Glenn Beck Mistakenly Accuses Mediaite Column Of Attacking His Religion

On his radio program today, loyal Mediaite reader Glenn Beck struck back at attacks on his Mormon faith, even on ones that don’t exist. “Bill Press and Tommy Christopher…have written a despicably ignorant article in Mediaite,” Beck said, before playing a clip of Press saying “We don’t need a Mormon to teach Christians what the gospels are all about.”

Of course, Press didn’t co-write the article in question, and the entire point of the article referenced by Beck was that Press should no more attack Glenn Beck’s faith than Beck should attack President Obama’s.

First, some background. In the article to which Beck refers, we embedded a clip of Bill Press criticizing Glenn Beck for making reference to President Obama’s faith as a “perversion of the gospel,” followed by Press launching his own attack at Beck’s Mormon faith. The premise of the piece is that anyone who holds articles of faith is ill-equipped to judge another’s, since such articles are necessarily impossible to prove or disprove.

In this clip from today’s show, Beck never gets around to saying which part of the article he finds despicable, but even as he complains about attacks on his own religion, he continues to attack Obama’s, and questions Bill Press’ adherence to his own faith, to boot:

Beck’s insistence that he’s not “judging” Bill Press or President Obama sounds a lot like the bit where Jon Stewart just tacks “no offense” onto the end of whatever offensive thing he just said. If Beck is just “explaining” Obama’s faith by calling it a “perversion of the gospel,” then I suppose Press was just “explaining” that Christians don’t need Beck to tell them what the gospels are all about.

Beck goes on to say that the people who are now defending Barack Obama’s faith are the same ones who attacked Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith during the 2008 presidential primaries. For the record, here are some of my quotes from that period:

“(Romney) hit all the right notes for people with a casual curiosity about the divide between Mormons and other Christians, pointing to common religious ground and a shared love of our country” (12/06/2007)

It would be foolish to vote for a presidential candidate on the basis of something completely irrelevant to the job, yet there hardly seems to be an article on Mitt Romney that doesn’t codify that notion. In truth, our media bandies all sorts of irreleventia about all of the candidates, but none so specifically and unfairly. (01/06/2008)

“Romney was a candidate who was unfairly persecuted for his religion” (02/08/2008)

You get the idea. In fact, the majority of those attacks, as with the current ones against Beck, were from Evangelical conservatives (with one notable exception, upon which I reported at length).

Furthermore, Glenn Beck gets no fairer a shake than he gets at Mediaite, even from his critics. While I have been vocal and specific in my criticism of Beck, I also reported that donations to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation had covered the cost of the “Restoring Honor” rally well in advance of the event, that Sarah Palin would not receive a speaking fee, and that controversial rocker Ted Nugent would not be appearing.

I’m happy to discuss how I didn’t attack his religion, and will join him in loudly demanding an apology from Bill Press, as soon as Beck offers his own apology to President Obama.

Let The Media Speculation Begin: Jeb Bush 2012?

Speculation about the GOP’s 2012 nomination has been running rampant since, well…President Barack Obama’s election. But only recently has a new name started getting attention: Jeb Bush. While much of the media devote endless attention to Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, Boston Globe columnist Joshua Green asks, “Why not Jeb Bush?

Sure, most people might know him as Dubya’s brother, but Jeb Bush has had a political career of his own as governor of Florida. Green says the objection to him “begins and ends with his name”:

“If he weren’t a Bush, he’d be an obvious top choice,’’ said conservative activist Grover Norquist. Widely presumed by the political cognoscenti to one day follow his father and win the White House, Jeb instead watched as his brother did so first…

Green argues that Bush “could still win the nomination were he inclined to pursue it” because there aren’t any obvious front-runners at the moment. Basically, “each of the leading candidates is somehow flawed” — and here, he quite accurately points out what they are (for example, Mitt Romney’s abortion stance and health care legislation create a distrust in the GOP base, Romney’s money can’t solve that problem).

