The "Tea Party" Wrestler Glenn Beck Hates Echoes The Anti-Immigrant Message Conservative Media Built

Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

Zeb Colter, an anti-immigrant character from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that has recently drawn the ire of right-wing pundits like Glenn Beck, would be right at home in the conservative media.   Many of Colter's bigoted and flawed arguments have been the right's stock-in-trade for years. 

Beck targeted the Colter character on his radio show, arguing that Colter is "demonizing the Tea Party." Beck also accused the WWE of "mocking me for standing up for the Constitution." Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere complained: "It seems that the villain, the guy you're supposed to hate, is this stereotype of a conservative that I've never met."

Colter currently appears on WWE programming alongside wrestler Jack Swagger, spouting a lot of heated anti-immigrant rhetoric in the middle of a scripted feud with Mexican-born wrestler Alberto Del Rio. According to WWE, Colter's rhetoric is intended to "to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE's large Latino base."

WWE explains that in order "to create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines."

In a series of videos, Colter's character (along with Swagger) expanded on his divisive philosophy, using language that would be right at home on Fox News or on conservative talk radio.

WWE's Zeb Colter: "They want to reform the system, so how are they going to reform the system? They want to grant amnesty to those 11 million undocumented workers and put them on the path to citizenship." [USA Network, WWE Raw, 2/25/13]

Conservative media figures have a long history attempting to demonize various immigration reform efforts as offering "amnesty":  

Glenn Beck: Immigration reform bill was an "amnesty bill." [CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, 6/28/07 via Nexis]

Glenn Beck: Obama "is giving amnesty to about 800,000 illegal immigrants." [ABC News, World News With Diane Sawyer, 6/15/12 via Nexis]

Glenn Beck: DREAM Act is a "controversial back door amnesty bill." [CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, 9/26/07 via Nexis]

Glenn Beck: Immigration reform "is all about amnesty. It`s what Mexico wants. It`s what the president wants. It`s what Congress wants. It`s what big business wants, but it is not what the American people want." [CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, 4/9/07]

Rush Limbaugh: "Amnesty is the single largest voter drive in the history of the United States." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 5/28/10]

Michelle Malkin: DREAM Act is "illegal alien amnesty." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/2/10]

Rush Limbaugh: 1986 immigration reform was "amnesty." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/9/10]

Megyn Kelly: Immigration reform bill is "amnesty for illegals." [Fox News, America Live, 3/19/10]

Sean Hannity: DREAM Act is "amnesty." [Fox News, Hannity, 11/8/10]

Eric Bolling: Obama "usurped" the Constitution to push "backdoor amnesty." [Fox News, The Five, 9/28/11]

Chris Wallace on NYC mayor Bloomberg 's support of a path to citizenship: "Isn't that an amnesty?" [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/24/11]

Fox Nation: "Obama Moves To Grant Amnesty to Haitian Illegal Aliens." [Fox Nation, 1/15/10]

Fox Nation: "House Dems Introduce Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill." [Fox Nation, 12/16/09]

Fox Nation: DREAM Act bill is "shamnesty." [Fox Nation, 12/1/10] "Obama Renews Call for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens." [, 9/14/11]

Chris Plante: DREAM Act is "an incremental step by the Democrats toward total amnesty." [Fox News, America Live, 12/2/10]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "Every day there's fewer and fewer people that look like us." [YouTube, 2/24/13]

John Gibson: "Make more babies" because in "twenty-five years ... the majority of the population is Hispanic." [Fox News, The Big Story, 5/11/06]

Pat Buchanan: "Twelve million people in the country is more than all the Irish, Jewish, and English folks who ever came. And more than that, every 20 months, we add a new Mexico in the Third World. You're going to add 30 new Mexicos by 2050, and they all know the door is open. If you grant amnesty -- and there's nothing in this bill that stops the invasion -- I think you lose the American Southwest." [MSNBC, Tucker, 6/25/07]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "I'm sick of people apologizing for America." [YouTube, 2/24/13]

Conservative media figures have repeatedly accused President Obama of supposedly "apologizing for America." The phrase "apologizing for America" returns more than 80 Fox News transcripts in the Nexis database.  

Glenn Beck: "Obama is apologizing to the Frenchy French for our arrogance." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]

Sean Hannity: "The President's been making waves with his apology tour overseas." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/8/09]

Sean Hannity: "No country is perfect. No people are perfect. But this apology tour that [Obama's] on is getting obnoxious." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/7/09]

Sean Hannity: "So why did the president use every chance he could on this trip to make excuses for America? He apologized for our so-called arrogance." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/6/09]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "We have allowed these people to come into our country and bastardize our language ... You ever picked up a phone and the first thing you hear is 'for English press one, para Espanol, oprimir dos'?" 00:46 [YouTube, 2/21/13]

Glenn Beck suggested immigrants that can't speak English live in a "prison." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/22/10] columnist: "Thanks to multiculturalism and unsecured borders, there are far too many people in this country who don't speak a word of English and will never bother to do so." [, 2/12/10]

