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One Year Later, Glenn “I Promise Not To Bury My Mistakes” Beck Says It Is “Inaccurate” To Call Obama A Racist

Reported by Ellen - August 29, 2010 -

On Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace conveniently offered Glenn Beck the opportunity to walk back his now-infamous comments calling President Obama a “racist” with a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” The clarification was somewhat suspect, however. While Beck told Wallace that it was “not accurate” to call Obama a racist, Beck immediately pointed to Obama’s religion as the true (racist) culprit. The exchange came after Beck “defended” other aspects of his racial record by suggesting that civil rights leaders and the Obama Justice Department are racists. But even if Beck truly regrets having called Obama a racist – and not just for having said it in a way that has caused him a lot of trouble – then why did he wait for more than a year to say it? This is the same Glenn Beck who solemnly vowed, “If I make a mistake, I'm not just going to gloss over it. I will not bury my mistakes. If it's a big mistake, I will correct them in the league.”

Before they got to Obama, Wallace challenged Beck on his credibility on civil rights. Beck “defended” his record on “racial politics” by implying that African Americans have played the race card on him. “Who thinks racial politics? Who’s typing that out and saying, ‘Yes, the damage that has been done to ‘racial politics’ (by Beck) and think that’s a good thing? Race should not be in politics. Race is a negative that is a heart condition, quite honestly… “

Wallace somehow missed the irony of Beck claiming his civil rights cred by suggesting that African Americans are racist for questioning him. However, Wallace did challenge Beck's attacks on social justice adherents to some degree by noting that the civil rights movement always had “an economic agenda” along with its drive for racial equality. Beck said merely, “I think that is part of it, but that’s a part of it that I don’t agree with.”

That may be true as far as it goes. But anyone who watches Beck knows that he doesn’t just politely disagree, the way he made it seem on Fox News Sunday, but has demonized “that part” to the extent of urging church-goers to abandon any churches that embrace such a philosophy. Media Matters notes that if he were alive today, Martin Luther King would surely be a regular resident of Beck’s chalkboard of hate.

But Wallace let the comment pass as though Beck had clarified the matter for the Fox News Sunday audience.

From there, Beck went on to attack civil rights leaders further by saying, “That is the racial politics. The real agenda should be equal justice, an equal shot. The dream was: judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin... I don’t know if we’ve actually done that. We’re certainly not doing that with the Justice Department When you look at somebody in the Black Panthers and they’re standing at the doorway. African Americans who experience that themselves should be equally outraged and when you see that happening in a community and somebody is intimidating black voters, you should be equally outraged. Those are the main principles.”

So Beck was suggesting that the Obama Justice Department is racially biased in favor of blacks – by referring to the bogus, partisan-based New Black Panther Party case - and that African Americans should be outraged but aren’t – thus further suggesting that it’s because THEY are racially biased – while holding himself up as the true supporter of Martin Luther King's vision.

It was another irony that seemed to escape Wallace. He did, however, press further about Martin Luther King and social justice.

Wallace next moved on to the clip of Beck saying, on Fox & Friends in July, 2009, that President Obama is a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the while culture.”

Beck now said, “I’ve addressed this comment a million times and I think I’ve amended it this week, that what I didn’t understand at the time was the influences on President Obama… Read his own books. He writes about the white culture and how he struggled with it, etc., etc. But I didn’t understand, really, his theology. His viewpoints come from liberation theology. That’s what I think at the gut level I was sensing. And I miscast it at racism. And really, what it is, is liberation theology.”

Wallace asked, “Do you and in this context, in this forum, do you regret having called him a racist and saying he had a deep-seated hatred for white people?”

“Of course I do,” Beck said. “I don’t want to retract the – I want to amend that I think it is much of a theological question that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology which is oppressor and victim. Racist was, first of all, it shouldn’t have been said. It was poorly said. It was – 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 worldview.”

So let’s look at exactly what Beck was saying and what he has said. Beck is not “retracting” but “amending” his troublesome statement to say it’s Obama’s “liberation theology” that “has shaped his worldview.” Did Beck say that Obama does not have a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture?” No, Beck said he “miscast” Obama’s “struggle with” white culture as racism, thanks to his “big fat mouth.” Beck did go on to say that his words were “not accurate” but he very clearly left standing his ideas.

That’s pretty much the same thing he told Katie Couric in September, 2009, when he said, “I’m sorry the way it was phrased.” But there, too, Beck went on to indicate that Obama must be a racist for having embraced Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology.

Now, in the glare of media scrutiny of holding his “Restoring Honor” rally on the day and in the place of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech – and after a barrage of criticism and advertiser boycotts and more, Beck has suddenly revealed, more than a year later, that he was “inaccurate” to have called Obama a racist. He first seems to have aired this remorse when he happened to show up on Joe Madison's radio show.

Last October, Beck told his viewers, “I made you a promise from the very beginning of this program that I will tell you when I'm wrong. If I make a mistake, I'm not just going to gloss over it. I will not bury my mistakes. If it's a big mistake, I will correct them in the league.” So if he made such a big fat mistake with his mouth last July, or if he discovered new information about Obama that changed his views, why didn't he trumpet that the moment he realized it?

But Wallace either didn't know about that contradiction or else he missed it.

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