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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. Roscoe

    Beck is a loser. Those who worship him are even worse.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • willowspring

      Glenn Beck is accused of lying, but if you watch his program, everything he says is either backed up with videos of the people he's discussing and it's in their own words or it is corroborated by experts. His research team is almost faultless, but if there is a mistake, Beck is the first one to apologize and admit he made a mistake. He takes responsibility. That's a lot more than the opposition does.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @willowspring: have you ever heard of editing a tape, or words? You blindly believe him because you feel you need guidance: have you ever thought of thinking for yourself? He was called out on his mistakes, and forced to retract the statements, or his sponsers would pull their ads. Do you really think he would "apologise" if he truly felt remorse?

      February 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Steveo

    Go to theDoctor.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  3. Matt

    How can some of you go on and on about Beck spouting lies every day. He might have overstepped on an opinion this time, but for the most part, on his shoe he displays the source material for every claim he makes right there for you to see. In his books the last 50 pages or more are sources listed. Meanwhile, shows like Maddow or Chris Matthews are just non-stop cackling. They apparently have free rein to make whatever perjorative comment they like and you'll take it as gospel?

    February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bold Coffee

      Matt.....Glen is a salesman....he's selling and you're buying.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Seattle

    Who listens to this idiot???? Seriously, you can fact check practically everything this man says and see its all a complete fabrication. For that matter I can't believe anyone even watches Fox News period! Former employees of the station came out a couple days ago saying everything they do is pretty much to lie to the public and be nothing more than a propaganda machine to pit Americans against each other.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • mary43

      Well let's see...on network tv about 2 mill a day and that does not include his radio listening fans. No one on CNN even comes close. Face it the liberals are losing ground everyday!!!!

      February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  5. keith

    I don't like the guy one bit, but why should he have to apologize for speaking his opinion. he may have been speaking the truth, but this is America where we have freedom of speech and everyone demands it, yet when someone else speaks their mind, others will pitch a fit. Well peeps there is a simple solution, if you don't like someone's opinion, no one forces you to listen to it or be around it. I don't watch this moron and most of what he says I could give a flying F about, but that doesn't mean he and the other media windbags like Rush can't speak their mind. Everyone wants their own opinion as long as everyone agrees with THEM, otherwise they have said something wrong – how pathetic we have allowed our country to get like this

    February 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  6. keeth in cali

    "Misinformed" ... as if it was someone else's fault. He didn't do HIS homework. He wasn't "misinformed," he was "uninformed, and ignorant." His thinly veiled apology is really just a non-apology.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  7. Garmac

    "In this case I didn’t do enough homework", Mr Beck, you NEVER do your homework and your biggotery is unacceptable in EVERY case!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  8. BW

    Remember this is a guy who is not educated, lasted one semester in college(only got in by help of a Senator),drug abuser, alchoholic, divorced first wife, changes religion to mormon, yeah people he has a lot going for him. Oh, but he found a way to take all your money!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  9. Mike Johnson

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me. conservative are three for thee

    February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  10. Susan

    Fire Glenn Beck and shut Fox news down for all their radical employees.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  11. ijreilly

    Beck will go down in history as just a slimy propagandist.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  12. buckup

    fascists at the gates

    February 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, as always, when a public figure says something vile and false about Judaism, they have to go on the air and apologize for it. When they continue day after day to mischaracterize Islam through false stereotypes, they don't have to apologize. In fact, they are aplauded!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • mary43

      I would like to know where they are wrong about Islam. Have you ever read the Quran? Didn't think so. I will guarantee that you are one of those against Christianity and the Bible w/o ever knowing the Truth. Not surprised.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  14. PaulC

    Why is anyone listening to this self-serving jerk? He had no problems with the 8 year Bush disaster and only became outraged with the election of Obama. The best response is to ignore him and he will crawl back under the rock.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • mary43

      Actually, he disagreed time after time with Bush, but of course you wouldn't know that b/c you only listen to this liberal garbage.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  15. Tracy

    Oh, now I see how Glenn Beck does TONS of research and doesn't talk out of his backside, all right!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  16. anthony

    CHANGE THE CHANNEL.... Thanks CNN for bringing this tools message all the way across the dial

    February 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  17. Peter E

    Wow! Stop the presses! This is shocking! Glenn Beck says something stupid? Glenn Beck doesn't have his facts straight? Unheard of!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  18. jayh

    He still said it – This apology is as transparent as the rest of the rubbish he spews.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. gorehound

    Glenn:
    I do not accept your apology.I am the son of a holocuast survivor who survived 4 Concentration Camps.My first cousin is the President of the local Reform Jewish Synagogue.Your comments are offensive as well as wrong.
    You are lucky to still have a voice in this country instead of being tried for hate crimes.You are intolerant.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • mary43

      Of course you're not going to accept Glenn's apology, you're a liberal. You have obviously NEVER made a mistake in your life...well I congratulate you for being the only living perfect person.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • layo24

      Please can someone tell me what the hell liberalism or conservatism have to do with the man's decision to accept or not accept the apology?
      @mary43: what I don't understand is how people who cannot relate to the experiences of people who have been marginalized seem to be the most vocal about these things.
      Take a chill pill- in fact take a reality check.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  20. NATIVETEXAN

    unbelievable biggotry being displayed by the liberals here, as usual...... EVERYONE is demonized by them when they don't share the exact same views/beliefs. Antisemitism has run rampant in your liberal halls for years (see Jesse Jackson / Al Sharpton, all other race-baiters) but where's your cries of wrong when it is from them ?

    So much tolerance on display here from "bleeding hearts"....just make those who don't think like you "go away" or "disappear", or any other bad-wishes you all have displyed to be seen...how's that NOT Hate ??

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

      "EVERYONE is demonized by them when they don't share the exact same views/beliefs"

      Sounds like Glenn Beck's standard operating procedures.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • anothertexan

      OMG, how you even bring up liberals in this post is beyond beliefs. Let's just stick with the "Elements of the Case."

      Glenn Beck lied and got caught.

      case closed.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • layo24

      Racism is not a liberal or conservative construct. It is a personal decision to outwardly translate fears of what we don't understand to subjugating people. Unfortunately, a lot of racist-type actions have historically been associated with conservatism, even this is inaccurate (no thanks to people like Beck).
      Rather than worry about the "liberals" here (which you nor I can do anything about), we need to live to make our lives count where it matters the most- with our families and our neighbors.
      and oh by the way I just happen to be a Texan as well who you might label "liberal"

      February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
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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.