Bush, on the other hand is “known as an ideas guy.” In a recent MSNBC segment, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein echoed that sentiment. He also noted that though Bush’s “watered down tone from the rest of the party on immigration” may not earn him point with the GOP base (and certainly not in Arizona), such a stance could prove valuable in terms of a general election.

Interestingly, Green says Bush’s greatest obstacle is himself. He’s kept a low profile and would have to make a name for himself, but he ultimately has to decide if that is in his interests. I couldn’t state it any better: “Of course, the surest way to defend the family name would be to defeat the president who got elected by impugning it.”

Watch the full MSNBC segment below:

Charlie Crist Has A Friend In Dana Milbank

Florida governor Charlie Crist is having a hard time making friends in light of the rapid rise of his Senate primary opponent Marco Rubio. At least now he can now count Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank among his supporters, who is calling his decline in the GOP “a whole new level of Jacobin excess” and calling for those who value “sanity” to endorse him.

Milbank, who is not coming at the issue from a Republican perspective, wrote in his column that while he understood the ideological purging that both parties often participate in as the nation polarizes before an election, losing a someone with Crist’s history of bipartisanship would be severely detrimental to Republicans. For one, he notes that Crist is faring much better in general election polls against probable Democratic candidate Kendrick Meeks:

The only reason a far-right candidate such as Rubio is competitive at all is because this year heavily favors Republicans. In a normal election year — 2012, perhaps — Republicans will rue their purging of the Crists and Specters who could have kept them competitive.

He has a point. Rubio is extremely off-putting for many on the left, and legislators are forced by their job into negotiating in a bipartisan manner. Entering Congress with a rigid ideological view, even if in earnest, will either end in legislative gridlock or make the partisan “flip-flop” in order to get anything done.

That’s not to say that Milbank is forgiving of excessive ideological wavering. Milbank is clearly a Crist fan and, while he disagrees with many of Rubio’s views, he saved his sharpest attacks for Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney, who he called the “Naked Opportunist wing of the party” for waiting until it was abundantly clear that Rubio would win before endorsing a candidate. While other Rubio supporters come off in Milbank’s take on the matter as radical or insane, Cantor and Romney are dismissed completely as ideologically vapid outside of their desire to win for their team.

His column also makes some veiled mentions of a point of contention involving Crist’s private life, claiming that his decline in the Republican polls were the result of a “man-crush” between him and Obama (also harkening back to an attack ad by the Rubio campaign displaying Crist and Barack Obama embracing that some opponents considered homophobic). Crist must not be too happy that even his supporters have to joke about his sexuality, but at this point he’ll probably take what he can get.

Mitt Romney-Sarah Palin Presidential Ticket In 2012? You Betcha!

Yesterday the Tea Party Express rolled through the city of Boston, and Sarah Palin, for lack of a better word, was the the celebrity speaker. But it was a comment that she made after her speech, reported by the Boston Herald, that’s sure to drive the media coverage of the day. The only question: would it be Palin-Romney or Romney-Palin?

Writing for the Boston Herald, Edward Mason reports:

Last night, as Palin stopped for cannoli at Mike’s Pastry in the North End, she said she was “serious” about the idea.

“I have a lot of respect for Mitt,” she told the Herald.

Asked who would be on top of the ticket, Palin roared, “Ha! I haven’t even thought that far ahead yet.”

Indeed, Palin said she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run in 2012 – with or without Romney.

Romney, a presumptive 2012 Republican presidential contender who recently embarked on a nationwide book tour, has not ruled out an alliance with Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate.

Was Palin’s comment a throw-away line? Of course. But the fact that she didn’t recoil at the mere mention of the former Massachusetts Governor (and presumptive GOP nominee according to some in the media) is instructive.

Rasmussen Poll: Ron Paul Can Tie Barack Obama In 2012 Run-Off

Good tidings for anti-corporatists! Rasmussen Reports has just released a poll in which a hypothetical 2012 matchup between President Barack Obama and Congressman Ron Paul results in a tie, with the incumbent winning 42% to 41%. But just who are all these people voting for renegade Republican with the rabid internet following? Rasmussen doesn’t really say.

