Compared with Sean Hannity, for example, Beck seems to me to be a relative innocent. Hannity is a cynical liar and cool propagandist. You can trust nothing he says and although I find it hard to diagnose the motives behind Beck's enthusiasms (money? fame? emotional instability? misplaced patriotism?), he is, compared with Hannity, a model of genuineness. He did, for example, criticize Republican spending and debt under Bush. I remember, because he invited me on his show when it was on CNN before the 2006 mid-terms and we agreed on a lot. Hannity never criticized the GOP for its spending and borrowing, while immediately turning on a dime as soon as Obama was elected. Shameless does not even begin to describe the man's public character.My emphasis. Andrew goes on to excoriate Bill O'Reilly and then call him out:
Beck is in many ways a clown. But my own sense of him is that he is, at times, a genuine clown, not entirely fake. (I know many disagree, and I cannot judge the man's soul from a distance, but that's my hunch.) O'Reilly, meanwhile, is a propagandist - not as bad as Hannity - but dishonest and wrong. And his claim to balance, by having on the hapless, clueless, intellectually vapid Dee-Dee Myers as a rebuttal, is absurd. Mr O'Reilly, I know Fox has long had a blanket ban on having me on as a guest, but here's a challenge: allow me to debate this Talking Points Memo with you, and reveal what a completely half-baked piece of nonsense it was.