One thing you should know about Glenn Beck‘s daily four hour radio show is that it is frequently even more outrageous (and often funnier) than his TV show.
As a result, it gets him in trouble a lot. Or even more in trouble, if you can imagine that.
The most recent case in point was Tuesday’s show during which Beck talked about George Soros‘ CNN interview last weekend, somehow linked this to the Jewish Funds for Justice group who’d taken out the ad in the WSJ last month and then said:
“Radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the Reform Judaism, it is more about politics.”
Beck has had an especially rocky relationship with Jewish leaders ever since he decided George Soros was the evil mastermind behind most of the world’s problems and this remark in particular elicited a sharp response from ADL president Abe Foxman — who in the past has gone to bat for Beck — who immediately called for an apology.
Despite his feeble attempt to suggest that he was not equating Reform Judaism with Islamic extremist terrorism, the simple fact that he would mention them in the same breath is highly offensive and outrageous. Glenn Beck has no business discounting 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.
And an apology they did get. Said Beck on his show today:
“I was wrong on this … and I apologise for it…In this case I did not do enough homework.”
“Somebody has called me ignorant for what I said on Tuesday, and I think that’s a pretty good description of what I said.”
Audio below. This was enough for the ADL who “welcomed” the apology.
In response to concerns raised by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and others about offensive comments made by Glenn Beck regarding Reform Judaism during a February 22 radio broadcast, Mr. Beck has communicated directly with Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, to apologise to all those he may have offended.
Mr. Foxman welcomed the apology saying, “Glenn Beck has shown that he understands how his remarks were offensive and out of line. We welcome his words of apology and consider the matter closed.”
Mr. Beck wrote:
I just wanted to write to you personally and thank you for bringing to my attention the inaccurate comments I made on Tuesday. I was admittedly misinformed on Reform Rabbis and made a horrible analogy that I immediately attempted to clarify–quite honestly, I blew it on this one. When I believe I’m right, I am always willing to defend my ground. But, when I make a mistake, I hope you understand that I am willing to say so. It is why I led my show today with an admission that I was wrong and an apology to everyone I offended–within Reform Judaism and throughout the Jewish community.
Perhaps not surprisingly the JFSJ group was not placated (they would still like Beck “sanctioned” and released a statement saying his apology was “welcome but incomplete.” Full statement below the audio.
Jewish Funds For Justice Statement
Glenn Beck’s apology for comparing Reform Judaism to “Radicalized Islam” is welcome but incomplete. While we are heartened to hear him recognise his ignorance, he still has not acknowledged that the letter signed by 400 rabbis and organised 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.
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