Beck and his acolytes imagine common pests to be diabolical omens

Blog ››› ››› KATE CONWAY

Glenn Beck has been having a field day trying to connect incidents in which President Obama encountered common insects and rodents in an attempt to build the absurd suggestion of a meaningful pattern.

On his June 23 Fox News show, Beck went on about a swarm of bees that inexplicably gathered at the White House one day in May, a fly that landed on the president's face and a rodent that approached a podium at which Obama was speaking. He concluded that "the president's ability to attract rodents and insects is kind of creepy":

BECK: This president has a problem with flies landing on him. Then we had the bees that were swarming the White House. And then, I don't know if you saw this -- do we have the rodents? Here's the president giving a speech and the little rat running -- watch this. OK. I don't know if he's Doctor Doolittle or what exactly. Do you remember this from the live interview? I've never seen that before. Hello. Yes. OK. Now flies landing on his mouth as he's speaking yesterday. I'm not sure what to make of it. Might be that there's a lot of BS and flies are -- but the president's ability to attract rodents and insects is kind of creepy.

In recent days, Beck has repeatedly said that "the bees know" something. On his radio program today, Beck and his crew stated, "The bees know. They do. They clearly -- the flies even know. Notice how they land on the president?" Beck said that flies "just spookily crawl around his face without him even really noticing it." And Beck has even started selling t-shirts that say "the bees know" -- vaguely suggesting that these isolated incidents constitute evil omens.

Beck reportedly said he was "completely joking," but is that what his audience will take away?

On their June 25 radio program, Pittsburgh hosts Rose Tennent and Jim Quinn read a listener's email that speculated Obama may be "evil," or an "enemy of the USA," citing evidence from Beck's June 23 Fox News show. Tennent then asked: "Isn't there something ... weird about that? Like all the insects and the rodents come out for this man, or something. Like they're attracted to him. You know like those devil movies ... Like they're attracted to the devil or something." Quinn then referred to a scene in The Passion of the Christ in which, he said, an "androgynous devil figure was walking through the Garden of Gethsemane and the worm was coming out of his nose."

Although I do admire Obama's ninja-like reflexes when it comes to swatting flies, I'm not about to conclude that Obama is actually a ninja. It's equally absurd to believe that few random encounters with insects and rodents -- in a city with its share of pests, no less -- reveal a pattern of insects and rodents being "attracted to the devil."

Glenn Beck, Jim Quinn, Rose Tennent
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