Via Business Insider, “fires back” is overstating it since Beck goes out of his way here not to be antagonistic to Hannity — or rather, not overtly antagonistic. There’s a lot of shade smuggled into this polite disagreement:
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 31, 2016
This is his response to Hannity’s much buzzed-about indictment of #NeverTrumpers, including and especially Beck, yesterday afternoon. Beck’s counterpoint is straightforward: When a candidate fails to attract the number of votes he needs to win, typically it’s the candidate himself who’s blamed, not his critics. There were plenty of alt-righters, I’m sure, who had no patience for the “globalist” Mitt Romney and refused to lend him their vote in 2012. Never once, as far as I know, has Hannity attacked them for having failed to be ‘team players” or whatever for the right-wing cause. The more Trump apologists in the media deviate from the usual “blame the candidate” norm this year, the more insistent the question becomes as to why. Why does Trump get a pass on basic stuff, like not having an effective ground game, that a more traditional Republican nominee like Romney would have been crucified (actually, was crucified) for failing at? Is Hannity grading him on a ridiculously steep curve because he’s a newbie politician, like the people who pronounced Trump’s ho-hum presser in Mexico City today a momentous win just because he failed to say anything boorish or stupid? Or is Hannity protecting himself knowing that the more blame Trump personally bears for blowing the election — if he blows it — the more blame his enablers, like Hannity, will bear by association? Little of both, I think.
If you want to see overt antagonism to Hannity by a member of the Glenn Beck team, read this Facebook stemwinder by co-host Pat Gray after you listen to the clip. Hoo boy. By the way, Beck wasn’t the only A-list right-wing talk-radio host to push back in defense of #NeverTrumpers. Mark Levin, a longtime friend of Hannity’s, also slammed the blame-shifting by certain unnamed people. Levin made an interesting point too in passing, and one you don’t often hear from conservative talkers: Conservative media simply isn’t big enough to tilt a presidential race by throwing its full weight behind the Republican nominee. It’s stupid to blame Beck and National Review for Trump’s difficulty in overtaking Clinton because Beck and National Review and Rush and Levin and so forth just don’t have the media muscle to move swing voters. He’s entirely right about that, but the truth of it is sometimes glossed over given the belief among movement conservatives that America is fundamentally a conservative country. Maybe that belief has faded now, though. It’s hard to cling to it when we’re staring at a Trump/Clinton election.