Good Morning America's Claire Shipman on Friday launched a pre-emptive one-sided attack on Glenn Beck's August 28 rally in Washington D.C., including selectively editing clips from the conservative host. The ABC journalist featured a snippet of Beck asserting, "Blacks don't own Martin Luther King." [MP3 audio here.]
On his radio show, Friday, Beck complained about the "hatchet job." Shipman clearly distorted the context. He actually said, "Whites don't own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don't own Martin Luther King. Those are American icons, American ideas and we should just talk about character." (H/T to The Right Scoop and Noel Sheppard.)
Playing the segment on the radio, Beck hyperbolically declared, "That's what Goebbels did. The truth didn't matter." Now, while ABC should be criticized for the dishonest editing job, it is over-the-top to play the Nazi card.
Shipman featured clips of Al Sharpton, liberal comedian Stephen Colbert and former Democratic Congressman Walter Fauntroy. She asserted that there are angry voices "comparing the Tea Party to the KKK." Fauntroy then scolded, "The Klu Klux- I meant to say the Tea Party. You all forgive me. But, you have to use them interchangeably."
Shipman even went to Al Sharpton for a quote. He worried, "...I'm trying to be disciplined and not make this about those that have, in my opinion, hijacked a location, but will never be able to hijack the dream."
Faux conservative Stephen Colbert mocked, "Finally, someone is bringing Martin Luther King's movement back to its conservative white roots." Other than Beck himself, ABC had no clips of anyone defending Beck or the conservative rally.
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:17am EDT on August 27 follows:
DAVID MUIR: In the meantime, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck stirring up controversy with a rally now planned for tomorrow at the Lincoln memorial in Washington. Some people are angry the rally is taking place on the anniversary of another famous event there, Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. And Claire Shipman is at the Lincoln Memorial with much more on this this morning . Claire, good to see you.
CLAIRE SHIPMAN: David, there's a lot of emotion swirling over this issue. Remember, it wasn't so long ago, that Glenn Beck called President Obama a racist. So, his choice of timing to hold his rally here tomorrow, a surprise, to say the least.
MARTIN LUTHER KING: I have a dream.
SHIPMAN: Immortal words of unity. But the 47th anniversary of Dr. King's speech is producing just the opposite.
GLENN BECK: Blacks don't own Martin Luther King.
LORETTA ROSS (Sistersong): Glenn Beck is no Martin Luther King.
SHIPMAN: Even angry words comparing the Tea Party to the KKK.
REVEREND WALTER FAUNTROY (civil rights activist): The Klu Klux- I meant to say the Tea Party. You all forgive me. But, you have to use them interchangeably.
SHIPMAN: All this because of an unlikely rally planned by conservative TV and radio host, Glenn beck, for the day of the anniversary on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
BECK: We are doing something absolutely amazing.
SHIPMAN: Beck says his rally, which will feature Sarah Palin and many Tea Party supporters, is meant to honor America's troops. And he insists he picked the day, not realizing it was the anniversary of the "I have a dream" speech. But, not everyone is buying that.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Finally, someone is bringing Martin Luther King's movement back to its conservative white roots.
SHIPMAN: Some, like the Reverend Al Sharpton, who is organizing his own march on Washington on Saturday, have more serious concerns.
AL SHARPTON: It's very hard and I'm trying to be disciplined and not make this about those that have, in my opinion, hijacked a location, but will never be able to hijack the dream.
SHIPMAN: Beck insists he plans to honor King.
BECK: I heard it over and over again in the media that because of this event, on the date of this event, I'm somehow or other Martin Luther King's speech. I'm not big enough to do that. No one is.
SHIPMAN: And Martin Luther King has weighed in on this, saying his father would never limit voices. But that he urges that everybody use the right sort of rhetoric, David.
MUIR: A lot of controversy. We'll be watching it this weekend.