Glenn Beck, on his radio program this week, addressed the recent Melissa Harris-Perry story that first broke here at The Right Scoop. Beck reads aloud from a letter he composed to Harris-Perry, which says in part:
I’ve been up in the mountains for two weeks as you know. But when I got home and saw the apology for what she said about Romney, I thought I was going to lose my mind. She apologizes, for what? It was a break with comedians. Yes, it wasn’t nice. Yes, it was hurtful and divisive, if that was the intent. But it clearly was not. There are many dishonest, destructive, and arrogant people on MSNBC, but I don’t think this, by any means, was an example of a person like that.
When I saw her apologize on air, I knew it was real. And I have been there. I don’t apologize for my opinion or political views, no one should be forced to. Calling me a conservative or calling somebody else a Marxist is not an insult. It is a political label, and it is fair game. Going after children, as she said, is not fair game. But that wasn’t her intent. I truly believe that our side now is refusing to see her – who she is – and we are engaging now in the worst kind of political destruction. Both sides do it. Both sides will lose in the end if they continue to be the cause of the death of a once great and united people.
Could you please pass a note from me to her? I have no idea how to get it to her, but I want her to know that while we may and should meet on the battlefield of ideas, the politics of destruction has got to stop. I fear this time our side sees blood in the water and is going after her and MSNBC. It’s more wrong than anything she said here, especially since their intent is to hurt and to destroy and hers was not. I’ll be making this point on the air on Monday. She needs to know there are people that don’t hate her and do have a reason. We do not have a right as people to not be offended. We do have a right to speak our mind. We do have the right to tell a joke. But as citizens of a free society we must also recognize that because we share those rights with a very diverse society, we are going to hear many bad jokes, many crazy opinions, and many wrong theories. We need to celebrate the fact and recognize that those theories, those crazy opinions, and those stumbles will make us stronger as individuals.
If it weren’t from Glenn Beck I’d call this classic concern trolling. There are a great many things wrong with this letter, but let’s start with the most important few. No one was “hating” Harris-Perry. Of all people, to hear Glenn Beck call disagreement “hate” is truly remarkable, considering all the times his analysis has been unjustly characterized in the same fashion. All we needed was a picture of Beck with tape over his mouth and NO H8 written on it to complete the woe-is-me imagery.
Secondly, there is the tired “both sides do it” canard about personal destruction. The politics of personal destruction is a leftist tactic. It’s a liberal core value. It is why the site Media Matters exists, which openly claims total destruction of Fox as one of their founding goals. Calling out bias in the media is not hate or personal destruction. That’s just patently untrue and, frankly, not very well thought out. It’s an emotional lack of discernment rather than an arrived at comparative conclusion.
The whole point of the MHP controversy was the underlying premise. You see, every joke has one. When people say “I’m sure sick of shoveling all this global warming” the underlying premise is that there is something absurd about alarmism about warming in the face of such dramatic cold. That’s the premise. In the case of the panel in question, the underlying premise was that republicans are racist. You see, the reason they showed the picture, the reason she thought it would make for funny captions at all, was because to her, and to her panel, the very idea of a white republican adopting a black child is inherently absurd. Is this not apparent? Harris-Perry didn’t just look at this picture of the Romney family and say “oh you know what’s always funny? Kids and adults being in the same place at the same time. That should be good for some laughs.” No, the reason this specific photo was chosen was because the child is black. This seems abundantly obvious. It is certainly obvious to the panel on the show, since those are precisely the jokes they made.
And while it is always amusing to turn someone’s argument back on them, the right wasn’t clamoring for the right not to be offended. Conservatives were justifiably pointing out a double standard, a bias in the media, and an ugly presumption about republicans.
That presumption? That republicans are racists, Glenn. Including you. The liberal media has spoken. Is this not lear? They wouldn’t put up a similar photo of Bill de Blasio and his family and riff off of that, now would they? And I wonder why that is. What is different about de Blasio? Real head-scratcher, that one.
No, the Melissa Harris-Perry panel mocking Romney’s grandson wasn’t the end of the world. And no, people don’t have the right to remain free from feeling offended. But that is immaterial to the story. The story was and is that these comedians, and the host, like every other host and liberal guest on that network, like every liberal talking head on any network, do not believe you can go too far in mocking republicans. Because we’ve earned it, you see.
It’s a little thing called the “fair game” principle. And with all due respect, I’m confident that you, Glenn Beck, have heard of this one. I seem to recall the name Alinsky popping up on your show. Once or twice.