CNN's Glenn Beck: "people who hate America" losing homes in So CA wildfires

CNN's Rush Limbaugh knockoff, Glenn Beck, made a particularly intelligent comment on his radio show yesterday:
I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.
You stay classy, Glenn Beck. At least one person dead, ten firefighters injured, at least a thousand homes destroyed, 100,000 acres burned, 250,000 Jesus, HALF A MILLION people evacuated from their homes, 10% of San Diego population displaced, the largest internal evacuation in America since Katrina.

Nothing more America-loving than sneering at your fellow countrymen while they run fleeing with their children and families from giant wildfires destroying their homes.

And Beck's comment is particularly astute, given that some of the areas suffering greatest damage happen to skew conservative/GOP-voting, not to mention proximity to some of our nation's largest military installations. Link.

Don't bother visiting our scorched 'hood, buddy, because I suspect there are a bunch of Marines and firefighters here who'd like to offer you a tall, cold glass of whupass.

Previously: Southern CA wildfires: good Lord they are huge.


  1. Wow is he stupid. Doesn’t he know that the affected areas are some of the more conservative parts of San Diego? tool….

  2. All that’s not to mention many of our armed forced are concentrated in these area. Glenn Beck never loved America enough to serve it, he was too busy being drunk and polluting the airwaves.

    In addition to kicking him in the groin repeatedly, he should also be restrained while he watches his home burn. Until you’ve been there, you have no idea how devastating it is.

  3. It’s been pointed out elsewhere that many of those homes are owned by Glenn’s fellow staunch conservatives who live in Orange County. Maybe he meant them.

    Maybe he meant that Blackwater base that’s planned in the area.

    I don’t think he really specified.

  4. His comments don’t surprise me. Glenn Beck is just the latest flavor of idiot and-oh, big surprise!-he’s a conservative. He’s being marketed as the cool conservative because he snorted so much blow, that his brains ran out of his nose. Glenn Beck=moron….Nuff said.

  5. It’s been said before, but I’ll bet they hate what our current government has done to America rather than America itself.

  6. Actually, it’s up to 500,000 people evacuated.

    As for Glenn Beck, he’s just a washed-up former addict whose opinions, like himself, are utterly worthless.

  7. Why is Beck still on CNN? Because CNN has less integrity than MSNBC, which fired Don Imus for comments almost as inane.

  8. @#1 Flying Squid:

    We could call it “Ow, My Balls!” — The Movie…

    /Need to contact Mike Judge about this

  9. Like Rush Limbaugh, why is anyone giving any credence to anything this fool says? The man has no education, no life experience, has done nothing worth anything besides yammer on subjects he knows precious little about. Why is it surprising that he says something ridiculously offensive and stupid? Next item, Fred Phelps, still an ass.

  10. Actually, I bet there are not that many conservatives/military types waiting for old Becks…he has the lowest rated talk show on CNN.

    Also, I understand that CNN keeps him on the air because Tucker Carlson has the second-lowest rated show on CNN, and with the Carlson family’s connections with Darth Cheney, they think it would be imprudent for them to let Tucker slip to last.

  11. My heart goes out to the people who are caught in this force of nature, but I hope that putting two and two together (global warming and planetary destruction is causing all of Earth’s behaviors to change) will keep people from building home in such places in the future.

  12. Let’s just hope you don’t have any idiots saying, “You should’ve known better,” like we had here in New Orleans after Katrina.

    Stay strong, folks. Lots of positive thoughts for y’all coming from the Big Easy.

  13. Bumper Sticker Mentality:

    “Someone needs to knee Glenn Beck in the groin. Repeatedly. And put it on Pay-Per-View.”

    “Glenn Beck never loved America enough to serve it, he was too busy being drunk and polluting the airwaves.”

    “As for Glenn Beck, he’s just a washed-up former addict whose opinions, like himself, are utterly worthless.”

    Reminds me of Free Republic and Democratic Underground.

  14. My late grandfather, a retired Colonel, lived in Rancho Bernardo, and, as one might guess, he was a staunch conservative. If he were alive I’m sure he’d invite Glenn over for a barbecue.

  15. Maybe some of Beck’s conservative buddies can give him a tour of their destroyed homes when this is over.
    I don’t think that would make him see the light, but at least it might shut him up.
    It’s hard to feel sorrowful and outraged at the same time, but we’ve gotten a lot of practice as a nation lately.

