Hardball: Beck's 'Bandwagon of Bigotry and Fear' Kind of Like KKK

September 1st, 2010 6:04 PM

On Tuesday, NewsBusters identified the media's emerging strategy of discrediting Glenn Beck by pitting his religious beliefs against other Christians.

Mere hours later, as if on cue, MSNBC was all over it.

"Hardball" host Chris Matthews invited on liberal Salon editor Joan Walsh and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, two people who are something less than experts on the religious right, to help him psychoanalyze conservatives.

Their conclusion was all too predictable: Beck's rhetoric is harmful to Catholics and smacks of anti-Papal Klan rallies.

It has now been established by the media that Mormons like Beck are anti-evangelical, anti-Catholic, and possibly just plain anti-Christian.

Prepare yourself for liberals who bash conservative Christians at every turn to suddenly care about Christians getting bashed (video below with partial transcript):

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, that used to be the rule. But Beck himself clearly is riding a bandwagon of bigotry and fear to gather millions of followers and millions of dollars. He`s made anti-Muslim remarks. He`s made remarks about the president that are certainly tinged with racial overtones. So why wouldn`t he associate with an anti-Catholic?

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: OK, let me get to the roots of this because a lot of this stuff going on on the right has its roots, Joan -- and you know, Bob, well -- back in the old roots, way back with the "no nothings," the KKK, the nativists. There`s a smell to this commentary by Hagee, which is anybody that has their religious vaguely from Europe or somewhere else or from Rome, that somehow, it`s bad, it`s un-American. It`s the old nativist cry against the newcomer.

But we thought this was sort of dying off somewhere during World War II, when, you know, several million Catholics were fighting the bad guys. We thought this was over with, you and I and Bob. Apparently, it`s still going on with Hagee and his new buddy, Glenn Beck.

JOAN WALSH, SALON: Well, you know, I`ve seen this in the mosque debate, as well. We know that, you know, our ancestors, and not very far back, Chris, our very right to participate in public life was questioned because we were supposedly, you know, the subjects of a foreign power, the pope. And so, you know, there`s been a lot of this in right-wing politics for a long time. There have been a lot of battles, and many Catholics have felt, frankly, unwelcome in the Christian right.

The other thing, though, that Beck is trying to do here is to unite the Tea Party with the Christian right --


WALSH: -- which has felt a little bit excluded by the Tea Party. If you look at polls, Tea Partiers are less into the Christian right than they are into, say, big business. And it`s been --


WALSH: There`s been a little bit of waning of their power, so that`s the other thing that went on on Saturday.

It was a dark day when Catholics were discouraged from civil activity because of religious beliefs, and liberals like Walsh will be sure to explain that while attacking civil activists over their religious beliefs.

Would that pro-life Catholics were treated with such kid gloves at MSNBC.

Or does religious sensitivity only apply to the liberal variety?