Glenn Beck’s interview with former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) was a huge embarrassment — his first indisputable failure since he misspelled “oligarch” in September.
Beck apparently went into the interview believing that Massa would finally provide evidence of the Democrats’ purported “culture of corruption” that Beck and Michelle Malkin have been flogging but can’t seem to prove. If horse-trading for votes in Congress is corrupt, then Congress has been steeping in corruption for centuries. And these same soulless right-wing propagandists were largely silent about Bush-era corruption allegations against Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and their approval of torture techniques; Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his DOJ hive of inept Christian law school grads; betrayers of national secrets Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby; convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff; twice-indicted former House Minority Leader Tom DeLay; Rep. J.D. Hayworth, now running against Sen. John McCain in Arizona; and convicted Rep. Duke Cunningham, just to name a few.
But Massa was not only unforthcoming on corruption, much to Beck’s dismay, he pulled the floor out from under Beck by trumping him on the foundational hypocrisy of Beck’s ideology — hypocrisy he shares with Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity and the rest — that victimhood is a sign of weakness in liberals but a supreme virtue in themselves and their fellow travelers on the right.
Here’s Michael Scherer at Time:
Beck, who is used to controlling the gravitational force of victimhood around him, kept interrupting to point out that he was a bigger target of even greater forces than Massa. “I have two unauthorized biographies coming out against me in the spring,” Beck said at one point. Minutes later, Beck went even further. “Do you realize my family is at stake?” he said. “You’ve got a little scandal with your children in college. I’ve got one for all time now, because I am not going to resign. I’m not going to back down. I have come to a place where I believe at some point the system will destroy me.”
…But in Massa, Beck found a sort of liberal doppelgänger, a mesmerizing train wreck of a man who was impossible to undercut in the classic fashion. To many conservative allies of Beck, it probably didn’t come as too much of a surprise. In recent days, prominent Republicans like Bill Kristol had expressly warned Beck and others about coming to Massa’s defense just because he was alleging dirty tricks by the Obama White House. “We shouldn’t get into the business of being pro-Massa just because we are antihealth care,” Kristol said Monday on Fox. The ruling talk-radio king, Rush Limbaugh, spent much of Tuesday making clear that he would not be tied to Massa, after spending much of Monday praising Massa’s revelations about Democratic Party politics. “Anybody who embraces this guy is in big trouble,” Limbaugh said…
The conservative blogger Michelle Malkin called into [Beck’s radio] show to tell Beck he was making a mistake. “This guy deserves 60 minutes of our time, really?” Malkin asked.
Beck would not budge. But as those 60 minutes came to an end Tuesday afternoon, the rabble-rouser seemed to recognize that he had fallen into a trap. The Beck big top has room for only one carnival barker at a time. “I think I have wasted your time,” Beck said, staring into the camera at an audience he once spent weeks telling about fanciful FEMA prison camps. “I think this is the first time I have wasted an hour of your time.”
Here’s the audio of Beck and Malkin squabbling over the Massa interview: