The media empire built by talk radio host and onetime Fox News host Glenn Beck appears to be crumbling, as the man who started it all seems to be increasingly losing his grip on reality.
On Tuesday reports surfaced that SiriusXM, which carries Beck’s program live every weekday morning for the full three hours – 9am-12pm – on its Patriot Channel, has temporarily suspended its airing until management has an opportunity to better evaluate some comments made during one of his recent programs suggesting that someone should assassinate a president, namely Donald Trump, under certain circumstances.
As reported by Breitbart News, SiriusXM issued the following statement:
SiriusXM encourages a diversity of discourse and opinion on our talk programs. However, comments recently made by a guest on the independently produced Glenn Beck Program, in our judgement, may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone. For that reason, we have suspended The Glenn Beck Program from our Patriot channel for the coming week and are evaluating its place in our lineup going forward. SiriusXM is committed to a spirited, robust, yet responsible political conversation and believes this action reflects those values.
The suspension is in response to the interview Beck did with fiction author Brad Thor last week, in which Thor likened the GOP’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump to a South American-style dictator who would cause an “extinction-level event” for the country if he were elected.
In addition, Thor – a conservative – said that in such an instance Congress likely would not vote to remove Trump from office by legal means, i.e., as in impeachment, so Thor asked “what patriot will step up and do that” if Trump oversteps his constitutional restraints (no such ‘suggestion’ has been made in response to the presumed unconstitutional actions taken by President Obama, nor should such a suggestion ever be made – but you get the point).
For his part, Beck agreed with Thor’s assessment.
Here is a portion of the exchange:
THOR: He is a danger to America and I got to ask you a question and this is serious and this could ring down incredible heat on me because I’m about to suggest something very bad. It is a hypothetical I am going to ask as a thriller writer.
With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.
If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.
BECK: I would agree with you on that and I don’t think you actually have the voices we’ve been talking about and we’ve been talking about this off-air for a while. I think the voices like ours go away. I don’t think we are allowed – especially if things, and I believe the economy is going to go to crap, even if Jesus was in office. It’s going to naturally reset. It has to.
You can read the rest of the exchange here.
Following the interview both Thor and Beck were roundly criticized – by voters from both parties, but especially Republicans and Trump supporters – for their comments and Thor’s suggestion. Still, Beck offered a defense of his comments, as if there could be one, and his sycophantic co-hosts went right along with it. You can read that exchange here.
In the context of an “extinction-level action” Trump might take, it is an unbelievable stretch for either of these men to plausibly deny what they meant and what they hoped would happen, should such an event take place. But when you’re inundated with criticism, you try to take back what you said – without really taking it back. In this case, that means creating a false narrative about what was and was not said.
No matter how much a president is disliked, it can never be alright to even hint at assassination as an option. We don’t want our elected leaders to become targets for zealots and anarchists. If that ever happens, we will cease to be a viable nation.