Video: Beck, Michelle Malkin go toe to toe over Massa interview

posted at 12:10 pm on March 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This starts off as an intellectual discourse on the use of apostates in political arguments, but descends to a pity party on Glenn Beck’s part when he goes after Michelle Malkin for criticizing his decision to give an hour to Eric Massa. It starts downhill at the moment that Beck says, “I don’t understand you people,” which takes the Boss Emeritus aback. The Right Scoop has the video:

Frankly, I don’t even know what set Beck off in the first place. Having Massa on the show for a segment might make some sense, but the decision to devote an hour to Massa is certainly open for criticism. Beck needs to handle criticism over an editorial decision like that among friends better than this. I worked for Michelle for two years and had open disagreements on policy, but it never took this kind of tone, nor did I ever think of it as backstabbing, as Beck seems to imply. In fact, both of us thought it was part of the process and made for better blogging and radio, which is why it had always been stressed that I could write what I want and argue what I believe here at Hot Air.

On the plus side, he makes up with Michelle towards the end of the interview, and he apparently apologized later. It’s not as unpleasant as the reaction on Twitter indicated, but it’s not Beck’s finest moment, either.

Beck says, “I’m not making this about him,” but at the same time he’s claiming that Massa “confirms” what the White House is doing. It only confirms it if Massa has any credibility. Claiming that Democrats are railroading him out of office when he’s resigning on his own makes his credibility very suspect. One can believe that the Obama administration is playing hardball with or without Massa’s testimony on this point, but relying on Massa undermines the argument if it turns out that Massa may be exaggerating or prevaricating for his own purposes — and as Michelle has pointed out, there’s certainly some evidence to bolster that interpretation.

None of us need to rely on Massa’s credibility for our arguments. We can note his statements and consider the context and Massa’s motivations, which is all Michelle asks of Beck in reconsidering his choice to give Massa a big megaphone tonight. It’s not bad advice, and perhaps Beck should give it more consideration, coming from a friend.


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