It's easy to tell when a television series is a success because elements from the program start popping up in the oddest places. The latest example of this is the History Channel's wildly popular “The Bible” miniseries, which featured an actor representing the devil in last Sunday's episode. Soon after, Glenn Beck asked in a tweet if anyone else thought the character looked exactly like President Obama.
On the following day, CNN's Erin Burnett accused the “right-wing radio host” of having an “ugly history” of demeaning the Democratic occupant of the White House by calling him “That Guy,” “Satan” or “the Antichrist.” Beck responded on his Wednesday program by calling the accusation “complete hogwash” and “a blatant smear.”
Burnett began her “Erin's Essay” opinion segment on Monday by stating that “Twitter exploded” over “the right-wing radio host's” comment that Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazanni in the role of Satan closely resembled Obama in the program, which she described as ”a retelling of the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation.”
Now, Beck has his followers, which is why his tweet took off. Since the broadcast, more than 20,000 tweets containing the words “Obama” and “Satan” have been posted.
The liberal CNN host then noted that just hours after posting his first message, the conservative leader put out another tweet, which was apparently intended to diminish the resulting uproar.
Media -- relax. Actor has been in similar roles b4. Funny, nothing more. For different reasons, #The Bible is 1 of my fav shows. Keep watching.
Burnett then claimed that the phrase indicating that the actor had been in similar roles before had a special definition “in the world of Glenn Beck.” She said that means “he's definitely a ringer for the president because this isn't the first time he's made that comparison.”
Next came a montage of instances when Beck supposedly referred to Obama as Satan or the Antichrist.
Some of the Book of Revelation crazies out there actually believe that Barack Obama is the Antichrist.
And there are people, and they said this about Bill Clinton, that actually believe he might be the Antichrist.
Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?
“'There are people,” Burnett repeated sarcastically, implying that comparing Obama to Satan is something the conservative media figure does regularly.
But Beck responded that Burnett had taken his quotes out of context. The first two statements, he said, came from the conservative's interview with Pastor John Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, during an edition of his program when it was on the Headline News channel. The topic of discussion? How silly it was to call Barack Obama the Antichrist. In addition, the third remark was made by the conservative activist the next day while recapping the previous edition's interview.
After dismissing the comparison as "a blatant smear," Beck again turned his attention to the CNN anchor. He stated: “Erin, I know what it’s like to be on the verge of being fired. I know what it’s like to have horrible ratings.” He then clarified by saying that even when he was on Fox News, “I think your best ratings were my worst ratings.”
The conservative activist ended his discussion on the matter by directly addressing the executives at CNN and stating that “I don’t need an apology from them, though maybe we let the courts decide.”
Instead, Beck demanded answers regarding how far the news network will go when it comes to dishonest editing and taking subjects’ words out of context.
“I’d like a statement either rejecting this kind of journalism or letting the American people know that’s what CNN is now going to do because apparently, they are desperate for ratings,” he said.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Beck wasn't the only conservative to notice the similarity.
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain quipped: “If liberal progressives believed in the Bible, they’d probably be upset by this: They’re upset anyway? Go figure.”
And conservative radio host Tammy Bruce wrote: “I’m still laughing at Obama’s-The-Devil-in-The-Bible-Show. I guess being the Joker is looking pretty good now,. Lulz!”
Burnett concluded her Monday evening segment with an ominous statement:
Beck's tweet had a purpose, and it was dark.
Maybe the CNN anchor wouldn't be so grim if she watched the miniseries or read the book on which it's based.