Last week Republicans in the House of Representatives melted down while spewing lies, threats and more lies all over the airwaves. You saw a lot of it here, because we clipped it for you. Israel spun their activities in Gaza as pure and righteous, minimizing the harm they were doing to civilians and Palestinian settlements on the Gaza strip.
These things happened. But if you were watching CNN's Reliable Sources, you saw very little of that. You got a segment with Rula Jebreal and Elliott Abrams that was basically an enactment of the utter stalemate in the Middle East peace process. At the end, you got a segment discussing the PR wars.
In the middle, you got a big softball interview with none other than Glenn Beck, who Stelter seems to think is a media god because The Blaze makes a ton of money. As if that is the sole metric by which we should measure media's value.
It was disgusting. The video at the top highlights three places where Stelter could have pushed back and offered just a tiny bit of balance. I used to rip Howie Kurtz for his softie rehabilitation of media personalities, but Stelter was worse. He not only rehabbed Beck, he practically rewrote the past for him.
Fail #1: About the whole racism thing...
Let's start with what may be Beck's most famous moment, the one where he called President Obama a racist. In what may be the greatest understatement of the year, Stelter asked Beck gently if he thought that statement was one of the stupid things Beck has said. To which Beck replied, "Of course it was. But, we all -- we all live and learn."
He tossed this off just after he claimed that he wouldn't change a thing about what he's done in the past.
Stelter could have asked him right then and there which one was the right answer. Did Beck regret it or not? Was it stupid for him to say it aloud or did he believe it? Does he apologize for saying it or does he still believe it?
These were all questions that could have been asked, but instead Stelter gave Beck an atta boy, telling him " And that's what I mentioned when you say figuring things out, that that's been your career. You can hear it on your programs, you talk through things."
The reward for that was Glenn Beck saying he's still a conservative, he still believes the things he believed back then.
That right there was Brian Stelter serving up a shit sandwich for us all to eat, because the real purpose of this interview is to convince some on the left that Glenny Beck really isn't the bad guy they think he is.
Fail #2 - Beck hates politics, has no time for politicians anymore
Except maybe Bernie Sanders, who Beck thinks is a straight shooter (which he is). That piece isn't in this clip, but he did say it just after the part we snipped.
This is just cynical claptrap. Glenn Beck is making millions on politics. MILLIONS. He hates politics like teabaggers hate the KKK. But once again, Stelter is all moony-eyed about Beck's ability to change his mind, even though there is no evidence whatsoever that Beck has changed his mind. It's a PR tour, plain and simple.
If you have a few minutes, go read this post from 2011 with the 50 worst things that Glenn Beck has said on Fox News. Some of the most notable aren't even in that list. Like the time he revved up a chain saw and threatened to slaughter a bunny. Or the Revolutionaries in the White House show, or the one where he said President Obama just loves revolution. Or this one where he projected his own insanity onto the left. Then there was that time he claimed Obama was collapsing the economy in 2010 when the recession was finally starting to turn around, too.
Which leads to the third failure.
Fail #3: Glenn Beck is clueless about the economy, has no authority to speak on it.
The final fail in this particular interview was toward the end, where Stelter let Beck just blather on about the economy without even a clue as to what he was actually saying.
It's classic Glenn Beck. He sold a boatload of gold with these lines about how you couldn't just print $3 trillion and have the economy survive, and now he's selling his own rehabilitation with the same line. It was a grift then and it's a grift now.
The end of the interview was Glenn Beck claiming that right and left need to listen to each other instead of thinking of each other as cartoon characters.
Join me in hysterical laughter over that one. Irony is one mean bitch.
I'm all for forgiveness when someone actually asks for it and turns away from what they're doing. But let's ask Glenny about his recent hire and promotion of Dana Loesch, who fills the airwaves and social media with unglazed hatred of the president and anyone who supports him. Boy howdy, you want to talk cartoon characters, Glenn?
When Glenn Beck does more than just talk about his "conversion" I'll listen. But why should he actually have to act when he's got CNN and Brian Stelter there to give him a complete pass on his prominent role in creating the clusterf*ck we have today when it comes to even simple conversations with people?
I blame Glenn Beck for the conversion of some of my family members from moderate conservatives to flaming haters. If he wants redemption, he can start by telling them he was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And then start speaking truth.
I won't be holding my breath.