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Guess who's coming to dinner

September 15, 2009 - Jim Anderson
Fox News commentator Glenn Beck speaks tonight at the annual meeting of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce in East Lansing.

Progress Michigan issued a statement Monday saying the visit ‘‘brings shame’’ to the state. The group describes Beck as “one of the most offensive and inflammatory crusaders of the radical right.”

Chamber President Rich Studley told the Associated Press that his group has a tradition of inviting speakers from across the political and ideological spectrum.

State Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer spoke last year, and Democratic strategist James Carville has spoken in the past, Studley pointed out. Studley says the dinner is all about ‘‘ideas and healthy debate.’’ About 500 people have signed up to attend, according to the AP.

Among other incidents, Beck offended many people by calling President Obama a racist during a July 28 discussion of how the president handled the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. Here’s what he said on Fox & Friends:

“This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don’t know what it is.”

When Fox’s Brian Kilmeade noted that Obama has many white advisers, Beck retreated. Sort of.

“I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. He has a — this guy is, I believe, a racist.”

Typical Beck. Obama hates white people. OK, he doesn’t hate white people, but I believe he’s a racist.


We all say indefensible things from time to time. But, usually, we don’t do it so deliberately.

Why would Beck claim the president hates white people?

There are, I think, two possibilities. One, he actually believes it. If that’s the case, is a handsome stipend (reportedly $25,000) to speak to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce appropriate?

A second possibility is that Beck doesn’t believe it. However, he finds it useful to say that Obama is a racist in order to draw attention, and to appeal to Obama-haters. If that’s the case, is a handsome stipend to speak to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce appropriate?

I’m guessing that Beck won’t say anything at all to the Chamber about Obama hating white people.

But until he finally explains himself — or fully apologizes — he should be asked to talk about nothing but that.


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