Beck: No to Censoring Foes, Yes to Violent Death

Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor (3/25/10) to discuss being named by Joy Behar as one of the media figures the View panelist (3/22/10) says are inspiring hate among Tea Party activists (“There is a difference between free speech and hate speech, and we’ve been listening to it from Beck and Limbaugh now. And these people are all juiced up by these two. That’s what’s happening”), Glenn Beck attempted to demonstrate his tolerance for his political foes in the following exchange:

BECK: Have you or I ever said Michael Moore shouldn’t be allowed to make a movie?


BECK: Michael Moore shouldn’t be allowed to speak? Michael Moore shouldn’t have his own TV show? Never.

O’REILLY: Never. Never.

BECK: Never. Because we believe in freedom of speech. George Washington called it the battlefield of ideas.

O’REILLY: Right.

While it may be true to say that Beck has never expressed a wish to see Michael Moore censored, precisely, he has expressed a desire to kill Moore with his bare hands:

I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out–is this wrong?

Reasonable people might see this as a desire for an extreme form of censorship–and hateful to boot.

UPDATE: O’Reilly too has fantasized about assaulting Moore–in a non-censorious way, of course. See FAIR Blog, 10/6/09.

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.