In an interview with Megyn Kelly on "Fox News," former divisive Fox host Glenn Beck made some surprising acknowledgements.
“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,” Beck said. “I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart and it's not who we are.”
It's hard not to give him a lot of points for saying that. No matter how "too little, too late" that is, it's also a case of far better late than never. Most especially given that the traditional Far Right mantra is to double-down, it's notable for someone to take a step back and admit not only mistakes but being part of the problem. Then he went on in more specifics:
“I didn’t realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of more in it together and now I look back and realize, if we could've talked about the uniting principles instead of just the problems, I think I would look back more fondly.”
Alas, if only he'd made his mea culpa and gotten off the stage. It's not hideously awful what he says here, just disingenuous. Mind you, I suspect that when you do go out on a limb and admit mistakes, most people will want to give themselves some over, so it's understandable. But still, it weakens things a bit.
For starters, he's putting more of the blame on others. It's not his fault, it's that "The People" were too fragile, too sensitive. The People simply weren't in it as "together" as he believed everyone was.
I'm not going to go through a litany of all that Glenn Beck did and said for 2-1/2 years on "Fox News." The list would be too long. But suffice it to say that it wasn't a case of other people being too fragile and not all singing "Kumbaya." It's that Glenn Beck nightly would paint liberals and Democrats as evil traitors, and paint President Barack Obama as a international conspirator who hated white people. When he'd go to his chalk board and draw connections to show how liberals, Democrats and the president were destroying the nation, that wasn't about "others." That was about him. Nightly. For 2-1/2 years. And it wasn't like he didn't know, didn't realize. He was being vilified by that other half of the country that, no, we all weren't in the same boat together with him.
Again, though, to be clear, I do admire that he isn't doubling down and is admitting being part of an effort to tear apart the country. Mind you, for all I know he's doing this as part of his act, to try and reinvent himself and suck in another part of the audience. So, the truth is that, until proven otherwise, I don't trust a word out of Glenn Beck. Especially when his reasoning is so off. But -- I nonetheless give him credit for at least taking a step that most others in his position wouldn't take.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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