Fox News graphic: Pelosi waging a "war on English." [Fox News, Big Story, 11/19/07]

Bill O'Reilly on immigration reform debate: "Here's the fear: press one for English. That's the fear." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/13/07 via Nexis]

Michelle Malkin: "I think that we suffer from 'press one for English' syndrome. I mean, there's all these visceral reminders that everybody else's language is being pandered to, except for English." [Fox News, The Big Story, 11/17/06 via Nexis]

Fox Nation promoted "Press One for English" music video [Fox Nation, 5/21/09]

Lou Dobbs: "I think if we got rid of 'press one' for English and if we conducted our business in English, if we conduct ourselves and our schools, if we teach in English and we expect English as part of the assimilation, I think we'd be removing an immense concern if not outright rejection of changing immigration law" [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/17/11 via Nexis]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "They're forcing our kids to learn Spanish in school" [YouTube, 2/21/13]

Washington Times columnist: American students learning Spanish "is treasonous" and "national self-hatred." [Washington Times, 10/20/11]

WWE's Jack Swagger: "This diversity thing happening is not progress" [YouTube, 2/24/13]

Rush Limbaugh: "Multiculturalism is ripping this country's heart out." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/20/10]

Rush Limbaugh: America is "so multicultured and fractured" that it "may be two or three different countries." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/11/09]

Bill O'Reilly: "Lefty zealots" believe "the white Christians who hold power must be swept out by a new multicultural tide." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/17/06]

Michael Savage on Ft. Hood shooting: "Multiculturalism is at work again." [Talk Radio Network, The Savage Nation, 11/6/09]

Ted Nugent: "The left's version of diversity is social, cultural, economic, and ethnic rot." [The Washington Times, 1/10/12]

Charles Krauthammer: "With the multicultural vogue, you get bilingual education, separatism." [Fox News, Special Report, 5/17/12]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "Real Americans refuse to use politically correct language" [YouTube, 2/21/13]

Glenn Beck: "When you try to walk this PC line, you don't talk about what is really happening. And we are never going to solve a damn thing on this planet if we can't be honest with each other." [CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, 11/28/07]

Glenn Beck: "I don't know if you actually can win [a war] anymore with the P.C. bullcrap that we've got going on." [CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, 6/21/07]

Laura Ingraham suggested Obama wants a "PC speech code" applied to Americans "so we can't really speak without being called racist." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/16/09]

Glenn Beck: "African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 1/7/10]

Fox & Friends showcased a "PC police roundup" with "Shocking Examples Of PC Run Amok." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/25/12]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "We have 11 million undocumented workers in this country. And I call them 'undocumented' because the politically correct crowd refuse to call them exactly what they are: Illegals." [USA Network, WWE Raw, 2/25/13]

Fox News prime-time hosts and guests used the terms "illegals," "illegal aliens" and "anchor babies" 99 times in the three months after the 2012 election. [Media Matters, 2/19/13]

Fox anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly used the slur "illegals" while moderating a GOP presidential debate. [Media Matters, 9/23/11]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "We have allowed people to sneak into the country under the cloak of darkness because they will work for little to no money" [YouTube, 2/21/13]

Neil Cavuto: Undocumented immigrants are part of an "illegal invasion" of America. [Fox News, Your World, 2/20/13]

Michael Savage: "America is being overrun by an invasion force from Mexico." [Talk Radio Network, The Savage Nation, 8/14/08]

Pat Buchanan: "There is an invasion of the United States of America. And until you put a security fence now along 2,000 miles of border, you are not going to stop this invasion." [MSNBC, Hardball, 5/15/06]

WND columnist: "Americans view the mass invasion of their country by Mexicans and others about as favorably as the citizens of Czechoslovakia, Holland and France viewed the mass immigration of Germans into their countries during the 1940s." [World Net Daily, 11/25/11]

WWE's Zeb Colter: Immigrants are "coming across" the border and "stealing our jobs" [YouTube, 2/21/13]

Fox News' Todd Starnes: Undocumented immigrants are similar to "locusts" that "devour the fields." [WSAU, Feedback, 8/7/12]

Starnes urged former GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney to "defend American soil from the Mexican invaders." [Fox News Radio, Fox News and Commentary, 6/26/12]

WWE's Zeb Colter: "We have allowed a bunch of greedy, selfish, criminal delinquents to cross our borders and rob this great country of all its wealth" [YouTube, 2/18/13]

Glenn Beck: Undocumented immigrants "come[] across the border in the middle of the night" for one of three reasons: "One, they're terrorists; two, they're escaping the law; or three, they're hungry. They can't make a living in their own dirtbag country." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/28/06]

Bill O'Reilly: Immigration reform means more people "on the welfare entitlement train." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor1/28/13]

Glenn Beck: Mexico "has been overtaken by lawbreakers from the bottom to the top. And now, what you're protesting for is to have lawbreakers come here." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 3/27/06]

Rush Limbaugh: The "Cuban exile model" of "hard work" has shifted to the "Mexican immigrant model." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/30/13]

Michael Graham: Immigration policies are inviting "bums to live off our system." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/20/12]

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