In response to my earlier post today on NPR reporter David Folkenflik's report featuring Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Beck e-mailed me a statement late this afternoon to clarify that he in no way was criticizing Limbaugh in his interview:
"After conducting a 30 minute interview with me on the supposed topic of 'does conservative talk radio reach across party lines, and if so, how?' NPR chose to take a quote from me and use it completely out of context. The quote was not about Rush Limbaugh, which is how it was made to look in the story, it was in response to how the country is dangerously divided along party lines and how that division may be the death of us all. I was also commenting about my disdain for the breed of talk radio hosts whose sole AGENDA is get people elected; they are contributing to this division.
"As Rush said in the story, his goal is to attract the largest possible audience, and that's my goal as well. Rush and I are not "rival" talk hosts, as the story states, since my show precedes him on the same network, and we both work for the same company. I was disappointed to see how NPR chose to make it look like I was insulting Rush, which is something I would never do.”
On his radio show this morning, Beck also suggested NPR didn't use any of his comments about Air America and Al Franken:
“This [story] was supposed to be about talk radio, I thought. When I was doing the interview, it was about talk radio. This seems to be a hatchet piece on Rush Limbaugh. This has nothing to do—I spent half the interview talking about people on the left, and air America. I talked about how people are being divided---In fact, I said good things about Rush and Franken, because they actually believe these things. Limbaugh is a conservative that believes in the conservative agenda. Franken is insane and he actually believes in his insane thoughts. Now Air America was built to win elections. Built to win elections. And that's the problem. It's not a problem to have a conservative viewpoint or a liberal viewpoint. It is a problem when all you care about is politics and you want to win elections...”