  16. I agree that this is contemptible. But bear in mind that by highlighting and criticizing Beck you are simply assisting in the currently popular right-wing-blowhard two-step:

    1. Blowhard acts like a douche.
    2. When blowhard gets called out as a douche, he immediately complaints that this is Stalinism, that the left wants to silence him, that he is a victim, etc. etc. etc. — and generally acts like a big girl’s blouse. Tiresome, but lapped up by his core audience.

  17. I’ve only seen this reported in blogs and on Media Matters. Given the MSM hissy fit over the “General Betray Us” ad, and even Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” remark, the silence here is rather deafening.

    As for why he’s still on CNN, that’s simple. Because the advertisers still feel he’s good for their marketing.

  18. Haha! Nice Xeni! Beck is a tool, and you said it right, a tall cold glass o` whupass! Hey, doesn’t Chuck Liddell and a lot of other MMA fighters live out there? I wonder if they hate America?

    I hope this grows, I hate Beck almost as much as B. O’R.

  19. I think the evidence that they hate America is that they are relying on the nanny state to rescue them from fire instead of trusting the private market. QED.

  20. Speaking of Rush Limbaugh, yesterday’s bloviation consisted mainly on
    1) This is environmentalist’s fault for not letting people clear the brush from the forest floor.
    2) That the “Left Wing Liberal Media” was harping on this because it was hitting “their dear friends in Malibu.”
    3) You see firefighters and policemen trying to put out the flames but you don’t see anyone from Greenpeace, et al picking up a water hose.
    4) Hillary Clinton wasn’t helping to put out the fire either because she was too busy fund raising just south of one of the fires.

    It pains me to know people listen to and follow these shmucks. Logic and being non-self-contradictory is soooo passe.

  21. if glen beck knew anything about san diego he would know that

    1) it is a very conservative area, going republican in every presidential and mid term election in recent memory
    2) it is the largest military instalitation on earth housing over half the US navy and marine corp and their families as well as the families of those men and women fighting in iraq right now
    3) more san diegans have fallen in iraq than any city in the country

    be careful glen, you might accidentally not support the troops… ignorant prick

  22. Y gys r sttng GRT xmpl f ntllgnt dlg wth yr cmmnts.

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  23. Glenn Beck called Katrina survivors in New Orleans “scumbags,” families of 9/11 victims a bunch of whiners, and now the victims of these fires “hate America.” Hate and fear are the weapons of conservatism, and Glenn wields them with a vengeance.

  24. I’m having a tough time imagining what an “intelligent dialog” about an act of incredibly crass, ignorant, partisan lipflappery would be like.

    I’m also having trouble imagining Beck’s comments as something we merely “think” is mean.

  25. He can say whatever stupid crap he wants but if a marine or firefighter kicks his ass that marine or firefighter should be arrested. This is America and violence is not an acceptable response to differences of opinion or glib comments. All you can do is ignore him or argue your opposing point.

  26. Political context for San Diego: The City of San Diego (about 1.5 million) is majority Democrat, the county (the remaining 1.5 million) is majority Repbulican. So, its not correct to assume that San Diego is necessarily a conservative city, but Xeni is right to point out that the fires, which are in County territories, effect areas with a Republican majority.

    Sorty of technical – sorry. Any news coverage discussing climate change, which is deeply connected to this fire and the drought that’s fueled it? Also worth noting New Orleans experienced remarkable rainfall. Weather extremes in full effect.

  27. This absolutely sickens me.

    My parents were evacuated yesterday morning. They are dangerously close to losing their modest home in Rancho Bernardo that they just paid off after nearly 25 years of busting their ass to provide a decent upbringing for their children (me & my sis).

    My father is a retired Navy officer, and my mom is a veteran elementary school teacher. Probably the farthest from ‘hating America’ that you can possibly get.

    Go to hell, douchebag.


  28. Uncle Mike (22), neither of them has said anything as spectacularly useless, stupid, mean-spirited, and demonstrably false as Beck.

    Scoutmaster (33), aside from the fire itself, I haven’t seen any realistic threats of violence in this thread.

  29. I think this is what people like him actually believe. It came out after Katrina. These kind of people think that this is God punishing the wicked. A large portion of this country is incredibly ignorant. It’s pure blind faith.

  30. I wonder if he means my uncle. My uncle is a liberal who lives in Escondito, CA and has had to evacuate his house. So maybe he’s one of those “America haters” that Glenn Beck is talking about. Except, of course, that my uncle flew a helicopter in the Vietnam war and has a purple heart to show for it. So maybe Glenn Beck needs to keep his thoughts to himself. Does anyone have a good link to send complaints to CNN?

