In a wide-ranging interview with The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, Glenn Beck took the opportunity to again blast conservatives critical of his decision to greet the recent wave of underage illegal immigrants with toys and hot meals. “I don’t understand those who cannot see the plight of children,” Beck told HuffPo.
The border issue is one example. Beck took heat from fellow conservatives for his decision to distribute large amounts of relief supplies through churches and other organizations in McAllen, Texas, to undocumented children caught at the southern border. Sen. Cruz was at his side.
Beck’s view is that the law says they should not have been admitted and ultimately should not stay. But in the meantime he explains his response in personal terms.
“I don’t understand those who cannot see the plight of children,” he said. “People come here because we have the rule of law, but no one wants their kids to grow up in a society that doesn’t understand justice and mercy.”
The controversy began early last month, when Beck announced that he would provide soccer balls and meals as a way to “help care for some of the roughly 60,000 underage refugees who have crossed into America illegally in 2014.” Outside of Beck’s distasteful grandstanding and playing the victim with the claim that this would be “deadly to my career” (Beck reportedly makes tens of millions of dollars a year), he tore into conservatives who disagreed with him as looking “like they just want judgment” as opposed to mercy.
Naturally, Beck’s framing of the debate delighted a mainstream media that looks for every opportunity to portray conservatives as heartless, or worse. On one side, Beck nails himself to a cross to “do good.” On the other, heartless un-Christian conservatives disagree.
Lost in this debate was reason. As I wrote last month, there is a compassionate reason to oppose Beck’s actions:
It’s just a fact that these children are already being cared for once they arrive here. I’m not even sure they need Beck’s charity. Regardless, the unthinkable danger for them occurs during the journey across a continent to get here. It’s not just the natural elements these children have to worry about, I’m hearing on the news that fully one-third of young girls are sexually assaulted during the trip.
Therefore, the truly compassionate thing to do is to ensure you’re not doing anything that might encourage more parents to send their unaccompanied children on that harrowing trek. And it is not insane, unreasonable, or lacking in compassion to argue that news of a major American media figure greeting children at the border with toys could be used by the drug smugglers and human traffickers already exploiting these kids as a way to recruit more.
“[T]he plight of the children” is a wonderful sound bite (and a terrible accusation). Reality, however, is a little more complicated, as is true compassion.
I understand why the media don’t want to see and comprehend that reasoning. For the life of me, why doesn’t Beck — and I don’t mean change his mind on the issue. All we’re asking is that he acknowledge that conservatives who disagree with him can do so from a place of compassion.
Beck’s telling the Huffington Post and anyone in the mainstream media who will listen that he’s not the man who once described Barack Obama as “racist.” He’s changed, and he apparently believes that that change should earn him and his media empire more acceptance from the mainstream media, and Blaze TV access to more homes with cable television.
But does he have to keep going the Joe Scarborough route, throwing conservatives under the bus to the eager maw of the mainstream media? Here he had the opportunity to explain to the media why his critics aren’t heartless — a wonderful opportunity few conservatives will ever enjoy — but under the bus we go.
And his attacks are escalating. When Beck picked and started this fight last month, it was at least on his own ground.
Now he’s reigniting the fight in, of all places, The Huffington Post.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC