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. Jon

    Beck just needs to apologize for opening his mouth in the first place, as if he has legitimate following of rational people.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  2. Drew Williams

    When bombast slips over into megalomania, you gotta problem. I get the feeling that, in some instances, Fox News wouldn't even mind separating themselves from this jelly bean — and that's no defense of Fox News. Ask CBS about Charlie Sheen.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  3. adam

    If you snort enough cocaine early in life and join the Mormon cult, you too can become a wealthy hate-monger.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  4. hitman1970

    Since when does going to college prove you are an expert at anything. It proves you had to listen to a bunch of liberal tripe and spent about $40,000 to do it.

    I have two degrees and think equating going to college to expertise is ridiculous.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Drew Williams

      @hitman - it's no guarantee, but it's a pretty solid indicator. For instance, when's the last time you agreed to have surgery performed by someone who never attended college?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  5. mfred

    Becks a radicalized moron and I make no apologies for stating this fact.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  6. RichP, easton, pa

    So Soros is Jewish, so what, that makes him what, impervious to making bad decisions. As Beck says over and over, "Don't take my word for it, do the research yourself".
    Musician, as soon as you resort to name calling your liberal tukus shows itself.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Steven Emmons

    I thought religions were supposed to be "A" political. What did I miss?

    February 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Religion has a much longer history of extreme involvement in politics and very little experience staying out of it.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  8. Leon Jaeger

    You can,t slag the jews, it is against the law.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Paul NYC

    When you open your mouth without thinking stupid things are bound to come out.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  10. ejaylinz

    If anyone is still watching or listening to fox News after the Ron Paul incident..then I would say this country is in real bad trouble..even more than what we are now. I just cannot believe considering the history of this country that people would line up and pay to be deceived. As for Beck..Once the word fly you cannot take them back. his message was heard..and we already know this man is a cry on demand type guy he is a s fake as his opinions, so for him to apologize really means nothing.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Rasputin

      It seems people would rather be deceived than face the truth. Alternative reality. Beck's just fulfilling a basic need.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  11. JackInNH

    Rupert Murdoch should be ashamed of the garbage produced on Fox, and handed out as NEWS every day. The hate and division coming out of the mouths of Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly and all their 'guest analysts' is doing NOTHING to help our country.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • marcamp

      as opposed to Maddow, "Ed," and the ladies (?) of the Spew? Have you caught Behar lately? How about Maher's group (who used to be somewhat unbiased..)?

      February 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  12. SoulCatcher

    There's a line about him in a song about him:

    Get crazy with the cheese wiz...O u Oooo

    February 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chris

      He is a loser... so why don't we...

      February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Moogie713

    We can add to "anti-semetic" to the list of Becks character flaws. The others being bigot, chauvanist, elitist, and racist.
    He has no credibility and no class! If you want to get this idiot off the airways, just call the sponsors of his shows and threaten to boycott their products. This is the only way we can shut him up...other than duct-taping him and whisking him off to the middle east..lol

    February 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  14. Marto

    Why apologize for showing your true colors? Just keep spewing without thinking and let us really get a look at you!

    February 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Earl Townsend

    I've never understood Beck's popularity? His now and then appearance on Bill O"Reilly's show is just another example
    of the idiots that appear on that show. They don't seem top want anybody with good intelligence. Someone should tell
    Beck to engage his brain before opening his mouth. Where did he come from anyway???

    February 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Marto

      He ran a pop music radio station. He was manufactured into what we see now. Not hard to do apparently.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • M-kell

      Lessoned to Glenn year ago he made since on some things but ever since we got a black Prez he ain't made no since at all!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  16. Johnny Walker

    Leave my friend Glenn alone.
    signed, Johnny Walker (Blue Lable)

    February 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  17. jim

    Rep. Paul Broun, the Georgia Republican, once said ....

    "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him, (Obama), to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential," he said told an interviewer at the time.'

    Ok, now Beck hates Jews. Look at it this way .....

    How many people died because of Bush's WMD war? Lets say around 4,000+ Americans and 100,000+ Iraqis.

    How many people died under Obama? I can't think of too many. Bush started the war, not Obama. Blood was spilled because of Bush.

    Sounds to me that Bush's death rate is much closer to Hitler's death rate than Obama's. And Paul Broun doesn't think Bush also had the potential?? Again, Bush's Killing count is much closer to Hitler than Obama.

    Beck hates Jews. Republicans crushing unions.

    I would say the potential for Republican Naziism has already been achieved.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  18. Hank

    Glenn Beck never attended college and it shows. How can you be an expert when you do not have any training??? Amazing.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • marcamp

      How could one host a television show? How abou the bigger question, "how could one lead a country?" When you figure out that answer, you might find the answer to your question

      February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  19. CM

    “in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics."

    Man's got balls to criticize others for this when his entire career is based on exploiting religion for political issues.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  20. musician

    Beck needs to apologize for about 6000 other ridiculous comments. And perhaps just a general apology for being a complete moron with a big mouth and a strong tendency to misinform his reality-challenged followers.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • KLL

      Well said!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • DA

      my sentiments exactly

      February 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • geeeno

      morons have as much right to hosting a tv show as anyone else. morons are also much more popular than literate commentators.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • buckup

      6000? You must be a neo-conservative. 😉

      February 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
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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.