  31. What does it matter whether Republicans or Democrats live in the affected areas? Would Glenn Beck be less of a douchebag if the fire only burned the homes of rich liberals? They hate America, don’t they?

    But by all means, let’s divide this country up into Republican and Democrat neighborhoods, Red and Blue, Sunni and Shi’a.

  32. Keith Irwin: good thought. Let me second it:

    Does anyone have a good link for sending complaints to CNN?

  33. I wonder if Beck was referring to a scattering of big name actors/actresses in the fire zones. Sean Penn, James Cameron, Cindy Crawford, Olivia Newton-John and others have burnt or threatened property. Since Beck and many of the lunatic right equate most “Hollywood types” with America-bashing leftism, Beck’s remark may have been aimed at them. Or, maybe he is a simpleton and isn’t aware of the voting demographics of the region.

  34. Rush says something controversial: Outrage
    Beck says something controversial: Crickets

    I laugh at how irrelevant he is.

  35. Nice. I’m sitting here with bags packed, waiting for an evacuation notice, just trying to breathe in this horrible smoke. Last time I checked, I didn’t hate America…. just some of the douchebags that somehow seem to rate air time…

  36. Alan (40), imo, someone who gets paid to comment on current events has no business being that careless and ignorant.

  37. The “god is punishing you” crowd sure is getting around. Last week our local paper (Raleigh News & Observer) included a letter-to-the-editor indicating the drought was punishment for North Carolina passing the new lottery law. I kid you not.

    South Carolina did it, Virgina did it, and Tennessee did it. But when North Carolina did it, apparently god had had just about enough of that. ;)

  38. I’ve read worse things said about Republicans…espoused from the lips of Al Franken on Air America.

    What, specifically, has Al Franken said on Air America that you think is worse than what Glenn Beck said?

  39. I have been following these comments with great interest since this article was posted. I am not so much interested in what Beck said, but in the torch-and-pitchfork lynch-mob that often gathers in discussion boards such as this.

    I am disappointed to see that at least one comment which pointed out the double-standard of the commenters has been removed. As of right now, there are several comments which mock the deleted comment (#29, for example), but the parent is gone. This will only re-inforce what appears to be a kind of discussion-board echo chamber.

    As I type this, I am looking at a link at the bottom of this page posted by Boing Boing: Defeat Censorware. Irony, thy name is Boing Boing.

  40. T #33 “Ths s mrc nd vlnc s nt n ccptbl rspns t dffrncs f pnn r glb cmmnts.”

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  41. The oddest part of Glenn Beck’s remark is the use of the term “forest fires.”

    Malibu doesn’t really have forests – the hillsides are covered with chaparral and coastal sage scrub, but not much in the way of trees.

    There are some fire areas that could be fairly described as “forest fires”, but those are mostly up in the mountains around Lake Arrowhead and the mountains above San Diego – neither of which are exactly hotbeds of America-Hating Hollywood Liberalism.

    Poor fool can’t even get the terrain right, never mind the demographics.

  42. Davescafe, I’ll try to refrain from making fun of you for referring to this thread as a “torch-and-pitchfork lynch-mob.”

    What you’ve been seeing is fragmentary bits and pieces of a sudden heavy influx of comments that couldn’t have arisen via natural causes. I despise astroturf, mindlessly jeering political hit squads, and all attempts to swamp the public discourse with noise and drive-by abuse.

    Some regular commenters to Boing Boing may have gotten caught in the deletions. If so, they have my apologies. We can sort that out later. What I’m not going to do is apologize for is deleting the attack itself, since it was intended to shut down the legitimate discussion in this thread.

    I’ve also unpublished some meta-discussion of the attack posted by regular commenters. Sorry about that. Turning this thread into a discussion of the attack will shut down the discussion of Glenn Beck and related subjects just as surely as the attack itself would have done it.

  43. Davescafe, I don’t think you really understand the nature of these criticisms. Nobody cares if what Beck said was “mean”… What it is is evidence of a stupidity and pettiness that has poisoned the very nature of political debate in America.

    1: You do not accuse people of “hating” their country just because you criticize the government. You just don’t. Republicans, of all people, should understand that.

    2: The region affected is among the most Republican areas of the state. So even if you ignore point #1, his statement is factually dumb.

    3: Even putting all that aside, the time to criticize a community’s political slant is not when hundreds of thousands of them are fleeing for their lives while their homes and possessions and pets are being incinerated.