Paul, who, at 74 years of age would be the oldest president in history if elected, must be feeling that his chances are better than ever. He won the straw poll at CPAC and came in at a close second to Mitt Romney in the SRLC’s straw poll. Now a major polling institution felt compelled to match him against the President in 2012, and the results, whatever they are based on, are positive. While Rasmussen admits that Paul polled weak among Republicans and people with high trust in the government (what Rasmussen defines as the “Political Class,” they also note that Paul won 58% of the vote among those with low trust in government (what Rasmussen defines as the “Mainstream Class”). Paul also does badly among Republicans when asked whether he is a divisive force in the party, with 27% of them saying he is (compare this to Sarah Palin, for example, who only 18% of Republicans view as divisive).

While the results are probably cause to celebrate for socially liberal Republicans, there are some key facts missing from this evaluation. For one, the write-up on the poll is suspiciously murky on who the people polled are, where they live, or how many of them there are. The clearest idea we get of who was questioned is that the poll was a “national telephone survey of likely voters”—this could mean about one thousand (the average for Gallup and Rasmussen polls) surveyed from a politically and geographically even pool of participants. It could also mean that a pool of 500 New Hampshire Free-Staters and 100 San Francisco liberals were surveyed, with no real representation in between. Rasmussen doesn’t provide relief from this doubt, so the validity of this survey is completely up in the air, but combined with the recent straw polls and Paul’s astute television appearances as of late, there could be something to this crackpot theory that Paul might be the most viable Republican candidate in the next presidential elections.

[Photo via Wonkette]

Sarah Palin Makes Tons Of Money, Just Not From GOP Donors

From a financial standpoint quitting her Alaskan governorship last year was a genius move on Sarah Palin’s part (probably from a media standpoint as well, but that’s another post). In less than a year Palin has earned more than $12 million (possibly much more) which, as ABC News points out, is 100 times her old salary.

However, when it comes to raising funds for a 2012 election, Palin is not so popular. According to Politico Palin raised $400,000 in the first three months of the year, which falls short of both Tim Pawlenty’s $566K in the first quarter, and Mitt Romney, $1.45 million. Of course it remains to be seen whether Palin’s PAC actually exists to fund a 2012 run for the former Gov. or merely to fund lesser known Republicans in their bid for office. Judging from the high wire praise Palin received from a number of bold-face Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Mary Matalin, at last week’s SRLC the party appears to the be banking on Palin’s stumping power rather than her electability. Video of the segment below.

Glenn Beck: ‘Mitt Romney Could Be The Only Guy That Could Win’ In 2012

Glenn Beck and radio pals Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere rattled down the list of potential Republican nominees for President in 2012 this morning, and they had some bad news for the Tea Party movement: Sarah Palin probably won’t run, Ron Paul is still and long shot, and Mitt Romney, as of now, is the GOP’s best bet.

While Gray and Burguiere are harsh to most of the candidates, Beck spreads the love around. He tells his co-hosts that he likes Palin but doesn’t think she will run, Bobby Jindal but doesn’t think he has the charisma, and Congressman Paul but doesn’t think America is ready for him. Then, at the bottom of the pile, he finds Mitt Romney:

I have to tell you that Mitt Romney could be the only guy that could win, and I don’t know if he could because I think that Americans are going to be I mean, this country is going to be in deep trouble by 2012, and the next term, if it’s not decided this term, the next term will decide our fate. Then I hope that Americans are ready for an adult and are ready for hard news.

It’s a strange, possibly sad conclusion from someone who had called Romney out for “flirting with socialism,” but ultimately Beck was trying to determine who could win, not who he thought should. If Beck was playing process of elimination, which he clearly was, it’s hard to refute his conclusion that Romney is the least likely candidate to crash and burn in a general election, if only for being a conservative from the most liberal state of America and having moderate successes like universal health care under his belt. Or– and this one is for you conspiracy theorists out there– maybe Beck is intentionally downplaying the Republican candidates’ ability to success so as to clear the brush and become the reluctant right-wing candidate by default. After all, he is the second-most popular human being in America.

Listen to the segment below: