February 23, 2010
Glenn Beck vs. C. Edmund WrightBy C. Edmund Wright
In the spirit of FOX News: I report, you decide.
Glenn Beck acknowledged on his Monday afternoon television show that some folks did not approve of his keynote address to CPAC. The example he chose to express that displeasure was our Monday piece, "CPAC's Odd Ending."
Beck claimed on his show that my words made his case. I respectfully disagree and in fact submit the opposite. Here's why: In response to this article, Beck came right out and said words I have never heard him say before. His wording indicates that he does in fact think of the GOP as his team. He disavowed any third party movement almost totally on two different occasions. This will certainly come as a surprise to many of his regular viewers.
He claimed that he of course always meant this, but he has rarely if ever said these words...which was precisely the point of my article.
So, in the cool, unemotional format of print transcript, I invite the readers to decide as I quickly respond to Beck's comments from Monday's Glenn Beck Show.
BECK: Not everybody was in love with my speech at CPAC. Some are saying I wasn't quite partisan enough ... which I intentionally steered away from ... this [CPAC] isn't really talking to the Democrats.
WRIGHT: Actually, Mr. Beck, I did praise a lot of your speech, and I did not use the word partisan. Having said that, the fact that you admit that you weren't talking to Democrats almost admits that you were knowingly talking to Republicans. Hmmm. This is a far cry from your average TV show, where you go to great lengths to equate the two parties as equally corrupt and equally progressive. Not a major point, but I submit a small admission on your part already.
BECK: It seems that some people think that I was wanting some sort of third party. Nope.
WRIGHT: Memo to the Beck supporters who think he is a third-party guy: He said "nope." I think I may have forced this. He's never said this before that I can remember. 1-0.
BECK: I just think the American people ... just want a party that stands for something.
WRIGHT: I concur, and while I realize that you probably had your people read my piece, had you read it or any other of my works, you would know that you and I agree on this and that I have been a long time critic of the Republican Party apparatus -- as have many other writers here at AT.
BECK: You know -- it's holding your own side's feet ...
WRIGHT: Stop the tape! What was that again?
BECK: You know -- it's holding your own side's feet to the fire that delivers a party like that.
WRIGHT: Uh, I hate to quibble, Glenn, but you just made my point. My point was that you did not say at CPAC -- and you never say on your show -- which side is your side. You never actually connect the dots and say the word "Republican" in telling us who the only party is that can stop the progressive movement. Thank you for finally connecting those dots and telling us which is "your side." I think a lot of your fans will be shocked to hear this.
BECK: It's important to acknowledge the individual Republicans fighting the good fight ...
WRIGHT: Stop the tape again! I agree. I think you just made another of my points for me. And while we're on the subject, why didn't you acknowledge them last night? That was really all I was asking for.
BECK: ... and I think we do that on this program. CPAC -- they had already done a good job of that ... most of the speeches during the weekend were made by people I tend to agree with. If you watch this show at all, you know that I highlight good conservatives inside the Republican Party. Jim DeMint's on this show ... I think ... as much as I'm on this show.
WRIGHT: First of all, when giving a keynote address where you have agreed with the week's festivities, it is customary to acknowledge that during your speech at some point. You did not.
And yes, on your show, you do tend to highlight good conservative Republicans for the first fifty minutes. I called much of your work fabulous, by the way. You generally don't mention party when you do that. Moreover, you tend to spend the end of your show with the obligatory R or D disclaimer that seems out of place with the rest of the show. That was a point I made. Glad to see you actually stringing the words good - principled - conservative - Republicans together.
BECK: The problem is progressivism. Does anyone seriously think that Mike Pence is who I'm talking about when I say Republican progressives?
WRIGHT: No, we don't think Pence or DeMint or Inhofe or Ryan. But you never say -- until now -- that there are more good conservative Republicans than there are Democrats. You sure as heck didn't say anything remotely similar to that at CPAC.
BECK: The usually on-the-money American Thinker was critical of my speech as well ...
WRIGHT: Again, read what I said. There was at least an equal measure of praise.
BECK: In doing so, inadvertently, they made my point for me.
WRIGHT: I respectfully disagree.
BECK: When I was talking about not seeing the come-to-Jesus moment for the Republican Party -- they [Wright] wrote, "Has he not heard about Marco Rubio? Rubio is now up 12 points over Charlie Crist among Florida voters. That sounds to me like a lot of Florida Republicans admit there's a problem." Rubio is a perfect example of the problem I'm talking about. Rubio is not up by 18 because of the Republican Party. He's up by 18 because the people of Florida are rejecting what the Republican Party told them to do: Vote for Charlie Crist.
WRIGHT: But Mr. Beck, we have a couple of problems with your answer here and your speech Saturday. If you felt this strongly about Rubio before I (and Bill Bennett) called you on it, the CPAC speech was the perfect venue for you to say so. After all, Rubio was the biggest attraction there besides you. Your sudden passion for Rubio, Sir, makes my point that you should have indeed mentioned him Saturday.
Further, you make your living with words -- and words mean things. You said "I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit ..." Marco Rubio is a person within the Republican Party. He is ahead thanks to the Republican Party voters of Florida. They are "people within the Republican Party," too. Can you hear them now?
I know what the party hacks are up to, and I join you in condemning them. But for a wordsmith, your brush was too broad. And I submit that it's not the first time.
BECK: I don't want a third party. I think that might be a bad idea.
WRIGHT: I agree totally. So so so glad to hear you say it. Now, I wonder what many of your fans will say. What do you think? Call me.