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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. K

    Glenn Beck is a has been top 40 dj from Hamden, CT that "found god" after he hit rock bottom because his crappy show (and Glenn) was going nowhere. He is a bigot, a phony, and a disgrace to this country.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Papa Joe Alaska

      Well said Time for him to hit rock bottom again. I would bet my life when he si finally let go he will never work again. Well.... possibly Palin will hire him as her campaign manager 🙂

      February 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tim Doogan

      That about sums it up. It's amazing how someone so uneducated and mediocre can make that much money. He represents the worst of America: celebrating fear and paranoia instead of education and unity. I watch his shows sometimes. They are depressing! It's all doom and gloom.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • person

      Enough already keep your hate speech to yourself, Beck can say your sorry, but its really getting obnoxious all these news celebs/ narcisists/ mental health nutt jobs lol.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • George

      As long as the Fox lemmings spend their $s on Fox and Beck, he will have a job. Most likely that won't be changing any time soon.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  2. Matt

    My point is only that he makes his sources available for you to check and form your own opinion. If you arrive at different conclusions, so be it.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  3. elo

    Mr. Beck agrees with the Final Solution. In fact he wishes he authored it.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  4. kren

    murdoch=jew fox jews is apropaganda hatemongering channel, and so is CNN

    February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  5. Libby

    “I was admittedly misinformed..."

    Since he's misinformed virtually every time he opens his mouth, I am surprised we don't hear this more often from him, but then again, he's not the apologetic type. He's the trollish type.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    For those who try to follow his sorry, clumsy, pathetic attempts at evangelizing people into his particular worldview, please remember that this is someone who cobbles together a very selective view of the world from facts that are not connected by actual proof. He feels no real remorse, other than the fact his sales took a hit. Fame is his new addiction, and every controversy he creates fuels the monster. His speech is rambling and incoherent at times,and he resembles someone about to ahve a breakdown than some kind of new prophet. Personally, I think he believes himself to be a messianic figure who believes he will lead us out of a time of darkness: he's that crazy.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Heebee Jeebee

      He's just a step away from flinging his own poo at the audience.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  7. Barking Alien

    Beck belongs to the church of Moron not Mormon. His sect worhips the village idiot.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Gwen

      That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Church of the Moron, he, he, he.
      Goes to show those people will beliieve anyone. That guy is as crazy as that Sheen character.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • George

      That is great.
      Need to start a parody site ChurchofMoron.com
      Beck would be the High VI
      and Rush could be the Fat VI
      Palin could be WUT VI (working up to be village idiot)

      February 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  8. Tom R

    Im not surprised. He's made a careed out of comparing things that have nothing in common such as Obama to hitler. ITs sad that 3 million right wing idiots eat up every word he says.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  9. wife_of_a_soldier

    Anyone else think Beck resembles Father Coughlin? Now Beck can spew the same anti-Semitic venom that Coughlin did in the 30's. Sympathy for fascist policies shrouded with a political agenda of hatred. Bravo on your ignorance and intolerance Mr. Beck.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      That is one of the best analogies of Beck I have ever read. As a historian I am ashamed I did not think of it first. Brilliant.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  10. matthew

    yawn. Who really cares. People get their panties all caught up in a bunch over a simple statement like this??? Wow.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  11. pablo

    gee doc_rf, I haven't read any reports lately of jews bombing buildings, carrying out suicide bombings, cutting spouses heads off, honor killings of their own children. Hummm, maybe there is a difference between radical muslims and jews (and everyone else).

    February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  12. Jim in Maine

    Beck and his groupies frighten me. Bashing ANY religion is just plain s-t-u-p-i-d. STUPID! Here's what I'm going to do: Identify the advertisers playing for his time on TV and boycott them. No reputable corporation, manufacturer, or marketing group should support this kind of trash-talk bigotry. Boycott em! (And for God's sake, let's focus on thinkers and visionaries who have solutions to help us and unify us. This guy is useless.)

    February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Heebee Jeebee

      All his major advertisers already left. What he's got now is Goldline and heirloom seeds for the coming apocalypse.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  13. Mike Malley

    As others have commented, Beck is a low-life pseudo-intellect, who really has nothing to say to intelligent people. I have noticed, sooner or later, all the so called journalists are either narcotic users, pill heads and never, but never, join our military. Basic cowards. Retired E-8.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  14. effelbee

    Beck uses the word "misinformed." How about simply admitting that he is actually an ignorant talking head. He never went to college and pretends to understand great historical truths which he makes up out of the usual uninformed stereotypical nonsense characteristic of ignorant people.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  15. Mike

    What a moron. Islamic radical or more appropriately Islamic FUNDAMENTALISTS are from the right-wing. They support conservative socials views, want religion in government, prayer in the schools, and want to turn back the clock to an idealized time that never existed. Reform jews are the complete opposite, being more secular in nature and liberal.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  16. Over the Dream

    Glenn, please go.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  17. Troy B.

    Glenn Beck is a pathetic, selfish, hate-filled human being. The saddest part is how many people there are like him in the world.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  18. Seth

    Who takes anything he says seriously? Oh yeah, a ton of ignorant fools that watch Faux News.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  19. Tyler

    Why is this guy still allowed to be on the air, don't his own listeners realize how unsupported most of his statements are. Who is he to talk down on any religion when christianity has been the instigator of just as many if not more atrocities than any other religion. His statements and viewpoints aren't anymore noteworthy or justified than if they came from any Joe Schmoe off the street.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ellen

      His listeners think he is the second coming.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • DFL

      He's still on the air because his target audience – Teabaggers – don't care about the truth. To them, the truth is what they WANT it to be, even if their beliefs are completely contradicted by the facts.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • egm11

      fact of the matter is......beck states very clearly and with no pretense for you the view to not believe anything he says but DO THE HOMEWORK FOR YOURSELF, investigate and decide for yourself.. how many people do you really think do that? as a society we are far too lazy to do our own research and it is just easier to have a "celebrity" or politican to do our thinking for us. just look at wisconsin and indiana if you need any further proof.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  20. jorge washinsen

    What Glenn Beck should do is teach history from 1946 to 1948 and we would better understand why the Middle East is the source of our (American) problems.

    February 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • effelbee

      Except he does not understand history, despite his pretenses.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      As a college dropout, Beck shouldn't be teaching ANYONE! The blind leading the blind, I suppose.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • bob

      "Glenn Beck" and "teach" should never be used in the same sentence.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Gwen

      Glenn Beck isn't qualified to teach anything. The closest he will ever get to being a teacher is holding a piece of chalk!!!!!!
      The only degree he holds is a Degree in Bull--!

      February 25, 2011 at 3:22 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.