FNC’s Juan Williams was on C-SPAN yesterday, and he had some comments about Glenn Beck’s claims that President Obama is a racist. Williams said, “People are just saying things to stir the pot or to create an audience for themselves, because I don’t see it. There’s no reality to that,” even FNC contributors think that Beck struggles with reality.
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Williams said, “I’m just stunned by it. I don’t understand it. I think in that situation, people are just saying things to stir the pot or to create an audience for themselves, because I don’t see it. There’s no reality to that. First of all, obviously his mother’s white and his father is black, and obviously he was raised by white grandparents, and obviously he’s gone to schools that were majority white from the time he was in prep school through Columbia and Harvard, and I’ve never heard that from anybody.”
He continued, “Even when he was in the pews of Rev. Wright, and Rev. Wright’s over there spewing racial invective, making outrageous statements, Barack Obama never behaved in any such way that would make you think that he espoused or believed or held to his heart some racist attitudes, So, I think a lot of that is simple grandstanding, making outrageous statements, provocateur Glenn Beck at his best. But I don’t think there’s any reality to it. There’s a big difference between a personality show and a news show. And that’s a personality-driven presentation.”
I agree with Williams completely, except for the fact that Beck didn’t first make the statement on his own personality driven show. He first made the statement on Fox and Friends, which is supposed to be a news show, so I don’t think the standard FNC line about their being a difference between their news programming and their opinion programming applies.
FNC has their opinion based host on their news programming all of the time. They consistently blur the line between news and opinion. Williams was correct in the respect that this was Beck trying to drum up viewers. When Beck was at his peak after Obama’s inauguration, he could draw 3-3.5 million viewers for any given show, but now he has settled into 2-2.5 million viewers a night, which is still enough to dominate the competition, but he has seen a slip in his numbers.
One of the things that cost Beck some viewers was that many Republicans got over Obama’s victory. A bigger mistake for him was discussing ACORN. His number of viewers slips under 2 million for ACORN related shows. Beck felt the need for attention so he called Obama a racist. Williams hit the nail on the head when he called this opinion out of touch with reality.