NBC’s Today featured a recorded interview with disgraced former Fox News host Glenn Beck, who is promoting a new book. After the full interview aired in the program’s fourth hour, Kathie Lee Gifford, the interviewer, said that Beck “often speaks truth that people don’t want to hear,” citing “the potential collapse of our economic system or violence in the streets.”
GIFFORD: He’s so very different from so much you’ve read about.
HOTA KOTB (co-host): Sure.
GIFFORD: He’s actually a very genuine person, cares very deeply about many, many things. Often speaks truth that people don’t want to hear, such as the potential collapse of our economic system or violence in the streets — things that we don’t want to look at. He’s not always right, he admits that. He’s very human. But obviously he’s a lightning rod for an awful lot of attention. But the person I met yesterday is very different, and I was quite warmed by him.
KOTB: Yeah, he seemed — he was much more emotive, I think, than I would have imagined him to be.
GIFFORD: You’d like him, Hoda, you really would.
GIFFORD: The one I met yesterday, you’d like a lot.
That’s an awfully benign way of describing Beck’s long history of conspiracy theories and vicious attacks on those who disagree with him.
In the past month alone, Beck has encouraged Americans to take “a page out of the book of Hank Williams” after an incident where the country singer compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, and warned of the “race war that is going on in our country,” that “the violent left is coming to our streets” in order “to kill, to bankrupt, to destroy.” He insisted that Occupy Wall Street will lead “to gas chambers,” “guillotines,” and “Mao,” attacked Michelle Obama for visiting a Target store, and joked that Obama may be the Antichrist. He also accused the media, which includes Gifford, of treason for not reporting his Islamo-Commie global domination theory.
(See here for more on Beck’s long and troubling history of paranoia and offensive rhetoric.)
Beyond the interview itself and Gifford’s strange comments, Today promoted Beck’s book online and printed an excerpt from its first chapter, under the headline “Glenn Beck tells a story of family, forgiveness in ‘The Snow Angel.’” Gifford also promoted the interview on her Twitter feed, where she called Beck “honest and vulnerable.”