Addressing comments he made on his May 28 radio show attacking President Obama's daughter, Glenn Beck lied about his history of “dragging” Obama's family “into the debate,” falsely claiming that he had “never done it until last Friday.” In fact, as Media Matters has previously documented, Beck has repeatedly brought up Obama's family in his commentary over the last several months.
Beck claims he had “never” talked about Obama family before Friday
Beck says he had “never” talked about Obama's family “until last Friday.” During the June 1 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that “there is absolutely no excuse or reason to ever, ever, ever, ever even come close to the line of dragging somebody's family into the debate. I've never done it. I've never done it until last Friday.”
Beck's attacks on Obama's family date back to April 2009
Beck on Obama's aunt: “I took this cane from her earlier” ; "[I]t's like little Tiny Tim." During the April 2, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck discussed Obama's aunt visa status and stated, “Obama's aunt, you know -- and I took this cane from her earlier. I -- it's like little Tiny Tim. Oh, I'd like more. please. Please. God bless us, every one.' She has a limp, didn't you know that? She should be able to stay.”
Beck: “What scar is left when the mom leaves a son who's been abandoned by his father for Marxism?” During the March 17 edition of his Fox News show, Beck stated: “Here's a sad thing that I don't think anybody will really ever say about Barack Obama, because it sounds mean, and I don't mean it to be mean.” He continued:
BECK: This is truly a sad, tragic story. But the only way to understand -- first of all, all the people around him -- and then his thinking -- I don't think he's an evil man. I don't think he's trying to do evil things intentionally.
He really does believe Marxism is the way, is the answer, it is the future. He believes that. From the moment he was born, he had contact with nothing but socialist, Marxist, communist radicals. His father abandoned him. Why? So he could go off to a Marxist school in New York. Then his father left the country to go try it out.
How tragic. What kind of scar does that leave on a boy?
Then his mother: I mean, this is -- you tell me. What scar is left when the mom leaves a son who's been abandoned by his father for Marxism -- leaves the son with his grandparents so she can pursue critical theory, which is Marxist? Both parents leave a boy for Marxism?
And then he goes to his parents -- or his grandparents. His grandparents attended the little red church, which was known for its communist teachings. Grandpa introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis. Frank Marshall Davis is now his teenage mentor. Frank Marshall Davis has an FBI file this big.
Examining Obama's “foundation,” Beck said, “I'm going to start with his parents.” During the April 6 edition of his Fox News show, Beck purported to understand the “foundation” of Obama, asking: “What is he building? On what foundation does he have? I'm going to start with his parents.” He later said: “His parents seemingly placed radical politics over everything else -- including their little boy.”
Beck pointed to Obama's parents, grandparents to say Obama “didn't have a chance to actually think anything but radical thoughts.” Later during the same April 6 show, Beck pointed to pictures of Obama's family and said: “This kid didn't have a chance to be rooted in the Founding Fathers. This guy doesn't have a chance to actually think anything but radical thoughts. Based on everybody in his life so far, who's defending capitalism?”
Beck referenced the history of Obama's parents to discuss whether Obama is “the most radical president ever.” During the April 9 edition of his radio program, Beck referenced his Fox News show from April 6 to talk about Obama's father's “writings on socialism and communism” and went on to talk about Obama's mother, saying: “His mother -- communist sympathizer, studied critical theory ... she left Barack Obama.”
Beck launched sexist attack on Michelle Obama. As Media Matters previously documented, Beck launched a sexist attack on Michelle Obama, saying: “I don't think I've ever seen the first lady with her -- excuse the expression -- but with her breasts all smooshed up, sort of. I mean, what is that?” Beck later commented on Michelle Obama's dress and makeup during the same program.
Beck linked Obama's daughters to Rev. Wright, asked: “Are you telling me that for 20 years ... the kids didn't pick it up?” On the May 24 edition of his radio show, Beck said:
BECK: At some point, there's a tipping point. At some point, you look at -- you know, you start with Jeremiah Wright. OK, there's one thing.
Now, I still have a problem -- because, I mean, I know my kids come home and -- on Sunday, and we're driving in the car. And my daughter will say, you know, “Blah blah blah blah blah.” And we'll -- and my wife and I will just look at each other and go, “Where did you get that?”
“Oh, Johnny said it.” We're like, “What? Explain -- what were you guys talking about?” You know.
Are you telling me that for 20 years, no one in that family -- the kids didn't pick it up? They didn't hear anything and repeat something outrageous? Michelle didn't?
Beck mocked Obama daughters' “level of education.” On the May 28 edition of his radio program, Beck had the following exchange with co-host Pat Gray:
BECK: (laughing) This is such a ridiculous -- this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter -- (imitating Malia) Daddy?
GRAY: It's so stupid.
BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, 13?
GRAY: Well, one of them's, I think, 13, one's 11, or something.
BECK: “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?” Is that's their -- that's the level of their education, that they're coming to -- they're coming to daddy and saying 'Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?' " Plug the hole!
Beck ignored previous attacks on Obama's family in his apology
Beck's statement of apology was incomplete. As Media Matters previously noted, Beck's statement of apology did not address his attack on Obama's children earlier that week, or any other instances of bringing up Obama's family during his commentary.