Glenn Beck continued his jihad against White House Communications Director Anita Dunn yesterday on his Fox News program, focusing his rage on remarks she made earlier this year at a D.C.-area high-school graduation ceremony. Here's what he played of her remarks:
"[T]wo of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa, not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most ..."
Not content to do it once, he ran the same snippet again, exactly like that. Twice he described Dunn as saying that Mao was one of the philosophers "she turns to most".
In other words, by running the quote thus, he's making it clear that Dunn admires Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers that she turns to most.
He ran this truncated quote, incidentally, in response to Dunn's earlier explanation for the remarks:
"The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me," Dunn told CNN.
As for Beck's criticism: "The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing."
Beck thought that by playing the truncated quote, he could prove that Dunn's characterization didn't add up -- after all, she said Mao was someone she "turned to most"!
Except, of course, that wasn't what she said. You have to hear the rest of the sentence after Beck clips it off.
Here's the full original quote, which you can see at the original full video:
"The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung and Mother Theresa -- not often coupled with each other, but the two people I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is 'you're going to make choices; you're going to challenge; you're going to say why not; you're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before."
In other words, she found their words handy to make a universal and fairly banal point about being true to one's self. That's all. No Mao-worship.
You also can hear laughter from the audience when Dunn couples Mao and Mother Teresa, so at least it's clear that some in the audience got the joke. Glenn Beck didn't.
Most of all, he doesn't get that crude and hamhanded dishonesty like this only proves Anita Dunn's point, in spades.