Perhaps Fox News host Glenn Beck is trying to show just how broadly he will scan the world for joke writers for his stand-up comedy act: in the latest Time magazine, it turns out of his joke writers was columnist Joel Stein, the anti-war leftist who asserted in 2006 that "I don't support the troops" because "an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying."
Stein’s headline was "Heeeere's Glenn! When the Lunatic Fringe Tries Comedy." Is he talking about Beck? Or himself? Stein, of course, tried to paint Beck into a racist corner with the joke writing:
I wound up sending him several political bits, including one about the silliness of not wanting terrorist prisoners on American soil. "There are already too many things we don't want on our soil: carmakers, soccer, nuclear power, Roman Polanski, ants, Mexicans and French soil."
I also gave him a spelling-bee riff. "I assume that in India, nothing is misspelled. And have you noticed that none of these seemingly genius kids go on to do anything? When will parents figure out that turning your kid into a Microsoft Word function is not great training for the modern world? Learning to scream and cry into a camera is the ticket."
Beck wrote back that he couldn't use a lot of my material. "If I were to use all of this, I'd be facing this headline the next day, 'Glenn Beck: There are too many things we don't want on our soil ... [such as] Mexicans.' As far as the spelling-bee bit — I'd still be risking the inevitable 'Glenn Beck says Indian children grow up to be failures ... and he says it extra-racistly' headline."
If Beck is that discerning with the jokes, why can’t he be more discerning about the joke writer? For his part, Stein kept pounding on Beck as a fringe lunatic:
While I may not agree with him that Theodore Roosevelt destroyed our nation, I'm glad that someone with a sense of humor is leading the lunatic fringe. Joseph McCarthy didn't make fun of his weight, and Father Coughlin never wondered what the deal was with anything.
Stein thinks he’s being generous with Beck, that he has the "tunnel logic of an extremist," but hey, at least he can laugh at himself.