The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 October 2007

Glenn Beck, Southern California Wildfires, Talk Radio

PLAYING WITH MATCHES

Beck's Ill-Chosen Blaze Comments Create Firestorm





*** NEW: libtalkers melt down, now say Bush, Blackwater set fires! ***


As conservatives, feeling compelled to agree with the likes of Media Matters and other left- wing smear sites is a miserable, yet occasionally unavoidable position. And if not for a few loose cannons on our own side of the aisle, this rare alignment might not ever occur.

In fact, subtract one Glenn Beck from the equation and we might never be on the same side as our Soros- funded enemies.

Just yesterday, we highlighted how "progressive" talk hosts are busy looking to blame Bush and the Iraq conflict for the wildfires now raging in Southern California. At the same time, Beck's latest asinine comments force us to examine our own side.

Beck's on-air meltdown over fire victims is so outrageous it has conservatives wondering what we did to get stuck with this albatross. Your Radio Equalizer has been hearing from concerned folks on the right.

In addition, Hot Air and other conservative sites have already taken the syndicated talker and CNN-HN host to task.


And quite unlike previous Media Matters- fueled smears, this flap seems accurately recorded and transcribed. Take a look:


BECK (22 October): Let's talk about health care and education? That's not the way to win. That's not the way to win on any front. I'm not even talking about -- the least I care about is winning the election. How about winning the war? How about saving our country? And, you know, it made me think. I want to make this very clear. When I say on the air, and I've said it a lot lately, that we need to come together and we need to get back into the center, we're being pushed on to the edges -- I want you to understand, that is not on policies. I don't mean that we come in the center on policies.

We come to the center on principles. We come back to the center of the melting pot, that we're all one America, that just because I disagree with you doesn't mean you hate America, and I love America. We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function, what we should do, big government, small government. It doesn't mean you hate America. I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

There are a few people that hate America. But I don't think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that. But you don't come into the center. You have to stand up for what you believe in.


First, Beck is factually way off base: the hills of rural and suburban San Diego County couldn't be more conservative if they tried. Those are solid areas for Republicans, not America- bashing leftists. And even if he was referring to the earlier Malibu- area fires, there's no evidence they hit liberals harder than anyone else.

Second, how could Beck be stupid enough to make such an idiotic statement while hundreds of thousands of people were being evacuated? At a time like this, politics should be irrelevant. Normal human beings don't want to see people losing their homes.

While your Radio Equalizer hates to say I Told You So, this site has been sounding the alarm about Beck and his sloppy rhetoric for almost three years.

What conservatives want to know is whether the movement is stuck with Beck, a talker most had never heard of until quite recently. The answer is simple: it's up to you to fight back.

After all, isn't keeping our own side free of counterproductive elements just as important as taking on the opposition?


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21 Comments:

  • "After all, isn't keeping our own side free of counterproductive elements just as important as taking on the opposition?"

    That's positively Kos-itian, BM.

    PURITY IS REQUIRED! TOE THE LINE OR DIE!

    When will you be scheduling the purge?

    By Blogger TC, at 24 October, 2007 08:27  

  • Maloney wrote:

    "First, Beck is factually way off base: the hills of rural and suburban San Diego County couldn't be more conservative if they tried. Those are solid areas for Republicans, not America- bashing leftists."

    Ah, Brian you just can't help yourself, can you? Here I am, all hopeful that you are making sense, trying to not be an uninformed polemicist for a change, and you have to slip in your ill-informed opinion.

    As a proud liberal who, unlike most of the knuckle dragging right wingers who read and comment on this site, I served my country proudly as a Marine. What they say is true... once a Marine, always a Marine. In case you don't understand, my oath of loyalty wass not to a party, not to an administration, it was and is to the Constitution. I have made a sacred oath to preserve, protect and defend it against all enemies... foreign and domestic. As much as you nancyhawks hate to admit it, that document wasn't a conservative, elitist idea. It was forged by progressive thinkers as a contract by the people placing very specific limits on the government. To be a true Constitutionalist is to be for government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

    Not only do I have the right, I have a sacred duty to criticize this government when it strays from Constitutional constraints. You and your fellow nancyhawks may not like it, Brian, bu the Constitution was specifically crafted to be a strait-jacket on governmental power.

