In the recent dialogue between David Frum and David Horowitz about the place of Glenn Beck and other bold talkers in the Conservative Movement Frum shot out a claim which threw Horowitz off guard:
Third â€“ how do we define â€œour sideâ€? Horowitz harshly condemns Obama appointee Van Jones. Van Jones was eventually forced to resign not because of any of the allegations Glenn Beck hurled at him, but because the Gateway Pundit blog unearthed evidence that Van Jones had consorted with 9/11 denialists. So thatâ€™s the other side, right? Exceptâ€¦ the American politician who most closely associates with 9/11 denialists is Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul. And who acts as Paulâ€™s chief TV enthusiast and publicist? Glenn Beck of course.
Horowitz was puzzled by Frum’s charge that Beck embraced the embarrassing Paul:
Ron Paul is a crackpot, a conspiracy nut and a public menace. His crank views of the economyÂ have a lot of Republicans snookered enough to ignore the fact that he is an anti-Semite and an America-hater â€” fundamentally at odds with Americaâ€™s role in the world as the guardian of freedom. I have to confess that I am not familiar with Beckâ€™s promotion of Paul. If David wants to engage this I would have to review Beckâ€™s statements about Paul first.
So let’s review Beck’s statements on Paul a bit and see if Frum was correct in grouping Beck with the kooks of the Whack-Job Right.
Well there’s this clip here from 2007 (a little bit dated) that could hardly be called positive publicity. In it Beck associates Paul’s army of supporters with domestic terrorism (Horowitz is also featured):
This particular episode — as well as Beck’s other departures from Paul’s warped ideology — have incurred him the wrath of Paul’s conspiracist Right followers. Just today the charlatan conspiracy broadcaster and 9/11 Truther Alex Jones wrote an open letter to Beck in which he excoriated him for his attacks on Paul:
In addition, you aggressively attacked Ron Paul and his supporters during the election campaign when it looked like the Texan Congressman might have a real chance of winning the nomination. You implied that Ron Paul supporters were domestic terrorists and should be dealt with by the U.S. Army, but later tried to side with Ron Paul supporters when the infamous and discredited MIAC report echoed your own talking point that people who support Ron Paul were dangerous.
The smear came during a November 2007 show when you were still hosting on CNN. Yourself and ex-Marxist David Horowitz smeared Ron Paul supporters, libertarians and the anti-war left as terrorist sympathizers and inferred that the U.S. military should be used to silence them, parroting a talking point that traces back to a September 2006 White House directive. When asked about the issue, Ron Paul dismissed you as â€œpretty discourteousâ€ and a â€œdemagogueâ€.
But Jones must have missed a more recent interview Beck conducted with Paul in January of 2008. In it Beck is respectful while still noting his strong disagreements with Paul:
GLENN: Yes, I would. Yes, I would. [Claiming that he would interview Paul if he ran as a third-party candidate in the 2008 election.] You know what, I’m very offended by some of your supporters because they always say that, you know, I won’t listen to you or I won’t have you. I’m probably the guy on talk radio, mainstream talk radio that will at least say I agree with you on a lot of things. I just disagree with you vehemently on others.
PAUL: And I appreciate that.
GLENN: I mean, you know, we just — I just happen to disagree with you, but I respect you, sir, for your opinion. I have said this, you know, behind your back. So let me say it to your face. I think you are the closest we have running to a founding father. You seem to be the only guy who has actually read the federalist papers. So I appreciate your efforts, sir.
So Beck, “Paulâ€™s chief TV enthusiast and publicist,” disagrees with Paul “vehemently” on many issues. Who’s Frum kidding here? What’s Beck’s crime regarding Paul? Being too nice and respectful to him? Actually engaging Paul in intellectual discussion and admitting that he might agree with him on some issues?
Maybe it’s just me but perhaps Frum’s attempt to mislead his center-right readership at New Majority about Beck’s views in order to banish him from Conservatism is a far greater offense.