Apparently, nobody is ever supposed to say anything bad about Glenn Beck -- even if it's the truth.
NewsReal's David Swindle takes us to task for daring to defend reporting pointing out that Beck's claim that his mother committed suicide is at variance with the facts, which show that the cause of her death is at best inconclusive. His professed problem with it is that it delves into Beck's personal life, which should be off limits in political debate:
If the question of whether she died by suicide or by accident is in doubt (which is all you might be able to establish) then it’s awfully sick of you and MM to choose the answer which makes Beck out to be a liar. I mean you do see how this is really distasteful and unnecessary and how a reasonable person could call this a smear? The circumstances of someone’s mother’s death is in doubt and you accuse them of lying about it in order to illicit sympathy from people and further their career? You really hate Beck that much? Because it seems to me that if you just disagreed with his arguments then that’s all you’d do. You’d refute his arguments (which is fair game.) But instead you choose to dig into his past to try and destroy him personally.
1) No "choice" was made to "make Beck out to be a liar." All that was done by Media Matters is highlight reports showing what the official investigation into Beck's mother's death and what Beck himself has said about it. There are discrepancies, and Swindle doesn't refute that.
2) Obviously, Beck himself is the only one who can answer questions about the discrepancy. But does Swindle really think that such a shameless entertainer as Beck is incapable of enhancing a tragedy for sympathetic effect?
3) Swindle accuses us of "dig[ging] into [Beck's] past to try and destroy him personally." As if that has never been done by conservatives looking to attack liberals. (See Clinton, Bill.) But really, how exactly does this little incident "destroy him personally"? Further, Beck has made the claim publicly on numerous occasions, which opens it up to public scrutiny.
It seems to us that Swindle is opposed to any criticism of Beck. After all, his boss, David Horowitz, has embraced Beck as "the most eloquent, fearless and effective warrior standing between Barack Obama and a collectivist state." But Horowitz himself is embracing personal attacks as well: Just four months after declaring that smears such as "Manchurian candidate" were beneath substantial criticism of Obama, Horowitz called Obama that very thing.
Ultimately, this is small potatoes and hardly the worst thing Beck has done (the top of that list is likely ridiculing the wife of a rival radio host for having a miscarriage). But the fact that Swindle is in full defense mode over such a relatively minor indiscretion tells us that Beck is now a priority of the Right as someone who must be protected at all costs -- just like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.