Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals
Glenn Beck at last summer's 'Restoring Honor' rally.
February 25th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Beck: 'I blew it' comparing rabbis to Islamic radicals

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Glenn Beck is apologizing for remarks he made on his radio show comparing rabbis from a major Jewish tradition to Islamic radicals, saying, “I was wrong on this and I also apologize for it.”

“In this case I didn’t do enough homework,” Beck told radio listeners on Thursday, while his website said his comments contained “one of the worst analogies of all time.”

On Tuesday, Beck said on his show that “reformed rabbis are generally political in nature.”

“It's almost like Islam - radicalized Islam,” he continued, “in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics."

Beck’s comments came after a group of 400 rabbis, many from the Reform movement, took out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal blasting him for comments he made about the Holocaust.

Beck, who also hosts a show on Fox News, had aired a radio series about financier George Soros that accused him of collaborating with the Nazis to send Jews to death camps, according to the Jewish Funds for Justice, which sponsored the ad.

Soros is Jewish.

The Reform movement, founded in 19th century Germany, counts a million and a half Jews in North America, according to the Union for Reform Judaism.

Beck sent a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that works to combat anti-Semitism, to apologize for his remarks.

“I was admittedly misinformed on Reform rabbis, and made a horrible analogy that I immediately attempted to clarify - quite honestly, I blew it on this one,” Beck wrote, according to a copy of the letter released by the Anti-Defamation League.

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman says he accepts Beck’s apology.

“Glenn Beck has shown that he understands how his remarks were offensive and out of line,” Foxman said in a statement Thursday. “We welcome his words of apology and consider the matter closed.”

The Jewish Funds for Justice, meanwhile, said Beck’s apology did not go far enough.

“Glenn Beck’s apology for comparing Reform Judaism to ‘radicalized Islam’ is welcome but incomplete,” the group said in a statement.

“While we are heartened to hear him recognize his ignorance,” the statement continued, “he still has not acknowledged that the letter signed by 400 rabbis and organized by Jewish Funds for Justice represented a cross-section of denominations, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal rabbis."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Holocaust • Judaism

soundoff (1,083 Responses)
  1. tmichael

    My Republican, conservative, Glock-packing NRA life member friend is Jewish. Fit that into your stereotypes. And he owns a dog and drives a gas-sipping Scion.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Edwin

      How about you shut up and stop making crap up to prove a non existent point?

      February 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Rose

      tmichael: My father was Jewish. During World War II he was awarded everything but the Congressional Medal of Honor (ie, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, etc.) After Korea, when he was recalled, he was a career officer in the Air Force (26 years). While stationed in Instanbul, he had orders to go to Egypt. They asked if he wanted his passport to change his religion. He stated if Moses can do it, so can I. He had 5 loaded guns in his home until the day he died. A Goldwater Republican, drove a VW beetle (in the old days) then started using the bus to go downtown to work as a stockbroker until age 80. At his 90th BD party, he stated he would serve today if he could. All of that means is that he was a man who loved his country, not defined by his religion as to what kind of man he was. There are many layers to an onion.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  2. Steveo

    and check the facts ... Anti Semite is the most brilliant term created to not allow free discourse.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Really Steve0, I thought it was a smoke screen so we wouldn't pay attention to those that don't work for the salaries we pay them.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Rich

      said the Anti-Semite.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  3. Zeeman

    Who f... cares!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  4. sparknut

    When is he going to apologize to everyone one else he has maligned? That could be a full time career for him.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Beck is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints – otherwise known as a Mormon. That means he belongs to a religion with a stated goal of converting all Jews to his Church. I don't know if they still do so publicly, but a number of years back the Mormons got in a lot of hot water for having posthumous baptisms of Jews known to have been killed in the holocaust. Those not "converted" are not considered "saved" by his Church and are counted with the rest of us unsaved Gentiles (my friends in Utah who happen to be Jewish find that term being applied to them really amusing)!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  6. MHM

    Beck is someone I refuse to watch – actually, all of Fox news. Beck is antisemitic and that will never change. Somewhat ironic how sometimes one cannot control what comes out of their mouth as it's part of your moral compass and beliefs. I thank Beck for the apology but to me, it means very little. He will not change. The apology came due to pressure from Fox management as well as the Jewish contingent. As well, he's trying to save face and hope that he does not add to the population that currently cannot stand the guy.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  7. B-Dog

    Glenn Beck is a former morning zoo "wacky and zaney" DJ.... What the heck does he know about anything?

    February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  8. slats1992

    Do people really, honestly, truely, still pay attention to this man? Like, really??

    February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Gwen

      It's amazing and truly pathetic.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  9. Steveo

    There is no doubt Glenn Beck is an idiot but so are all the devotees of the Mormon religion. Can you believe they bought this s#$t...Oh wait there is a bunch of people who believe things equally ridiculous.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  10. dave

    im a conservative christian. i do not have a high regard for beck, in fact i think he is a mormon (false cult) shill. i also think that the republicans and democratic parties have been high jacked by a powerful wealthy men to push their agendas. both are corrupt. if you keep bashing one party while voting for the other side then you are deceived. both have the same boss. yes i am a conservative christian and i go to church sundays and hold that the original text of the Bible was infallible.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Pastor Mike Palevo

    Glenn, you better watch what you say about Jews, Rabbis, etc. Your career could be on the line. But, He's right about Rabbis, and especially Talmudic Rabbis. These are worse than the Islamic Radicals. They are the very element that is destroying America's values. This very element is the creation of Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Totalitarianism, Labor Unions, etc. Somebody with a backbones needs to stand up and shout! This is my opinion!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • BW

      Maybe next time you can have an opinion based on some facts! That my opinion!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Eric

      @ Pastor Mike Palevo

      Reform rabbis do not adhere to the Talmud and neither do most Jews. The only ones who do are the Orthodox and some Conservative Jews. Also, those Orthodox and Conservative Jews are generally opposed to those ideologies you listed. Many of them are politically conservative.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      Your rant sounds exactly like the mantra of neo-nazi/skinhead/kkk organizations. Just sayin'.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Nacho1

      Pastor Mike...............you just have to be a dumb Baptist...........you can't belong to a DECENT christian community....gotta be a Baptist..........

      February 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  12. rob

    Beck is worried about his sagging ratings. Even he may understand how far out he's gotten.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  13. jj

    Time for Beck to join Charlie Sheen, duct tape on his mouth and standing in the unemployment line.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      how droll

      February 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Eric

    It's not just that Beck is a hatemongering sefl-promoting imbecil, it's that the other morons think he actually makes sense. Scratch a Tea-Party supporter and reveal a racist. Thank god they all have a home in the soak-the-poor Republican party. Maybe the Red states should consider secession. Instead of a Civil War, we could call it Civil Relief.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  15. james

    Love to see the liberal tolerance here. If Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton makes an anti-Semitic rant (and they do it about once a week) and refuses to apologize you let it go. If Glenn Beck does it AND APOLOGIZES, he's the most evil thing since Godzilla. Typical liberal imbeciles.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  16. JohnRJ08

    This was NOT about Beck not doing his "homework". He knew exactly what he was saying when he said it. His equating reform Jews with radical Islamists is a theme he has touched on many times. The reason he loves talking about George Soros is because it offers him the best of both worlds. Soros is a Jew who Beck says collaborated with the Nazis. The bottom line for Beck is that most Jews and Muslims are more about politics and money than about faith. This is how Beck elevates himself for his audience. He portrays himself as the genuine man of faith and, therefore, he is inherently more good and trustworthy than the people he attacks. The good religious people have to stand against the bad political people. And Glenn Beck will decide which is which.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  17. GA Girl

    What an ignorant idiot! Unfortunately, he has a following! Now that's scarrrrrry!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Gwen


      February 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  18. Vee

    He says he was wrong on *this*? He's wrong on everything. I wish he'd Rush would take vows of silence. Its astounding how much VAST ignorance and stupidity is shared by those two idiots.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nacho1

      Vee.......................you are right...................they were BOTH born under a rock...............

      February 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  19. Jdubba

    Beck is religious whack job with little common sense and a passion for completely inane conspiracy theories. I wish would vanish or end, no matter the means. He's a toxic blight on the landscape of america and his value in society, to those of us with a just a small amount of logic and brain power, as an example of what not to do is unfortunatley overcome by the misguided hatred he inspires among the masses. America is becoming dumber, by republican design, and zealots like Beck, Coulter, Bachmann, and Limbaugh are the ugly poster children for a bleak and uninspiring future.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Julie

      When he spewed his hateful rhetoric his followers just nodded their hateful heads in agreement. The sad part is most of them claim to be true Christians. HYPOCRITS!!!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  20. The Truth has no Agenda

    Glenn Beck has the courage to make an apology when he realizes he has said something wrong...Humility that the posters to this atricle sadly lack...

    February 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Beck? Humility? You're jokin', Right?

      Its called damage control.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • iconperson

      Beck is sick. I expect to see the men in white coats putting the funny jacket with the arms tied around the back any day now.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bejoth

      You must be kidding. Are you really that naive, or should I say stupid (and I am not trying to be offensive or mean) I just can't believe anyone on this earth has so little intelligence as to give credence to anything Beck says. The guy is a joke making money off fools.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Jerry

      This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Beck and his horrendously ill advised analogies.

      He owes apologies to many many more people on that count. He has only said sorry this time, because he's been very loudly called on it.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • jason

      Are you serious? Wow... try watching his show. I hate him but watch his show for hell of it. He has to be the dumbest person on TV. I guess he's a reflection of his viewers. nutty teabagers...

      February 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Scott

      Beck is an entertainer pure and simple. On that level he often succeeds. But to think that some follow him as someone with political savy is beyond frightening.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Carlos

      The problem is that he said it! He put it out in the open and his followers don't give 2 cents if he apologize. To them, he just added evidence to their personal views. And the comment about not doing his "homework"......helloooo Judaism, Islam.....are we suppose to believe that you don't know the views of these religions towered each other????

      February 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • KTM

      Beck apologized because it was costing him money. Truth has nothing to do with it. He makes things up, daily, that harm real people, and a large portion of the conservative population believe him without question. Of course, NOT ALL conservatives are idiots who follow Beck. But if you do, let's face it, you're an idiot. Just like, if you're a liberal who listens to Keith Olbermann without question, you're an idiot. Actually, if you spend a large portion of your day watching either FOX NEWS or MSNBC, you're just not that bright. And you're getting dimmer every minute.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Beck lies, apologises, then expects us to go on and forget his past behavior, then when its convenient, he lies again. He's insane because he won't change his behavior, and its a conscious choice. Just because he gives a half-hearted apology does not change the basic fact he is a pahtological liar.

      February 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.