    These are not “liberal” talking points. These are commonly understood points of what we call Not Being An Asshole. Glenn Beck does not understand these points because he is, as a career, a spokesman for a petty and crass philosophy… being a Cable News Partisan.

    And I realize it’s not just Right-Wingers and Bush-lovers who make idiots of themselves attempting to spin every human event into Us Vs Them… but still, I can’t think of anyone embracing it they way they have. If that one poster really did “read worse things said about Republicans” from Al Franken, I’d like to hear it. Because I just don’t think it’s the case.

  44. Note the description of the situation at Qualcomm Stadium in this New York Times article.

    Hundreds of volunteers and city workers stacked up towers of pizza boxes, water bottles and blankets. Steaming cups of coffee were on offer as well as free massages and reflexology sessions.

    A clown twisted balloons for children, several autism specialists were available to give parents of disabled children a break, and an electric guitarist jammed with his speaker turned low.

    Compare this to the amenities provided at the Astrodome to people who’d been evacuated to Houston after Katrina, as covered in several posts here on Boing Boing. (Lockouts, blocking the low power FM folks for a few days for no apparent reason, etc.) And yet in that situation we had Barbara Bush assuring us that “so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.”

  45. I live in San Diego. This is on my TV right now:

    Evacuation Needs (Qualcomm Stadium)

    o Hand Sanitizer, Soap
    o Trashbags, Sharpies
    o Sunscreen
    o Depends
    o Tents

    Maybe Mr. Beck could help out here, assuming of course, that he can earmark his contributions for people who love America.

  46. @Bonzo: I’m sure Glenn would agree, that if those are actual needs, the private market should be rushing to fill those needs. If that’s not happening, they must not be “needs.” QED.

  47. OK, granted that this is a bad generalization, surely some of the people who lost their homes really do hate America, and deserve to suffer. No?

  48. I’m a survivor of the 2003 San Diego firestorm. My house and 3000 others burned to the ground. Might I propose a six-pack of whupass for Glen Beck? There are actually people going thru this shit for a second time. Elliot

  49. FlamingPhoneBook: No. We have no evidence that any of the people whose homes are in the path of the fire hate America (whatever that means). And if they did, so what? Hating America isn’t illegal.

    If you’re into religion of the Christian sort, hating America is also not immoral, except insofar as hating anything (except sin) is a bad idea.

    As for whether these hypothetical people “deserve” to suffer — that’s neither for you nor me nor Glenn Beck to decide.

    I expect we’ll see some people claiming that Glenn Beck’s remarks were meant facetiously, but of course that’s not true. Beck said them like he’d say anything else. There’s no way to justify them. They really were as bad as people are saying.

  50. As someone who’s watching this disaster unfold from a considerable distance (one continent and a whole ocean away) I can’t comment on the political subtext. To me, Beck’s comment was just unforgiveably crass and insensitive. Maybe those who have castigated other posters for Bush-basing should concentrate on that for a second. It was just plain rude. At the very least he owes, what are we up to now? half a million people? an abject apology for being such an arse.

  51. Wise, considerate, intelligent, articulate people can be found on either side of the aisle, but rarely can they be found on radio. It’s a medium ruled by people who say crazy things for money.

    Have you ever heard Michael Savage? That guy is basically a human cadaver animated solely for the purpose of housing Hitler’s brain.

  52. My roommate listens to Glenn Beck, and as far as I can tell, he is one part political, two parts generally irreverent, and three parts showing people or ideas to be ridiculous when viewed in some light. And all is glossed with an insensitive kind of humor.
    I think this comment was taken out of its context – not to say it wasn’t out-of-line – and it was almost certainly careless. Beck’s point is not remotely “people who are losing their homes hate America, and therefore deserve it.”
    Listen for yourself, in context.
    Yes, he was careless – and I do believe he was careless/insensitive, as opposed to mean-spirited, Ms. Hayden – and no, he probably won’t apologize, because he thinks people misunderstood him. Still, please be mindful of the line between demonizing and discussion.

  53. From Media Matters:

    Glenn Beck stated, “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.” Beck continued: “There are a few people that hate America. But I don’t think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that.”
    Regardless, he is insinuating that some of the people that “hate America” are losing their homes for whatever passes his puny brain as hate. Is he also insinuating that the rest of the victims are suffering because of these supposed haters? Sounds kind of like Falwell and Robertson blaming 911 on homosexuals…

    Those posing as Democrats? What or who exactly is he talking about? Who are these poseurs? Liberals that want us out of Iraq? Liberals that are pissed at the Dems for not doing their jobs? What about the Republicans that are opposed to the war? Are they posing as Democrats? Do they hate America?