    To not criticize your government when it does wrong doesn't make you a patriot... it makes you a sycophant. I demonstrate my love for my country when I demand that my government uphold its Constitutional mandates. The real haters are those who put party above the people.

    Then again, as you've never taken the oath, I think you fail to understand that.

    Americ hating indeed!

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 24 October, 2007 08:29  

  • Manufactured outrage.

    When you have a live talk show every day for 3 hours a day, plus a TV show, someone is bound to be able to pull out a soundbite once in awhile that makes you look bad.

    Having listened to Beck for years, I'm pretty sure he isn't gleefully celebrating the fact that Malibu is burning. And after his long, rambling speech about everyone coming together in the center, it surely sounds to me like he thinks it's unfortunate that Malibu Leftists are in tragic circumstances right now.

    By Blogger Heidi, at 24 October, 2007 08:42  

  • Well, I'd rack this right up there as one of the most asinine things I've read this year.

    First off, please disense with this "we" businees. You want to speak for yourself, fine, but leave the rest of us out of your screeds.

    Second, if HotAir is 'taking him to task', then they need to hire a new writer. If anything, the article sounded confused as to why Glenn made his statement, not condemning.

    Third, this is such a small matter, just one flippant sentence cherry-picked from a long, usual Beck rant, that it's obvious you're lying in the weeds waiting, waiting, waiting for the next 'gotcha' moment. You're not "pro-party", you're just "anti-Glenn", the exact same way many "conservatives" (using the term in its softest sense) aren't pro-party, they're just anti-Coulter.

    Beck and Coulter are perhaps the two strongest voices (real) conservatives have, and if they sometimes branch into hyperbole or satire and the weaker sisters of the party get their panties in a knot, so what?

    Brian, you need to take a break from ideology just for ideology's sake for a while. Witness this sentence:

    "In fact, subtract one Glenn Beck from the equation and we might never be on the same side as our Soros- funded enemies."

    Note how, according to you, the second one doesn't agree with Beck, then he immediately 'sides' with left-wing extemists.

    Life isn't black & white like that, Brian. Jumping from one extreme to the other is a human foible, not a natural condition. When Beck or Coulter say something I don't agree with, I think "I don't agree with that" and then continue watching or reading. I don't think, "Omigod, MediaMatters was right, after all!"

    Sheesh, buddy.

    By Blogger Dr., at 24 October, 2007 09:01  

  • Any conservative hired by CNN has got to have something missing. They're either a false conservative or controversial enough to cause problems on the right.

    By Blogger Jim, at 24 October, 2007 09:33  

  • I think you're over reacting.

    Beck could just as easily be interpreted as generally referring to the "State of California".

    You know, home of the Code Pink protests against our Military, the Daily Kos, the Hollywood Leftist Propagandists, etc., etc., etc.

    "I think there is a handful of people who hate America."

    Do you disagree?

    "Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."

    BFD! Sounds possible, not snarky.
    Sounds like you might be reading more into it than is there.

    The left spouts much worse on a daily basis.

    Don't fall into the trap of enabling the DBags at Media Matters.

    By Blogger Rabble Rouser, at 24 October, 2007 09:34  

  • Sorry, I just don't see the problem. This is just another overhyped piece of crap from the Left, desperate to smear SOMEbody, ANYbody! who thinks to the right of Stalin.

    California is a well known ultra-liberal state, and saying that liberals/people who hate America are losing their homes is hardly "asinine". That's a statement of probable FACT!

    If he had been dancing with glee and throwing a party, I might be inclined to agree with you, but as it stands, you and the other conservatives who agree with you are wayyy over blowing this.

