Glenn Beck Apologizes for Mocking Obama's Daughter
May 29, 2010
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck has apologized for a segment on his radio program in which he made fun of President Barack Obama's 11-year-old daughter, imitating her in a childish high-pitched voice and criticizing her intelligence.
Beck issued an apology on his website Friday after bloggers and parents objected to the tirade from Beck, who in the past has argued that the media should "leave families alone."
In his radio show, "The Glenn Program" on Premiere Radio Networks, Beck mocked Malia Obama for asking her father if he'd managed to stop oil from continuing to spill out into the Gulf of Mexico. At a news conference Thursday, the president recounted how his daughter had asked him, "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?" -- in an effort to illustrate how all Americans are anxious about the BP oil rig that's now become America's worst oil spill in history.
Afterward Beck made fun of the anecdote, imitating Malia in a squeaky voice.
"Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy?" he said. Then Beck's co-host Pat Gray responded as if he were the president.
"Honey, not yet... Not time yet, honey. Hasn't done enough damage," Gray said.
Then Beck took his argument a step further, saying the exchange reveals something about Malia's education. The 11-year-old and her 9-year-old sister Sasha go to Sidwell Friends, and exclusive and high-performing academy that's sometimes called "the Harvard of Washington's private schools."
"'Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?' Is that's their -- that's the level of their education, that they're coming to -- they're coming to daddy and saying 'Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?'" Plug the hole!" Beck said on his Friday morning radio show.
[Maura Larkins' comment: What's wrong with that question? It sounds like an excellent description of the problem. What would your kids say, Glenn? Joseph Romm reports about his kid's questions in Salon: "When I was shaving this morning, my daughter came up to me and asked, 'Daddy, when is President Obama going to develop a coherent narrative for his administration?' OK, maybe not."]
Later in the 4-minute segment, Beck turned the routine toward Obama's race. "Why do you hate black people so much?" he said, still imitating Malia in a baby voice.
"I'm part white, honey," Gray responded in the voice of the president.
Friday's segment ran just two days after another piece on Beck's radio program in which he decried critics of Sarah Palin's family. "Leave people's families alone. I don't think I've ever... We've never done anything but protect families... Leave families alone," he said at the time...