Glenn Beck indirectly offered an opinion on his suspension from SiriusXM by linking to an article by Erick Erickson calling the satellite radio company “cowards.”
SiriusXM suspended Beck over comments made last week during his interview with fiction writer Brad Thor, in which the radio talker agreed with Thor’s suggestion that a “patriot” might have to “step up” to remove a potential President Donald Trump from power should Trump overstep his Constitutional authority and Congress refuse to impeach him.
In a statement issued this morning, SiriusXM said Thor’s comments “may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone. For that reason, we have suspended The Glenn Beck Program from our Patriot channel for the coming week and are evaluating its place in our lineup going forward.”
Beck, who is on vacation this week, weighed in on the controversy by tweeting out a link to a blog post by Erick Erickson titled, “SiriusXM Proves to be Run by Cowards.”
Erick Erickson: SiriusXM Proves to be Run by Cowards https://t.co/xpprxkSMDa
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 31, 2016
Beck also excerpted Erickson’s article on his personal website Glennbeck.com using Erickson’s original headline, and he linked to it on his Facebook page, providing no addition comment other than a question mark and exclamation point.
In the article, Erickson writes: “Thor speculated that if Trump ever did go full dictator the only way to stop him would be a patriot taking it into his own hands. The conversation was hypothetical, speculative, and both Beck and Brad Thor made sure everyone knew the context in which they were having the conversation.”
Erickson then quotes the transcript of Thor’s remarks (emphasis in original):
THOR: He is a danger to America and I got to ask you a question and this is serious and this could ring down incredible heat on me because I’m about to suggest something very bad. It is a hypothetical I am going to ask as a thriller writer.
With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.
If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.
BECK: I would agree with you on that and I don’t think you actually have the voices we’ve been talking about and we’ve been talking about this off-air for a while. I think the voices like ours go away. I don’t think we are allowed – especially if things, and I believe the economy is going to go to crap, even if Jesus was in office. It’s going to naturally reset. It has to.
Erickson doesn’t appear to dispute that “a patriot taking it into his own hands” — to quote his own characterization of Thor’s comments — implies assassination or violence. Rather, he argues that these comments were “hypothetical, speculative,” and he highlights the section of the transcript where Thor stated, “It is a hypothetical I am going to ask as a thriller writer.”
This is a notable contrast to the defense Beck and his co-hosts Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray made last week when they argued that anyone who believes that Thor’s words implied violence is “an idiot,” “a moron,” “crazy,” “despicable,” and “straight out medically delusional.”
Erickson ends his post by stating:
But SiriusXM is caving to the outrage mob.
Ironically, it is this very outrage mob that led Glenn Beck and Brad Thor to explore the dark waters of Trump ignoring the constitutional checks and balances of his office.
SiriusXM has been willing to let a lot of indecent material go over its airwaves. But because an outrage mob got whipped up, it decided to suspend Glenn Beck over a hypothetical, speculative conversation.
That cowardly behavior, frankly, will only further embolden the outrage mob.
Glenn Beck and Brad Thor did nothing wrong.
Beck has issued no further comments on the matter to date.
This is the second controversy to engulf the radio talker over comments he made on air about Trump and violence. In March, the Secret Service investigated Beck due to a joke he made with his co-host about “stabbing,” which initial reports claimed were in reference to Trump.
UPDATE: Beck linked on his Facebook page to the following statement from the general manager of his radio show concerning his suspension from SiriusXM.