    It's a non-issue.

    By Blogger Mr. Justice, at 24 October, 2007 09:35  

  • Paraphrase Beck …

    (1) Dimorats don’t hate America in general

    (2) Only a handful hate America

    (3) Unfortunately a lot of them are fire victims

    So what does (3) mean ???

    (3a) Even though they hate America we should feel sorry for them

    (3b) Since they hate America it’s just what they deserve

    I don’t know. Don’t care. It is entirely possible that (3a) is what he meant. Beck was making a political point, relatively harmless, when he slipped in the fire comment. Either way he was NOT making a general comment about the very large number of people who are tragically victims of the fires.

    By Blogger boris, at 24 October, 2007 10:06  

  • Jeez - talk about much ado about nothing. I read your earlier post, which contained this:

    For the right, he poses a dilemma: are we on the hook for Glenn's occasionally foolish and inappropriate comments? Because his role in the movement is almost nil, the Radio Equalizer believes the answer is a firm no.


    So, if you believe his role is almost nil and "we" therefore don't have to apologize for his "foolish and inappropriate comment", then why did you write this post? If you have changed your mind, is it because he has gained some traction in the "movement" (I object to that word in the context in which it was used, but that's another story)?

    I don't think his comment was particularly insightful or useful in any sense. Having listened to Beck in the past (he is not on the air at a time I can listen in my new locale and I don't watch him on CNN), this is the kind of comment that he intended as a humorous one-off. It didn't work. Big deal.

    Lots of good comedians tell jokes that don't work. Judging this on the body of the speech in which it is contained, it is clearly not the crux of the message nor an important contribution to the main point he is trying to make in any way. Let Media Matters wet the bed over this stuff. Stick to substantive reporting about radio.

    By Blogger Doc Paul, at 24 October, 2007 11:11  

  • I've only listened to Beck a few times and the guy is hilarious. He's doing something different from Rush and Ingrahm, and will attract his own audience. His sense of humor alone is too valuable to just toss him off over a single sentence he uttered in a three-hour daily program. It's not as if this is a really big deal.

    By Blogger Dr. FilthyMcNasty, at 24 October, 2007 11:16  

  • This is getting carried away a bit. I'm not calling for Beck's removal, just want to denounce his comment.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Media Matters is on the mark perhaps once or twice a year. That's about it. This is one of those rare examples.

    Conservatives are clearly divided over Beck. That's fine, we don't need to agree all of the time.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 24 October, 2007 11:20  

  • just want to denounce his comment

    But you are denouncing a comment he didn't make. He was NOT making a general comment about the very large number of people who are tragically victims of the fires.

    By Blogger boris, at 24 October, 2007 11:32  

  • Oh no you don't, Brian:
    "This is getting carried away a bit. I'm not calling for Beck's removal, just want to denounce his comment."

    You closed the post saying, "...keeping our own side free of counterproductive elements..."

    Explain it to me: just exactly how that is NOT saying Beck needs to be excised from the "conservative" fold?

    What did you mean by "keeping our own side free?" in my copy of the dictionary, and understanding of language, calling someone out for saying something stupid is vastly different than how what you wrote parses to anyone with a rudimentary grasp of the English language.

    By Blogger TC, at 24 October, 2007 11:38  

  • tc, I can see your point. It would be easy to interpret it that way.

    What I meant, however, is that conservatives are wrong to overlook excesses on our own side while continuing to pound away at the left. Otherwise we become vulnerable to charges that we are hypocritical.

    When we point to what Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes and others are saying about the fires, the left can single out Glenn Beck in response. I don't like giving the left that kind of ammo.

    Just to be clear, I'm not calling for Beck's removal.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 24 October, 2007 11:43  

  • When we point to what Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes and others are saying

    Just what good does that do?

    In order to protect your sanctimony every commenter on the right has to zip lip? No interpretaion of meaning too exaggerated.

    The only reason to bring up the "couldn't be more conservative" remark is that you interpret Beck to be saying "fire victims hate America". He didn't say that.

    By Blogger boris, at 24 October, 2007 12:07  

  • the hills of rural and suburban San Diego County couldn't be more conservative if they tried. Those are solid areas for Republicans, not America- bashing leftists.

    You haven't been out there recently. I was there over Labor Day, and dude a paradise for Conservatives, the place is not.

    Yes, it's not Berkeley. On the other hand, it's not Texas either. The place is rotten with Liberal Democrats.

    You have to drive over 100 miles east from the Pacific Ocean to find a place with local government represented by Conservative (i.e. real) Republicans.

    Beck is right. So Cal is owned by people who hate America. Too bad their homes are burning, but they do hate America.

    By Blogger paul a'barge, at 24 October, 2007 12:51  

  • "Just to be clear, I'm not calling for Beck's removal."

    So then just call him a jackass and be done.

    Having the conversation involves mastering the language.

    I get in semantical crap with hashfanatic over at my site seemingly every day of my online life.

    My baseline is: what was said.

    By Blogger TC, at 24 October, 2007 13:10  

  • Beck could just as easily be interpreted as generally referring to the "State of California".
    You know, home of the Code Pink protests against our Military, the Daily Kos, the Hollywood Leftist Propagandists, etc., etc., etc.
    "I think there is a handful of people who hate America."
    Do you disagree?
    "Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."
    BFD! Sounds possible, not snarky.
    Sounds like you might be reading more into it than is there.

    WOW! I'm from Southern California and have friends and family that lost their homes. I can honestly say that is the most disgraceful thing I have ever seen someone write or say. Have some class you DB! I love the fake flag wavers who claim to be patriots and yet celebrate when the most populated state and economic powerhouse part of their nation is on fire!

    By Blogger Steve, at 24 October, 2007 14:30  

  • celebrate when the most populated state and economic powerhouse part of their nation is on fire!

    Credibility busted!

    Here's the comment "Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today"

    So you read that as "Ha ha too bad for them, that's what all those California America haters deserve!"

    Whose fault is that? (yours)

    By Blogger boris, at 24 October, 2007 15:08  

  • "Otherwise we become vulnerable to charges that we are hypocritical."

    No, Brian, we certainly wouldn't want THAT to happen.


    "I get in semantical crap with hashfanatic over at my site seemingly every day of my online life."

    Hey, man, maybe it's semantical, but I wouldn't call it CRAP...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 24 October, 2007 15:59  

  • Wow. I can't believe this.

    Brian, I used to love to read this blog. But you have really disappointed me. Let me post what Glenn said in part on the third hour of his show yesterday (cross posted on Hot Air):

    “I shouldn’t have to say this, especially in the United States of America, but for the benefit of the bloggers only, I will. The wildfires in California are a tragedy. I don’t want anyone to lose their home. I don’t care what their political stripes are. I don’t want a soul to lose their home. And anyone who doesn’t want to make me into an evil supervillian would understand that.”

    He then went on to say that people who have listened to his show for a long time know that wildfires “affect him deeply”
    because he grew up in the Pacific Northwest. As for myself, I heard him make that comment live, and it was obvious that he was talking about Hollywood liberals and not anyone else affected by the wildfires. He also said “unfortunately”.

    I would like to add something. When he made that "controversial" remark, at approximately 6:10 AM PST on Monday, the fires in San Diego County had just started the night before. I myself, who lives 1 hour away from San Diego County, didn't learn about the fires until later. He most defiantly was talking about the Malibu fires.

    Link:http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20071022-9999-1n22main.html

    Brian, if Glenn is not you cup of tea, that's fine. He has said himself that some conservatives don't get or understand his show. But he is fighting the good fight for America, and to twist his words just like Media Matters did, is really disheartening.

    By Blogger Paper Pusher, at 24 October, 2007 21:39  

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