” demanded an apology.

“To compare Reform Judaism, which supports democratic institutions, to Islamic extremism, which supports anti-democratic movements and the repression of basic rights – including, for example, the denial of women’s rights – is beyond the pale,” Foxman said. “Glenn Beck has no right to discount the faith of any people, and he should think twice before commenting on something he doesn’t know much about. He owes the Reform movement an apology.”

Beck almost apologized, but it’s as close as we’re ever going to get to contrition. After more than 5 minutes of rambling, and making it seem like we’re all drones living in a Dilbert cartoon, he FINALLY got back on point:

Well, that brings me back to the original point. I’ve told you to guard your credibility. There’s no way you’re never going to be wrong. There’s no way you’re never going to say something stupid. But the people around your cubical, and you happen to be around my cubicle, have to know that when you make a mistake—for honor’s sake—you correct it and you don’t hide from it and you go, “Whew. Man was I stupid.” And, I was ignorant and I apologize.

Uhh, Abe Foxman brought this to my attention, and Abe Foxman is not—I mean, he didn’t directly—umm, I don’t agree with Abe Foxman on, really, I don’t think, anything—Well, I think, years ago, I think we had dinner together and we may have agreed on what we were—he may have had a steak and I may have had a steak, umm, but on this one, he’s right and to Abe, and everybody else, if I offended you, it was not my intent. I see how I did that. And I apologize for the action and the words. ‘Nuff said.

Alright. Now [giggling] let’s see who we are going to offend, but let’s do it with credibility.*

“If I offended you…” is the last refuge in a non-apology apology.

Frances Martel over at Mediaite, which loves to gloss over Fox “News” transgressions, writes:

[MSNBC’s] Lawrence O’Donnell wants everyone to know two things about Glenn Beck’s apology to the Reform Jewish community today: it wasn’t an apology, and it was all his doing. After taking full credit for inspiring the apology (tongue firmly in cheek, of course), O’Donnell proceeded to tear Beck’s apology word by word, limb from limb, concluding that an apology to Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman is in no way what was demanded of him from those he offended.

Which is true. Foxman said, “He owes the Reform movement an apology” not a personal almost-apology from Glenn Beck to Abe Foxman. However, Foxman, who has forgiven so much in the past, will probably accept this mealy-mouthed so-called apology. However, Jewish Funds for Justice, which paid to have the Murdoch letter published in the WSJ, spelled out exactly why Beck’s apology didn’t go far enough.

Glenn Beck’s apology for comparing Reform Judaism to “Radicalized Islam” is welcome but incomplete. While we are heartened to hear him recognize his ignorance, he still has not acknowledged that the letter signed by 400 rabbis and organized by Jewish Funds for Justice represented a cross-section of denominations, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal rabbis.

Glenn Beck's characterization of Reform Judaism is in keeping with his longstanding hostility toward people who see their faith linked to pursuing the common good. This was made clear in March of 2010, when Mr. Beck advised people to leave their churches if their clergy spoke about social justice.

Mr. Beck's demonization of his political opponents is a regular feature of his radio and television shows. This problem is systemic. His remarks about Reform Jews are only the most recent example of the attacks that occur daily on Beck’s show.

We reiterate our call for Rupert Murdoch to end Mr. Beck's tenure at Fox News and for Salem Communications to commit not to add his syndicated radio show to their New York stations. Anything short of this reflects an unwillingness to take seriously the harm Mr. Beck causes to many in our community and beyond.

The ball’s in Beck’s court. Will we get an Apology 2.0?

*News Hound transcript

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