Glenn Beck decided to follow up his brief and lame apology on his website for his wildly unpopular attack on 11-year-old Malia Obama last week on his radio show by giving a heartfelt, sincere mea culpa on his Fox News show yesterday.
Apropos of someone for whom "sincere" is just a schtick, the mea culpa was all about Beck -- a tale of how he was an a-hole to his wife, snapping at her and cursing self-righteously when she asked him what he was thinking, and then realizing he was wrong and begging her forgiveness and now the world's.
Funny thing about Beck and forgiveness: He's always preaching about the power of self-forgiveness -- that's what his whole "Christmas Sweater" schtick is all about -- but I always get the feeling that he never takes the crucial step of obtaining forgiveness from the people who he's actually wronged. I've always wondered whether he ever sought the forgiveness of the wife of his rival DJ in Phoenix who he called up on air and humiliated over her recent miscarriage. I'd wager not.
Nor did he yesterday at any point seem to contemplate that he's horribly wronged a young woman who has done nothing to earn such a vicious and nasty attack. Instead, it was all about Beck realizing he had broken one of his "rules".
What are Beck's "rules"? He put it this way -- when the subject was Sarah Palin:
Beck: There's a difference! Leave my family -- leave people's families alone! I don't think I've -- I mean, I don't think I have ever -- I mean, I made this when it was Bill Clinton -- you don't go after Chelsea Clinton! You don't talk about the Bush kids! Now, the minute they get into politics, that's a different story. You leave the families alone! We've never done anything but protect the families, and question why the White House would bring their children into political debate. Leave the families alone!
Yesterday, he continued on the same note, describing his apology to his wife:
Beck: I said, 'Honey, you are right. And there is absolutely no excuse or reason to ever, ever, EVER -- even come close to the line of dragging somebody's family into the debate! I- I've never done it! I've never done it! Until last Friday. And I hope that's my bottom.
It probably won't be, because Beck's self-delusion is still very much intact insofar as what constitutes "dragging somebody's family into the debate."
Because we still recall vividly what remains the scummiest Beck show ever on Fox News -- the one where Beck smeared President Obama's dead mother:
You'll recall he tried much of the same kind of denial:
I want you to know that I am by no means attacking his family. And in fact, I think after the first five minutes of the show tonight, you're actually going to feel sorry for the little boy, Barry Obama -- the boy, the little one. This little boy. He's so cute! I don't feel sorry for the man, but the tragedy of this kid's childhood is staggering!
Lessee ... you're not attacking his family, but then turn around and immediately claim that they abandoned the poor little kid. Come again?
His parents, seemingly, from what you can piece together, his parents seemingly placed radical politics over everything else, including their little boy!
I am not one to talk. I grew up with a Dad who worked all the time. He was a small business owner, he owned the city bakery in Mount Vernon, Washington. And, um the only time I saw him was at work. I work all the time. My kids come to work, and we spend time at my job, or we travel together. A lot of us do this. We have long hours and we support our families.
But how many of us have been abandoned for the bakery? Or my job? Or your job? Would you ever leave your kid for that?
How about -- how many of us have been abandoned for a Marxist political theory? Or politics? This didn't happen to little Barack Obama once but twice. Both parents!
Of course, Obama's father did indeed essentially abandon his family -- but it wasn't for politics, it was for personal ambition: he wanted to attend Harvard without the encumbrances of a wife and tiny son. The senior Obama was not a particularly admirable guy.
But then Beck turns to the subject of Obama's late mother, who Obama himself described as "the one who was the single constant in my life," and "that she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her."
How does Beck describe her? Why, as a commie sympathizer, of course:
She was described by a friend as, quote, "a fellow traveler." If anybody who reads about progressives and Marxism, you recognize that language.
Yes indeed we do. "Fellow traveler" is what the McCarthyite Red-baiters of the 1950s liked to call liberals. Of course, the proof for Beck is that Dunham actually supported Adlai Stevenson in the 1956 election. Impressive, no?
Dunham later left to Hawaii, to travel to Indonesia for a second time, and then she left her son to move to Pakistan. She left her son with her parents. This is the second time this poor little boy was left by a parent!
This is complete and utter rubbish. Stanley Ann Dunham did not at any time "abandon" her son, and Beck's claim that she did is a filthy smear of the lowest sort.
Sincerity is Glenn Beck's schtick. He does it well. But it's just a schtick.