Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, now an older and wiser and richer man, told Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Tuesday that he regrets having "played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart" during his tenure with the network.
Beck was with Fox from shortly before the 2008 election until 2011, during which time he became notorious for his encouragement of the Tea Party and his far-reaching conspiracy theories about Socialist infiltration of the Obama administration. Or, as Kelly put it in introducing Beck for her interview, Glenn "had a very successful run here at Fox News, but also became a bit of a lightning rod." A bit!
It was indeed a successful run for the parent company — until Beck's assertion that President Obama was racist and had "a deep-seated hatred for white people" prompted advertisers to pull spots from his program. (Later, religious groups objected to Beck's claims that social justice work was associated with Nazism.)
But now Beck sees the errors of his ways, understands that these excoriations weren't helpful (like when a guy who'd heard Beck's repeated attacks on the non-profit Tides Foundation was arrested on his way to shooting the place up).
As transcribed by Real Clear Politics:
I remember it as an awful lot of fun, and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language. Because I think I played a role unfortunately in helping tear the country apart. And it's not who we are. I didn't realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of a little more in it together. And now I look back and I realize if we could have talked about the uniting principles a little bit more, instead of just the problems, I think I would look back on it a little more fondly. But that's only my role.
Emphasis added — because it's not really Beck's fault that everyone started getting all mad at each other when he'd equate Obama to America's Cold War enemies. It was because America was too fragile for his real-keeping. It's like a guy who blames the dry weather conditions for the forest fire he intentionally set.
When Beck left Fox News, he founded his own news site, The Blaze, and renewed his radio contract for $100 million. Once again proving that he's no Communist.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.