While interviewing Glenn Beck about his suspension from SiriusXM, Fox News host Megyn Kelly omitted a crucial sentence in the audio of Beck’s interview with the author Brad Thor that led to the suspension.
SiriusXM suspended Beck last week over comments he made during an interview with Thor that the satellite radio company said “may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against” the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
On her Fox News show Monday night, Kelly played the audio of the Thor interview for Beck, but omitted Thor’s opening sentence which provided important context showing that the author recognized the danger and gravity of his words.
Below is a transcript of the remarks that led to Beck’s suspension. The bolded section is the sentence omitted by Kelly:
BRAD THOR: He is a danger to America and I got to ask you a question and this is serious and this could bring 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 – 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.
GLENN BECK: I would agree with you on that and I don’t think you actually have the voices we’ve been talking about — we’ve been talking about this off-air for a while, I think the voices like ours go away.
Thor’s statement that he was “about to suggest something very bad” shows that this wasn’t typical speculation.
Kelly played the audio and displayed an on-screen graphic of the transcript – which makes her omission of the bolded opening sentence all the more glaring.
She then framed her follow-up question as more of a statement that cleared Beck of the charge that led to his suspension.
“Then in the wake of that, Glenn, you went on vacation, and SiriusXM suspend the show for a week, right? And what – you say that this is all a misunderstanding. Brad Thor was not – it was saying what patriot will step up if Trump oversteps his mandate as president. It wasn’t a death threat, which is how many people took it,” Kelly stated. (A quick survey of the coverage of Beck’s suspension finds no major news outlet describing this exchange as a “death threat.”)
Beck agreed with Kelly, noting that he was not contacted by Secret Service or law enforcement over these comments.
“Megyn, you’ve known me for a long time,” Beck said. “Have you ever heard any conservative that’s talked more about Gandhi and Martin Luther King and peace and love and no violence as the answer? Have you heard anyone say more about that than me in the last six years?”
“And in your defense, even your response to Brad did not express some, what are you — you know–” Kelly interjected.
Beck then restated his claim that Thor’s comments actually evoked for him an image of Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” rather than an allusion to the assassination of Trump, who Beck has repeatedly compared to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
However, despite his claim that his discussion with Thor was not about assassination, Beck offered Kelly this hypothetical: “Let’s take Donald Trump out of this and let’s make it Barack Obama. If Barack Obama — many conservatives had this very conversation, ‘Glenn,’ — and I always thought it was crazy – ‘Glenn, what if he suspended the next election and stayed in?’”
Kelly finished his thought by adding, “The question is who will hold him accountable.”
But then just to clarify, Kelly said to Beck, “But just for the record, and you’ve talked to Brad as well, neither one of you was suggesting that there should be an assassination or an attempt on Donald Trump’s life because people don’t want to hear – even people who hate Trump — don’t want to hear that, and I know you don’t want to hear that.”
Beck replied, “I don’t want to hear that, and that’s why for six years I’ve been saying violence is coming on the streets. The violence will be there because anger is going to be — I actually expect it on the left, and I’ve been saying to people for the longest time Martin Luther King was right, no violence. To expect that I had somebody on my show that I wouldn’t call on the carpet or that I would agree with a theory like that is absolutely nuts.”
Kelly agreed with him, adding, “In my own experience, you have a history of standing up for the weak and condemning that kind of thing.”
Kelly’s approach to this issue is in marked contrast to her colleague Bill O’Reilly, who criticized Thor’s comments because such rhetoric “incites violence in the minds of some crazy people.”
O’Reilly, who wrote a bestselling book called Killing Reagan about the mentally unstable John Hinckley’s attempted assassination of President Reagan, said, “That incites violence in the minds of some crazy people. Believe me, I know about it, Killing Reagan with Hinckley. I know how these people get incited. And you have got to be very careful.”
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment on the reason for Kelly’s omission of Thor’s opening sentence.
Watch the full segment of Kelly’s interview with Beck above.
Follow Rebecca Mansour on Twitter @RAMansour