Right Turn: Glenn Beck doesn't speak for mainstream conservatives
Each time I write a post critical of Fox News host Glenn Beck, scores of conservatives e-mail and comment here at Right Turn that he's "not as bad" as the left portrays him and that, besides, there are worse figures on the left.
The "left is worse" argument doesn't fly. Listen, I am never shy about pointing out hypocrisy by the left -- as I did in response to an anti-Beck letter organized by Jewish Funds for Justice. But the argument that "the other side is worse" is not an argument that justifies Beck's conduct.
With regard to Beck himself, Peter Wehner at Commentary has a must-read post that includes this:
In the past few weeks Glenn Beck has spoken about the coming caliphate that he believes is about to envelope most of the world. He then dilated on the anti-Christ with a man who says he has "new prophetic understanding into the end times." In 2009, this self-proclaimed prophet wrote a column titled "What Obama and the Anti-Christ Have in Common." Then, on a recent show, the discussion focused on the coming Islamic anti-Christ. And earlier this week, an irate, bellicose Beck spoke about the "perfect storm" America faces. "I can't honestly believe we're finally here," he said in praising his own prescience. In his version of events, Beck is the solitary Voice of Truth willing to expose the New World Order (complete with references to Van Jones and Code Pink).
Pete concludes: "All this is quite troublesome in its own right. But what ought to worry conservatives in particular is that Beck not only has the unusual capacity to discredit virtually every cause he takes up; he also confirms the worst caricatures of the right."
And if that's not bad enough, Beck had to apologize for comparing Reform Judaism to radical Islam.
So what should thoughtful conservatives do? I've said it before, but it is especially relevant here: Police their own side. Rather than reflexively rising to his defense when questioned about Beck, why don't conservatives call him out and explain that he doesn't represent the views of mainstream conservatives? Conservative groups and candidates should be forewarned: If they host, appear with or defend him they should be prepared to have his extremist views affixed to them.
Fox News has every right to have whomever it wants on the air, but, likewise, conservatives have every right to and, indeed, should disassociate themselves from his brand of rhetoric.