  54. Why is this guy still on CNN? Um, because Fox has been kicking CNN’s ass in the ratings for years now, maybe? As for the Marines and firefighters, they’ll give him a free pass, count on it. Everybody knows It’s Okay If You’re A Republican. Now if a *Democrat* had said it . . .

    PS. If the Democratic Party is now the Democrat Party, are Democrats now Democs?

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  56. @DUUS. First I feel kind of like a jerk even commenting since I don’t know how much follow-up I’ll be doing after posting this. But I don’t quite understand your criticism of the free-market. Beck isn’t a huge supporter of that system (at least not when it runs counter to his proffered policies). But what’s unfree about the Red Cross and other charitable organizations opening up to help people in time of need? What’s unfree about the opening of peoples’ hearts, prayers and wallets on behalf of those harmed?

    Or are you only criticizing the for profit market participators? What’s so terrible about the millions that insurance will pay out to get people back on their feet? The flood of merchandise that will come to restock shelves, providing those in need with access to food, blankets, various necessities, and flowers to help friends feel better?

    Is your comment meant to point out that emergency crews like firemen are state provided? Is the fact that some aspects of the healing process are provided by the state a refutation of the recovery that will be aided by markets and free exchange?

    As a free-market minded kind of guy, I remember in the 2003 fires doing what I could to help from SDSU. We opened the fraternity house to anyone who needed a place to stay due to evacuations. I remember not being able to volunteer at Qualcom Stadium because there were already too many volunteers. I remember going to the Costco in Fenton Market to pick up cases of supplies to donate to those in need. They were all legitimate free-market activities. I like to think that the thousands making such decisions did help, maybe even save some people. And yet, what is so wrong about that?

    I really hope I’m not coming off like some kind of jerk, but I really believe this stuff. And it fills me with wonder that so many carelessly disparage the incredible power of peoples’ free uncoerced activities to bring so much good to the world.

  57. Threid (66), I don’t think Glenn Beck’s remarks were intended facetiously. (See above, #62.)

    Super Nate, you’ve missed the point of Duus’ joke. He wasn’t making fun of voluntary generosity in time of need — in fact, quite the opposite.

    FattyFatFat (69), because it’s an ad hominem attack with an inaccurate retelling tucked into the middle of it.

  58. Odd criteria for disemvoweling here again.

    Anyway, between Beck and Lou Dobbs, CNN is frequently far worse than Fox News. I’m just waiting for CNN to try to lure Bill O’Reilly over with some huge contract offer and they can have a complete set.

  59. I guess my subtle-nuance-o-meter is just not working right. There’s just so much animosity to markets out there I took him literally.

  60. Nah. On Free Republic, they’d call him a fag, a traitor, and then give out his children’s school address and schedule.

    On Democratic Underground, there’s just a lot of pissed off intelligent people. Big diff. Words posted there have more than three syllables, frequently. And you see, the DU’s point of view is what we call out here, “true”, while the Freepers are demonstrably out of touch with the “true”. And are vicious little underhanded lying bastards, besides.

    And Beck is a slime. Imagine Dan Rather laughing at a plane crashing into Cheney’s bunker. Now imagine Beck sniggering at a plane hitting Hillary Clinton’s entourage. See? One is impossible, because of a little thing called character. The other is not only easy to imagine, Beck just DEMONSTRATED that he is a soulless brownshirted prick. Sorry for the naughty words. I feel they are a lot less harmful than Beck’s full-on joy for the firey destruction of the homes of “liberals”.

    Catbeller says hi to Boingboing.

  61. Who even listens to what that toolbox says? Glenn Beck’s asinine comments on any given broadcast are best left alone by intelligent humans. Talk show hosts make their living saying offensive things. Ignore them and they’ll go away.

  62. Gee, another Limbaugh knockoff said “These people with the fires, with the floods…they get what’s coming to them.” I missed the post about him. I trust everybody on this thread’ll want to knee him in the groin, say his “opinions, like himself, are utterly worthless”, suggest a “six-pack of whup-ass”, accuse him of using “Hate and fear”, “the weapons of conservatism,” wielding them “with a vengeance”, call him a “Blowhard [who] acts like a douche”, etc.

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